Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; Dave Gray CEDO Burk’s Falls, Armour, Ryerson; Carol Armstrong, McMurrich/Monteith; Courtney Rizzo, CDO Kearney, Magnetawan, McMurrich Monteith, Perry; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Karen Insley-Stewart, Cottage Pain Clinic; Kimberly Bester, Powassan.
Thank you to the Village of Powassan for hosting this month’s meeting.
The group reviewed the updated Terms of Reference including Conflict Resolution and Procedure, Breach of Policy and Conflict of Interest.
In re-establishing AHED, the group agreed that neighbouring communities of the Almaguin Highlands should be included in invitation – these are like minded communities and organizations that add value to the conversation. The group also discussed the benefits of attending AHED – Ron Begin stated that there must be tangible benefits for those attending AHED – suggestions at the table included networking, information sharing and partnerships/collaboration – Henning suggested that perhaps a Value Statement could be established in order to present this. Every member is asked to put together one to two sentences for what their organization gives and gets from attending AHED – please send this information to Dave and Jessica – they will summarize the information and have it ready for discussion at the January AHED meeting.
Karen asked if Pecuniary Interest could be explained more for clarification purposes. Pecuniary interest is something that causes either a negative or positive financial impact for the individual – the term interest is not limited to a property interest and may be an interest that financially impacts the person through a personal or business relationship, or through a contract. Dave G responded that including a declaration of pecuniary interest facilitates a fair and competitive process for any initiatives – simply stated, AHED would not favour or endorse a specific individual or organization over another because of their membership with AHED.
There was also the suggestion that instead of meeting monthly, AHED could perhaps meet quarterly – including a 30 minute presentation for a learning component, a general meeting and showcasing an event or initiative by the host community. A response was given indicating monthly meetings would be important given the restructuring happening now.
Jessica Busch/Women’s Own Resource Centre
Jessica reported that WORC’s warm winter clothing exchange is well underway – the office is full of coats, boots, hats, mitts, scarves and sweaters for all ages and all sizes – please stop in Monday – Thursday (8:30 – 4:30) to browse. WORC will have an Open House on Tuesday December 6th in honor of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, the open house takes place from 9:00 – 3:00. Entrepreneurial Skills Training Winter sessions will be taking place in Sprucedale and South River – please call 705-386-9672 or email email@example.com for more information or to register. WORC’s annual Christmas Trade Show will take place on Wednesday November 30th from 11 – 2 at Chalmer’s United Church in South River – there will be a number of vendors offering their products and services, the event is open to the public and community members are encouraged to stop by. WORC will be sponsoring four local families this Christmas, if you are aware of a family in need within the Almaguin Highlands, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Dave Gray/CDO Burk’s Falls, Armour, Ryerson
The Villages of Almaguin initiative had a stakeholder meeting to discuss final details and upcoming letters of support to be sent out. There will be a Succession Planning event happening on Wednesday November 23rd from 10:00 – 12:00 noon at Highlander Brew Co. in South River – this event is being organized by a partnership between Central Almaguin, The Business Centre and the Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce. With the BR&E out, Dave reported that the Chamber of Commerce will continue to lead next steps in acting on recommendations. Dave also reported that Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson are looking into doing an accommodation market and impact study under the Investment Readiness funding through NOHFC. The newly built Capstone celebrated their grand opening which encompasses a 24 hour Petro station and convenience store – this new business brought 8 jobs to the area.
Sonya Kapinski/Westwind Forestry
Sonya reported that the planting season is completed for Westwind. They recently completed a large tree plant in the Laurier area. They will also be harvesting at Cripple Creek throughout the winter. They are currently working with Courtney Rizzo for Environmental Stewardship week – they are hoping to organize a planting event in partnership with the Elementary school utilizing the 50 million tree program, having the students do the planting – they are currently seeking a local land owner with approximately 8 acres to use for this project. Generally, Westwind plants coniferous species and will work with landowners according to the landowner’s goals. Seedlings size average at about 18” depending on the species (seedlings come from Dryden or Somerville), the landowner pays approximately $0.80 - $1.00 per tree while the government covers $1.00 - $1.35 per tree. For more information, please feel free to contact Sonya.
Ron reported that the FedNor budget is pretty much committed for the year. There are still funds to access under the Canada 150 program which provides up $100,000 – 50% of funding. Friday November 18th will be the official grand opening of the new Highlander Brew Co. in South River from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The building was a incredible success for the area with 45% investment from FedNor and 45% investment from NOHFC. A partnership with the Muskoka Good Food Co-op was also established with Kelly Ebbs for a storefront in the building that will showcase northern products and goods.
Karen Insley-Stewart/Cottage Pain Clinic
Cottage Pain Clinic had no report this month.
Upcoming Powassan events include: the Powassan Artisan Market will take place on Saturday November 19th, 2016 – please see their Facebook group for a map and more information; the Smoke n’ Spurs Parade of Lights will take place on Friday December 2nd; there will be a New Years Eve event on Saturday December 31st at the Trout Creek Community Centre beginning at 4:00 p.m. – the event will include free public skating, horse drawn wagon rides, hot dogs and hot chocolate followed by fireworks. Kim reported that there have been three lots sold in Powassan’s industrial park – 1 to Byer’s Truss (from Sarnia), they have plans to construct a building in Spring 2017 where they will employ 6-10 staff; 2 lots have been sold to Dura 21 (from Sudbury) whom specialize in making parts for the mining industry. There are 2 lots remaining (on the west side) that are approximately 2 – 3 acres each. There is new construction on Main Street in Powassan – potentially medical offices and associated businesses. April 22nd 2017 will be the 20th Annual Maple Syrup Festival – Kim has been working on two different funding applications – Celebrate Ontario and Event Partnership – for enhancements to festival – could include an amateur lumberjack competition; traditional maple syrup making demo; headlining band; new KidZ Entertainment; more buses and accessible porta potties; contest for overnight accommodation for festival (to be done at Earlton Farm Show in March – donation of rooms by local North Bay hotels); CTV advertising; children’s banner and essay contest. The Municipality of Powassan recently purchased the former Powassan Elementary school – it had been used as a sports academy for the past several years. It is to be used as a community hub – housing the municipal office, other user groups, a recreation facility, venue for plays and performances etc. An Ontario 150 application was put in to do some necessary renovations etc. on the Municipality’s recently acquired former Legion building.
Dave Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.
Dave discussed a fundraising concert for Habitat for Humanity which will be taking place on Sunday November 27th at 2:00 p.m. – tickets are $25 at the door. Dave also briefly spoke on networking the area’s websites and funding that could potentially be accessed for that – Dave reiterated that there is work to be done.
Henning Golle/Business Centre
Henning reported that the Entrepreneurial Workshop series this fall in Parry Sound has been completed, putting 10 businesses through 12 sessions in 6 weeks. 8 businesses completed and 5 will be pitching for Starter Company grants in the near future. Henning also reported great news on the Starter Company front – it has recently been announced that the program will be available to all ages in the New Year – no official confirmation until December however they have been told that it is happening. Henning said that the Business Centre is expecting that this will fill workshops to capacity, there has been as much of a stream of all ages wanting to participate as the youth, which the program was designed for. The Business Centre is participating in extensive business and funding planning for the local Food Collaborative in Parry Sound – decisive meetings are happening over the next 2 months to decide the future of the Collaborative and all the main food programs in the region. There will be a Succession Planning Seminar organized by the Almaguin Chamber and the Business Centre on November 23rd. The Business Centre is also co-hosting a “Time is Money Event” with the Parry Sound Chamber, RBC and Explorer’s Edge, which is coming up on December 6th and being held at Canadore College in Parry Sound. The next Lunch n Learn will take place on Thursday November 24th at Canadore on Business Banking brought to you by RBC. The Business Centre is also busy with high school and college outreach presentations and then gearing up for the first half of 2017 as well as preparing students for the Summer Company program.
Stacie Fiddler/Labour Market Group
LMG’s 2016 EmployerOne Survey was launched online www.thelabourmarketgroup.ca at the beginning of November and will be wrapping up next week. Analysis of results will be available in the new year. This regional employer survey helps LMG gather critical information on the workforce issues and challenges faced by employers in the region. More importantly, the results of this survey will formulate action strategies for workforce development. The region’s Local Labour Market Plan will be launched in the upcoming weeks. This annual document provides a complete labour market snapshot of the region including updated statistics Canada numbers from 2016. The Action Plan has been accumulated from community consultations throughout the region. Evidence from the LMG vacancy study has revealed the top essential skills local employers are looking for in a potential employee. A Skills Guide has been developed from this to assist job seekers with the information they require to meet the needs of the employers. This guide is being distributed throughout the region and is also available online. LMG continues to produce monthly labour market publications for the Parry Sound region. Our monthly Labour Focus offers local, provincial and national job related statistical information. The second piece is our monthly Job Vacancy study. There were 90 job vacancies posted within the Parry Sound district during the month of October. If you are not receiving these publications and would like to, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Armstrong/McMurrich, Monteith
Carol reported that the Screaming Trail for Halloween was great – there are hopes of making the event bigger and better next year. An application for Canada 150 funding has been a success with funds being used for additions to the Community Centre such as change rooms, storage, bird netting and a P.A. system. Carol also reported that Courtney Rizzo is organizing a trade show to take place at Almaguin Highlands Secondary School in the spring to retain youth in our area – more information to come.
Rosalind Hall/Ryerson Township
Rosalind reported that the township has put in an application for Ontario 150 funding in partnership with Armour and Burk’s Falls. Rosalind discussed some upcoming events for 2017 including a historical event Celebrating Saw and Steam at the Old School House Museum along with a Community Yard Sale on June 24th (the weekend before Canada Day); July 1st Canada Day Celebrations; July 8th Heritage Day at Watt’s Farm. The 25th Annual Santa Clause Parade takes place Saturday December 3rd at 6:00 p.m. in Burk’s Falls – see their website for more information.
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