Minutes of meeting – November 20th, 2014

10 a.m. – 12 noon @ Kearney Community Centre




Present: Todd Lucier, Almaguin Umbrella; Ken Ball, Kearney; Lance Thrale, Kearney; Shelley Willis, EDO Powassan; Adam Killah, EDO CAEDA; Dave Gray, CDO Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson; Willy Hollett, Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce; Ron Patton, Kearney Dog Sled Races; Rosalind Hall, Ryerson Township; Hazel Hornibrook, Almaguin Highlands Arts Council; Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Jim Altseimer, Granite Ridge Campground; Jeff Johnston, USCO; Yvonne Wills, Kearney; Carol Ballantyne, Kearney; Roy Williamson, Kearney; Chantal Perron MacIntosh, WORC; Jessica Busch, WORC.


  1. Welcome, call to order ~ Jeff Johnston  10:00 a.m.
    1. Regrets: Steve Munro, Westwind Forestry; Donna Maitland, OTF; Emily Ryan, IION; Dave Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Karen Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Carole Mantha, MNDM
  2. Introductions of attendees
  3. Declaration of Pecuniary Interest ~ N/A
  4. Adoption Minutes of October 16, 2014 as amended – 1st Merv Mulligan 2nd Rosalind Hall   All in favour.

Business Arising (AHED Business):  


Todd Lucier presented to the AHED group on the Almaguin Community Umbrella.  Todd is the co-founder of the Tourism Café where he delivers workshops across the country to develop tourism strategies.  Todd is also the owner of Northern Edge Algonquin where he facilitates nature retreats, group adventures and workshops.  The Almaguin Community Umbrella Project – the goal of the Umbrella Project is to create a sense of vitality and bring our communities together to celebrate what makes us special; so when people think of Almaguin Highlands a clear picture emerges – like it does for our neighbours Muskoka or Algonquin Park.  Todd got the group thinking like a traveler or a resident by asking questions like “Where do you find information?”  A lot of information and locations went around the table with participants offering suggestions on what makes Almaguin Highlands unique and special.  Todd discussed the project overview – The Umbrella Project is informed by community input to create a comprehensive regional website and handheld application that informs residents and visitors to our region of events, attractions, experiences and opportunities to explore and discover.  The design focuses on removing barriers to ongoing contribution and adapts over time to meet the needs of visitors and residents of Almaguin today and into the future.  Todd identified steps in order to make this project happen:

For more information, visit their website at almaguinumbrella.com, please see attachments or contact Todd Lucier at 888-535-7510 or email todd@tourismcafe.org


The group briefly discussed Showcase Almaguin.  The date for the event is set for Monday March 23rd, 2015 at the Trout Creek Community Centre.  The theme for the event will be “Regional Togetherness”.  The Showcase Almaguin Committee will be meeting again on Tuesday December 2nd at 10:00 a.m. at the Women’s Own Resource Centre.  More information to come.


The letters to Municipal Councils are being written by Jeff.  He will present drafted letter at the next AHED meeting to be held in January.



  1. Reports from Community and Resource Partners


      Ken Ball/Kearney Council

Ken remarked that it was nice to see and hear such a positive presentation from Todd Lucier – great job.  It would be excellent for Perry to join the table in moving forward.


      Lance Thrale/Kearney

Lance said it was a positive experience joining the AHED meeting today.


      Shelley Willis/EDO Powassan

Shelley reported that they have received funding through FedNor in the amount of $387,600 toward the new Industrial Park.  Three new businesses will be moving in, in the Spring.  $20,000 has also been secured for the Powassan Sportsplex for the addition of an elevator into the building.  Saturday December 6th the Smoke n’ Spurs Parade of Lights will be taking place at 6:00 p.m.


       Adam Killah/EDO CAEDA

FedNor has just announced funding in the amount of $800,000 towards a new building in South River – the Highland Brewery will be utilizing the majority of the space, expanding their operation, however there will event space and a few retail spaces that will be available.


       Willy Hollett/Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce

Will reported that the Chamber of Commerce is in the process of establishing a marketing plan and a committee to work on the new Almaguin Highlands Visitor Guide.  Contact for anyone wishing to be involved can be found through the Chamber website at www.almaguinhighlandschamber.com

The Chamber is also working on a Business Retention & Expansion for the Almaguin Highlands with the Ministry of Northern Development & Mines.  There will be a potluck held on Monday December 1st in South River at 6:00 p.m. – more information can be found on their website.


        Yvonne Wills/Kearney

Yvonne reported that she is working on revitalizing the Kearney Regatta – applications have been made to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for a portable stage cover and to the Celebrate Ontario Fund for tents, tables and chairs.


        Carol Ballantyne/Kearney

Carol was pleased to join the AHED table today, complimenting Todd on a great presentation.  Carol also noted agreement with Municipalities and Organizations working together to further the Almaguin Highlands.


       Roy Williamson/Kearney

Roy discussed an initiative he runs that encourages cottagers leaving for the winter to donate canned food left after the summer to the local food bank.  Roy also mentioned that he would like to start a community kitchen – a suggestion to contact Jessica Love from the Nipissing/Parry Sound Health Unit as she was working over the summer to create community kitchen programs in the Almaguin Highlands.


       Merv Mulligan/McMurrich Monteith

The War Memorial Dedication held on November 9th was well attended.  There will be a BBQ dinner and tree lighting ceremony held on Sunday December 7th from 4 – 7 p.m. with a special guest appearance.  Winter Carnival will be happening in February on the Family Day Weekend – more info to come.


       Chantal Perron MacIntosh/WORC

Chantal reported on a few initiatives being run through WORC this month.  The Warm Winter Clothing Exchange is still happening – clothing for men, women and children of all ages – the exchange will take place until December 18th.  There is a Toy/Food drive happening as well with all donations being passed on to assist local families in having a Happy Holiday.  There will be an Open House held on Thursday December 4th from 9 – 3 at WORC in honor of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women – people are encouraged to stop by, enjoy light refreshments and pick up a token in honor of women everywhere.  Entrepreneurial Skills Training will be starting again in January running in two locations, South River and Burk’s Falls – this workshop is FREE to attend and bursaries are available to assist with transportation and childcare costs – for more information or to register, please contact WORC at 705-386-9672 or email info@womensownresource.org


       Rosalind Hall/Ryerson Township

Rosalind reported that the Historical Society is moving forward partnering with Northland Power to open the Old Watt Farm as a museum.  The fundraising calendars for the Historical Society are still available for purchase as well at a cost of $10.00


       Ron Patton/Kearney Dog Sled Races

The Kearney Dog Sled Races will be held on February 6th, 7th, and 8th of 2015.


       Jim Altseimer/Granite Ridge Campground

Jim expressed that he was pleased to see such positive energy around the table.  He is encouraged to see the information sharing and the push to work together moving forward.  Jim also expressed that one central data point for the entire Almaguin Highlands would be fantastic.  Jim also spoke about his business, Granite Ridge Campground which can host events and accommodate over 1,000 people.  Jim expressed that they are shifting the style of their campground to more family camping and an older age group.


       Jeff Johnston/USCO

Jeff  is the president of zone 29 for the Unites Seniors Citizens of Ontario which represents over 300,000 members and over 1200 clubs.  Jeff is hoping for an active seniors presence in the region. 


  1. Correspondence:
  2. In-Camera (if required)
  3. Next meeting date: Thursday, January 15, 2015th @ Location TBD
  4. Meeting Adjourned @ 12:20 p.m.  1st: Rosalind Hall  2nd: Merv Mulligan


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