This January, Help Make Our Region the Smartest, Healthiest, Greenest and Most Caring!

The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay > News/Newsletters > Newsletter > This January, Help Make Our Region the Smartest, Healthiest, Greenest and Most Caring!

In this December newsletter, you will find more details about your invitation to participate in the January 9 Community Innovation Day, as well as an announcement of two new Board members and the new leadership team for the Institute.

We wish you the very best for this holiday season and look forward to seeing you on January 9!

Community Innovation Day

You’re invited to look ahead to 2018 and mark January 9 on your calendar to participate in the Community Innovation Day at Cranberry Resort, 11:30am to 4pm.

Leaders of community organizations, business, and government, as well as interested and concerned residents are invited to participate and help build a community action plan to address important challenges and opportunities, as a community. The content developed will align with the Institute’s pillars and vision for the region: Arts, Culture, and Entertainment; Social Justice; Environment; and Business and Entrepreneurship, as well as some cross-cutting themes.

We are grateful for the support of Collingwood-based OneSmartWorld, who are donating their facilitation of the day, as well as online individual development and team-building toolkit to accelerate collaboration and produce results. Their RIP It – Rapid Innovation Program – is used with a wide variety of businesses, educational institutions, governments, and not-for-profit organizations across Canada, the US and Europe to develop people and accelerate collaborative results.

Please join us on January 9th to discuss seven exciting initiatives, in collaboration with several organizations across Southern Georgian Bay. The initiatives include:

  • Arts & Culture: Chautauqua of the North
  • Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation in South Georgian Bay
  • Poverty Reduction Strategies – Simcoe County Circles program
  • Environment: Bringing the WaterDocs Festival to our Region
  • Developing a Health & Wellness Innovation Network
  • Community Hubs: Partnerships & Connections
  • Increasing the Impact of Volunteerism

1. Arts and Culture: Chautauqua of the North
Arts and Culture are the fabric and soul of societies and communities. Not only do they enhance the quality of our lives, they can also: strengthen cultural values and preserve heritage/history, build community and sense of place, and enhance engagement, participation, and economic vitality.

There are already some great arts, culture, dining, and entertainment success stories here such as Blue Mountain Village, the Apple Pie Trail, Feast in the Forest, Dining & the Arts, Theatre Collingwood, Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, Mad & Noisy Gallery, Meaford Hall & Cultural Centre, Clarksburg/Thornbury art galleries, 65 Simcoe Street, the Marsh Street Centre, and the Georgian Bay Music Foundation. Now is the time to map out stakeholders, identify opportunities for collaboration, and develop an overall strategy to benefit initiatives in our region.

2. Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation in South Georgian Bay
Entrepreneurship has been a key driver of business, employment and economic growth. The number of entrepreneurs has had a hockey stick uptick in the last 5 years and the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) has tracked the ascension of the region from 7th, to 3rd to first place in Canada as the most entrepreneurial area.

Business leaders from across the country are increasingly looking at Southern Georgian Bay as a place to marry their desire for a balanced, outdoor, active lifestyle, with their professional ambitions. But there are some major challenges that are becoming evident and could prevent the region from becoming a new ‘magnetic’ area for the 21st century knowledge economy.

Participate in this conversation about the idea of a “Living Lab” for innovation to support scaling new businesses, tackling integrated issues, and creating collaborative “centres of excellence”.

3. Poverty Reduction Strategies – Simcoe County Circles program
The goal of Circles: We believe no one should live in poverty. Families and communities can take charge of their destinies. And if given the right tools and support, economic stability can be achieved. Through an approach that combines strategies and services along with the individualized support of dedicated staff, volunteers and the resources of organizations and communities, we can create an environment that educates, empowers and equips our community members to move up and out of poverty successfully.

4. Environment: Bringing the WaterDocs Festival to our Region
YOU care about the environment and are passionate about the dangers facing water, locally and globally. Now you can share your love of film and passion for water by hosting a mini Water Docs Where-You-Live Film Festival right in your own community.
Launched in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary, the Water Docs Where-You-Live Community Screenings program is a community-based cultural and environmental initiative that co-presents water-themed films in towns and urban neighbourhoods throughout Ontario to showcase great documentaries and to engage participants in discussions which celebrate and reflect on the connection between Ontario’s waterways and its peoples.
Water Docs Where-You-Live is an initiative of Ecologos, a not-for-profit, charitable organization dedicated to protecting water. By using documentary storytelling and experiential learning, we aim to revive a sense of reverence for water, address threats that concern water, and stir action to protect water in communities across Ontario.
Partner with Ecologos and choose from a number of films screened at the annual Water Docs Film Festival in Toronto to promote a more sustainable world for generations to come. Water YOU Doing?

5. Developing a Health & Wellness Innovation Network
Southern Georgian Bay’s natural beauty, recreational pursuits and related active lifestyle, and opportunities for employment particularly for service industries and entrepreneurs, have and will, at least for the next decade, fuel significant economic and population growth. During this decade, the delivery of health care in Southern Georgian Bay will undergo significant change.

Southern Georgian Bay communities will assume more active partnerships with the hospital and healthcare professionals to help promote Wellness – intervening to keep all generations healthier, out of both the hospital and the institutional healthcare system. Active life styles will help, but the increasingly pervasive availability of digital information will provide the knowledge for all to better manage personal health. Although many initiatives exist to further this idea, what is missing is a network of Southern Georgian Bay innovators working collectively to ensure that the shared goal of improving health of its people is met.

6. Community Hubs: Partnerships and Connections
Community hubs most commonly operate out of buildings, from which multi-purpose, community-led services are delivered. These hubs often host other partners and access to public services and these co-location approaches are an efficient and effective use of resources. The range of services reflect local need, and may be delivered by local people, other organizations, or public agencies.

The Rotary Club of Collingwood is developing a Community Hub in the century-old “Saunders Building” at the corner of Campbell and High Street. The Hub’s purpose is to be a connection place where community collaboration will flourish by offering space for services and activities that connect people and provide opportunities to establish relationships through common interests. The Hub will offer community rooms and outdoor green space where gatherings can be held for things like workshops, club meetings, hobby groups, food and garden projects, and socials such as group picnics.

The Hub will be designed as a welcoming community space for all people (regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, socioeconomic status or other socially determined circumstance). The Hub will serve as an access point for community, social, health and government information, as well as a place to get connected to volunteer opportunities – Get help, Give help. The Hub will be a catalyst to connect organizations, creating opportunities to work together on broader community issues. Be a part of developing this initiative!

7. Increasing the Impact of Volunteerism
Strong volunteerism will engage and connect residents to each other, cultivating relationships and increasing our community’s capacity to care for one another. Strong volunteerism will strengthen our community’s ability to effect community change and improve community well-being beyond the influence of any one individual or organization.

Community Connection, an emerging community volunteer centre believes the following social action ideas will transform volunteerism in Southern Georgian Bay:

Consolidating information about community volunteer opportunities will make it easier for people to connect with organizations offering opportunities of interest, and support organizations and groups that need volunteers through highly visible common access points.

Developing a robust volunteer training and education program that aligns learning activities to community needs will equip volunteers with new skills that can be deployed for a positive impact on the community.Volunteers will gain knowledge and experience to enhance employment opportunities, improve interpersonal skills, job skills and create new social networks.

Unifying volunteer screening, and credentialing individuals with a community Volunteer Passport will enable people to volunteer with multiple organizations without duplicate screening.A Volunteer Passport will make it simple for people to try new volunteer experiences and will deepen their engagement within the community.
Please join the Institute and all its partners on January 9 to:

Learn new collaborative techniques to leverage impact.
Choose initiatives aligned with your interests and help to develop 12-month road maps.
Identify potential partners and build a budget for the investment of seed funding.
Space is limited, bring a friend and register here:!

The Institute would like to acknowledge the following partners: One Smart World, Cranberry Resort, Community Connection, Rotary Club of Collingwood and Ecologos.

Board of Directors
We’re pleased to announce new Board members*, executive slate, and director-at-large:

President – Rosalyn Morrison
Vice President – Dave Hearn*
Vice President – Chris Keleher*
Secretary – Larry Hogarth
Treasurer – Frank Tilley
Past President – Don May
Director-at-large – David Green

We welcome Dave Hearn and Chris Keleher as new Board members, thank David Green for his work as the founding Vice President, and thank Don May for all his work as Founding President and Jeff Shearer and Joan Pajunen for their valuable input as founding members.