• Reporter Elaina John

Vermilion Awarded AUMA Municipal Sustainability Award

On September 24, AUMA Director of Client Development Michael O’Mara awarded Town of

(From left) Vermilion CAO George Rogers, Councillor Robert Pulyk, AUMA’s Michael O’Mara, Myor Caroline McAuley, Economic Development Officer Mary Lee Prior, and Councillor Richard Yaceyko. Photo submitted


Vermilion leaders with the AUMA Sustainability in Action Award.

“They’ve done quite a bit of work to make Vermilion sustainable,” commented O’Mara.

The Town was awarded the Municipal Sustainability Award for its campaign, #VermilionOnlineFestival, which was launched on the last week of April for five weeks to help support local businesses. The Online Festival was a way for local businesses to be taught online marketing to mitigate the effect COVID-19 and the lockdown had on them, and hoping to ensure they remain sustainable businesses. Additionally, in giving businesses an opportunity to remain open, the campaign aimed to help mitigate crime and unemployment.

This campaign caused Vermilion to be mentioned in an article by Travel Alberta for the first time in ten years, and various other municipalities were in conversation with the Town of Vermilion to see how they achieved such success in supporting local businesses. Some municipalities followed suit and used similar campaigns and strategies to help their own communities.

“It was definitely a worthwhile project,” said Town Councillor Robert Pulyk.

Many businesses found that the online festival was a great way to showcase their products, and online sales surpassed in-person sales for some businesses. Pulyk mentioned that when the Online Festival was launched, one restaurant had more orders in that day than they had in the past month.

Mayor Caroline McAuley mentioned that not only did this project help keep local businesses stay afloat, but it helped businesses increase their reach beyond Vermilion and the local community.

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