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First Impressions Community Exchange

The Path to Sustainability Doesn’t Need to Be Walked Alone

• Does your municipality ever feel lonely?
• Not sure of what direction to take?
• Seeking Partnership and Collaboration?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then FICE may be right for you!


Municipalities which participate in the First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) Project are matched with communities that share similar demographics and have complimentary challenges and aspirations. These municipalities send exchange teams to each other’s communities to look for strengths and shortcomings as seen through the eyes of a first time visitor. Municipalities who have participated in FICE often develop strong partnerships with their exchange partners as they work to capitalize on their strengths and overcome challenges. Click here to read more about FICE, or click here watch the video developed by Alberta Agriculture as part of their rural development series.


New ways to participate in FICE!


AUMA is offering two options for your participation in the FICE program this year:

  • a fully supported program in which the FICE works with the Coordinator and Community throughout the process
  • a limited support program during which the Coordinator manages the process.

In order to determine which option is right for your municipality contact Shelagh Thurlbeck, FICE Consulting Team, fax: 780-418-1885 phone:780-418.1884 cell: 780-668-3583.


How to Apply:


  1. Discuss the project with council, in order to receive council commitment to provide the human and financial resource to complete the exchange process as outlined in the sample commitment letter included in the application form.
  2. Seek out organizations in the community that can support the municipality in conducting an exchange through contributing resources or volunteers to the exchange and/or who can work with the municipality to help implement recommendations resulting from exchange. Letters of support from community organizations are key to the application process.
  3. Click here to access the application form. Complete and send it to Shelagh Thurlbeck, FICE Consulting Team, fax: 780-418-1885 phone:780-418.1884 cell: 780-668-3583.
  4. Contact Shelagh if you have any questions at all about FICE or the application process.


Exchange Documents:



Success Stories:

Click here to access Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's evaluation of the 2008 FICE pilot and find out how municipalities who participated are implementing FICE related projects.


Project Contacts

AUMA is pleased to be working with SMT Business Services to deliver FICE.

Shelagh Thurlbeck, Executive Director
Phone: 780.418.1884 E-mail

AUMA Project Lead:
Rachel Bocock, Senior Policy Analyast
Phone: 780.409.4313 E-mail
Toll free 1.800.661.2862

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Partner:
Patricia Macklin, Senior Project Coordinator
Phone: 780.644.4802 E-mail

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