Weekly Activity Reports - May 2014

May 30, 2014

  • On Wednesday, a member of the SSMEDC Corporate team attended a training seminar on Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL). Set to take effect on July 1, the legislation has guidelines around the sending of emails and other electronic messages. The goal of the event was to provide people and organizations with an overview of the upcoming law and best practices to ensure compliance. The SSMEDC team will receive a summary report in the coming days. Hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce at the Delta Waterfront Inn, the seminar was delivered by a lawyer and legal student from Wishart Law Firm.
  • From May 29 to 31, Sault Ste. Marie is hosting the Canadian National Bowling Championships. The event is attracting bowlers, their parents and fans from across the country. Taking place at Northcrest Lanes, the championship was planned by a local organizing committee. The SSMEDC's Tourism Sault Ste. Marie division, which works to draw visitors to the community, provided some assistance to the organizers during the planning stages.
  • On June 4, Mill Market is hosting a soft launch of its regional Farmer's Market. Located on the waterfront at the old fish hatchery building on Canal Drive, the ribbon cutting ceremony will feature City officials, community supporters and the market's 25+ vendors. The project is being initiated by Blueforest Ventures, the owners of the former St. Marys Paper site. The company is working on a number of components for the land and nearby area, one of which is the Farmer's Market. The SSMEDC has been working with Blueforest Ventures since the company purchased the waterfront property in 2013.
  • Earlier this week, a member of the SSMEDC business team travelled to Elliot Lake. While there, he provided consultations to seven entrepreneurs and delivered a training seminar to a dozen or so people. A few weeks prior, similar activity was done in Blind River. With part of its funding coming from the Province of Ontario, the SSMEDC is mandated to service the Algoma District and Chapleau. As such, several training-related visits are made to various communities throughout the region each year, though the vast majority of the SSMEDC's business support activity is focused exclusively on Sault Ste. Marie.

May 23, 2014

  • These past few weeks, the SSMEDC's Business team has been in contact with two major manufacturing companies - one based in the U.S., the other from Europe. Both firms are looking to set up an operation in Canada. Given our strategic location at the heart of the Great Lakes and on the American border, along with other competitive advantages, Sault Ste. Marie is a candidate for being the host city. Both projects are still in the early stages.
  • From the people that brought you Naturallia 2013. The SSMEDC has again partnered with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre to organize an international symposium. This time, it's the Energy Opportunities Conference, taking place Nov. 4 to 6 at Algoma's Water Tower Inn & Suites. For the past several weeks, planning has been taking place, and it will continue for the next five months. At the event, industry professionals from the global energy sector will convene to learn and collaborate on energy Initiatives in Northern Ontario. The project is being led by the Innovation Centre, and a number of community groups are providing assistance in planning and hosting roles.
  • Earlier this week, the SSMEDC was represented at an information session on the Municipality's upcoming Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Hosted by the City's Community Services Department, the event was held to inform and generate feedback from various community groups with an interest in local parks and recreation. As the SSMEDC's Tourism Sault Ste. Marie branch relies on the City's recreation facilities to host major sporting events, the division is looking forward to providing feedback to the Master Plan.
  • On Tuesday, three summer students began working at the SSMEDC. Along with special assignments and general support functions, the students' main activity is updating the local Business Directory. In partnership with the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, the SSMEDC publishes the report each year in both digital and hard copy form. The Directory lists virtually every business in town, along with their staffing levels, sector and other information. Updating the database requires contacting every business in the community.

May 16, 2014

  • Last week, the SSMEDC's Tourism Sault Ste. Marie division hosted a showcase event in Toronto. The goal was to promote the Sault as a solid destination for sports tournaments, meetings and conventions. The event attracted more than 170 tourism-related organizations from across the country, including Hockey Canada and Canadian Curling Association. Many solid leads were generated, which should translate into more major events happening here in the years to come. To help promote Sault Ste. Marie, local curling superstars Team Jacobs, along with local Paralympic skiing champion Mac Marcoux, attended and spoke at the Toronto event. Tourism Sault Ste. Marie also partnered with Porter Airlines to host the showcase.
  • The SSMEDC has partnered with Startup Sault to offer a five-day training session from the Canadian Entrepreneurship Institute via live stream in Sault Ste. Marie. More than 25 sessions will be streamed live from Ottawa from May 26 to 30. Catering to current and aspiring entrepreneurs, the sessions will feature keynote lectures by world-leading innovators, entrepreneurs, educators and policy makers. Attendees will gain the knowledge, tools and network necessary to make a meaningful impact in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship in the Sault. For more information, visit www.startupsault.ca.
  • Earlier this week, Ian McMillan, Executive Director of the SSMEDC's Tourism division, presented an update to City Council. Among the highlights of the presentation was that Tourism Sault Ste. Marie activity between 2008 and 2013 led to 369 events being held here, which drew $31.6 million in direct visitor spending. During that same period, the division sold 41,740 vacation packages, which led to $10.4 million in direct visitor spending. These amounts don't include the millions of dollars in indirect spending and spin-off economic impact that came with this activity.
  • The deadline to register for Summer Company is fast approaching. The youth entrepreneurship program provides students with $3,000 grants to start their own seasonal business. With limited space, applications must be submitted by Friday, May 23. Summer Company is administered in the region by the SSMEDC. Its goal is to teach youth the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. Regional spaces in the program are filling up fast, and anyone interested in the program is encouraged to sign up soon. For more information, visit www.ontario.ca/summercompany.

May 9, 2014

  • A planned waterfront attraction on the former St. Marys Paper site is now one step closer to reality. Sudbury-based Science North Enterprises, along with the architectural firm Yallowega Belanger, has been hired to assist in the advancement of Destination North. The development specialists will work with stakeholders, including the new owners of the property (Riversedge) and the SSMEDC, to help plan the next steps for the project. Destination North is set to repurpose the historic Pulp Tower at St. Marys into a cultural, educational and recreational attraction.
  • Earlier this week, the community hosted the 54th annual conference of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) and Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH). The event, which attracted several hundred delegates from across the province, injected about $250,000 of direct visitor spending into the local economy. The conference was secured by the Clerks Department of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, in partnership with the SSMEDC's Tourism Sault Ste. Marie division.
  • This week, the first batch of Starter Company participants began their business training regimen. The new program, funded by the Province, provides mentoring, education and possible funding for individuals to start their own business. Starter Company, which is open to any current or aspiring entrepreneur who is not returning to school, is administered in the Sault Ste. Marie area by the SSMEDC.
  • The SSMEDC is currently looking to fill vacancies on its Board of Directors. The volunteer body, which provides strategic direction to the Corporation, is comprised of representatives from the Sault's public, private and non-profit sectors. If you know anyone who might be interested in serving on the Board, please contact Debbie LaFleur at 705-759-5463 or d.lafleur@ssmedc.ca.