DRAFT Meeting Minutes – March 17th, 2016

10 a.m. – 12 noon @ McMurrich/Monteith Council Chambers


Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Carol Armstrong, McMurrich/Monteith; Rosalind Hall, Ryerson Township; Dave Gray, CDO Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson; Emilio Foffano, Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce; Lois Cookman, FAB16; Ron Begin, FedNor; Agnes Wojewoda, Employment North; Courtney Rizzo, CDO Kearney/Magnetawan/McMurrich Monteith/Perry.

  1. Welcome, call to order ~ Dave Gray  10:00 a.m.
    1. Regrets: Carole Mantha, MNDM; Emily Ryan, IION.
  2. Introductions of attendees
  3. Adoption of Minutes of February 2016 – 1st Rosalind Hall  2nd Carol Armstrong   All in favour.
  4. Business Arising (AHED Business):  

Thank you to the Village of Magnetawan for hosting this month’s AHED meeting.

4.1 Presentation from Employment North –

Thank you for listening to my presentation, I look forward to working with all employers and employees in the Almaguin Highlands.

Employment North Sundridge has various wage subsidy programs to offset wages for new hires and the Canadian Ontario Job Grant is helping employers get the training they need for their staff.

Wage incentive for new hires of any age – Where you pay a new hire normally and we provide some reimbursement for the employee’s wages to offset the cost of training on-the-job.
Youth Job Connection Program – The Program is developed to assist youth aged 15 – 29 to participate in the local job market. This program consists of 2- 3 weeks of pre-employment preparation, followed by supported employment based on the participants’ goals.
Canada Ontario Job Grant – Where you find training that is necessary for your workers (new hires or current employees) and the government will pay 2/3 of the cost up to $10,000. There will be additional flexibility for small businesses to provide an in-kind contribution towards their share of the costs along with additional reimbursement of 1/6 of the training cost available for eligible businesses.

We also provide workshops such as Smart Serve and Workers Health and Safety.
We provide job seekers training in order to be prepared for the workplace and we can also train your current workers if you like.

We have a room for meetings which you can use for free if you ever wanted to have a meeting in Sundridge.
We have a website with a job board on it, where you can post available jobs if you like.

For more information about programs and services please check out the website at http://www.employmentnorth.com/ or email Agnes directly at agnes@employmentnorth.com

4.2 Showcase Almaguin Update –

FAB16 Update from Emilio Foffano and Lois Cookman:
Funding applications are still pending. Contract Vendor Packages are being sent out to prior registrants and Chamber members. Arrangements with South River Council have been finalized – the street will be closed from the lights up to the South River Legion for the street festival. The arena can hold 50 booths as well. There will be a shuttle running from Burk’s Falls to South River and they are looking into a second bus to travel from Powassan to South River. There are different rates for members, non-members and out of town. They are currently looking into a “Corporate Sponsorship Package”.
The event will feature a large business trade show, local talent show, “Tom Thomson” themed kids crafts, horse drawn wagon rides down to Tom Thomson Park where there will be disc golf and hopefully canoe/kayak rides offered from Swift.

Showcase Almaguin Update: The theme for this year’s Showcase Almaguin will be “Growing Almaguin” focusing on good news stories happening around the region. Potential guest speakers for the event include Lofthouse Brass, Highlander Brewery w/ South River representation to discuss the partnership, Powassan Representation to discuss Festivals and Events, Andrew Farnsworth to discuss Recreation on the Magnetawan River, a local food group such as Mukoka Good Food Co-Op to discuss projects and initiatives, Dave Gray speaking on “Villages of Almaguin” regional branding initiative. The budget for the event will be approximately $3,000. Marketing will include an advertisement in the Almaguin News but will mostly focus on utilizing Social Media and existing email networks. The event will run from 10:00 – 3:00 however the Business Support Booths will be asked to stay until 5:00 to allow opportunities for participants to network and those who were unable to attend the day, to pick up some information. This will also shorten the time between the Showcase Almaguin event and a Reception (if the Chamber moves forward with the Reception component).

  1. Reports from Community and Resource Partners


Carol Armstrong/McMurrich Monteith
Planning for the 125th Anniversary continues – Carol is hoping to have the lead on the event planning committee join us for next month’s meeting. The 125th Celebration will be taking place on August 13th.

      Dave Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.
Dave reported that he was interviewed for the BR&E project and also had the opportunity to join in for an interview and found the process to be very interesting. Dave discussed the importance of ensuring that your online location and information is correct – he is currently reworking his website to be mobile ready. Dave is involved with the organization of a fundraising event for Fairvern Nursing Home. To read more information regarding “Paddle For Fairvern” please go to www.paddleforfairvern.ca/

       Kimberley Bester/Powassan
The Industrial Park is ready, being fully serviced and they are actively marketing the area – the project was funded by FedNor and NOHFC, each contributing 45%
Kimberley has been involved with the BR&E project and reported that there are only a couple of interviews remaining. The 19th Annual Maple Syrup Festival will be taking place on April 23rd from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The festival is set to be another fun filled event with only a few vendor spaces left.

       Rosalind Hall/Ryerson Township
The Ryerson Annual Yard Sale will be taking place on June 25th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. @ 28 Midlothian Road – booths are free for this event. The FONOM (Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities) Conference will be held in Timmins over May 11th, 12th, 13th – the event includes a trade show. The Parry Sound Municipal Association Meeting is being hosted by Kearney and will be held on April 29th.      

       Emilio Foffano/Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce
Emilio briefly discussed the three projects underway at the Chamber – FAB16, BR&E, and the Community Guide. FAB16 organizers are heavy into

       Ron Begin/FedNor
            Ron reported that they are waiting for the budget to be announced on March 22nd.

       Agnes Wojewoda/Employment North
Agnes is available to answer any questions, please feel free to contact her at agnes@employmentnorth.com

       Courtney Rizzo/CDO Kearney, Magnetawan, McMurrich Monteith, Perry
Courtney is currently wrapping up BR&E interviews – they began with a list of 109 targets and have conducted approximately 75 interviews thus far. Courtney is looking into a “Buy Local” initiative similar to the campaign run by CAEDA a couple of years ago.
       Jessica Busch/WORC
Jessica reported that this month’s Resource & Business Network meeting will be held at the Powassan Sportsplex with Carole Mantha (MNDM) and Patricia Aspin-Lecour (NECO) presenting on “Business Start-Up and Expansion Opportunities”. For more information, or to register, please call 705-386-9672 or email info@womensownresource.org  Entrepreneurial Skills Training has completed in Burk’s Falls and is wrapping up in South River – classes will be offered again in September with new locations to be announced. Life Skills Training is also completing in South River – this class will be offered again this summer.
WORC is also prepping for a “Mother’s Day Online Auction” fundraiser – the event will launch through our Facebook site on April 27th.

       Dave Gray/CDO Burk’s Falls, Armour, Ryerson
Dave reported that he is seeking more guests for the Hunter’s Bay Radio segment “Celebrate Almaguin” – very low pressure, laid back atmosphere. The show focuses on “good stories” of Almaguin in a 22 minute segment. There was discussion regarding have FAB16 and Showcase Almaguin as a potential fit. Dave also reported that he will be attending the Teeny Tiny Summit 2016 in Sealey’s Bay which focuses on economic development best habits and worst attitudes for towns under 1000 people.

       Andrew Farnsworth/Magnetawan
Andrew reported that Magnetawan is currently involved in their annual budget process. They are looking at the Canada 150 funding to purchase banners. Moving into warmer months, they are also gearing up for the Summer Farmer’s Market and increased promotion of the Magnetawan River hopefully expanding the docks. Dave Wright was presenting on being more bicycle friendly. Andrew also mentioned the Magnetawan Provincial Park on the river which is a non-operational park but still poses many opportunities for nature appreciation.

  1. Correspondence:
  2. In-Camera (if required)
  3. Next meeting date: Thursday, April 21st, 2016 @ Employment North
Meeting Adjourned @ 12:05 p.m.



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