10 a.m. – 12 noon @ Magnetawan Community Centre
Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; John Santarossa, EDO Magnetawan; Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Jeff Johnston, KPABA; Carly Hughes, Business Centre of Nipissing/Parry Sound; Rosalind Hall, Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson; Dave Gray, CDO Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson; Laura Johnston, EDO CAEDA; Don Carter, Whitestone; Kay Tod; Jeffrey Dickerson, South River; Rick Crognale, EDO Shawanaga First Nations; Donna Maitland, Trillium; Carole Mantha, MNDM.
Donna Maitland from Trillium presented – please find a copy of the presentation attached to this month’s meeting minutes.
Jeffery Dickerson/Village of South River
Jeff briefly talked about the Museum which will be opening soon – there are some concerns regarding the lack of passenger trains going through and the impact this may have on the Museum.
Jessica Busch/Women’s Own Resource Centre
The next Almaguin Women’s Resource & Business Network meeting will be held at Kudos Restaurant in Powassan with guest speaker Kim Aultman from the Scotia Bank discussing Financing and Budgeting. The Annual General Meeting for the Women’s Own Resource Centre will be held on Wednesday June 19th at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
David Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.
Dave informed the group that all of the AHED minutes are up to date on his website www.almaguin.org , along with links, if available, to the various organizations that are attending the meetings. Dave also expressed concern over online visibility of events in the area, for example, the Farmer’s Market in Sundridge was about to begin but the Web was unaware i.e. Local area and town websites did not reflect the existence of the event. Dave suggested the possibility of having an “expense paid” business representative from area municipalities to attend AHED meetings and report back to the townships with discussions from these AHED meetings. This would be in case a representative councillor was not able to attend. Dave believes this would be covered under the Municipal Act.
Laura reported that the Farmer’s Market in Sundridge has started – Wednesday afternoons in from of Kidds Home Hardware. The Social Media Presentation held on May 6th was very successful and informative. The Labour Market Group and CAEDA have partnered on a Business BBQ to take place on June 17th at 5:30 p.m. at the Lions Park. Carly Hughes from the Business Centre of Nipissing and Parry Sound will be holding appointments once again on June 11th – please contact Laura for more information.
Merv Mulligan/McMurrich Monteith
There will be a public meeting held on June 1st at 10:00 at the Community Centre to discuss potential uses for the old public school – all are welcome, the anti-fraud meeting originally scheduled for the same day has been postponed until fall. Saturday August 10th will be the Summer Spectacular – more information to come. Soccer and Baseball is running once again with a large number of children – these activities are completely volunteer run. The Spectrum group has met with council to discuss upgrading and improving the high speed internet service in the area. This may include improvements to the present tower and the possibility of an additional tower going up at the Bear Lake firehall for high speed internet service as well as improving fire and public works communication in the future.
Carly Hughes/Business Centre of Nipissing and Parry Sound
The deadline for Summer Company has been extended to June 3rd with an additional 7 spots being offered. The FedNor Business Plan Challenge has closed on May 9th with 33 plans submitted – there will be a gala on June 6th with the winners being announced. Make Your Pitch is in the process of judging with many interesting submissions. May 24th there will be a Lunch & Learn taking place at the Canadore Campus in Parry Sound from 12:00 – 1:00.
Don expressed his regrets for missing the last meeting. Don distributed the new 2013 Directory for Whitestone which is put together by the Whitestone Conservation Association and paid for by the advertising within the directory - 4000 copies are printed.
Rosalind Hall/Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson
Rosalind suggested creating a one page pamphlet to be used across the Almaguin Highlands listing when and where all of the area farmers markets are, and museum listings on the back. Jeffery Dickerson suggested checking Farmers Market Ontario website to compile a list. This is something that could be emailed out to Municipalities and Organizations as a downloadable .pdf
John Santarossa/EDO Magnetawan
John discussed using Motorcycle Tourism as a possible draw for the area – an example is the mid July bike rally in Gravenhurst. Check out www.gorideontario.ca for information on Motorcycle Tourism. Magnetawan was not successful in securing a place in the World Fishing Network contest but John passed on his thanks and appreciation to all those whom voted. The town is currently applying for ODRAP funds to repair damage caused by the recent flooding. On Monday June 10th from 10:00 – 12:00 noon at the Magnetawan Community Centre, there will be a workshop, “Understanding Social Media Marketing” presented by Randy Mitson of Explorer’s Edge, with guest speaker Ken Turner from Woodland Echoes, Magnetawan. There is no cost to attend. There will also be a Community Energy Workshop taking place on Tuesday June 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Community Centre, again with no cost to attend.
Rick Crognale/EDO Shawanaga First Nations
Rick thanked the group for the invite. Shawanaga First Nations is located 30 – 40 km north of Parry Sound. Rick is currently working on the Community Strategic Plan and Community Profile for the area. Also, Rick is working on an application for restocking the fishery with Walleye. He also noted that a new Contact North learning centre will be opening soon.
Carole spoke briefly in regards to a brand new program which is an enhancement on the Infrastructure Community Development Program (ICDP). This program is aimed at helping northern communities make the investments necessary to improve critical infrastructure and develop partnerships that find effective ways to create jobs and improve economic prospects in the North. This program has been enhanced to provide a greater emphasis on regional collaboration through the Regional Economic Partnership Opportunities initiative. Communities can now apply collectively for funding to projects that will support long term sustainable economic development on a regional scale. For more information, please feel free to contact Carole.
Dave Gray/CDO Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson
Dave reported on a focus group that was held with approximately 20 – 25 people discussing a strategic plan for tourism for the region as a whole. There will be an upcoming survey through Survey Monkey – Dave is hoping to have a tourism draft plan for June 13th. This initiative is being spear headed by James Murphy and Kate Monk from Explorer’s Edge. Dave proposes AHED to be the “hands of the plan” with so many municipal representatives involved in the committee. Dave stressed his main point of inclusion – he wants to have all communities in the Almaguin Highlands included in this 2 year plan. The Trade Show Business Expo is set to take place on May 24th at the Community Centre. Every 3rd Friday of the month, at 7:00 p.m., there is a coffee house event at the Burk’s Falls Village Pub – no cover charge, all are welcome.
Jeff discussed the graphite mine getting the go ahead and is clear to open this fall. They are currently operating with 26 employees but will hire up to 80 when fully functioning. The Kearney Perry Area Business Association will be taking over the Kearney Regatta this summer – more info to come. If anyone has any events or information they would like added to the KPABA monthly newsletter, please feel free to contact Jeff.
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