By Tim Lucier

Almaguin Umbrella Project – it’s yours

The Umbrella Project is yours.  Share the success by getting involved.
To review how you can help this month and contribute directly to the success of the project:
  • Talk up the message, “Together, We’re Better”.  Say it with me now!
  • Join the fundraising team for Nov 17-21 (a few hours – a few days, whatever time you can contribute).
  • Print and post Wrap Party posters
  • Join the grant proposal team.  Contribute your expertise to help leverage provincial and federal support. Commitment is two meetings during week of Nov 21-28th.
  • Ask your association of community group to join the Almaguin Umbrella Advisory Council Contact or call Todd Lucier at888.535.7510 to express interest or learn more.  Your group will join PARC in providing input, direction and action into the project.  First meeting will be scheduled for the week of Nov 21-28th.

Learn more about the Project with this simple two page Umbrella Project pdf that explains why the project matters, what it is, and how you can get involved.

Umbrella Bashes are so much fun, we have to do it again November 29th!

We’re wrapping up the Almaguin Umbrella fund-raising campaign with a seasonal party at Highlander Brew Co on November 29th!

Everyone is welcome!  Tickets available at the Door ($30) or as a free Investor Reward to folks donating $40 or more to the Umbrella Project.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 11.22.46 AMLearn more about the Project with this simple two page Umbrella Project pdf that explains why the project matters, what it is, and how you can get involved.




And if you know a great place to put up a poster for the Wrap Party November 29th, grab the Wrap Party Poster here, print it and post around town.

Each time you put up a poster you are entered in a draw for a free ticket to the event.  Text a photo and description of where you put the poster to 888.535.7510 or email to  Every poster earns you another chance at the free ticket giveaway!


Wasn’t that a Launch Party?

The McLean's Get the Party StartedThanks to Riverbowl for hosting the Almaguin Umbrella Launch Party on October 14th, 2014.

Check out photos from the event.  Thank you to Gwenith Kikkawa for manning the camera most of the night.

Douglas and Arlene McLean got the party started and Tree Ring Records founder Sean Cotton finished off the night with some great local songs.  Sean also explained to attendees how Tree Ring Records is bringing together local musicians under one brand that is gaining nationwide attention while delivering a “100 Mile Diet” of musical tastes to audiences in Almaguin/Muskoka and beyond.

A number of thank you’s are in order, especially to the Launch Party planning team: Gwenith Kikkawa, Tim Lucier, Ingrid O’Gorman, Bob Weaver, Todd Lucier, Romano Marchi, Michele Bateman.  Have a gander and peak through the window on the evenings festivities.

Join us at the Almaguin Umbrella Launch Party


Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.45.08 PM

On Tuesday, October 14th 2014 from 6:30-8:30pm join us for the Launch Party for The Almaguin Umbrella featuring live music with Tree Ring Record Artists and a small showcase of Almaguin Highlands Artist works.


Location: RiverBowl in Burks Falls

  • Join with your neighbours young and old at this free event to experience local entertainment, taste local food and drink and express your vision for what makes Almaguin special.
  • Learn about the rebirth of PARC (the Association for Promotion of Arts, Recreation and Culture) and what it means for the promotion of Arts, Recreation and Culture in Almaguin.
  • See how the Almaguin Community Umbrella project is moving forward, what it means for event planners and community organizations. Learn how to add your voice to the conversation.
  • Meet local artists, recreation organizations, and cultural groups and share information about upcoming community events.

Come celebrate with your friends, neighbours and community groups. We’re better together. RSVP to:

Let others know you’re going through our Facebook Event!

Launch Party announced for Almaguin Umbrella

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.

  1. 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.).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 where presentations, photos and updates are continuously being updated.


Planting the Seed

On May 20th, 2014 over 70 folks from across the Almaguin Highlands gathered at Highlander Brew Co. to discover why “Together, We’re Better“.

Almaguin Umbrella Kick off event at Highlander Brew Co in South River May 20, 2014Attendees came together to identify and celebrate the breadth of resources and experiences our community has to offer through our people and organizations, as well as to create the foundation of a community resource network to help us learn about one another and together grow the region’s vitality.

Who attended? Members from a wide variety of community organizations and businesses with an interest in growing the size and number of events and the quality of experiences available to residents and visitors to the Almaguin Highlands.

Afterwards a short survey of participants highlighted the following 4 needs in our community of Almaguin Highlands:

  1. We need to bring our marketing resources (events, maps, trails, parks, etc.) together across the entire Almaguin region. (Agree: 32 Unsure: 2 Disagree: 1)
  2. We need to be more informed about the resources and events in our community. (Agree: 33 Unsure: 3 Disagree: 0)
  3. We need to do more to help people plan successful events. (Agree: 30 Unsure: 3 Disagree: 1)
  4. A region-wide brand is important. (Agree: 29 Unsure: 6 Disagree: 0)

The Almaguin Umbrella project proposes solutions to these four challenges.

There is excitement and buzz growing. In the next few months we’ll define our next steps.  Won’t you join us?

Community Umbrella Links: