Who we are
Why The Institute?
With increasing numbers of permanent and weekend residents coming to Southern Georgian Bay, the region is poised and well positioned to become a major destination for tourism and an ideal place to call home.
Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, The Blue Mountains – these names already possess some degree of recognition in Ontario, in Canada and internationally as a destination for skiing, cycling, boating, swimming and many other recreational activities.The Institute believes that it is important to create greater public awareness of Southern Georgian Bay as a region that encompasses these municipalities and “has it all”.
Local governments can do only so much to promote regional economic development, culture, amenities and infrastructure across political boundaries in order to to ensure prosperity and the best quality of life for all – for now and generations to come.
How The Institute Started
The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay began when a small group of forward-thinking individuals came together to discuss the economics of the various communities in Southern Georgian Bay and the concepts of a community working together to develop a future vision for growth and prosperity in the region.
Out of this initial meeting came a preliminary idea: through community collaboration, explore and try to understand the region’s current situation and identify opportunities for change, innovation and sustainable growth; connect with and engage the people and groups that might come together to “think and do”something about it.
In August 2014, the group identified a number of challenges and key tasks for The Institute undertake heading “Fertile Ground: The future is entrepreneurs and small business”, with three primary outcomes:
1. Map the fertile soil in southern Georgian Bay – our region’s assets and what makes us unique: how to brand your region for the 21st century; develop a common brand image.
2. Find Ways researching and organizing data on businesses and entrepreneurs across the region for planning and decision-making.
3. Determine the best means of engaging the local business and entrepreneurial community – mentorship and investor models; forums for community input, review and response.
Over the course of the year, group of twenty three key people representing various interests and sector including business, education, arts and hospitality. came together to share their thoughts on the future of the region. The group agreed on a top priority: identifying and tapping into the pool of resources and business talent in the region and forming working groups to obtain input from various sectors of the community.
The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay was formed and registered as a not-for profit corporation focusing on community collaboration. With twenty three founding members, The Institute has a Executive Board that receives applications and ideas for projects and attracts membership from individuals and corporate members of the community
What is the Institute?
The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay is a volunteer driven, not-for-profit think and do-tank. We are local people working together to explore and generate innovative solutions to the problems and challenges we face in the region.
Our members are committed to working together to find practical ways to harness the collective creativity, knowledge, experience and wisdom in our communities. We work to connect residents, community organizations, business, and government in collaborative ways to do research, to dialogue, and provide strategic thought-leadership on economic, social, cultural, and environmental issues and opportunities in Southern Georgian Bay.
Harness the power of people and place in Southern Georgian Bay to grow social and economic prosperity and be the smartest, greenest, healthiest and most caring region in Ontario.
Connect and engage the talent and aspirations of all residents in collaborative ways in four priority areas – developing arts and culture, increasing social justice, protecting the environment and enhancing business development. We achieve our mission through:
- CONNECTING PEOPLE – sharing community knowledge, engaging residents and facilitating Community Conversations,
- CONDUCTING RESEARCH – identifying needs and opportunities through research, and
- FOSTERING COLLABORATION – collaborating on initiatives and solutions that align with our vision and mission.
The Institute is for people and organizations who want to connect and work with others to make a positive difference in the region. Members are encouraged to volunteer, learn and contribute their talent, time and energy to explore and work on collaborative projects and partnerships.
This beautiful and inspiring place we call home offers so much to residents and visitors alike. With a population of approximately 100,000 people (75,000 permanent and 25,000 weekend) the Southern Georgian Bay region spans west to east from Meaford to the Blue Mountains, to Collingwood to Wasaga Beach and to the south including Creemore, Stayner, and Beaver Valley. Comprised of two counties, four townships and six municipalities, the region has evolved dramatically over the years, and continues to change. Southern Georgian Bay is experiencing a steady influx of new residents from the Greater Toronto Area and other parts of Ontario. From retiring empty-nesters to professional weekenders to young families looking for a place to raise their families, people are choosing to settle here for a better quality of life – fresh air, clean water, natural splendour, abundant recreational opportunities, good health care options, a flourishing entrepreneurial environment, and a vibrant dining, arts and cultural scene.
The Southern Georgian Bay region is well-positioned to thrive and prosper as a premier destination in Ontario. As citizens working together, we have a unique opportunity to contribute and lead the way by developing innovative solutions to the economic, social, and environmental challenges that impact us all.
Through Community Conversations we conducted in 2015-2016, four key areas emerged that would benefit from greater collaboration among all sectors: Social Justice, Arts and Culture, Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Environment. The Institute aims to reflect the community and facilitate unique solutions that empower individuals and groups to co-create initiatives and achieve collective impact to improve the quality of life in our region.
The Institute is committed to share issues, stories and successes through a digital platform at WWW.TISGB.COM
Please join us and get involved.