Moncton continues to Dream and to Rock!
Moncton has just come off a decade of growth that recorded record years in building permits. At times, that decade now seems like a dream. What could be more appropriate because in 2010, the first ever Atlantic Dream Festival was held at the Moncton Coliseum. Headlined by world renowned Sir Richard Branson, of Virgin everything fame, the festival was aimed at opening up ideas and thinking to dream your impossible dreams and make them happen.
Canada's fire breathing dragon, Kevin O'Leary brought his vision of entrepreneurship and hard work to the festival. Meanwhile Olympian Clara Hughes, a winner of multiple medals in both the winter and summer games, provided inspiration for achieving one's dreams through hard work and determination. This festival was the dream and result of the hard work of local entrepreneur Brad LeBlanc.
For a dream of a different kind, Moncton participated in the international Intelligent Communities Forum in 2009 and 2010. In its first time effort, in 2009 it reached the Top Seven of the over 400 communities from around the world that participated. In fact, it lost out for the top spot to Stockholm, Sweden, not a bad comparison for a community of our size. In 2010, under a different set of criteria with a different slant, Moncton slipped out of the Top Seven into the Top Twenty One, still an achievement of note against worldwide competition.
Putting a strong stamp of validation on the conclusion of a very successful decade, KPMG in their 2010 bi-annual Competitive Alternatives study, once again put Moncton with the top locations.
Costs were measured for more than 100 cities in ten countries: Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the overall country comparison, the lowest cost was Mexico with Canada placing second. When it comes to measuring cities, Moncton, New Brunswick placed first in the New England/Atlantic Canada grouping. For all of the cities in Canada, Moncton placed second with a 91.3 cost index just behind Sherbrooke, Quebec's 91.2.
The first decade of this new millennium was indeed a very good decade for Moncton but now it's time to close the book on those years and set our sights on the challenges and opportunities to come. But with confirmation of our attractiveness for business from independent organizations such as KPMG and the Intelligent Communities Forum, we believe this steady growth will continue.
Or maybe we should look at another outside expert group to validate our success, to represent our dreams and aspirations. Let's look at the music industry. Let's look at the Rolling Stones who performed in front of 85,000 fans at the Magnetic Hill concert site in 2005. Or Faith Hill and Tim McGraw who lit up the place in 2008. Then there were the Eagles that landed in 2008 and AC/DC that blasted through in 2009. What do a bunch of musicians have to do with things? The music industry is a big industry and these groups are big business ventures. They are much more than music and when they pick a location, they go to where they will be successful, and Moncton is one of those places. Being at the centre of the region, they know it's easy to attract thousands to this site. What can work for this industry can work for others.
Still not convinced? Think Bono, think the Edge. Yes, think U2, one of the most successful bands ever and therefore a very successful business. U2 will be bringing their business to Moncton and concluding their 2011 North American 360 tour at the same concert site broken in by the Stones. U2 is coming to Moncton, New Brunswick and some 100,000 people are expected to be in attendance. Now that is big business and once again, it shows that our big dreams can become reality.