Oki, Hello. There is so much to love about Lethbridge.

If we want to see measurable and continued growth, we need to attract business investment, tourism, and relocation.

We need to elicit civic pride, and encourage our community to champion our world-class businesses, recreation, and cultural opportunities; this is particularly urgent as we transition out of the pandemic. Let’s privilege local. If we speak in one voice, we can advocate for Lethbridge as a desirable place for outside interests to invest, explore, visit, host events, and attend post-secondary. While there are endemic problems that need immediate attention in the city, we can’t lose sight of our many amazing attributes.

Lethbridge is a unique, diverse, and interesting city. Situated in traditional Blackfoot territory in the shadow of the foothills, our community is a confluence of cultures. First People, settlers, and new Canadians all call Lethbridge home. There are a variety of faith groups, ethnic groups, and subcultures all working in tandem to keep Lethbridge vibrant.

Sitting in the heart of a vast agricultural expanse, Lethbridge is a regional hub for commerce and culture.

When people say that there is nothing to do here, I have to correct them. They can shop in unique local businesses, eat at locally owned restaurants, attend exciting sporting events, exercise at our many recreation facilities, explore our parks & museums, visit art galleries, watch live theatre, or see local musicians perform. Rather than having nothing to do, on any day of the week Lethbridge provides more opportunities than one person can take in.

We need to cultivate awareness locally, before we can sell it beyond our borders. We need to “Love Lethbridge” instead of disparaging it.

Lethbridge has an extensive park system, respected sports teams, world-class recreational facilities, and an arts community recognized on a national level. We have restaurants and retail unparallelled for a community our size. Lethbridge has an active and engaged multicultural community open to sharing, educating and engaging the entire community. Our University and College have a great reputation, and draw people from across the world. We have a world-class Japanese Garden, and working relationships with sister and twin-cities across the globe. Our sports teams always invite attendance and frenzied celebration. All of these opportunities to engage currently exist, but many people are unaware of them. It is easy to become complacent, complain, and ruminate on the many problems our city faces.

But now is the time to focus on raising awareness locally, so we can sell Lethbridge regionally and nationally.

Far from being an empty platitude or hollow sentiment, “Love Lethbridge” is an idea engineered to bring concrete deliverables to our community, both tangible and intangible by working closely and effectively with our economic, tourism and cultural partners like the EDL, the AAC, Tourism Lethbridge, the BRZ, and the many more public, private, and civic committees that work toward growing our community in healthy and constructive ways.

Love Lethbridge advocates for forming a committee that will make a concerted effort to focus internally while working with the existing partners that focus externally. Love Lethbridge would invite an extensive choir of community voices into the consultation process, including industrial & entrepreneurial stakeholders, the recreation & cultural sector, as well as advocates of the vulnerable and marginalized.

Unless we speak with a united voice, the rest of the world won’t listen or care.