A request was made to email a summary of the announcements made at the event- so here they are.
The RED Grant
Is a Rural Economic Development grant program run by OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs), to help rural Ontario generate investment and create jobs. The Chamber and Rotary - together with lead applicant partner the Municipality of Lambton Shores - submitted a grant application and are awaiting a decision which could see $300k of grant money coming into the community to grow cultural tourism. The grant provides for marketing efforts - like web and social media promotion, infrastructure and a host of other activities. Since it's a grant matching program - the $280K raised by the Rotary for the stage was leveraged for this grant application.
The Rotary Stage at the Main Beach
The stage will be completed end of April with official opening ceremonies taking place weekend of June 10-12. The organizing Committee has confirmed Michael Vanhevel and a 16-piece orchestra band will be performing as well as other bands (announcements imminent).
Summer Sunset Sounds Concert Series
The Organizing Committee is looking for sponsors to help offset the costs of this popular and growing event.
There are 10 concerts planned for this July and August which will bring an estimated 10,000 money-spending visitors into the area. Lots of opportunity for your business to shine.
We're seeking sponsors. This event is the Chamber's major and largest fundraising event! This is how we keep membership fees down and still do all the things we do! Member golf courses were sent a request-for-quotation and the Golf Committee (Mark Lewis, Nancy Starek, and Tara Medeiros) will make their selection soon.
Tourism & Visitor Services Funding
appeared before Council on March 22, 2016 to report on 2015 activities and detail funding needs for Tourism & Visitor Services, which cost the Chamber $74k in 2015. Of that amount, $13k is offset by wage grants and ad sales revenue, leaving a $60k to be shared ($30k each) by the Chamber and Municipality. In 2015, we received $18k from the Municipality, leaving an additional $12k to be made up by the Chamber. Good news - Council confirmed $18k of funding support for 2016 and we've since received and deposited the cheque!
Tourism & Economic Development Advocacy
This is the "hidden" work Chamber directors, staff and volunteers don't get to talk up. Did you know the Chamber has a director position on the board of Tourism Sarnia Lambton (TSL)? The Chamber shares its local tourism experience and insight with TSL.
Tourism Data Benchmarking
In our role helping higher level destination marketing organizations like Southwestern Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) and Tourism Sarnia Lambton (TSL), we are doing a POST-VISIT TOURISM SURVEY with a $750 grand prize.
Visitors go online to complete the survey, which is being promoted on GrandBendTourism.com, in the visitor guide, through social media and a full colour postcard for pickup at area accommodations. The cost of this initiative is partially offset by sponsorship from SWOTC and the Municipality of Lambton Shores. Prize package winners get to choose where they stay and dine from a list of participating suppliers.
2016 Visitor Guide
Please drop by the Welcome Centre to pick up your guides. We're looking for volunteers to come into the Welcome Centre to help count and bundle guides and to deliver guides locally (mileage reimbursed). Barry and Judy Johnson's astounding sales job will net the Chamber $7K! The sales revenue not only pays to produce the guide, but helps offset the costs of providing tourism & visitor services.