Acadia University Athletics and Community Events executive director Kevin Dickie said they have a lot to offer: a beautiful campus with all its infrastructure and amenities, an “unbelievable community” in the Annapolis Valley and a burgeoning wine industry.
He said they want people from outside areas to come in and spend time at Acadia, whether it’s for sporting events, booking campus venues for symposiums or conferences or using the campus as a destination for groups hosting training camps, for example.
“I think that we’ve been a landing pad because of the fact that people are aware of Acadia but there’s a whole different opportunity and market out there if we go out and we get our brand out there – our brand being Destination Acadia,” Dickie said.
He sees the initiative as somewhat of a throwback to the past, reinvigorating outreach efforts to recruit events to the campus and taking advantage of assets at hand.
“We want to work in conjunction with the bed and breakfasts and in conjunction with the hotels that are in the community and also take advantage of what I think is an untapped sport tourism market,” Dickie said.
He said they’re taking a strategic approach to capitalize on the sports tourism industry, which is booming across North America. Combining an environment like the Valley with the Acadia campus is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.
He foresees a multitude of positive economic spinoffs for restaurants, other area businesses and the added benefit of recruiting new students to the university. Having visitors from across the country come to Acadia for events such as the recent Canada Cup of Football is a way to introduce them to what the campus and Valley region has to offer. He can’t imagine people leaving and not wanting to come back.
Dickie said there is a business opportunity here as the university explores under-utilized avenues to generate revenue. Acadia wants to work with like-minded thinkers and local municipal units to create win-win situations where all realize benefits.
Dickie said they’ve got a perfect niche situation. Acadia is all within one footprint in Wolfville, opposed to a big city where people tend to get “gobbled up” by the chaos of everything else going on.
“I remember watching Great Big Sea on Raymond Field and there’s no reason why we can’t be doing those types of things again,” he said.
Dickie said he or Event Services senior manager Bob Caissie would be good first points of contact for anyone wanting to make Acadia their event destination. Dickie can be reached at 902-585-1551 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Caissie can be reached at 902-585-1579 or at email@example.com.