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Community Futures West Yellowhead staff are working and able to assist you. However, our office is closed to the public. We are not facilitating in-person meetings, training and/or workshops until further notice.

If you would like to speak to a staff member about our programs and services, please contact our office at (780) 865-1224, or use the ‘Book A Virtual Appointment’ link above to make an appointment.

Latest news

Applications Open for Youth Entrepreneurship Camp

Applications are open for the 24th year of the Rotary Alberta Youth Entreprenuership Camp!  RAYEC is a summer camp for business minded youth aged 13 - 15 from August 9 to 15, 2020.  Click here for more information.  Application deadline is May 31, 2020.

8th Annual Alberta Open Farm Days (OFD)

Calling all farm direct producers… you are invited to participate…

Registration is open for farms wanting to share their agriculture story with consumers during the 8th annual Alberta Open Farm Days (OFD). Register by May 31, 2020.

This year’s event will run province wide the weekend of August 15 and 16, 2020.  Last year’s event continued to set records with 150 participating farms, 31 culinary events, 42,500 visits, and over $262,000 in sales. It is a collaborative, province wide, two-day event that gives Albertans an opportunity to experience the farm and understand where their food comes from. It is a backstage pass to meet the farmer, experience Ag-tourism in Alberta and taste local foods direct from the producer.

Farms can register online at .  They can choose which day (or both days!) they wish to open their gates, and are provided event insurance at no cost to them when registered to take part.

For those of you interested in exploring adding culinary to your event, we have tools available to you.  Combined with the materials on AHS and AGLC regulations, we have materials on:
1. Connecting & Collaborating
2.  Food Sampling & Demos 
3. Long Table Dinners.  

This year Open Farm Days will host two workshops in the spring that will focus on marketing, social media and culinary for those of you interested in learning in a networking environment.

**New this year, we have an exciting new direction for working with local brewers and distillers.  This opportunity is for farms wishing to showcase local craft beverages with their event.  Your approved brewery partner (must have a MT, MP or MA licence)  will be able to apply at no cost for a "caterers extension" and you will be able to select a chef or restaurant partner and attach the menu for your AGLC approvals.  We will be sharing this information through Open Farm Days and continue to offer coaching assistance for your unique needs through Food Tourism Strategies. For any of your culinary questions, feel free to reach out directly to Tannis Baker or at 403 830 2846  as we aim to assist you in growing your Ag-tourism opportunities on your farms.

Farms can also contact  for further questions about how to get involved with this amazing event!

SMARTstart Program Celebrates 2019 Entrepreneurs

AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – Fourteen- up-and-coming local entrepreneurs representing 13 businesses were celebrated on Wednesday, October 30 at the 2019 SMARTstart Program Celebration event in Airdrie.

The entrepreneurs spent the last eight months refining their idea for a new business or working to strengthen their existing business through the made-in-Airdrie SMARTstart entrepreneurial training program.

"This is the sixth year the program has been offered in Airdrie and each year we are blown away by the amazing progress made by our entrepreneurs over the course of eight months,” says Tara Levick, SMARTstart Organizing Committee Member. "The Celebration Event is truly a celebration of all the hard work made throughout the year. Everyone gets something different from SMARTstart and that’s what makes the program so special.”

The 2019 participants recognized at the event were:

  • Chris Lindsey, Leaps N Bounds Inflatables                       
  • Chrissie Rozak, GetintheLoop Airdrie
  • Cigdem Fareed, Distinct Graphics & Software Solutions
  • Colin Bailey, Evolution Performance
  • Danielle Doetzel, Boulevard Home Inc.
  • Kitty Bexson, Things by Kitty
  • Lindsey Coyle, Airdrie Exchange
  • Marla Elms, Grounded Natural Cleaning Services
  • Morgan Sylvain & Kayla McPhail, Smile & Co
  • Nick Davies, Cowork Space/Cocktail Lounge
  • Moonliza Menya, Kirabo Fashion & Interiors
  • Scott Jones, DigiWave Services
  • Tara Reid, Re’Ferbish Group

SMARTstart provided the participants with online business skills training, 11 in-person workshops delivered by Airdrie business experts, and a local mentor. Working with their mentor, each participant completed a business, strategic or feasibility plan.

The event was also an opportunity to celebrate 14 local businesspeople who volunteer their time to be SMARTstart mentors. One mentor was honoured for volunteering for five years, since the program’s inception in 2014. Congratulations to Kari Lines of Budget Blinds Airdrie and thank you for your continued support of the program.

SMARTstart was launched in 2014 and is an award-winning program delivered by the City of Airdrie Economic Development and Community Futures Centre West. SMARTstart has now provided training to 89 entrepreneurs and has helped a dozen new businesses open.

“One of the best things about SMARTstart is the people. From my mentor Tracy, the other entrepreneurs and mentors, to the program directors,” says Marla Elms, 2019 entrepreneur. “It’s so great to know that I’ve made lifelong connections and that I have a whole group of awesome people rooting for my success. To the people who work so hard to make SMARTstart happen: you are amazing, you are changing lives and I thank you for changing mine.”

The program is made possible with support from local sponsors:
• Seminar Sponsors: BDC, MNP Airdrie

• Entrepreneur Sponsors:  Airdrie Women in Business Association, McKee Homes, Sid Van der Meer, Blessingways Family Wellness
• Friend Sponsors:  Ecole Des Petits Amis, Edward Jones-Derek Lalonde, Kerry Oswald
• Media sponsors: Air 106.1FM, airdrielife, Airdrie Echo, Here’s the Scoop
• In-Kind Sponsors:  Hamptons Inn & Suites, Healthy Meals Made Easy, Noodlebox, Custom Gemini

Applications for the 2020 program are open until December 13, 2019. Entrepreneurs with an idea or new businesses (in operation for less than three years) are invited to learn more at information sessions on November 6 or December 4 at 7 p.m. or November 20 at 12 p.m. at City Hall (400 Main St SE).

To learn more, visit or e-mail

The 2019 SMARTstart participants.

Back Row (from left): Danielle Doetzel, Lindsey Coyle, Nick Davies, Scott Jones, Moonliza Menya
Front Row (from left): Morgan Sylvain, Kitty Bexson, Cigdem Fareed, Tara Reid, Chris Lindsey, Kayla McPhail, Marla Elms
Missing: Chrissie Rozak and Colin Bailey Photo Credit: Kristy Reimer Photography


Tara Levick, SMARTstart Committee City of Airdrie Economic Development Phone: 403.948.8800 x 8481

Volunteer Board of Directors Opportunity

Community Futures Centre West knows that community matters as much as success.

We are recruiting forward-thinking, value-oriented board members with a passion for leadership, community development, and entrepreneurship. Our professional board development program will keep you challenged, stimulate creativity and build leadership capabilities.
Funded by Western Economic Diversification, CF Centre West is a non-profit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Directors are local community champions and professionals with diverse skills and backgrounds and are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization.
For more information and to apply  go to:
Or contact Patti-Jay Powell, Executive Director e:, c: 403.389.8272 

New Opportunity- Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan- What is Means for Alberta

Projects to Build Prosperous Communities

The governments of Canada and Alberta are working together to make long-term infrastructure investments that will create economic growth, sustain well-paying jobs, build inclusive communities and support a low carbon, green economy-leading to a high quality of life for all Canadians.


SMARTstart wins the 2015-2016 Minister's Innovation Award

The Airdrie Business Resource Partnership (ABRP) wished to create a program combining online training, in-person workshops and a mentorship component that would target entrepreneurs in the development phase or in the first three years of business.  Over the course of the program the businesses would either develope a business plan or update their current business plan.

In 2014 the SMARTstart Entrepreneur Training Program was created with components of online training, workshops and local mentors. Partner contributions were leveraged with an Alberta Government Community Initiatives Project Grant for year one and in January 2014 the first sponsorship was welcomed.  By December 2014, sponsorships had been pledged for the 2015 program. The second SMARTstart program located in Airdrie launched late February 2015.

Project goals included: Increased capacity through training education and networking, building collaborative partnerships with government, private business and industry leaders to implement strategies to increase productivity, investment in research, development, growth and innovation. It was imperative to partner with organizations and/or communities to improve the business support system to early stage business and youth entrepreneurs.

Click link to hear some of our entrepreneurs share their experiences and the value of being part of this inaugural program. 

Entrepreneurs share their experiences and the value of having a mentor. 



Training for Your Board of Directors

Community Futures is your Board Training Partner
Board Members are dedicated, hardworking volunteers. They are highly skilled in a variety of areas of governance. Regardless of their experience with boards, operations and financial management, Board Training will ensure that they continue to be effective in their governance roles.
Make your board be the best it can be with with Community Futures Leadership Institute Board training for Community and Not-For-Profit Organizations.
We offer proven, effective Board Development Training in the following areas:
  • Operations-Board and Staff
  • Legal Responsibilities of Boards
  • Financial Management 
  • Board Development and Evaluation
  • Management, Recruitment, Performance and Evaluation
  • Board Leadership
  • So You Want to be a Chair-Chairing with Confidence

How it Works

Community Futures Centre West will work with interested parties to select and schedule a training session that is of interest to your board. 

For more information contact Dianne Graham at 403 464-2572


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Community Futures Centre West
3209, 101 Sunset Drive
Cochrane, AB T4C 0W7


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Communities Served

Bragg Creek, 
Dead Mans Flats, 
Elbow Valley, 
Ghost Lake, 
Harvie Heights, 
Redwood Meadows, 


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