Join us at the Almaguin Umbrella Launch Party


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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:

Computer Repairs North Bay – Computer Doctors Malpractice

Malpractice by the Computer Doctors

When  seeking out computer repair services in North Bay or anywhere in the Almaguin Highlands it’s vital to do your research first.  Customer experiences posted online in the form of computer or iphone repair reviews can help you determine where to take your computer or ipad for service if things go wrong.  We certainly wish we had read the reviews prior to taking our iphone to North Bay to repair a cracked screen.
It’s easy to make a website making promises of excellent customer care, another to deliver as Manager Douglas Scott says on the website at North Bay Computer Doctors.

My story of iphone screen repair doesn’t end happily, but perhaps my experience can help others determine where to go when they need to have computer repairs, ipad repairs or cracked screen repairs for their phone or tablet in the North Bay area.

1. On day one, the iPhone 6 was brought in for screen repair.  A nasty drop and shatter at the hands of grandchildren was unfortunate, but what was to come when a repair service was sought out was small potatoes compared to having a spidery web screen on the iphone.   Where to go, but North Bay.  Since the cost of screen repair was less than half what it would have cost to repair the phone, we opted for North Bay Computer Doctors to repair the screen.

2. Screen was repaired and paid for and the phone returned.  Unreported by the technician or sales person who took payment for the repair, it was noticed the finger-print scanning button on phone was not working.  Apparently it was broken by the technician during repair.  The phone was returned to the repair shop in North Bay Computer Doctors to have the damage caused by the technician who repaired the screen fixed. 

3. Although the button was replaced at no additional charge after a few days wait for the parts to arrive, touch ID would not function – an important feature of the phone.  The phone repair technician in North Bay suggested a software update would fix the phone.  However, the phone was bricked on update (became unusable) due to use of counterfeit non-Apple parts by North Bay Computer Doctors.   It’s important to note that almost all screens and phone parts used by third-party phone repair services  like North Bay Computer Doctors use inexpensive parts obtained from non-authorized producers of these parts in China.

4. 30 days after first brought in, manager Douglas Scott promised a solution to the malfunctioning iphone (repair or replacement) by end of day. Yes, Sheldon Forgette, CEO – I was PROMISED a solution by end of day by manager Doug Scott.  Now he probably wouldn’t want to fess up to such a promise in light of what was to follow, but three weeks later – still we were not contacted about the phone repair by this North Bay phone repair business.  Despite the fact that on the website the company pledges - “Fixing your iPhone fast, right and with quality parts guarrantied for 30 days is our motto!” (pardon the poor spelling – it’s from their website at!north–bay–phone–repairs-iphone-screen/c10t1  They also clearly state they are insured!  That’s good, things could go bad and insurance is important if repairs are faulty and not carried out with the greatest of care.

5. 43 Days out I drop in to learn what is going on with the iPhone 6 repair. C.E.O. Sheldon Forgette informs me Apple updates often corrupt phones after repairs like this because in his words, “We use these cheap parts from China that aren’t authorized by Apple and Apple changes their software to make non-Apple hardware fail.”  The techies end up spending over 24 hours trying to repair the phone according to Forgette and Scott.

6. 50 days out, still we have no phone, but I receive this email message in response to a request for fulfillment of promise from manager Douglas Scott made to me in person on November 11, 2015.  His ideas of making things right seem to have soured: ‘In our liability waiver that you signed we are not liable for a device that cannot be successfully repaired for any reason.’

* NOTE to self: Fail to repair is one thing, damaging phone components outside of the repair requested, making that phone unusable is another.   

I’m sympathetic to the problem that unauthorized parts are causing the Computer Doctors, but they are computer repair specialists!  They make things right.  The hypocratic oath compels doctors to uphold specific ethical standards.  Part of that oath states of patient care: “I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.”

6. And so, 50 days after having brought the phone in for service we are left with the following options provided by C.E.O of Computer Doctors in North Bay, Sheldon Forgette Offer of resolution: refund repair fees paid and return irreparable phone they damaged. Ludicrous.   Of course it’s not fair for a phone repair service to repair your phone by making it unusable and offer a refund because they couldn’t repair the cracked screen.  The cracked screen is fine, it’s the phone that’s pooched.  Software issues that arise from technician errors require computer repair organizations to take responsibility for their errors instead of hiding behind some vague disclaimer or waiver of liability.  

Advice: Computer or device need a doctor: Do your research. To find a specialist in customer care who can care for your device properly, read the reviews.  You can learn a lot about a business by seeing what others have experienced.  Despite what computer and phone repair companies say on their website, what they do in practice matters most . . . and learning from other customer experiences like those featured on sites like YELP! and Google Business reviews can help you avoid the pitfalls of poor customer service, whether seeking out a computer repair service, or buying a good meal in a restaurant.

Still not sure how this will turn out, but we hope your computer, phone or tablet repair experience is better than the one we had in North Bay, Ontario.