Deneen Allen founds Firecircle Online Tourism

By Colleen Isherwood, Editor

VANCOUVER — Deneen Allen is best known in the hospitality industry as the founder and CEO of Pure North Canada, which collaborates with location partners in iconic Canadian destinations to create a collection of curated boutique hotels, lodges and glamping camps in Canada’s rural areas and legendary wilderness. Last summer, she recognized a need among new and existing entrepreneurs in remote and rural locations to access ongoing tourism and hospitality development expertise and resources.

During her work on projects concentrating on indigenous communities and remote locations, she found that once the big consulting project on a certain tourism destination was completed, the project often withered on the vine due to a lack of affordable, sustained mentorship or the support needed to take project into implementation, through implementation and through building, growing and becoming a sustainable business. “There’s a need to inspire, give hope and create independence for these entrepreneurs to have their work come to fruition,” Allen said.

Deneen Allen, centre, has breakfast with members of Treaty 7.

Launching in September 2020, Firecircle is the only affordable Canadian online, subscription-based tourism and hospitality development hub providing expert live coaching, mentorship and digital resources to new and existing entrepreneurs across Canada seeking guidance and support in determining the most competitive and resilient path to plan, launch, grow and optimize their tourism ideas.

Ace Initiative 2011.

“I’m pretty excited about Firecircle, which offers five key foundational pieces to starting, growing and developing a sustainable business. These five things have been part of our coaching for years. We’ve been trying to get that on the ground.”

The five foundational pieces are:

  1. The vision, the “big why” and how it aligns within the market;
  2. The brand story;
  3. Design and operations;
  4. Physical design that supports the vision; and
  5. Financial management.

“It’s not academic — its not Master Class. It’s a combination of visual animation, video and written content. You could walk around with your phone and listen, or watch it on your computer, or complete the workbook — and when it’s finished, you’ve completed your business plan,” Allen said.

The resources talk about how to differentiate themselves and how to be relevant. Entrepreneurs can be authentic only when they know why they are doing something. In the northern communities, some concepts don’t have a point of reference. The entrepreneurs simply know what they want to do and have the passion and drive to do it.

“We want to connect with these individuals on a personal level in a way that is affordable,” Allen said. Prices for subscriptions are yet to be determined, but there are three levels, monthly and yearly subscription options and Allen expects that some of the subscriptions will be subsidized by economic development offices.

Firecircle incorporates the Evergreen coaching business model — that content will remain constant. Firecircle can take other clients through the program more slowly, using online communication and FaceTime and Zoom calls. Options will include a digital program, weekly live coaching and support, monthly live coaching and support, live bi-monthly workshops, and the Firecircle community platform. The curriculum has come together quite naturally, Allen said, though they continue to learn more about sharing the information.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the launch date — Firecircle is still tracking to launch in September, and they have already started beta testing for the website.

For information, contact Deneen Allen,