Minutes of meeting

May 19, 2011, 10:00 – 12 noon

 Burks Falls Community Centre


Present:  Merv Mulligan, McMurrich Monteith;  Kay Tod, Magnetawan; John-Paul Negrinotti, Nipissing; Tom Piper, Nipissing; Hazel Hornibrook, Almaguin Highlands Council for the Arts; Bill de Vries, Sundridge; Ron Begin, FedNor; Jim Coleman, Mayor, South River; Jeff Johnston, Kearney Perry Business Association; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Karen Insley Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc., David & Dean Hunks, Kearney; Brenda Scott, WORC; Jessica Busch, iBrand Almaguin; Rosalind Hall, Councillor, Burk’s Falls; Don Carter, Whitestone; John Dunn, Mayor of Perry, Mary Anne Love, Perry; Donna Sedore, Employment North.

  1. Welcome
  2. Call to order: Merv Mulligan,  10:00 a.m.
  3. Declaration of Pecuniary Interest: N/A

Guest Presentations:  Review of Chamber of Commerce presentation by Donna Sedore and results of survey.  200 businesses were contacted through email survey and there were 42 responses.  Those interested in participating in a Chamber of Commerce, 28% Yes; 71% No.  Those who would pay a membership fee, 60% Yes, 40% No.  Preferred time for meetings to be held, 35% Mornings, 24% Noon, 65% Evenings.  Response by demographics 19 Sundridge, 12 Burk’s Falls, 11 Whitestone, Huntsville, Parry Sound.  They were interested in:  11 increase marketing, promotion and networking; 5 apply for government funding; 3 medical/dental coverage; 2 saw no value in having a Chamber of Commerce.  Chair Mulligan enquired as to ‘what’s next’.   Donna responded that she appreciated the response and comments from local business, surveys are always difficult to interpret but that the she is willing to continue to support development and discussions seem to centre on the individual business associations that are gaining ground in most communities and that at some future date perhaps they would be willing to meet together and continue to discuss the options.

4.  Adoption of Minutes of April 21, 2011 as presented.

Moved by: Don Carter   Seconded by: Rosalind Hall

All in favour:  15  Opposed  2

  1.   AHED Business

The AHED Committee expresses a big Thank You to Burks Falls for hosting this month’s meeting.

  1. Reports from Community and Resource Partners
  2. Reports from Community Representatives:

7.1 Ministry of Northern Development and Mines & Forestry             Sharma/Hamilton

7.2  NECO                                                                                       Aspin Lecour

7.3  FedNOR                                                                                             Begin

Ministry Clement appointed to the Treasury Board and FedNor Economic Development office for Northern Ontario.  Business as usual.

There was a great discussion regarding the high price of gas in our region and the impact that will have on our economy.  It was decided that each municipality should take up the concern and AHED should write a letter to the Minister, and present a resolution to the Parry Sound District Municipal Association.  It was also recommended that RTO12 should be made aware of concerns and the negative impact on tourism travel in our region and addresses the question as to why our costs are so much higher than Muskoka’s.

FedNor Funding:  Municipalities must have proposal projects within their strategic plan to be considered for funding.

7.4  WORC                                                                                                Scott

WORC still in transition period as new Program Manager and Program Assistant are being hired and trained.  Carpool Almaguin continues to be a success and growing as costs to drive to work and post secondary education rise.

7.5  Township of Chisholm                                                                    

7.6  Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls                                                         Hall

Rosalind reported on concerns that with the new RTO12 region our area may not be considered ‘northern’ Ontario at some future date as RTO13 is branding them as Northern Ontario.

7.7 Municipality of Whitestone

Northern Lights Steel Orchestra will perform Sept. 3rd in the pavilion through partnerships with municipal and local businesses.  4000 copies of the 15th Edition of the Welcome to Whitestone directory are available sponsored by Water Conservation Association and local businesses.  Walkways are proceeding and should be completed by September.                                         

7.8  Powassan Economic Development Report                                           Gibson Olajos

7.9  McMurrich/Monteith                                                                          Mulligan

The Township was successful in acquiring used hockey boards and glass for their outdoor rink and is looking forward to teams using the facility.  Cell tower coverage is growing with both Bell and Rogers in the area.

7.10 Kearney Economic Development                                        Tomlinson/Hunks

Economic Dev. Officer David Hunks reported that a sub committee has been struck to focus on what projects will be a success and sustainable for the future of the Town.  Discovery Routes trails in interested in the possibility of a water trail be developed.  Algonquin Park office sees more that 1000 customers a week and ideas for keeping them in the community are being examined.  Kearney Regatta will be held July 30 & 31st bigger and better than ever.  Vendors and community wide products are being invited and an exhibition tent for Arts & Crafts installed.  Also there will be the annual Creative Changes Art Show and Sale and the Lobster fest which traditionally sells out each year.

7.11  Central Almaguin Economic Development Association                      de Vries

Bill de Vries reported their monthly meetings are proceeding and they are currently looking to engage an economic development officer.  Housing for seniors is a priority for the group and they have had presentations from the Solterra Group.

7.12  Magnetawan Area Business Association                                              Tod

MABA, the Trillium Foundation and the municipality have partnered to purchase 3 Discovery Trails signs.  They will be at the corner of #124 and Nipissing Rd, the Museum and the regional and local trails head.  AHED and Jennifer McCourt were thanked for spearheading this project. MABA has also purchased a “Magnetawan Minute” on Moose FM for $10/business minutes.  It will feature the Magnetawan area and 3 businesses at this time, MABA will be assisting other businesses to be part of this initiative and purchase more air time.  They will be putting a float in the Canada Day parade this year for the first time and seeking ideas.  The 2011 MABA brochure will be out soon and the booklets are being sent to Ontario Information Centres in Southern Ontario.  Everyone is encouraged to help with the distribution while travelling.  Each year MABA purchases a chain saw carving from The Wood ‘n Things Show to place in the community.  This year the carving will go to the Ahmic Harbour Municipal Waterfront.  These are great attractions for photographers and to attract people to the area.  The Annual 5/10/half marathon race is set for September 10th with a night of entertainment to follow.

7.13  Westwind Forest Services                                                   Munro/Coleman

Jim Coleman reported that the audit is underway for re-certification.

7.14  Citizenship & Immigration (Culture Health Promotion)                         Loiselle

7.15  Almaguin Highlands Inc.                                                                Stewart

The mapping project is going well; marketing and promotion opportunities are growing.

7.16  Municipality of Magnetawan                                                                   Urbanski

7.17  Nipissing                                                                                Negrinotti

John Paul Negrinotti reported that cell tower on Alsace Road is planned and there should be 2 or 3 broadband services available by the Fall. 

7.18  Almaguin Highlands Council for the Arts                                               Hornibrook

Hazel presented the vision, mission and objectives of AHAC.  They are a volunteer organization with a membership of around 50.  They continue to encourage tourism through arts, including visual arts, music, literary art, etc. They have an extensive list of accommodations in the Almaguin area, more than 500 names of artists, art group, galleries and studios and many museums.  AHAC is hosting an Arts Showcase on Saturday, May 21st from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the recreation hall at the Caswell Resort Hotel in Sundridge.  A variety of visual artists will display their work; in addition several performing artists will vocalize their talents.  There is no charge for admission to this event – all are welcome!  On Saturday, August 13th there will be another Showcase at the Clarke House Museum, Powassan.  Membership to AHAC is encouraged.  Arts are part and parcel of stimulating the economy.

7.19  Village of South River                                                                    Coleman

Mayor Coleman reported that a new agreement with the OPP has been signed.  The Strategic Plan is underway and the municipality is hosting a meeting with the Recreation Committee and the community to encourage partnerships.

7.20  Perry Township                                                                     Dunn/Love

Mayor Dunn reported they will be installing a trail head sign in partnership with McMurrich Monteith at the Almaguin Highlands Information Centre.  Ground has been broken for the new gazebo thanks to Trillium and FedNor partnership.  Their strategic plan is also underway.  The Information Centre has a networked communication system giving staff increased productivity and the ability to flex work hours.  Video surveillance is on site and there are three cameras assisting in this preventative measure.

7.21  OMAFRA                                                                               Dukhia

7.22  Region 12 RTO                                                                               Murphy

The newly elected Board was installed at the AGM on May 10th.  Retiring board members from our region included Al Dare, Restoule, and Brenda Scott, South River.  The area will be represented by Bob Stinson, Swift Canoe and Kayak, Jackie Leung, Fern Glen Inn and Dan Feasby, Wright Point Resort.  

7.23  Park 2 Park                                                                                      Searle

7.24  Kearney, Perry Business Association                                                   Johnston

Jeff Johnston reported that the group has applied to become Incorporated.  

  1. Sundridge,                                                                                       DeVries

Bill DeVries announced the Sunflower Festival will be held August 13th, Main Street will be closed and filled with vendors and exhibits.  The Triathlon is growing and they have an amazing 100+ volunteers assisting with this event.  Competitors come from all over to swim, bike and run in this event.  Three free concerts will be held in the Park Pavilion this summer following community dinners sponsored by local associations.  All of these events are supported by business donations, entry fees and the local community.

8.   Correspondence

9.  In – Camera     11.40 a.m. Motion to proceed in Camera:  Don Carter   Second: Mary Anne Love.  All in favour:  15 Opposed: 2 Motion to return out of Camera:  Jeff Johnston Second: Kay Tod

10.  Adjournment: 12:45  Motion:  Bill de Vries

11.  Next Meeting Date:  Thursday, June 16.  10 am.  South River Village Municipal Office, Marie Street.


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