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October 18, 2004

2004 October

WITA Minutes of Meeting held 19 Oct 04, 7:00 pm at the United Church Hall

Executive: President: Jim Calvin;
Vice-President: Cindy Day
Secretary: Elise Huffman;
Treasurer: Linda Thomas
Directors: David Colburn, Liz Crothers,
Carol Doyle

Members: Pat Sanford, Chris Angenent, Brian
MacDonald, Linda Van Hal, Frank Balint, Cathie Harroun, Beth Caldwell,
Tom St. Laurent, Jarda Zborovsky,
Maureen Lollar, Nancy Steele,
Nan & Paul Monroe

Guests: Anne Prichard,
Anne Marie Harbec,
Rev Chris Carr

Call to Order: Jim opened the meeting at 7:08 pm

1. Presidentís Remarks

Jim welcomed our guests, thanked them for coming to the meeting and looked forward to their presentations. He congratulated the Fundraising Committee members on another successful book sale. A reminder to all members that the Annual General Meeting will be held 16 Nov 04. The Nominating Committee of Pat Sanford and Brian MacDonald were still out seeking quality individuals to assume the high powered positions of the board and anyone interested are asked to give their names to Pat or Brian.

2. Minutes

Elise sincerely apologized for not having the minutes from the Sep meeting distributed as they have been misplaced. An all out search is being conducted at this time. The approval of Sep and Oct minutes will be sought at the AGM in Nov.

Secretarial note: The missing minutes have been located and will be distributed soon. Note, clean out the trunk of the car before you put it away for the winter!

3. Treasurerís Report

Linda reported that the bank balance was approximately $27,000.00 of which about $4,000.00 was earmarked for the Classic Road Race next year. A few bills had not yet cleared so the working balance was closer to $21,000.00. Linda was working on having the annual audit done in the next few weeks.

Secretarial note: A copy of the treasurerís report is attached to these minutes.

4. Guest Speakers

Jim welcomed Anne Marie Harbec, from KEDCO, the Kingston Economic Development Corporation to speak about the 1000 Islands and St Lawrence Marketing Partnership and the Ontario Premier Ranked Tourism Destination Project. He also welcomed back Anne Prichard, Executive Director of the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation who will give an update on the CFDC initiatives.

4.1 1000 Island and St. Lawrence Marketing Partnership:

Anne Marie is involved with visitor services, consumer marketing, travel media and international travel trade. Her work is a joint effort as KEDCO works with local partners to develop strategies and programs to build tourism in the region. She noted that visitors donít see political boundaries, so they try to deliver information on things to do in the entire area not just Kingston. The Tourism Advisory Committee advises on initiatives, services, activities and strategies on where to advertise etc. They produce publications and conduct business training/information seminars:

(a) Group Tour Marketing Brochure:

This is a partner-based publication and is distributed on behalf of the 220 partners at domestic, national (Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto) and international meetings and conferences markets, travel trade markets, tour operator shows and media shows. Anne Marie attends these meetings to also interest the various travel writers to visit and write about the region.

(b) Tourism Partner Programs:

Are conducted for front line tourism businesses as well as those businesses related to tourism to familiarize them with the area and activities. A manual accompanies a half-day training session at $30.00 per person in the spring and fall. Included in the manual are admission tickets to the various local attractions. A variety of brochures, pins, postcards, and CDís that showcase the region are produced and available to all members of KEDCO.

Anne Marie also spoke about the 1000 Island and St. Lawrence Marketing Partnership. This group is a committee of tourism Destination Marketing Organizations within the 1000 Island-St. Lawrence Seaway corridor who realized there were benefits to bi-national, Canada/USA, partnering. The objectives of this project are to increase the visits to the corridor in a cost-effective way, raise awareness of the corridor as a viable travel destination, to increase the market reach and penetration of key markets, ie Montreal and Toronto, and to coordinate sales and promotion efforts by working together. Currently they have a 4-6 page ad in the Ontario Travel Guide, consisting of a generic spread of information and then individual businesses get a better rate to advertise their specific business. The Guide is distributed to 160,000 people and a 1/6 page ad costs $2500.00. There is also an opportunity to sell ad space to other businesses that are not partners. They also purchase a full 2-page ad in a national newspaper twice a year. Again the banner information is supplied by them and the remainder of the page is sold to other businesses at a reduced rate.

Anne Marie noted that the internet is more actively used for information and planning and web presence is critical for tourism businesses. Research has supplied a surprise in that Kingston is considered a getaway spot for adults with older children versus young families. A question was raised about financial aid to small communities. It was noted that Prince Edward County had become a partner and applied for funding from OMFRA, as well the OSTAR grants are now available to support small communities in partnership with larger ones.

Other Kingston initiatives that they would like to see Wolfe Island participate in, include the Kingston Visitors Guide, Scuba Diving book, lure brochures (precursors to the Guide that that talk about the community and living in this region), history of the Kingston area CD and video.

4.2 Ontario Premier Ranked Destination Project:

In general, this is an inventory program initiated by the provincial government Ministry of Tourism and involves regional areas versus small communities. It looks at the natural travel patterns of the area. A local consultant has been hired to begin the 18 month project to do the inventory of what attractions this region offers. The 1000 Islands from Kingston to Cornwall is currently being inventoried and Wolfe Island is invited to be included. Based on the research done in this project, a strategic plan and a marketing plan will be developed. Once a region receives a designation it can apply for funding based on the research done for the inventory and the reality of the needs of the region. The 1000 Islands Marketing Group are the lead organization in this project, this is one of their identified initiatives and is included in the 2005 budget. Anne Marie asked that WIBTA inform her of their interest to participate in this project by mid December. Secretarial note: Copies the 2004 KEDCO Tourism Initiatives Guide, Tourism Professional Program 2004 sample manual and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp. Destination Marketing Partnership Fund are available upon request.

4.3 Frontenac CFDC:

Anne announced that the FCFDC website was very close to completion. The site will provide local businesses and organizations an opportunity to promote their activities, services, upcoming community events free of charge. It will also provide information on business and commercial financing services, professional development training and education for members of the community, businesses and entrepreneurs. Links for business start-up, financing, marketing information and government contacts are a few of the other highlights on the site. It will also outline the various initiatives being undertaken in Frontenac County and provide information about the CFDC. The graphic design of the site was done by Lisa DeAngelis of Creative Resources, Wolfe Island. Secretarial note: The website has been launched and may be viewed at . They will be creating a comprehensive on-line directory of local businesses and ask those businesses that wish to participate and promote their business free of charge to go to the site and complete the survey. For anyone who wishes to obtain a copy of the survey, call the FCFDC at 613 372-1414 extension 203.

The Economic Development Fund applications are currently being reviewed and those organizations, including WIBTA who are to receive funding will be announced shortly. A second round of applications will be conducted once the funding amounts from the government have been confirmed. This will allow more public participation. Anne mentioned that loans are also available for small businesses to help deal with the new provincial water regulations.

Anne also thanked Cindy Day for her time on the FCFDC board and welcomed Liz Crothers as one of the newest board members. Greg Caldwell continues as a board member so Wolfe Island is well represented. Secretarial note: An article on the new FCFDC board is attached to these minutes. Jim then spoke about the transition the organization has been undergoing and the financial situation today being very different from what it was 2-3 years ago. WIBTA has conducted its own marketing independently and carefully monitored its expenses. Partnering with another group is a fairly new concept and needs to be considered by the membership to determine whether there are any additional benefits to the added costs.

5. Photo Contest

David reported that 69 photos had been entered and about 60 people attending the viewing before the judging took place. Jack Chaing was also at the viewing and spoke about the need to highlight what was specific to Wolfe Island in the photos being submitted. The posters of the winning photos went up in the stores immediately after the selections were announced! Congratulations for another successful showing!

Maureen suggested that thank you notes be forwarded to both Jack Chaing and Don Sleeth for their continued support of the contest.

Jim asked about adding a community spirit category to cover events on the Island. Maureen noted that it had been considered over the years and one of the difficulties was getting model release forms from any person included in a photo.

David also reported on the Frontenac County photo contest. The county had asked WIBTA to make a cash donation of $125.00 to the contest in order to provide prizes. The members attending discussed the donation and noted that our own contest does not receive funding from the organization. It was decided that WIBTA would not take the opportunity to donate to the county contest.

6. Fundraising Committee

Jim congratulated the committee on another successful book sale. Liz reported that approximately $1600.00 was raised between the two sales. It was suggested that if there were any volunteers interested, the books could be sold during the Bizarre Bazaar sale. Linda Thomas was available for Saturday, Elise would check to see if the "girls" would be available for Sunday.

7. New Business

7.1. WCNY forwarded an invitation to participate in their annual Travel Auction to be aired on consecutive nights from 12-15 Jan 05. We would need to donate a getaway package for 2 nights to include accommodation, meal certificates and an event/activity, for a minimum value of $200.00. WIBTA would have a live TV promotional spot showcasing material we provide, ie brochures, photos etc., a hyperlink from their website, and an ad in their monthly member magazine. Jim agreed to coordinate the events, Cathie Harroun would seek out the accommodation.

7.2. Cindy noted that the October 2004 issue of the Spotlight on Business newspaper included a number of Wolfe Island and WIBTA articles. There were articles written about the Corn Maze, the Bizarre Bazaar and a full page entitled "Looking for a Fall Weekend Destination?". This included a general message about the Island along with a number of business cards from members. Members were reminded that they may submit articles directly to the Spotlight, it is mailed directly to all Island residents as well as 14,000 households in the region.

Secretarial note: Copies of the articles are attached to these minutes.

7.3. Elise noted that WIBTA contact information had been updated in the 1000 Islands International Travel Guide for 2005. This guide is produced by the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council of Alexandria Bay. They also invite us to place ads in the magazine and it may be a consideration for the future.

7.4. Cindy agreed to represent WIBTA at the volunteer appreciation luncheon. The date was yet to be confirmed, but Brownís Bay Inn had agreed to host a "High Tea". Invitations will be mailed to the volunteers in the next few days.

7.5. St Lawrence View Nurseries will be holding its Christmas Open House on Sat and Sun 27-28 Nov 04. Get ready for the holiday season!

7.6. Welcome to our newest members Nan and Paul Monroe and Rev Chris Carr.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm.