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Open Industry Challenges: Calling All Innovators!

The City of Summerside is seeking innovative ideas that support the City’s pursuit to serve its residents, visitors, and businesses with innovative solutions to common municipal ambitions and to achieve Net Zero City Status. 

The Summerside Challenge Program tackles issues that the City of Summerside would like to resolve using open innovation methods and partnering with innovation-driven businesses; it does this to provide solutions to specific technology challenges that the City has identified as worthy of solving.

The City owns and operates a municipal electric utility and generates the majority of its energy from renewable sources — solar and wind.  Summerside is widely recognized as a leader and early adopter of green technologies. Our unique, municipally-owned infrastructure, combined with a business environment that encourages innovation, distinguishes us from other communities in Canada.

The City is interested in supporting, partnering, investing, and supplying innovation in three very specific industry challenges, which are being managed by the Summerside Xchange. The Summerside Xchange Accelerator administrates the Challenge Program on behalf of the City of Summerside. We help innovation companies increase their chance of commercialization success.

The three Challenges include:

To learn more and submit an innovative solution, visit our website.

Evolution of Innovation
Summerside’s Economy has an opportunist reputation, and over the past two decades has seen significant advancement and growth in the furthering of innovation. Driving innovation is never a straightforward pursuit, but early on Summerside positioned itself to leverage its expertise and infrastructure. 

Now, after 20 years, Summerside has established itself as a leader in “First Customer Experiences” for both innovators and entrepreneurs through its Living Lab Program and now the Summerside Xchange. Our ability to seed, collaborate, infuse expertise and leverage fiscal resources has led to a dramatic change in the way the city manages and furthers its municipal assets, courts investment, and drives cost certainties into our local economy.

Below is a pictorial snapshot of our 20 years of accomplishments in driving innovation, a track record that defines our commitment to advancing our economy through innovation. 
We are continuing to recruit innovators and entrepreneurs to use our testbed of Summerside to help further advance opportunities. If interested in learning more, contact the Office of Economic Development at

Census Part II: The Return
On April 27, 2022, Stats Canada released the second wave of data from the 2021 Census. There are seven waves altogether, with the final one being November 30, 2022. This time, the slate includes Age, Gender, and Type of Dwelling. Slowly but surely, Summerside’s portrait is being painted, and the results continue to be encouraging.
Some of our readers may recall the article from the February newsletter where the first wave of Census data was released. At that time, it was Population and Dwelling Counts. In Population’s case, those numbers shattered previous years and garnered plenty of attention and excitement, but we also issued some cautions.
For instance, when a community grows, you want it to grow in a balanced fashion. All age categories are important to Summerside in their own way, and you don’t want any one of them to dominate the others. When that happens, it becomes tougher to sell the other age groups as Summerside being the place for them.
Again, it was with great anticipation that we awaited this latest release because it would put our record-breaking population growth into context.  Ultimately, the result was positive and we’re on the right track.
Regarding age categories, you can think of them like this:
0-14: Pre-working age – important for school enrolment and future labour force
15-44: Working-age – in the early, or intermediate stage of their career and having children
45-64: Working-age – in a mature stage of their career
65+: Retired – often has time for causes and organizations of interest
Comparative Age Distributions:


Most of the trends seen in Summerside are happening elsewhere. 
There are many jobs that can be worked remotely now, so we are starting to see that effect. That is, people move here but their employer is elsewhere. Lastly, as an added benefit, this is also the category that contributes to birth rates. If it’s high, it naturally contributes to the 0-14 category.
Perhaps the greatest metric we see is the flattening of our Median Age. It’s been climbing steadily since 2001 as follows:

Finally, we’re seeing a resemblance of equilibrium. This is a trend all over Canada, but Summerside’s Median Age has crept higher than most. As we said before, we must ensure we grow in a balanced way so that no one is left out and so that educational offerings and the labour pool remain strong. It seems we are starting to achieve this balance.

Ideally, we want to be a place that has something for everyone: for the youth, a place that has a variety of educational and recreational programming as well as opportunities that will keep them in Summerside; for the adults, jobs that are cutting edge, modern, and advanced – the type that make people stay here (or move here) and raise their families; and for the elderly, a place that is age-friendly and has a variety of worthwhile causes they can get behind.
Summerside is a special place, and we want the world to know.

Summerside in Numbers

If interested in learning more about investment opportunities, economic development support or opportunities for growth, please call our Economic Development Professionals.
We would love to chat.

Alternatively, you can email us at
It could be 
the most profitable email you ever send.

Michael Thususka
Director of Economic Development City of Summerside
275 Fitzroy Street, Summerside PE C1N 1H9
M: 902.432.0103, E:

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