Like a rolling stone

The Conference Board recently released a report on the importance of Canada’s ‘hub cities’. The problem, at least if you are a NBer, is that there was no NB city in the mix. Only Halifax.

Not having a dominant urban centre does pose considerable challenges for New Brunswick. None get on the map – in a serious way.

I monitor media references to cities in my day job for a client and Halifax gets 100+ references per week on average. Moncton gets a dozen or so and they are almost always about sports or weather. Stories about business growth or other industry news is almost non-existent. Fredericton and Saint John are about the same.

Where am I going with this? I am trying to loosely link Mick Jagger to economic development. I was watching a U.S. wireless company advertisment last fall featuring the Rolling Stones – playing in Moncton. Nobody else knew that but apparently the ad firm thought the footage of Moncton was the most impressive (those rising stands). Moncton was in the news – widely – for a period of time because of the Stones.

New Brunswick cities are handicapped by their size to be sure. But they still need to promote themselves widely and do things to get exposure. Fredericton has milked that wifi network for all its worth as one example.

All this to say, congrats to Halifax for winning the Stones lottery this year.

Ian Fowler and the guys/gals over at City Hall, sharpen your pencils and find the next big act. The monster truck show at the colesium does not cut the mustard.