Markham's new economic development plan crystallizes.

Simcoe County
On a wave of growth Simcoe County launches a new corporate brand and tourism strategy.

Tourism Simcoe County hosted dignitaries, including Minister Donna Cansfield (above) and tourism industry representatives at a reception at Horseshoe Resort on October 13, 2009 to announce the launch of Tourism Simcoe County, formerly called the Huronia Tourism Association and to showcase seven experiences that represent the new brand.

Kenneth Caplan clicks with Markham to take the prestigious

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Kenneth Caplan share the spotlight as the Town of Markham receives the WILLIS AWARD FOR COMMUNITY INNOVATION presented by the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA).

The prestigious award, presented by Johnson Controls, Gold Partner of the CAMA Conference, honoured “Click with Markham” a unique community consultative initiative that provided the opportunity for Markham’s residents to express their opinions and guide Town Council on issues of community growth, transportation, the environment, municipal services, parks, recreation, culture, public safety and diversity within a four year strategic plan.

Kenneth Caplan and Associates Limited conceived the overall “Click with Markham“ brand and developed the program in conjunction with John Chiarelli & Associates, Reed Jones Limited, Unikron Films, The Delvinia Group and Markham’s Corporate Communications Department. Over 86,000 households and businesses received survey packages. Participants were able to respond by mail, telephone, fax and on-line where the survey was available in 7 languages.

The campaign was supported by local advertising, information booths and displays, and a dedicated “Click with Markham“ website. More than 7,000 residents responded. The on-line, real-time aspect of “Click with Markham” enabled the survey questionnaires to be rapidly tabulated and put in to the hands of Council. “The response to “Click with Markham” was remarkable”, said Mayor Scarpitti. The process gave Markham the answers needed in just a very short space of time.

The three week event culminated with a Town Hall gathering where Mayor Scarpitti presented the findings to the community and announced the winners of “Click with Markham“ prizes that formed part of the up-beat community experience.

Underlying the success of “Click with Markham” was the brand-focused communications strategy developed by Kenneth Caplan and Associates that transformed the complex municipal issues into a process for community engagement and participation.