Minutes of meeting

Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 10:00. a.m.

South River/Machar Community Centre, South River, Ontario


Present Brenda Scott (WORC), Gilbert Lane (Ryerson), Merv Mulligan, (Councillor, McMurrich/Monteith), Kay Tod, (Magnetawan Business Association), Morley Moore, (Councillor Whitestone), Cec Reid, (Deputy Reeve, Chisholm), Kyla Pratt, (Intern Kearney), David Stewart (Almaguin Highlands On. Inc.), Earl Evans, (CAO Magnetawan), Karen Insley, (Cottage Day Spa)  Ron Begin (FedNor), Lindsay Polkinghorne (Intern), Denise Sherritt, (Min. Citizenship & Immigration Health Promotion), Chetna Sharma, (MNDM) Catharine Mayne, (NECO), Laurel Campbell (Almaguin Forester)

Regrets:  Barb Groves, Mayor Chisholm, Jeff Johnston, Mayor Kearney, Jennifer McCourt, Discovery Routes, Andrew Busch, Ec. Dev. Powassan, Steve Munro, Westwind.


1.  Meeting called to order @ 10:08 a.m. by Acting Chair Merv Mulligan


2.  Declaration of Pecuniary Interest  NA


3.  Deputations: Pat Aspin-Lecour, International Plowing Match, Southern Corridor Rep. 

Due to scheduling conflict, Pat dropped information off to AHED meeting on her way to another engagement.  The International Plowing Match is a Canadian Tradition that promotes agriculture and rural living in a positive, fun and market driven environment.  There are shows, music, parades and concerts provided by an endless variety of talent. Brochures were distributed and information shared regarding three large display tents that will be erected at the IPM with a mock Hwy. #11 running through each of them as it does through our communities.   Municipalities will be able to rent booth space @ $8 per sq. ft. for promotion and economic development purposes.   For anyone interested in this or more information Pat is the area representative for all of Almaguin for the IPM.  Quick facts about the IPM:  Total land required for the match is 1000 acres; this includes 200 acres of farmland that is transformed into a Tented City complete with power and telephone lines.  800 acres is needed for parking.  Over 600 exhibitors attend from all parts of North America.   There is an additional RV park with more than 1600 serviced sites.  1200 volunteers are needed.  Attendance is more than 80,000.  The economic benefit of hosting an IPM is over $20 million to the area.   The AHED committee would like to have Pat attend the next AHED meeting and invite all of the economic development partners and interested persons to attend.


4.  Adoption of Minutes:    Moved by Morley Moore, Second by Kay Tod


5. AHED Business:

5.1  “Get Out On the Trails” Placemat Project.  In total 7 events were submitted from Kearney, Sprucedale, Magnetawan, Parry Sound, South River and Powassan.   Committee members volunteered to distribute the placemats to restaurants, coffee shops, information centres and other locations in their municipalities.  Ten placemats were sent to each Municipal office and Council for future possible event development discussions, as well as, contact information for re-ordering.   Chair and members thanked Discovery Routes, WORC and NECO for their efforts in producing the placemats.  It is hoped that this project will help to encourage a succession of others in the Highlands.

5.2  Tourism Ontario – Kyla Pratt, Kearney

Kyla was able to bring with her and distribute 5 cd’s and additional printed copies of James Lynn’s Tourism Industry presentation.   This is an excellent economic development tool and it was asked by Merv Mulligan that Mr. Lynn be suggested as a speaker for the next Annual Municipal Association meeting as well as returning to Almaguin and holding a workshop/presentation with all of the economic development interns and partners.  Brenda will contact Judy Kosowan with the suggestion.  Kyla was thanked for her work.


6.  Reports from Community and Resource Partners   

6.1 Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.  Chetna Sharma reminded of MNDM summer job subsidy for students age 15 – 24 @ $2/hour.  May 31st deadline.  All other programs continue as before and submissions may be made at any time.

6.2 Community Futures (NECO)  - Catharine Mayne was welcomed back by the committee.  She will be administering the LIP grants which are community based economic development initiatives.  Their funding focus is on hard cost items such as the maps which were just produced and items that are able to be re-used.   David Stewart asked if this could include signage for the Highlands as many continue to hold this as a priority.  This was confirmed as possible although LIP grant applications cannot be combined with FedNor funding.  Catharine will email LIP information to Brenda and she will send it out.  She can be reached at cmayne@vianet.ca

6.3  FedNor –  Ron Begin introduced Lindsay Polkinghorne who is interning with FedNor.  Lindsay is from Sundridge and will be accompanying Ron as he meets with economic development groups and businesses in the Almaguin Highlands.

6.4 Bluesky.net

6.5 Women’s Own Resource Centre:   The new series of entrepreneurial skills training, balanced living and resource networking workshops will commence September 9th.  in south, central and northern Almaguin locations.   WORC’s AGM is Wednesday, June 11th at 7 pm.  WORC is currently accepting applications for volunteer board members.  Applications can be picked up at 105 Ottawa Avenue or by calling Leanne 386-9672.  www.womensownresource.org

6.6 Ontario’s Near North (ANTA):

6.7  Township of Chisholm: Cec Reid announced that on Monday, June 23rd there will be a meeting at the United Church on Chiswick Line discussing the pros and cons of trail development in the community.  Anyone interested is welcome to attend and/or make a presentation.   Call the town office to receive or be placed on the agenda. 724-3526

6.8  Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls Special Events CommitteeGib Lane continues to work on behalf of bio-diesel development in our region and is trying to coordinate a meeting with the Hodder’s and farmers in the district.  There are other environmental projects on farms underway such as water generated power.  At this time the local projects are creating their own supplies but have not looked into selling.  The focus would be on creating self sufficiency and that is what the hope is of bringing everyone together to support and discuss.

6.9  AHBAH & Bed & Breakfast Association

6.10 Municipality of Whitestone:  Morley Moore updated on the trail committee and the Maple Island Colonization Road which runs all the way to Loring.   They are hoping to complete GPS on trails.   Municipally roads and bridges are being focused on right now as several bridges are in need of immediate repair.

6.11 Powassan Economic Development Report:  Andrew Busch sent his regrets.  Kay Tod updated on Love Lake Space, Science and Conservation Centre.  Stewardship Ontario is interested in becoming an active partner as development plans move forward.  David Stewart suggested being on the Google Maps and he offered his assistance.

6.12  McMurrich/Monteith:  Merv Mulligan reported that P2P has received approval from MNR for extending the trail and that it would be a benefit to everyone if the trail could eventually reach all the way to Kearney.  An ATV meeting is being held tonight at the Emsdale Community Centre.  Permits for trails are being issued in many different locations and it has been suggested that coordinating this would help the ATV enthusiast’s better access and also provide better information and trail usage.  The local contacts are Chris Ratcliffe 636-5188 or Judy Vagg 636-5652.  Merv is hopeful that walking trail loops can be developed over the next few years showcasing the beautiful area.   David Stewart reminded that Georgian College had done a survey of the trails and their isolation was a concern.  There would be a great opportunity for guide services and other niche businesses to develop.

6.13  Kearney Economic Development, Kyla Pratt reported that strategic planning is underway and that for Centennial the town and private individuals have planted over 130 crab-apple trees throughout the community.  Events for Centennial are in their brochure and the July Homecoming on the July long weekend is anticipated to be a great success.

6.14  CAEDA

6.15 Magnetawan Area Business Association – Kay Tod announced Wood N Things Rendezvous was a success.  Silent Auction raised $500 for public school and the ventriloquist act was great.  Bear & Owl carvings were purchased and donated to the Town.  Next year they may look at changing the date to encourage more attendance.  Johnny Cash night is the next event. 

6.17  Westwind Forest Service – Steve Munro regrets.

6.18  Ministry Citizenship, Immigration, Health Promotion – Denise Sherritt updated that the Summer Experience Program placements will be announced shortly.  Fourteen were reviewed from our district.  Community In Action Fund applications were not submitted from our area and perhaps the workshop in the fall will encourage more response.  Focus for this funding is on equipment that can be used and re-used by community organizations.  Denise will be making community visits beginning in June to each municipal office.  She is interested in information regarding programming, not for profits and museums within the region. 

6.19  Almaguin Highlands Inc.  David Stewart is averaging 15 – 20 traffic hits to the website per day.  There have been changes to the Google Mapping that will be helpful to businesses and allow them to create better links.  It should be easier to start promoting from the map page.   He enquired as to who is maintaining the Almaguin Events page as well as others that do not appear to be up to date.  There was discussion regarding out dated websites and how to contact businesses/individuals to have them removed or maintained.  Dave requested that he be contacted if anyone would like to access the website and make use of the existing structure.  There is an open market there for businesses and municipalities to be promoted internationally.  Tracking reports can be provided as to where and what percentage are coming to the website.   The high cost of gas will impact tourism; however, people will still be travelling and looking for things to do.   Also, the train and buses provide access and this should be promoted also was pointed out by Merv Mulligan.  Stewart also noted that people moving to our area are looking for all kinds of services from construction to repairs, etc.; he suggested that businesses should ‘Google’ themselves as see how they come up.



7.  Correspondence  Brochures for IPM; information regarding Almaguin Arts Council.


8.  Other Business.   Distribution of placemats to committee members, etc.


9.  In-Camera


10.  Adjournment & Next meeting date:

                                      Motions to adjourn at 12 noon:   Moved by Cec Reid, 2nd by Brenda Scott

Next meeting date TBA as we would like to confirm with Pat Aspin-Lecour regarding the International Plowing Match presentation.


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