On May 22, 2014, over 70 Almaguin Highlands citizens representing numerous associations and businesses gathered at Highlander Brew Co. to learn from Todd Lucier about the challenges and opportunities of growing the tourism economy throughout the Almaguin Highlands. On October 14th, residents are being called together once again, this time in a bowling alley!
“I want residents to appreciate that we have many underutilized community assets that taken together create many new opportunities. As we take steps forward on a path of regional tourism and event growth in Almaguin Highlands I hope we can continue to hold these kinds of events in a wide variety of locations across the region,” said Lucier.
The Launch Party for Almaguin Umbrella takes place on October 14th at 6:30 pm at River Bowl in Burks Falls. Interested attendees are asked to RSVP to info@almaguinumbrella or to call Lucier at 888.535.7510.
For this event organizers are providing a platform for any community group, arts, recreation or culture association or business to present information about upcoming events and activities that are happening in the Almaguin Highlands. Creating a community inventory of the resources and events that can be found throughout the region is the first of a four phase process Lucier said the community identified is needed in a followup survey from the May gathering at Highlander Brew Co.
Lucier said, “The survey identified the need to bring our marketing resources together across the entire Almaguin region to be better informed about the resources and events in our community and that we need to do more to help people plan successful events.”
The community not-for-profit organization – PARC, which has in the past orchestrated community events like the South River Festival of the Arts is fully behind the project. PARC is helping kick-start the project as a key community partner who can help access some of the funds necessary to make the project a success.
“At the end of the day, a project like this benefits the entire community. The cost shouldn’t be put on a handful of businesses. Every community member will appreciate the outcomes. I really see this project as a great way to stimulate community co-operation and look forward to working with soon-to-be elected councillors and mayors as we move forward.”
Four phases have been planned by a steering committee who have been meeting since May.
- Survey the community and develop a comprehensive inventory of community assets (maps, farmer’s markets, farms, trails, accommodations, activities/attractions, restaurants, parks, arenas, picnic areas, campgrounds, boat launches, community organizations, recreation service providers, calendar of events, etc.).
- Put the community resources online so community members or anyone visiting the region can access information across the entire region quickly and easily using handheld devices like tablets and smart-phones and internet-connected computers.
- Create a unifying brand identity that captures the essence of the best of Almaguin Highlands that will grow in reputation to have as strong a resonance as Algonquin Park or Muskoka.
- Create an event planning resource for event planners, conference organizers and community organizations to encourage the growth of community events and nurture the establishment of new events.
Lucier said, “The days when residents need to: go to the Sundridge website to learn about the Sunflower Festival; see a poster in Powassan to learn about the Maple Syrup Festival or get times/days the Farmer’s Market is open; visit Kearney to learn about the Dog Sled Races or find the best place to launch a boat are numbered. Another example is trails. There are numerous places to hike, bike, ski, ride across the region, but they aren’t featured in any one place. If you don’t know what to look for, you’ll never find it. Together, We’re better.”
Residents who want to learn more about Almaguin Umbrella can stay in touch with the project right here at http://AlmaguinUmbrella.com where presentations, photos and updates are continuously being updated.