Events & Research

Mapping Our Road to Recovery
Part 2: Facing the Future – A Collective Arts Strategy

This online discussion will feature speakers from the major sectors of business, nonprofit/charitable, government, and philanthropy.

Arts & Culture straddles all four sectors and is a key economic driver for municipalities across the country and around the world. It is a magnet for tourism, hospitality-related businesses, and next generation innovators.

Mapping Part 2

Mapping Our Road to Recovery Online Discussion Series
Registration details to come

May 27, 4:30-6pm – Part 2: Facing the future – A collective arts strategy
June 10, 4:30-6pm – Part 3: Strategic investments – Municipal collaboration for recovery
June 24, 4:30-6pm – Part 4: Looking towards a more resilient and sustainable future

online discussion

Mapping Our Road To Recovery – Part 1 of 4 Part Series

The next 100 days will be focused on bringing people together for strategic conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and to generate ideas for how we can take a new approach for shaping our future. The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay and collaborative partners are launching a four-part online discussion series called Mapping Our Road to Recovery.

Social Innovation Day

Our collaborative speaker series is gaining momentum following a very successful arts & culture event held on September 19 at the Marsh Street Centre in Clarksburg. Sixty people discussed the importance of the arts & culture sector as an economic driver, as well as being essential for creative and healthy regions. A report with highlights, including next steps towards creating a regional arts & culture strategy, will be released next month.

Make sure you are registered for the next dynamic Institute event:

Social Innovation: What is it and why now?
Saturday, November 23, 2019, 10am – 2pm
Simcoe Street Theatre, Collingwood

Social Innovation Day

Keynote, Panel, and Lunch Discussion $60
Institute members $50 (limited number of tickets)

Keynote and Panel $50; Institute members $40

Get Your Tickets Here

Institute Community Innovation Day leads to collaborative success!!

Catherine Smart of Smart Move Training and Development Inc. was one of many who attended the Community Innovation Day in January of 2018. During the day, the participants were divided into working groups where she met Yvonne Hamlin and Susan Cook who were representing the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts. The trio discussed many topics including “What’s next” for the BMFA. Soon after the event, Catherine was contacted by Yvonne to discuss the possibility of facilitating a workshop with the BMFA Board of Directors. The discussion went well and the BMFA Board met in the spring of 2018. One of the primary take-aways was to create an event that celebrated local artists and youth. Hence the genesis of the successful recent event called “Art for Heart’ which supported both the BMFA and Home Horizon. Moral of this story? Planting seeds and making connections can make a big difference! That is what the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay is all about.

Brain Gain, Art with Heart, and Canadian Water Summit

If you’re interested in the next generation and what they have to say about the future or learning more about the extraordinary artistic talent in Southern Georgian Bay or seeing how global issues affect us locally, May is your month!

Learn more about youth issues

The Institute’s growing partnership with Community Foundation Grey Bruce (CFGB) is focused on research, convening and philanthropy. The Vital Focus on Youth Report illustrates why we all need to be paying more attention to youth issues.

With member support, the Institute provided transportation for Collingwood Collegiate Institute (CCI) entrepreneurship students and Beaver Valley Outreach youth to attend the launch of the report and a day of programming to help them learn more about entrepreneurship. CCI student and entrepreneur Emma Donneral had this to say about the event: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our class, and we all learned a great deal of valuable skills and information that we can apply to both our class and future business ventures.” 

The Institute also partnered with CFGB on the standing-room-only Arlene Dickinson event (over 700 people attended) where she shared her life story and insights on youth entrepreneurship, a changing labour market, women in business, and community philanthropy. See photos on CFGB Facebook page.

May events for you

On May 26, our partner, the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts (BMFA) is presenting Art with Heart in support of Home Horizon/Barbara Weider House and BMFA. Over 60 artists are involved and there will be a special performance by Craig Ashton, high tea and cocktails. Tickets are available at

The BMFA plays an important role in our region’s Arts and Culture infrastructure. We are collaborating on an exciting panel discussion on September 19 about creating a regional arts and culture strategy – mark your calendar now and stay tuned to June’s newsletter for all the details!

Brain Gain

May 30 – Brain Gain: Build a Community of the Future by Attracting Leaders of Tomorrow

Brain Gain is a natural follow-up to the very successful Vital Focus on Youth Day last month. On May 30, Robert Barnard will speak about the Youthful Cities organization, Youthful Cities Index, and how we can create youthful infrastructure to retain talent and attract more. Tickets are available here.

Brain Gain

Given the importance of Georgian Bay to our region, the Institute is partnering on the Canadian Water Summit (CWS). Normally held in larger municipalities, in 2019 this important Summit will be held at Blue Mountain Village.

The Institute is particularly interested in supporting the May 30 panel, Progress Through Partnerships: Advancing on the Sustainable Development Goals. Click here for more information on the SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goals

Canadian Index 2019

The 2019 Canadian Index offers an expanded ranking of cities across Canada since our 2018 index, with 22 cities and 21 attributes. For this year’s version, we also worked to expand the indicator list to further capture the elements that youth care about in their city, collecting over 10,000+ data points for 123 indicators.

Vital Focus on Youth

Collingwood Collegiate Institute’s grade 11 Entrepreneurship class was given the opportunity to attend the RBC Future Launch Vital Focus on Youth event on April 12, 2019 in Owen Sound. This was a fantastic opportunity for our class and we all learned a great deal of valuable skills and information that we can apply to both our class and future business ventures.

Over the course of the afternoon, our class participated in a personal brand workshop, talks from influential members of the entrepreneurial community and a presentation by Erin Bury.

The knowledge we gained from the personal branding workshop put on by RBC Future Launch taught us all a lot about the importance of presenting ourselves well, managing our social media profiles in a professional manner, what a successful elevator pitch looks like, and much more, all of which we will be able to implement into our lives as we integrate into the working world. After hearing all of the influencers talk about their involvement in the initiative, as well as how they hope it will benefit the community, it was very clear that everyone involved in this event was keen on seeing youth – the future of our world – succeed and we are very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with them at this fantastic event! Lastly, Erin Bury gave a fantastic talk about building your business, resilience, the key attributes of an entrepreneur and much more!

It was fantastic to learn about some of the steps we can take to become successful entrepreneurs, and I know that it will be beneficial and valuable to all of us as we make our way through the world.

Thank you for giving Ms Thomson’s Entrepreneurship class this fantastic opportunity; we all really appreciate being involved in such a constructive and important project.

Written by Emma Donneral, Grade 11 Entrepreneurship student
Collingwood Collegiate Institute

Thought leader, Arlene Dickinson,
to talk on youth and entrepreneurship

OWEN SOUND, ON, FEBRUARY 20, 2019 – Community Foundation Grey Bruce kicks off its 25th anniversary year with a community invitation to spend an evening with a Canadian thought leader. On Friday, April 12, 2019 at 7 pm at East Ridge Community School in Owen Sound, Arlene Dickinson, one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs, will give a lecture on youth in a changing work culture, women in business, entrepreneurship and her own story in relation to community philanthropy.

Stuart Reid, Executive Director of the Foundation, says: “Arlene Dickinson will be the perfect speaker to kickstart a conversation about the future of our community.  She will inspire young people to step into leadership with commitment and creativity.” This event is generously sponsored by RBC Future Launch and will be the culmination of a day of activities for young people around the release of the Foundation’s Vital Focus on Youth report.

“We’re excited to be working with Community Foundation Grey Bruce to deliver on the promise of RBC Future Launch,” said Dan Woods, Regional Vice President, Central Shores Market, RBC. The Foundation also acknowledges the support of community partners including BDO, Grey County Business Enterprise Centre, the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay and media partners Integra Design Group, Bayshore Broadcasting and Grey Bruce Boomers.   Tickets for the Arlene Dickinson talk are $40 for adults, $10 for youth (under 29) and can be purchased online at

Arlene Dickinson is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning series Dragons’ Den and her new CBC primetime series Under New Management. She is the author of two bestselling books—Persuasion, and her most recent bestselling release, All In. Her success and leadership have been recognized with multiple honours and awards including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as being recognized with PROFIT and Chatelaine magazine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners Awards. She also sits on numerous public and private boards and is dedicated to giving back to her community and country.

Created in 1994, Community Foundation Grey Bruce has a mandate to strengthen Grey and Bruce communities through endowment building, grant making, and community partnerships. For more information and to support the Community Foundation Grey Bruce, visit or call 519-371-7203.

Motivational speaker Erin Bury
to address youth about entrepreneurship and changes in work climate


OWEN SOUND, ON, FEBRUARY 26, 2019 – On Friday, April 12, 2019, Community Foundation Grey Bruce will release a Vital Focus on Youth report and host a presentation by Erin Bury, one of Marketing Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30”, with a day of activities for young people at the Harmony Centre, 890 4th Avenue East in Owen Sound.

The Vital Focus on Youth Report takes a deep dive into topics that emerged at two Vital Conversations held with Grey Bruce youth in fall of 2017 – the need for a regional transportation system, the lack of youth voice on decisions that affect their lives, perceived economic barriers, substance use among family and friends and the need for more support structures for mental wellness.

At 11:00 am, RBC Future Launch sponsors a free Your Brand Matters Workshop for youth where they will learn the essentials of what makes a great personal brand, first impression, professional presence, and elevator pitch. Youth can pre-register by visiting the Foundation’s website – lunch is provided for participants, seating is limited.

Erin Bury takes the podium at 1:00 pm where she will talk to youth about entrepreneurship and preparedness for a changing work climate. Following her keynote, Erin will moderate a panel of young adults who will discuss entrepreneurship and business opportunities in Grey Bruce.  The panel includes: Carlene Keeshig councillor from Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation; Brandon Koebel, municipal councillor, Hanover; Drew McIver of Emerald Grasslands, Thornbury; Charlee Roy of Nakd Basics, Owen Sound; and Emily Morrison, Executive Director of Launch Pad Youth Activity and Technology Centre, Hanover.  The panel will run from 2 to 3:30 pm with time to follow for refreshments and networking.   This portion of the afternoon is open to everyone – to register for the workshop or the afternoon panel visit

RBC Future Launch is the generous presenting sponsor of the day’s activities.  The Foundation also acknowledges the support of community partners including BDO, Grey County and the Grey County Business Enterprise Centre, the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay and media partners Integra Design Group, Bayshore Broadcasting and Grey Bruce Boomers.

Community Innovation Day

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
11:30am – 4:00pm
Cranberry Golf Resort

Community Innovation Day brought together local community leaders to collaborate and explore innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities in Southern Georgian Bay. The event was designed to harness the power of local talent to grow social and economic prosperity while making us the smartest, greenest, healthiest and most caring region in Ontario.