Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; Deborah Jorritsma, WORC; Laura Johnston, CAEDA; Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Laura Irwin, Employment North; Jeff Johnston, KPABA; Steve Munro, Westwind Forestry; Stacie Fiddler, The Labour Market Group; Cole Dault, Perry Township; Rosalind Hall, Burk’s Falls, Armour, Ryerson; Carole Mantha, MNDM; Don Carter, Whitestone.
Regrets: John Santarossa, Magnetawan; Hazel Hornibrook, AHAC; Caroline Loiselle, MCI
Don Carter discussed bringing in Virginia Hastings from Starshine Video Productions to present at the February meeting. She is currently creating a promotional video for Whitestone to attract business and residents to Whitestone. All were in agreement – Virginia will present at February meeting.
Laura reported that CAEDA’s business breakfast was very successful with FedNor and Tony Clement being present to make an announcement. The group will be hiring a Branding Company in order to create a tagline and logo to better market the area. Laura also discussed a newsletter that she has created which will be sent out quarterly focusing on articles/stories by local businesses and organizations.
David Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.
Dave discussed the importance of signage in the Almaguin Highlands – he will be attending a meeting with Explorer’s Edge and would discuss further with them as he feels it should be a priority in this area. Dave sits on the research committee with Explorer’s Edge. Park 2 Park is in the process of gathering area information regarding tourism and trails, atv’s, etc… Park 2 Park will be looking into signage at trail heads. Dave also discussed the possibility of Almaguin having it’s own streaming radio – could be beneficial to the area. The next Park 2 Park meeting will take place on March 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the Almaguin Highlands Information Centre.
Steve Munro/Westwind Forestry
Steve reported that they are focusing on forestry and crown land work with private owners. Movement in wood pellets is steady – Pellet stoves run approximately $1500-$3000 and cost approximately $5/day to operate requiring one bag of pellets. The mild weather in the winter is hard on the forestry business though most local companies are doing well. Almaguin Forest Products whom employ 20-25 people are doing well selling hardwoods. Fisher & Tembec are also doing well. Tim Bryson has several operations going and employ 20-25 people as well. Red pine is moving well as there is a shortage of red pine poles which tend to grow tighter rings (therefore stronger) in our region.
Merv Mulligan/McMurrich Monteith
Merv reported that the annual Christmas Tree Lighting/Decorating on December 2nd was successful with fireworks, hotdogs, hot chocolate etc. The township was successful in procuring a grant from the Ontario Tire Stewardship for rubber matting in the change rooms and out to the rink. A grant was also secured through CIIF for additional work to be done at community centre such as more sound dampening baffles on the walls, a sound system, handicap accessible doors and a range hood. The Winter Carnival will take place February 8-9th, 2013 – this year’s theme is “What makes your world go round”. Friday, February 8th will be a performance from the Burk’s Falls Figure Skating Club as well as Variety Night. Saturday February 9th will include a parade, pancake breakfast, seniors penny sale, bake sale and craft sale, kids games and adult games outside the community centre, Bingo, a community skating party with music, bonfire, hot chocolate, hot dogs and skating and finishing up with a Valentine’s Dance at the Community Centre. There will also be a photo contest, snow sculpture contest and colouring contest with winners announcements to be made Friday night.
Rosalind reported that the village is hiring a youth intern – interviews are currently in process, Rosalind will be setting up a directory of contacts for the new intern. Rosalind also briefly discussed the newly formed Chamber of Commerce in Burk’s Falls which is comprised of Business owners from Burk’s Falls, Ryerson and Armour. Rosalind encouraged that there may be a potential for networking with this group. The tree lighting in Burk’s Falls held on November 30th was successful with a great turnout. The Annual Country Music Jamboree is set to take place on August 10th. A spaghetti dinner and dance will be held on January 26th at the Katrine Community Centre starting at 5:30 p.m. The cost will be $12.50 including supper – all proceeds will go towards the Country Jamboree.
Laura Irwin/Employment North
Laura announced that Employment North is now on Facebook and Twitter. They are currently gearing up for employers to be hiring in the spring.
Cole Dault/Perry Township
Cole reported that he has completed his one year internship with the township and is remaining on staff on a month by month basis wrapping up projects. The Information Centre’s winter hours are 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 7 days a week however the lobby and washrooms continue to be open 24/7. Perry Township has a request for proposals out seeking a business whom has interest in operating the facility – the RFP closes at the end of this month. Perry Township is also seeking someone to become the new market manager for the Farmer’s Market, specifics are still to be determined. The Perry Township history book was extremely well received, 600 copies were ordered and they have sold out, the township is currently looking at having a second run of books printed. The 125th anniversary of Perry Township is this year, celebration will be held over Canada Day Weekend. Volunteers are needed – please contact the municipality for more information. A new deputy clerk has been hired by the Township.
Don discussed the importance of volunteers emphasizing on the amount of events and activities they put together in Whitestone. A youth group has been formed as well as a senior social group, youth hockey/skating, after school youth program – all of which are volunteer driven. The library is at the forefront of the community with numerous programs running. The library assists people with computers and social media and they have also taken the initiative and conducted a survey of businesses, promoting services and improving their services. Christmas events in Whitestone were well received with a tree lighting, carols and social gathering.
Jessica reported that the Entrepreneurial Skills Training Classes have commenced and are running in both Burk’s Falls and Powassan this Spring with high registration. The Balanced Living Workshop will be offered in February – more information is available upon request. The Almaguin Women’s Resource & Business Network will be meeting this month at Quiet Bay Café in Magnetawan and the topic is “Marketing effectively on a small budget” presented by WORC. WORC is also planning a one day resource workshop which will take place on March 20th, 2013 at the South River Machar Arena from 9 - 3. The day will focus on four key presentations including: Continuing Education, Local Resources & Programs, Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Government: How we can help. The flyer will be out in the first week of February and advertising and registration will begin. For more information regarding any of the programs and services delivered by the Women’s Own Resource Centre please feel free to contact either Jessica (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Deborah (email@example.com) Jessica also brought along information passed on by Caroline Loiselle regarding the launch of the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund. The OSRCF is a grant program that supports a vision of getting and keeping Ontarians active in community sport, recreation and physical activity. For more information, please contact Caroline Loiselle firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacie Fiddler/Local Labour Market Group
Stacie introduced herself to the group as the Executive Director of the Local Labour Market Group. They are 1 of 25 planning boards in Ontario working with community partners to address workforce related issues. They identify workforce development needs, promoting skills, and addressing challenges in the developing workforce. Each year the Local Labour Market Group publishes a report with evidence based statistical information sought out from direct contact with employers. They support local businesses as much as possible. They are also able to financially support some projects – for more information get in touch with Stacie – email@example.com
Carole reported that there will be a “Funder’s Forum” held on March 5th at the Clarion, official invitations will be sent out shortly. The day will feature information sharing and guest speakers with experience in applying – this day will be a good refresher of what’s available. Carole also sent in the attached link for the Grants Ontario website http://www.grants.gov.on.ca/GrantsPortal/en/OntarioGrants/GrantOpportunities/GrantsA-Z/index.htm. In this listing, the Tourism Development Fund is listed as is the Celebrate Ontario grant. Both of these grants may prove to be helpful to those wishing to grow, develop and enhance the tourism sector in their community. Also please find attached, a Community Economic Development Resource listing for Northern Ontario. This handout was provided to participants that attended the Community Economic Development 101 session that was held last October.
KPABA is currently in it’s second year of operation and Jeff reported on the first quarterly connection seminar stating that it was a success with 37 people in attendance. The seminar was well received with a lot of information appreciated. KPABA puts out a monthly newsletter by e-mail focusing on small business, funding, education, training, marketing etc. KPABA is currently beginning their 2013 business directory. The Kearney legion is increasing their activities in order to boost funds – Wing night is every Friday, Karaoke every Saturday. February 9-10 will be the Kearney Dog Sled Races. The Kearney Senior Citizens Club have a brand new kitchen which was 100% funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
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