Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; Laura Johnston, CAEDA; Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Karen Insley Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Hazel Hornibrook, Almaguin Highlands Arts Council; Laura Irwin, Employment North; Carol Armstrong, McMurrich/Monteith; Jeff Johnston, KPABA; Jerry Janik, Ontario Graphite; Steve Munro, Westwind Forestry.
Regrets: Cole Dault, Perry Township; Don Carter, Whitestone.
Karen Insley Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.
Karen reported that they are very busy with updating the website and fielding inquiries regarding the region. Karen inquired as to whether anyone around the table had any information regarding a new program offering up to $5,000 in non repayable funding to “For-Profit” businesses. Jessica addressed the inquiry discussing the “Step Forward Entrepreneurs Program” (SFEP), information is available at WORC and attached to this month’s AHED minutes as well.
Carol Armstrong/McMurrich Monteith
Carol reported that the Trade Show was a great success. Carol attended a joint fire meeting and will report further in January.
Merv Mulligan/McMurrich Monteith
Merv reported that the Halloween Trail Event was unfortunately rained out however the indoor activities were a great success. The Christmas Lighting Ceremony will be held in Sprucedale on Sunday December 2nd from 3:00 – 5:30 at the Sprucedale Community Centre. There will be fireworks, hotdogs, s’mores, Santa and possibly the Grinch. Merv also noted there was an advertisement in the Almaguin News regarding the Perry Information Centre whom are hoping to lease out space.
Laura is the new intern hired by CAEDA. She looks forward to networking with business owners and organizations in the area.
Hazel Hornibrook/Almaguin Highlands Arts Council
Hazel reported that the Arts Show held in October at Caswell’s Resort was fantastic and well attended with over 100 people attending. 24 artists had work on display for the show. A lot of artwork was sold with 100% of profits going directly to the artists. The networking opportunities provided at the event was invaluable. The Arts Council will be planning a similar event for next year.
Laura Irwin/Employment North
Laura informed the committee that the agency still has training dollars to spend so if any employers are requiring training for their staff please sent them to Employment North.
Jessica Busch/Women’s Own Resource Centre
Jessica reported that the Entrepreneurial Skills Training Course is wrapping up for the fall with a high success rate, Entrepreneurial Skills Training will start again in January. Anybody interested in taking this free 10 week course should contact WORC for more information. The Women’s Own Resource Centre is hosting an Open House on Thursday December 6th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in honour of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, please stop in, enjoy a refreshment and learn more about programs and resources we offer. WORC is also holding a fundraiser in the form of a “Santa Shuffle” on Saturday December 15th from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00. The event starts at the Women’s Own Resource Centre in South River. Pledge forms can be picked up at the Women’s Own Resource Centre. For more information please call 705-386-9672 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The Almaguin Women’s Resource & Business Network meeting for November will be held at Doug’s Kitchen in Callander on Wednesday November 28th on “What is Energy & Sound Healing”, meetings will continue in January with more information to come. The new website is up and running, please go to www.womensownresource.org to check it out.
David Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.
Dave reported that a lot of signage is going up along the highway to the south of us (Huntsville). Discussions regarding Almaguin Highlands signage – who to discuss with? Discussions regarding the Almaguin Highlands Information Centre – Dave will put info together for next meeting.
Steve Munro/Westwind Forestry
Steve informed the committee that the Board of Directors is seeking interested applicants, please inquire to Steve for more information. The Ontario Wood Exporting Group will be on a regional tour, with hopefully stops in Huntsville and Parry Sound – invites will be sent out. Over 1/3 of our wood goes to firewood and 1/3 goes to pulp mills. Lumber is slow right now. The pellet plants are quiet at the moment with a new pellet plant possibly coming to Muskoka. Their strategic plan has been completed with 3 major focuses coming out of the plan: 1)Marketing wood 2)First Nations Partnerships and 3)Private Land Endeavours. Steve also informed us that the Parry Sound Muskoka Stewardship Council is not replacing their co-ordinator and the committee will therefore become defunct – the Muskoka portion however has one more year of funds. Westwind Forestry will take over the Parry Sound/Almaguin region as the information is important. It will be run on a cost recovery basis. Steve gave a brief update on invasive species to be concerned with including: the Asian Longhorn Beetle which brutally attacks maple trees, in order to get rid of it, every maple tree must be cut within 400 yards; the Emerald Ash Boar which came from Ottawa and creates a D shaped hole and kills white and black ash trees within a year; Beech Disease which sucks the moisture out of the tree and has already begun to show up in severe infestations in the area; the Western Beetle which is currently attacking Jack Pine trees but could potentially attack white/red pine population as well.
Jerry Janik/Ontario Graphite
Jerry informed the group that there were over 350 applicants to the new graphite mine operation in Kearney. They will be operating with 17 to 21 employees over the winter and are hoping to have 80 employees eventually. Permits are pending in order to move the project ahead. The waste rock generated from graphite extraction could be used as aggregate for high usage which could produce more job creation, it will also recoup some costs and reduce the overall carbon footprint. Jerry reinforced that they are pushing for local employment and hoping to bring more local benefits to the community.
Jeff informed the committee that they are currently gearing up for 2013 with membership application forms being sent out shortly. 1 year membership costs $100. The website is now up and functional – you can check it out at www.kpaba.ca KPABA is also planning a funder’s forum on January 15th with ministry representation from Carole Mantha. The event will take place from 6 – 8p.m. with presentations and individual networking time. KPABA hopes that this will be the first in a series, hoping for quarterly meetings. Jeff informed us that they are looking to increase networking with community associations, committees and organizations in the new year. Jeff also mentioned that he would encourage a representative from Kearney to attend the AHED meetings.
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