Almaguin Highlands Strategic Plan Implementation Committee

Minutes of Meeting

held Thursday, March 10, 2005

at the

South River - Machar Community Centre


Leia Halford, Almaguin Events and Festivals; Kathy Parker, Micro Business Development Centre and Women's Own Resource Centre; Christina Golding, Municipality of Powassan; Jeff Johnston, Town of Kearney; David Stewart; Sara Keillor, Municipality of Powassan; Uyen Nguyen, Blue Sky EGC; Wendy Devitt, Municipality of Whitestone; Barbara Groves, Township of Chisholm; and Martin Parker, Village of South River


Beata Barnard; Glenn Barnard: Eleanor Sled-Kurrle, Burks Falls, Armour, Ryerson Special- Events Committee; Kay Tod, Municipality of Magnetawan; Donna Sador, Parry Sound Employment Service.

Resource Persons:

Catharine Mayne, NECO; Dominique Marleau, MNDM; Ron Begin, FedNor

Guest: nil

1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order with Christina Golding in the chair.

2. Declarations of Pecuniary Interest - nil

3. Deputations - nil

4. Adoption of Minutes

06-2005 K. Parker/J Johnston
That the minutes of the meeting of February 17. be adopted.


5. Reports from Members and Community Partners

1. Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Dominique Marleau reviewed the new funding programs of the Northern Ontario Heritage Foundation which were announced previously. There were some questions on the operation of the Co-op and Intern Program.

Catharine Mayne showed a video about the Northern Ontario agriculture booth at the Royal Winter Fair last November. Several producers from this area participated . The purpose of the booth is to promote Northern Ontario agriculture and there is no cost to participate. Participants have to go through an interview process.

3. FedNor
Ron Begin announced that the Federal budget has increased the base funding for FedNor to $50 million from the previous $20 million. FedNor will also have access to funds from other national Programs, in order to ensure Northern Ontario participation. The FedNor core funding Programs have remained the same.
Ron Begin noted he was very pleased with the Festivals and Events seminar and the level of participation.

Copies of the Shop Talk of the LTAB were distributed.
Ron Begin announced that Canadore College is now expanding its outreach Program,. The President of Canadore College has expressed an interest in meeting with municipal officials to discuss the expansion of the outreach program.

5. Blue Sky EGC
Uyen Nguyen distributed copies of the executive summary of the recently completed Tourism Economic Impact Study. A CD copy of the report is being sent to all the municipalities in the region.
Blue Sky EGC is planning a series of seminars over four days in May and would like to hold an evening session for volunteers at the South River - Machar Community Centre. She reviewed the proposed schedule.
The Blue Sky Net is now operating in East Ferris and plans for the Almaguin Highlands - section of the network are currently being finalized with construction scheduled to commence in June. The Blue Sky Net implementation schedule is on the Blue Sky web site.

6. Women's Own Resources Centre
Kathy Parker announced that Linda Plant has received the Rural Woman of the Year award and the presentation will be tonight at the 7 p.m. at the Caswell Resort.

7. Micro-Business Development Centre
Kathy Parker reported that the Micro-Business Development Centre is evolving into a new direction and provided a brief overview.

8. Almaguin Festivals and Events
Leia Halford distributed a summary of the key web-sites in the Almaguin Highlands. The Festivals and Events listing now has 1177 listing.
Leia Halford announced that South River Blackfly Festival has been selected as the best Small Town Event in Canada on CBC Monday Report with Rick Mercer.
Leia Halford announced that 71 people attended the recent Festival and Events seminar and the suggestions sheets have been compiled and the final report is currently being edited.
There was a general discussion on the future of the Festivals and Events position with the Village of South River. The need and success of the position was noted.


J. Johnston. K. Parker
That AHSPIC agrees to prepare a letter in support of the Festivals and Events possible in order to support funding for this position.


9. Almaguin Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber President was planning to attend but was not in attendance.

10. Lure of Almaguin Project
Ron Begin, FedNor, noted the project need ownership in order to continue after the initial funding and suggested a marketing committee be implement it.

11. Burks' Falls, Armour, Ryerson Special Events Committee - nil

12. Powassan Observatory Committee
Sara Keillor reported that the committee has approved the Terms of Reference for the study and a public forum is scheduled for April 14 at 7 p.m. at the Trout Creek Community Centre.

13. Terms of Reference
The revised Terms of Reference were distributed and members were asked to submit comments to the Chair prior to the next, meeting.

14. Blue Sky Radio
Ron Begin suggested the operator of Blue Sky Radio be invited to make a presentation at the next meeting of the committee.

15. Chisholm Craft Fair
Barbara Groves announced the annual Chisholm Craft Fair will be held on June 25. Area municipalities will be invited to have a display.

6. Correspondence - nil

7. Other Business - nil

8. Adjournment and Next Meeting

The meeting was adjourned with the next meeting scheduled for Thursday April 21.

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