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Homeward bound campaign

The City of Summerside has a genuine interest in providing development and growth opportunities for its established business community and growing business enterprise and seeks to achieve a vibrant and diversified economy that provides even more opportunities for businesses to succeed. With this in mind, the City is re-establishing its Connection Program as a way to connect with former Summerside residents to inform, share, and connect about business and labour opportunities. The ultimate program goal is to assist and facilitate the establishment of mutually beneficial networking opportunities between program participants and the local business community, which will result in more strategic partnerships that create new business investments and attract more human resources and people to the city.


To develop a creative concept for the promotion of the Homeward Bound campaign that will communicate to both target audiences: the local community and business owners in Summerside. The campaign had to engage, create communication with the audiences and invite participants to fill out the online form for further discussion which will be the first stage of this program.


To have the desired impact from this program, we suggested inviting residents of Summerside, newcomers to the city, and successful entrepreneurs who were born in Summerside or chose this place to live to share their stories. We were impressed by the versatility of the people who responded to this call and how open they were to tell us about their adventures, plans and successes that they have found in Summerside. The cases of Debbie McGrath, Owner and President at HR.com; Alex Clark, Co-owner of Open Eats; Lindsay Hai, Senior Finance Project Manager at Vector Aerospace, and Darcia and Jordon Burnett, Owners of The Lobster House and The Shipyard Weddings and Events are very inspiring and helped us to create engaging key messages with the hashtags and texts for marketing materials, including content for the website. These talented people became the Homeward Bound campaign’s ambassadors in 2017. The key messages that we created, such as #I BUILD MY FUTURE HERE! and #SUMMERSIDE WILL HELP YOU, became powerful calls to action along with the inspiring quotes that we used in the marketing communication.


The main channel of promotion for the Homeward Bound campaign became a website which we developed based on the marketing strategy and Summerside value proposition. The website contains all necessary information about the program and is connected to the powerful job searching platform, Magnet — the vast database of resumes and jobs. At the website, the guest will be invited to fill out the form to get in touch directly with the Economic Development department. The Homeward Bound program was promoted using online and offline marketing channels such as direct mail, social media and press. In collaboration with a professional photographer, we created key images that were adapted to various sizes and formats.

Working with the City of Summerside Economic Development department, we created a letter that was sent to the local residents, parents and grandparents of children who left Summerside for education or job searching, to invite them to participate in this program and build a partnership with the stakeholders.


The Homeward Bound campaign was running in Summerside in 2017 and continued in 2018. The campaign of 2018 received a new visual style while keeping the same idea to represent new ambassadors who were born in Summerside or chose this city for their lifestyle and share their inspiring stories. The new campaign used strong messages to support key visuals. The great stories of Shawn McCarvill, President of Slemon Park Corporation; Shawna Johnston, Insurance Sales Pro; Steve Barrett, Controller at StandardAero, and Sean Aylward, Owner of Humble Barber, became important communicators of the campaign. During these two years, the campaign helped the City of Summerside government to connect with the local residents and the business community to better understand their needs and hopes and invite them to the conversation with the goal to develop an effective strategy to make Summerside the best place to live and build a successful career. 

Mike Thususka, Summerside's director of economic development, says thanks to the program's website mysummerside.ca and social media presence, his department hears from people daily wanting to connect. "We are seeing inquiries from around the globe," Mike Thususka said. The economic development department is received more than 200 requests for more information since the program launched. 

Mike Thususka said: "With the website in place, program expenses are minimal — about $1,000 per year. It's not a huge expenditure, but the dividends we are getting back in terms of creating conversations far outweighs the investment we are making in this."

Art Fresh is more than a marketing agency. They develop and execute innovative solutions to help build and promote opportunities grounded on developing a relationship to truly understand your business needs.

Mike Thususka Director of Economic Development
City of Summerside

I have over 15 years’ cooperation experience with Elena Herweyer and the Art Fresh team under branding projects in Ukraine and the EU. I know that when I have a complex marketing task with tough deadlines I can address it to Art Fresh and get a high-quality branding service that totally meets the brand and company's strategy.

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