Award Nominations


Monica is thrilled to learn that two of the projects with which she has been closely associated have been selected as Finalists for the Cindy Amos Tourism Champion Award to be handed out on April 20 at the Canadian Badlands Tourism Development Conference in Drumheller, Alberta.

She is justifiably proud that the Belles of the Badlands and the All Aboard! leadership (Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation and Hanna Learning Centre) have followed the clustering principle of “Alone we go fast; together we go further” to achieve results that are now being recognized throughout the Canadian Badlands.

Congratulations Belles and All Aboarders for your nominations.


Cindy Amos Tourism Champion Award

Congratulations to the All Aboard! team on your win. Photo by Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation

YOUNGstersTOWN Community Creativity Evening

As a result of a workshop with the Youngstown School students last year, momentum has been gained for an economic development idea for the Village of Youngstown. On April 7, community members will gather to work towards a shared goal of economic revitalization stemming from a suggestion made by the youth of the town.

This won’t be a typical strategic planning or brainstorming session, but a fun, creative, and interactive community evening led by Monica Knight to get people’s feedback on a potential theme for Youngstown.

Monica’s facilitation seeks to combat the often fragmented ways with which we attempt to solve problems in a group setting. Attendees will think about YOUNGstersTOWN using unconventional activities to spark creative responses.

YOUNGstersTOWN Community Creativity Evening

Full Steam Ahead on the Prairies


Monica was dressed appropriately when she arrived to work in Alberta at the end of January… Brrrr, winter on the prairies!

Despite suffering from a horrible cold while there, Monica can report that the “All Aboard” project in Hanna has expanded to the nearby community of Youngstown and the wide expanse known as The Special Areas.

You can read about the latest development by visiting the Cactus Corridor website –

Stay warm!

Downtown Hanna gets All Aboard!

Following Monica’s encouragement for Hanna to take realistic small steps to follow the All Aboard! theming – look at what was achieved by this group of volunteers: ATCO Power, Town of Hanna, Warwick’s Home Hardware, the Legion, and Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation!



Volunteers hard at work priming the Hanna Legion

Volunteers hard at work priming the Hanna Legion.

The finished product

The finished product!

Hanna adds Flair

More excitement with the All Aboard! Project in Hanna as they continue to stay “on track” – three local businesses have agreed to put this decal in their windows to add flair to Downtown Hanna and unite the business core.

Thank you to The Emporium, Homestyle Pies and Country Charms Flowers & Gifts for getting “On Board”.



Thrive in a Hive: Youth

In December Monica led a workshop with 120 students Grades 7-9 at J.C. Charyk in Hanna, Alberta. Read below for more detail:

Hanna Herald Article - Dec 10 2014

The Hanna-Parker Wedding

After working strategically in Hive building with the Hanna Rural Alberta Business Centre, Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation and the formed All Aboard! group, Monica was so pleased to launch a project that has been a year in the making: theming Hanna as a Railtown. The Hanna-Parker Showcase in November was just a segment of the theming – the Arts & Culture Component. Based off of Tony and Tina’s wedding, this adaptation of the play is set in the early 1900’s, engaging the audience in an entertaining feud between the Ranchers (Parkers) and the Railroaders (Hannas). Thanks to our “voluntold” actors and to the Hanna Museum for tending the bar. It was amazing to see the level of involvement from the community.
Monica preparing for the “Wedding”
Picture compliments of Mayor Chris Warwick’s wife, Angie from the evening of the decor and of Monica’s briefing to the Community.

All Aboard! in Hanna

Monica has worked with the Hanna Rural Alberta Business Centre and Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation since August, coaching and facilitating the creation of a new Cluster using “Thrive in a Hive” (see Monica’s renowned Painting the Barn Red workshop). Two leadership groups were formed in February to contribute to the creation of Hanna’s third Hive: Railtown, which is based on Hanna’s unsung treasures: the Roundhouse & Turntable.

larae wanda monica farmers marketMonica is always willing to do what it takes to help move Clusters forward…even if it means dressing up! Left to Right: Larae Pierson, Rural Alberta Business Centre Hanna, Monica Knight and Wanda Diakow, Made in Alberta

The purpose of this Hive is to unite the Downtown Business Community, create Traffic to Hanna’s fantastic Pioneer Museum (“…we don’t like to brag, but we’ve been told we’re probably number one for this type of museum in the province.”  – Vic Mohl) and to capitalize on Hanna Roundhouse, fostering pride in all ages on this rare monument and the rich history it has brought Hanna.

all 3Left to Right: A view of the Roundhouse from the Turntable; Hanna Museum; A view of Downtown

OTRT Seeds

Heritage Seeds

The groups:
1. All Aboard!: Comprised of downtown business owners, this leadership group will  be the first movers in creating a buzz in the Downtown, which will hopefully spread to the rest of Town.

2. On the Right Track: Interested in promoting locally grown products – as an awareness tool, Galt Museum Heritage seeds were given out at the first Farmer’s Market of year.


This Hive is comprised of four “puzzle” pieces:


In May 2014, the Railtown Hive was mass promoted in various forms. Following a community meeting regarding the future of the Roundhouse, the two groups and four “pieces” were presented to the Hanna Chamber of Commerce, Town Council and at the Hanna’s Farmer’s Market in conjunction with Made in Alberta. The Railtown Hive concept has been met with enthusiasm from the people of Hanna; residents, business owners and Town officials alike. As Monica likes to say, “onward and upward!” toward the next steps of the Clustering process – stay tuned for progress in Hanna!


1 2