Minutes of meeting – September 18th, 2014

10 a.m. – 12 noon @ South River Machar Community Centre


Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; Dave Gray, CDO Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson; Jeff Johnston, USCO; Roy Williamson; Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Emily Ryan, IION; Chantal Perron MacIntosh, WORC; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Karen Insley Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Shelley Willis, EDO Powassan; Adam Killah, EDO CAEDA; Rosalind Hall, Ryerson Township.


  1. Welcome, call to order ~ Jeff Johnston  10:02 a.m.
    1. Regrets: Carly Barnes, Business Centre of Nipissing/Parry Sound; Hazel Hornibrook, AHAC; Caroline Loiselle, Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade/Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport; April Phelps, Business Centre of Nipissing/Parry Sound.
  2. Introductions of attendees
  3. Declaration of Pecuniary Interest ~ N/A
  4. Adoption Minutes of June 19, 2014 as amended – 1st Merv Mulligan 2nd Rosalind Hall

Business Arising (AHED Business):  


Jeff touched on the discussions held earlier this year regarding road improvements for access into Algonquin Park, perhaps there is potential to revisit this issue over the fall months with new councils after the Municipal elections. 


Karen Insley-Stewart put forth a motion that AHED supports and encourages the open discussion and communication in order to facilitate the improvements for this road access.  Other members of the committee thought it would be more beneficial to defer this motion until the November meeting due to the Municipal Elections taking place on October 27th

1st – Chantal Perron MacIntosh  2nd – Dave Stewart


The group discussed sending out congratulatory letters to the new mayor and councils within the Almaguin Highlands, taking the opportunity to introduce AHED, state AHED’s purpose and invite them to participate in a future meeting.


A motion was put forth for Jeff Johnston to draft a congratulatory letter for this purpose.  1st – Merv Mulligan  2nd – Rosalind Hall


  1. Reports from Community and Resource Partners


      Roy Williamson/

Roy indicated he is running for council in Kearney.  Roy explained that Kearney does not have an EDO but there is so much opportunity for economic development.  Roy is hopeful that a new council will bring new motivation with them encouraging future growth and co-operation in the region.


      Rosalind Hall/Ryerson Township

Rosalind indicated that she was running for council again.  The Burk’s Falls and District Historical Society in a co-operative partnership with Northland Power hired a consultant to create a business plan for the future of the Society.  Recommendations from the plan are being explored.  The Annual Harvest Festival drew a crowd of around 3000 people this year – the event is a fantastic supporter of the local Food Banks.


      Merv Mulligan/McMurrich Monteith

There will be a dedication to the war vets with a Memorial Stone being installed outside of the Community Centre on November 9th.  The annual Summer Spectacular event was successful, Merv indicated that the covered rink has been an incredible asset in running these events.  The Municipality has purchased a wood chipper to clear and widen the roadways.  October 25th the Municipality will host their annual Haunted Trail which is well underway.


       Emily Ryan/IION

Emily is fairly new at IION and introduced herself to the group.  IION has recently moved to a new location in North Bay at the Canadore Commerce Court, this move has led to an increase in walk-ins.  IION has two funding initiatives – Step Forward or “Worth A Cheque” program and the IMFP (Innovation Manufacturing and Facilitation Program), please find the information sheet for IMFP attached to this month’s minutes.  September 24th there will be a Lunch & Learn in partnership with the Business Centre of Nipissing/Parry Sound with a topic of “Exporting – Is your business ready?” with Siobhan O’Leary from the Ministry of Northern Development & Mines.  The Lunch & Learn will be held at City Hall in North Bay.


      Dave Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.

Dave reported that sales from trail passes were significantly higher resulting from a trail enforcement officer who was hired with a funding partnership with Carling Township.  The Explorer’s Edge Research Committee is currently looking at how effective their marketing is and how many travellers are visiting Explorer’s Edge.  Dave also reported that Almaguin Highlands Inc. has started to do work in the United States – with their increased demand, Dave indicated that there could be potential for them to hire.


      Karen Insley-Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.

Karen reported that the annual fundraiser held for St.Olev’s Church on Bear Lake was again very successful.  A new working partnership has been established for the pastor from the Magnetawan Church to offer occasional services at St.Olev’s Church.  Karen indicated that St.Olev’s is a valuable heritage site and should be maintained – several fundraising events have taken place such as Calendars, Historical Discs, Potluck Supper & Performance.  Karen and Dave also procured an old organ from the landfill over the summer and donated it to St.Olev’s Church.


       Shelley Willis/EDO Powassan

Shelley reported that the Fairview Lane Industrial Park has three businesses with intent to develop.  The Municipality is waiting on funding from FedNor to ensure all of the infrastructure is in place.  There are 7 acres remaining for sale.  The Powassan Voodoos hockey team has a home at the Powassan Sportsplex this year with 26 games happening at the Sportsplex.  The Fall Fair and Rodeo were a great success again this year – the color run was especially successful and fun for the whole family.  The Muskoka Parry Sound Poultry and Pigeon Association Auction will be taking place on October 4th.  The Nipissing Kennel Show will take place at the Trout Creek Community Centre on October 11th.  The Annual Turkey Supper will also take place on October 11th.  The Trout Creek Halloween Dance will take place at the Community Centre on October 25th from 8 – 1.


       Adam Killah/EDO CAEDA

Adam introduced himself to the group as the new Economic Development Officer for Central Almaguin.  The Business Expo held by CAEDA was a huge success with revenues being donated to the local food bank – plans are underway to make next year’s Business Expo bigger and better.  The Sunflower Festival had over 4000 people in attendance this year.  The Multicultural Centre is starting an Employer’s Counsel in Central Almaguin involved with immigration in the region.  The Family Pumpkin Hunt will take place again this year at Copeman Farms on October 11th.


       Jessica Busch/Women’s Own Resource Centre

Jessica reported that Entrepreneurial Skills Training has started up in two locations this fall: Burk’s Falls & South River.  Balanced Living is being run on September 24th as a Resource & Business Network Luncheon at the South River Machar Community Centre – for more information or to register, please call 705-386-9672 or email info@womensownresource.org  Over the summer, WORC hosted a Women In Business Trade Show with 28 local female owned and operated businesses.  The day was a great success and participants seemed eager to make it an annual event.  The Board of Directors of WORC held a Yard Sale Fundraiser over the summer, the annual book sale was also held to gather funds to support new and ongoing initiatives.


       Dave Gray/CDO Burk’s Falls, Armour, Ryerson

An all candidates meeting for Burk’s Falls candidates is being held on Thursday September 25th at 6:00 p.m. at the Young at Heart Seniors Club.  The Country Jamboree saw a 40% increase in sales this year.  Dave reported that he is working with Carly from The Business Centre for Small Business Week – more information to come on activities planned.  The Burk’s Falls Chamber of Commerce has now become The Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce – the group is close to incorporation and is currently working on developing a strategic plan.  September 26/27 will be the second annual Sweater Weather Tour with a lineup of activities happening in the area – a studio tour, art in the park, driving tours, yarn bombing and more.  Advertising was paid for by the South Almaguin Highlands Economic Development Committee for radio ads on Hunter’s Bay Radio.  The first Almaguin Highlands Community Guide was a great success – the extensive directory included all Municipalities, a map of the area, a huge business directory along with numerous pictures from the Almaguin Highlands Photography Project Group. 


       Jeff Johnston/USCO

Jeff reported that despite many difficulties, the Kearney Regatta took place this year thanks to a large number of business volunteers – the fireworks and steel orchestra were exceptional.  A new playground was installed in Emsdale in an episode of the TVO Kids show “Giver” – a number of local volunteers and young children assisted with designing and building the brand new playground – the episode will air late next year.  Jeff discussed USCO (United Senior Citizens of Ontario).  USCO is over 1000 clubs across Ontario with over 300,000 members – Jeff has recently become President of Zone 39 which encompasses 22 clubs.  There are a lot of concerning issues for seniors such as transportation, housing, healthcare, social and municipal services – Jeff will be focusing on transportation, housing and economic growth.  There is a new hot and frozen meal delivery service from East Parry Sound Community Support Services Program – for more info please call 705-724-6028


  1. Correspondence:
  2. In-Camera (if required)
  3. Next meeting date: Thursday, October 16th, 2014 @ Location TBD
  4. Meeting Adjourned @ 12:00 p.m.



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