Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; Dave Gray, CDO Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson; Hazel Hornibrook, AHAC; Carly Barnes, Business Centre of Nipissing/Parry Sound; Don Carter, Whitestone; Gerry Spooner, FedNor; Jeff Johnston, USCO; Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Emily Ryan, IION; Chantal Perron MacIntosh, WORC; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Shelley Willis, EDO Powassan; Rosalind Hall, Ryerson Township.
Business Arising (AHED Business):
In follow up to the proposed congratulatory letters that will be sent out to councils within the Almaguin Highlands after the election: The group discussed that the letters will provide an opportunity to seek involvement from new council members and more effectively network with other organizations focused on economic development. Jeff will draft the letter and send out to the group for review before letters are formally sent out to Municipal Councils.
Dave Gray/CDO Burk’s Falls, Armour, Ryerson
Dave discussed a project for fibre optic internet expansion which has been approved – there is hope to encompass the entire area. The monthly coffee house will be taking place on Friday October 17th @ the Burk’s Falls Legion. Previously the Burk’s Falls Pub, The Fox & Kyte will be opening on Friday October 31st with a “British Invasion” theme for Halloween. There is a Small Business Week Event taking place at the Burk’s Falls Arena on Wednesday October 22nd from 9 – 11:30 a.m. The event will feature guest speaker Karen Jones discussing Customer Service in Tourism. There will also be a brief presentation from Humaniqa which is a comprehensive web-based business tool that supports small and medium businesses in managing their human resources. For more information or to register, please call the Business Centre at 705-746-5892. This event is being offered free of charge and refreshments will be provided. Dave also discussed the Almaguin Highlands Community Guide – the aim is for new guides to come out in time for the Victoria Day Long Weekend – this initiative has been taken over by the Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce. Dave reinforced that his door is open to any and all interested in economic development or the visitor guide.
Emily reported that IION made an announcement that the Worth a Cheque program has been approved for continued funding. The Innovative Manufacturing and Facilitation Program (IMFP) is still open with a few spots left that will fill up fast – if interested in applying, please contact Emily at 705-474-7600 or email Emily@iion.ca There will also be a Lunch & Learn held on Wednesday October 29th, 2014 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at North Bay City Hall in the 6th Floor Boardroom. The topic for this month’s Lunch & Learn will be “Explore the Process of Creating a Crisp and Concise Value Proposition” – for more information or to register, please contact Emily or visit their website at http://iion.ca/funding-opportunities/
Don reported that he has never seen such interest in the political process as this year’s municipal election – there are 12 candidates running for council in Whitestone. In Whitestone, economic development is primarily being looked at by business owners and volunteer groups – in the past, the committee has worked on video advertising numerous community projects. Don finished his report today by letting the group know that this will his last AHED meeting – Don is moving to Markham on November 22nd. He discussed having thoroughly enjoyed participating in AHED over the years and hoped that the dynamic group will continue to move forward with new partnerships and opportunities for the Almaguin Highlands. The group wished Don much success with future endeavors.
Rosalind showed off a new fundraiser for the Burk’s Falls and District Historical Society – a calendar featuring old photos of the Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson area which are selling for $10. If you are interested in purchasing one they can be found at the Burk’s Falls, Armour and Ryerson Municipal offices or by contacting Rosalind herself at email@example.com
Merv Mulligan/McMurrich Monteith Township
There will be a War Monument Presentation on November 9th at the Community Centre at 11:00 a.m. There will be no scary trail this year however there will be a Halloween Dance for adults held on Saturday October 25th and the Community Centre will be handing out candy on Friday October 31st. December 7th, there will be a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Community Centre at 5:00 p.m. – Santa will also be on hand and a BBQ. A new storage building is going up at the Community Centre to store all of the hockey equipment when not in use. The Seniors in Sprucedale are having their Christmas Craft Sale at the Community Centre in Sprucedale on November 1st from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Merv encouraged everyone to take a look at the bookcase in the hallway of the Municipal Office – it is an exchange bookcase where residents can pick up and drop off books free of charge. Merv also announced that he will not be running for council again and therefore will not be attending AHED as a representative for McMurrich/Monteith – he did indicate however that other business may bring him back to future meetings. The group wished Merv success in future endeavours.
Chantal reported that once again WORC is running a ‘Warm Winter Clothing Exchange’ where anyone is invited to stop by the centre and browse – items are free to take, give or exchange. The next Almaguin Women’s Resource & Business Network meeting will be held on Wednesday October 29th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kudo’s Restaurant in Powassan – the topic will be “Learning the Art of Self-Awareness” presented by WORC. The Board of Directors is running a Tupperware Fundraiser – anyone interested in viewing a catalogue or making a purchase can contact Chantal at 705-386-9672 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerry discussed some of FedNor’s programs including Community Economic Development, Business Growth & Competitiveness and Innovation. Gerry also discussed the Targeted Northern Ontario Manufacturing Initiative which has taken off with many local small manufacturers receiving assistance via 0% interest loans used for equipment upgrades and increased productivity.
Shelley Willis/EDO Powassan
Shelley reported on numerous events taking place. The Trout Creek Booster Club will be hosting a Children’s Halloween Party at the Trout Creek Community Centre on October 24th from 6 – 8 p.m. There will be a Halloween Dance held on October 25th at the Trout Creek Community Centre from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. Tickets are $5 and available at the door – this is an age of majority event. The Powassan Fire Hall will be running a Safe Haven Halloween handing out candy on Halloween night from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. – donations of candy to assist with this event will be accepted at the Powassan Municipal Office. The Trout Creek Catholic Women’s League Annual Bazaar will be taking place on November 8th from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Trout Creek Community Centre. The Powassan Legion Christmas Craft Show and Bake Sale will take place on November 8th as well from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Powassan Legion. The Powassan Christmas Artisan Market will be taking place on November 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at various locations in downtown Powassan.
Jessica Busch/Women’s Own Resource Centre
Jessica reported that the Women’s Own Resource Centre is currently writing an application for continued funding under the OWD Investing in Women’s Futures 2015 – 2017. The Life Skills program launched in the Spring of 2014 at Almaguin Highlands Secondary School with 8 students registered – this fall we have approximately 50 students taking the program in conjunction with the Careers/Civics Classes.
Hazel Hornibrook/Almaguin Highlands Arts Council
The third annual Artscape Show & Sale kicks off on Friday October 24th with a Wine and Cheese Gala from 7 – 9 p.m. at Caswell Resort in Sundridge, admission is $5. The show is also open Saturday October 25th and Sunday October 26th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The show has been very successful in the past, last year over $12,000 worth of artwork was sold over the weekend with all money going to the artists. Hazel brought along some Arts Directories as well which is a bi-annual effort which is fully paid by advertising.
Carly Barnes/Business Centre of Nipissing/Parry Sound
Carly reported that she is leaving the Business Centre to take a position with Community Living in Parry Sound – the group wished her success in future endeavours. The Business Centre reported on two events planned for Small Business Week – the first is a presentation focusing on Customer Service in Tourism and is happening on Wednesday October 22nd at the Burk’s Falls Arena from 9 – 11:30 a.m. The event is free and refreshments will be provided. The second event will focus on Relationships and is happening on Thursday October 23rd from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at the Canadore College West Campus in Parry Sound.
Dave Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.
Dave reported that him and Karen are very busy as they are both running for different council positions – Dave is running for Reeve in McMurrich/Monteith while Karen is running for council in Huntsville. Dave discussed how interesting the political elections have been in Huntsville. Dave offered his assistance with mapping to the group if anyone is seeking help. Dave also informed the group that Georgian Bay Tourism (focuses on marketing the area) is now privately operated by Keith Saulnier.
Jeff discussed USCO which represents over 300,000 seniors in over 1000 clubs across Ontario. Jeff is the President of Zone 39 – the next zone meeting will be taking place on November 6th in Burk’s Falls. Jeff’s focus is on Economic Development for the betterment of seniors including housing, transportation, health care and social services. Rosalind recommended the Burk’s Falls health care committee might be beneficial for Jeff to check out. If anyone is aware of any organizations that may have beneficial information for Jeff, please email him and let him know. Jeff reported that election campaigns are well underway in Kearney and hopes that Economic Development will be a top priority for the new Council.
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