It has been great to see the Olds Grizzlys and Olds Minor Hockey alumni in the NHL news and games over the past months. As a long-time volunteer and supporter of our local levels of hockey in the development process, it has been gratifying to hear the names of young men we have had the pleasure of knowing, achieve their dreams of playing on NHL franchises. These players like Nathan Lawson (who stayed with us over several seasons) and Jason Jaffray (who we have admired as an exceptional hockey player and contributor to the hockey programs in Olds as a graduate of the minor hockey programs), as well as our much-admired Jay Rosehill, (whose entire family has been a strong contribution to sports in general and specifically the success of the Grizzlys) show how strongly the development levels of hockey contribute to the success of the “big show”. Now, if we could just get some kickback from the NHL teams for developing this talent over the years it takes, the financial success of teams like the Grizzlys would be less of an ongoing challenge. Enjoy the games, and reflect on the role this organization has had in building opportunities for these and other exceptional young men who have been grown or have passed through our community!
So what does this mean for Olds? Here is one persons opinion (mine)
My technology motto/credo is “I do not know what I do not know” but intuitively I believe the Fiber to the Premises project (FTTP) means the potential for a huge internet play for Olds residents and businesses and has tremendous economic development potential for the town and trading area.
My reasoning is based upon five years of direct involvement through being a founding member on the Board of the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development (OI). The FTTP project is the brain child of the OI Technology Committee and has been championed by Joe Gustafson as chair. The FTTP network, with its huge bandwidth and speed of uploading and downloading will provide Olds with the ability to have the triple play of voice, data and video at our door step. It will be up to us as individuals or businesses to capitalize on it and explore “what we do not know.”
The potential economic development impacts as I see them can be seen as follows:
– It could give Olds a leg up in terms of strategic advantage for the Town as compared to any community on Alberta’s “Highway 2 Corridor.”
– It could gives OI the opportunity to create a technology based cluster of development (i.e Sillicon flats). The cluster could include both technolgy driven companies as well as those companies that need exposure to new technologies to enhance their productivity;
– It could provide the impetus for the development of some sort of unique incubation/commercialization entity for small and medium size business (SME’s) and supported by the development of an Angel/Venture Capital network (again the Sillicon Flats example).
– It could provide Olds with the opportunity to further capitalize on the graduates of the School of Innovation at Olds College.
Based on these concepts, the Business and Investment Attraction Committee (of OI) of which I am the chair, is currently exploring how we might promote this fiber capability based on the premises of location, location, location and may be seen as follows
– In terms of proximity to the Calgary Internation Airport (45 minutes away), we could prospect businessess who benefit from both technology and easy access to national and internation travel.
– Prospecting the Corridor market from Calgary to Edmonton for the entreprenerus that can utilize the benefits of fiber connectivity.
– Exploring how the local real estate market could be impacted positively by this connectivity in terms of increased economic activity created by companies and indivudals moving to Olds.
— Opportunity for the ‘Youth’ to grow and flourish or return to Olds as residents, employees or entrepreneurs.
According to Joe Gustafson ‘the Olds Fiber to the Home (FTTH)project will provide a future-proof telecom infrastructure so Olds residents can obtain the latest Small Office/Home Office and entertainment services and the fastest residential and business Internet service in Canada. The network will be designed to accommodate more than one voice, data and entertainment service provider. A study of the US FTTH market found the average homeowner sees FTTH being worth an additional $4000-$7000 (US) per home in the future resale value of a home.”
– In my view the FTTP can become our ‘economic oyster” as its benefits will contribute to our quality of life. This means that living in a small town does not automatically disqualify any one from the latest of technology but perhaps in fact give access to the leading edge, rather than ‘sucking the hind tit (translation availabe for those of non-agricultural background) which has historically been our fate.
– Opportunity for the ‘Youth’ to grow and flourish or return to Olds as residents, employees or entrepreneurs.
I may be dreaming but I believe this will be Olds’ opportunity to leap forward.
These are just of my opinions.
Your thoughts and ideas are welcome.
The Olds Art Club has a showing and sale in April featuring the works of local Olds artist Caroline Bodmer. Caroline has had the opportunity to commit more time to her artistic endeavors over the last few years and she will be featuring her painted works alongside other local talent Saturday the 4th, and Sunday the 5th of April at the Olds College Library.