Sioux Lookout’s Chamber of Commerce Summer in Review - It takes two… the Chamber & you!
Kelsey Raynard - Travel Information Centre Manager and Chamber of Commerce Assistant
The summer of 2018 has been a busy, wonderful and rewarding season for the Chamber of Commerce. With three full-time staff working at the Travel Information Centre, we were able to host a number of events throughout the summer for community members of all ages.
We started the summer off with the sixth annual Outdoor Show at Sioux Lookout’s Golf & Curling Club. In partnership with Sioux Lookout’s Anglers and Hunters, we were able to showcase some of the amazing businesses and community organizations who support/facilitate the outdoor activities (such as fishing, hunting, off-roading, trapping, and exploring) which make Sioux Lookout great.
May 25th marked the beginning of our Farmers’ Market season. This year, hundreds of community members visited each market to support over 38 local and regional vendors. Through these markets, the Chamber of Commerce is proud to support our local farmers/artists/craftspeople while promoting local, sustainable, and healthy food options for our community. There are three Farmers’ Markets left for the year (August 31, September 14 & September 28), so make sure to stop by and be a part of the vibrant and growing community which makes our markets great!
The Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by Giant Tiger, was also happy to host two Friday Fun Days this summer. Running on July 27th and August 24th, these Friday Fun Days allowed kids ages 10 and under to enjoy a variety of themed crafts, games, water play, snacks and prizes. We were happy to see so many smiling faces and to encourage our kids to get outside, get messy, and have fun!
The Blueberry Festival is always a wonderfully-frantic time for Sioux Lookout’s Chamber of Commerce. During this year’s festival, we were happy to host three highly-popular and successful events: the Opening Ceremonies Farmers’ Market, an Epic Car Scavenger Hunt, and the 36th annual Home, Trade & Craft Show. As the biggest market of the year, this year’s Opening Ceremonies Farmers’ Market was a huge success (we had almost 1000 door prize ballots entered!). On Saturday August 4th, 34 teams dressed up as superheroes and dashed across Sioux Lookout to try and complete as many tasks as they could in a two-hour time period; if you saw any superheroes jumping off town dock fully-clothed, now you know why! Our last big event of the summer was the 36th annual Home, Trade & Craft Show. With 46 vendors and almost 1500 guests, this year’s Trade Show proved yet again why it is one of the longest-running Blueberry Festival events and the longest-running Trade Show in Northern Ontario!
Of course, none of these events would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of many, many people. The Chamber of Commerce Board of Executives tirelessly volunteers their own time to help plan, organize and run all of these events; their continued dedication to this community is what makes these events run year after year! We have also had the support of various community groups who have volunteered their time to help us; THANK YOU to the Calvary Baptist Church, to the Stewardship Youth Ranger Program, to various students from Queen Elizabeth District High School, and to every other individual who helped us throughout the busy summer season. Events such as these inspire us and remind us why it is a privilege to live in such a tight-knit community full of dedicated & hard-working volunteers and community members.
All of these community events not only help to fund future Chamber events/initiatives, but they also provide funding to keep our Travel Information Centre operational year-round. Welcoming over 1000 visitors to Sioux Lookout in the summer months alone, the Travel Information Centre distributes important information about our community to residents and non-residents alike. Since its production, the Chamber of Commerce and Travel Information Centre staff have mailed out over 5000 copies of Northern Experience magazine. We are also happy to promote the Master Angler fishing program here, which draws in anglers from far and wide! The Chamber of Commerce has also been working hard behind-the-scenes with business advocacy work, tourism promotion, and community outreach. Many of the Chamber Board members sit on municipal committees, such as the Economic Development Commission, The Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival Committee and the Walleye Weekend Committee. We are proud to be active members of our community and strive to be the voice of business in Sioux Lookout.
Whether you are an individual, a community organization, or a local business, the Chamber of Commerce has many ways in which you can become involved in our community. Please contact Kelsey at 737-1937 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how YOU can get involved with events such as these, become a Chamber member, or sit on one of our committees & boards. On behalf of Sioux Lookout’s Chamber of Commerce, we hope you had a wonderful and safe summer; stay tuned for more exciting events happening this fall!