Tuesday, October 4, 2011

City presented with three Interactive Media Awards for "excellence in website design and development"

Mayor Nenshi presents Interactive Media Awards in Council
This is the speech by Mayor Naheed Nenshi on October 3, 2011 as he presented three Interactive Media Awards to The City of Calgary.

"Audience needs and expectations continue to change in concert with the changing capacity of technology. Over the past four years we have seen an exponential growth in new communication tools.

These new technologies enable collaboration within The City business units, with citizens, external agencies, and other governments. The landscape for both communications and customer service is changing rapidly and The City is determined to stay ahead of the curve.

Recently Customer Service & Communications has been awarded three Interactive Media Awards. The Interactive Media Awards, based in New York, is a highly respected non-profit organization comprised of the Best World leaders in the web established to honour individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievement. The competition is designed to elevate the standards of excellence on the Internet.

The Best in Class award is the highest honour bestowed by the Interactive Media Awards. It represents the very best in planning, execution and overall professionalism. In order to win this award level, your site had to undergo significant scrutiny through a comprehensive judging process; only a fraction of sites from around the world achieve the high scores required to earn the achievement.

The City of Calgary’s Tax Talk received the Best in Class award in both the Financial Information category and the Government category.

New Media Production and Web team in
Customer Service & Communications, along with City Operations staff
Calgary.ca/TaxTalk provides an explanation of The City’s operating budget. The site also provides citizens with information about how taxes work in the three levels of Government along with information on what services are offered to citizens with their municipal tax dollars.

Citizens can input their tax amount into an online calculator and see the services that they receive in return for their tax dollars, how much is allocated to those services, along with highlights on the value those services bring to their community.

Citizens can also see how their municipal taxes compare to 20 other major cities across the country.

As you click on the site it delves down further into exact expenditures. It also links to The City’s Capital website so individuals can see all the projects underway and the costs for various initiatives.

The Website has been translated into five languages, and is fully accessible for the deaf and blind.

The City of Calgary Interactive Recreation Guide also received the “Best in Class” award in the Government category

The Interactive Online Program Guide makes finding and registering for Recreation programs quick and easy. Citizens can search online for a program by activity, location or age.  The online registration is one more way to sign-up for classes, along with phoning in, filling out a form or simply walking to a facility in person.

The City of Calgary Recreation offers thousands of award winning programs to citizens of all ages at a variety of locations all over the city. Programs include dancing, art, hiking, sailing, birding, swimming and plenty more

In the first quarter of the launch of the on-line Recreation Program Guide both the number of online registrations and revenue increased by 29 per cent. This Interactive Program Guide supports The City’s initiative to provide accessible City information and services to all Calgarians.

I would like to recognize the New Media Production and Web team in Customer Service and Communications, along with the City Operations staff, whose talent and visionary skills have been extraordinary in creating these applications for our citizens.  They are here with us today - I invite them to stand and be recognized.

The Interactive Media Awards recognize the highest standards of excellence in website design and development and honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievement.

Created by the Interactive Media Council, Inc. (IMC), a nonprofit organization of leading web designers, developers, programmers, advertisers and other web-related professionals, the competition is designed to elevate the standards of excellence on the Internet and offer winners a boost in marketing and exposure. IMC serves as the primary sponsor and governing body of the Interactive Media Awards™, establishes the judging system and provides the judges for the competition.

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