June 10, 2021 | Cody Stuart
City of Calgary takes public outreach online with home improvement webinar seriesOver the last year, nearly everyone across the world has become familiar with gathering online. Whether it's working from home or online school, learning via laptop or smartphone has become commonplace.
The City of Calgary has embraced this trend by posting a series of home improvement webinars on its website. The sessions available online aim to reach the many Calgarians who have been unable to gather this type of information in person during the pandemic.
"With COVID-19, (the City) started doing webinars because we weren't able to get out to meet with the public and go to home shows and do workshops," said Kris Dietrich, customer solutions team co-ordinator with the City of Calgary.
Thus far, topics covered by the webinars have included hail protection, home inspections, secondary suites, mould, decks and garages.
"Because this is virtual, they're able to attend, they're able to get information and ask questions from the comfort of their home." - Kris Dietrich, City of Calgary
Viewership for the webinars has been quite high according to Dietrich, who says roughly 700 people have logged on to the sessions thus far, with mould in the home and secondary suites ranking as the most popular.
"They're going over really well with our customers and we've had great attendance at them," he said.
The popularity of the sessions has been echoed in the number of development permits issued by the City, which Dietrich says has been on the rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have seen increased volumes in our permits over the last year. People are spending more time at home and it's a great time to start working on your house projects," he said.
"Because this is virtual, they're able to attend, they're able to get information and ask questions from the comfort of their home. We are really trying to tailor these based on what we think the needs of our customers are and from questions we get on the webinars in terms of what's coming in the future ones."
Future webinars will cover topics such as furnaces and hot water, energy efficient upgrades, approvals and construction, and the resilient roofing rebate program. Secondary suites will also be revisited.
"Secondary suites is one we'll have more of and different aspects of it," said Dietrich. "Our last one was focused on the tenants. Our next one will focus more on the construction of them for landlords who are making their suites conforming and just helping people get those approvals."
More information about the City of Calgary's home improvement webinars is available here.
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