The latest Canadian Creative Index is out, and Kingston ranks number 12. The index, developed by Richard Florida and the Martin Prosperity Institute is based on the three “T”s of economic development. According to Florida, the first T is technology, or the ability to create new ideas and inventions and high tech companies. The second T is talent, the skilled, ambitious and talented people who generate new ideas and create new companies. The third T is tolerance, the non-judgmental environment that attracts open-minded and new-thinking kinds of people.
What makes Kingston so creative? Jeff Garrah, CEO at the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) says the qualities that make Kingston innovative always come back to people. “Kingston is a community represented by a stable public sector and a diverse private sector comprised of over 75 per cent of businesses being small to medium sized enterprises,” he says. ”A commonality amongst Kingstonians is our innovative mindset, one which cultivates an atmosphere of entrepreneurship and creation. Good ideas are brought to fruition in Kingston.”
It’s this diversity of ideas, discovery and experiences that has created the Kingston advantage. It offers opportunity for those at all stages of their life and business start-up. Kingston has been acknowledged simultaneously as Canada’s Best City for Young Talented Workers; Best City to Raise a Family; and Best City to Retire In, by national publications.
Within this setting a strong culture of innovation and creativity has evolved. Garrah notes, “Our educational institutions, through our schools, college, and universities play a key role in the development of creative mindsets. The attraction and retention of talent is essential to driving our city forward and is leveraged through the attraction and retention of creative business.” Kingston has fostered a community atmosphere which supports new ideas, solution-based thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. “This creative spirit drives the city forward and continually challenges us to look at different ways of doing business, setting new standards for working smarter and forging stronger partnerships to meet mutual success.”
The Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) provides platforms for business success through investment support, labour market development, knowledge dissemination and sharing, and industry/academic partnerships to ensure companies and individuals can develop and flourish.