Important Announcements

RRFDC would like to hear from you. If you have an event, announcement or story that you would like to share on our blog, please contact the office at 807-274-3276 or send an email to


Monday, November 19, 2012

Upcoming Community Events

“Hope & the City”—billed as a fun, flirty, and fabulous event to benefit women’s cancer research—is planned for Friday, November 23 at 6 p.m. at La Place Rendezvous.  Tickets cost $35 each, which are available at the Rendezvous, Fort Floral and Bombshell.

An introduction to prospecting workshop is slated for Friday, November 23 from 6-9 pm, Saturday, November 24 from 9-4 pm and Sunday, November 25 from 9-4 pm at Confederation College (Fort Frances).  The cost is $125 (materials incl.)  For more information, contact program officer Kathy Egan at 274-5395 ext. 4804 or email

A craft and bake sale will be held Saturday, November 24 from 1-4 pm at Rainycrest.  There also will be free popcorn and apple cider, as well as a penny table.

The 55th Annual Christmas “Parade of Lights” going from the Memorial Sports Centre parking lot to Mowat Avenue, via Scott Street, is slated for Saturday, November 24.  Parade lineup will start at 3 pm, with it getting underway by 430 pm.  The theme this year is “A Christmas Story”.  To pre-register a float or to volunteer, contact Causeway Insurance (274-6688) or the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce (274-5773).

Yuk Yuk’s Stand-Up Comedy Tour, featuring Ian Sirota and Graham Critterden, is coming to the Townshend Theatre on Saturday, November 24 at 7:30 pm.  Tickets cost $25 each, which are available at Fort Frances General Supply, International Travel Services, and the Super 8 Motel.

The “Spirit of Christmas” featuring a silent auction, coffee/dainties, and draws/door prizes, returns Sunday, November 25 from 2-6pm at La Place Rendezvous.  Admission is a toonie, with proceeds going toward the new digital mammography unit.  To donate an item and for pick-up, call Liz Clark (274-5839), Linda Hamilton (274-8782), Jan Gustafson (274-6482), or Diane McManaman (274-6196) or drop it off at Tichborne’s.

How to Start a Small Business, a free seminar offered by the Rainy River Future Development Corp., is set for Thursday, December 6 at 2 pm, at the RRFDC office (608 Scott Street). For more information or to register, call 274-3276.

If you have an event that you would like to be posted on this blog, please call the RRFDC 274-3276 or email us at

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November Video Conferencing Schedule

November Training:

November 8 10-12pm
The Basics of Exporting

November 8 1-3pm
Cash Flow is King - Cash Flow & Financial Ratios

November 15 10-12pm
Starting a Home Based Business

November 15 1-4pm
Your Business Plan - The Home Stretch: Operations & Financial Summary

November 16 1-2pm
Late Lunch Show:A Freelancer's Guide to Social Media (for Artist Entrepreneurs)

November 21 1-2pm
Selling Your Product or Service to the Gov't of Canada

November 27 10-12 pm
What's New in Social Media

November 28 10-12pm
Pay Per Click Advertising

November 28 1-5pm
Writing Clear Job Descriptions

November 29 10-12 pm
Developing Proposals

All seminars are $5 each.  Call 807.274.3276 to register.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rainy River Federation of Agriculture...
Annual Fall Dinner Meeting

Topic: Local Food Act

Guest Speaker: Debra Pretty-Straathof, Vice-President of Ontario Federation of Agriculture

November 2, 2012 - Emo Legion
Social Hour 6-7 p.m.
Dinner at 7 p.m.
Meeting at 8 p.m.

Tickets $18.00 Available from RRFA Directors
Linda Armstrong   852-3645
Lisa Teeple   487-2340
Kristine Carpenter   488-5510
Angela Halvorsen   274-3276
Bernie Zimmerman   487-1278

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Great Canadian Chili Cook Off

The Great Canadian Chili Cook Off will take place at the Royal Canadian Legion in Fort Frances on Wednesday, October 24th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Cakes and Chefs wanted !!!  

Call the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce office at 274-5773 for more information.

Gillon's Together We Can Fundraiser

Gillon's will donate $1 for every new LIKE and FOLLOWER on FACEBOOK from now until October 13th, to be donated to the "Together We Can Campaign" raising funds for a Digital Mammography unit here in the Rainy River District.  Click on this link to do so....

Fort Frances Chamber Grand Opening

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce will be having their Grand Opening on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 5 p.m. at their NEW location above the Northern Lights Credit Union.

The ribbon cutting will be taking place at 5:00 p.m. followed by Guest Speaker, Jessie Radies at 5:30 p.m.

Hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Hope to see you there!!!

Friday, September 07, 2012

New Video Seminars added to September

CMBSC has added 3 seminars to this month's Video Conferencing list:

September 26   
10 am to 1 pm   
CRA - Payroll Information 

September 26
1pm to 3 pm
Search Engine Part 1 - On Page Tactics

September 27    
10 am to 12 pm 
Search Engine Part 2 - Marketing Off Page Tactics

Each costs $5.00.
Call the office at 274-3276 to register.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Workshops for September 2012

Sept 6          10-12pm       Survey Design for Customer Research

Sept 12         10-1pm         Your Business Plan – Getting Started

Sept 19         1-2pm           Selling Your Product or Service
                                        to the Government of Canada

Sept 25         10-1pm         Your Business Plan, The Home Stretch
                                        Operations and Financial Summary

To sign up for any of these seminars, please call 807.274.3276 at least 24 hours before the start of the seminar. Seminars are $5.00 each.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

FF Chamber is moving....

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce is relocating its office to the second floor of the Northern Lights Credit Union building.

The opening date for the new location is September 1, 2012.  If you need to contact the Chamber in the meantime, you can do so at 807-274-5773 and leave a message as staff are in and out of the office during the course of moving to the new location.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Closed for Civic Holiday

RRFDC will be CLOSED for the Civic Holiday on Monday, August 6, 2012.
We will reopen for business on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship is running this weekend in Fort Frances. The schedule of events is listed below.
For more information about the event, you can visit the FFCBC website at

2012 Schedule of Events
Tentative Schedule

Friday July 27, 2012

5:00am to 7:00am Boats Launch & Depart from Sorting Gap Marina
7:00am Flight #1 Departs
7:05am Flight #2 Departs
7:10am Flight #3 Departs
7:15am Flight #4 Departs
7:20am Flight #5 Departs
12:00pm to 1:30am Bar & Food booths open
3:30pm Anglers Return/Day 2 Weigh-ins Start
4:30pm Tess' Kitchen Perogie & Meatball Dinner
9:00pm Local Band (Age of Majority)
10:30pm Local Band (Age of Majority)

Saturday July 28, 2012

5:00am to 7:00am Boats Launch & Depart from Sorting Gap Marina

7:00am Flight #1 Departs
7:10am Flight #2 Departs
7:30am Flight #3 Departs
12:00pm to 1:30am Bar & Food booths open
1:00pm Damian the Hypnotist family show (free)
3:00pm Anglers Return/Day 3 Weigh-ins start
5:00pm Top Ten Boat Parade
4:30pm to 7:30pm Kiwanis Steak Fry
7:00pm Angler Awards Presentations
9:00pm Local Bands (Age of Majority)
10:00pm Heart Tribute Band (Age of Majority)

Sunday July 29, 2012
9:00am Site Dismantling - Volunteers Needed
Monday July 30, 2012
9:00am Site Dismantling Continues - Volunteers Needed

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

August Workshops

(1st) 10:00 – 1:00 CRA – Small Business Tax Information 

(2nd) 1:00 – 3:00 The Basics of Exporting

(7th) 12:00 – 4:00 Marketing Essentials  (Day 1)

(8th) 12:00 – 4:00 Marketing Essentials  (Day 2)

(9th) 10:00 – 1:00 CRA – Payroll Information Seminar

(14th) 1:00 – 5:00 Performance Management

(15th) 10:00 – 12:00 Business Opportunities and Ideas – Choosing the Right One!

(16th) 10:00 – 12:00 Selling and Negotiating to Win

(21th) 1:00 – 3:00 Facebook for Business

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fort Frances Photo Blog

Fort Frances now has a Photo Blog. Click on the link below to visit and check out the wonderful pictures of Fort Frances.  Each photo has a brief description...  

If you would like to share your photos of Fort Frances... send them to the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce via email

Businesses for Sale...

1) Tent and Canopy Business for Sale......all tents and accessories new within 3 years......there are 4 20 X 20 and 1 35 X 40 tent......comes with many extra's.......Can be sold with tables and chairs as well.  There is a list of contracts that comes with the- business and a guarantee of passing along your name to anyone who calls for rentals.  Serious inquiries only please!!!  Contact  274-9673 or cell 276-1293  or email:
2) Wedding and Event Decorating and Rental Business for sale.  Will come with all necessary training to do the job.  Tons of inventory.  All current contacts and further bookings to be passed along to the new owner.  SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY 274-9673 or cell 276-1293 or email:

Business Women's Network Survey...

The Business Women's Network of the Rainy River District would like your opinion.  Please take a moment to answer the some questions.  Click on the link below to complete a survey:
By completing the survey, your name will be entered into a draw for a $25 gift certificate OR a free BWN membership ($60 value) - your choice. (Remember to add your contact information at the end of the survey... !!!)
Thank you in advance for your participation.

Quest for the Best - July 26th !!!

Jessica Whalen at Quest for the Best
Photo courtesy of FF Times
The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce and 93.1 The Border, in conjunction with the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, announce that Quest for the Best will held on July 26th, at 7:30 pm, in the Fort Frances Memorial Arena.

Both organizations are proud to provide a venue to showcase the best performers that the Rainy River District has to offer. The live music and song styling's of Quest participants are sure to provide an evening of entertainment that the entire family can enjoy.  And, back by popular demand, will the VIP section which will be bigger and better than ever!

Singers.... warm up your vocal cords, find a song to share, and get ready for Quest for the Best.

Tickets for this year's Quest are on sale now at the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce office or Canadian Tire.  Get yours now for only $15 each or a VIP table that seats 8 persons right up front, with drink service and snacks.  The cost for VIP seating is $180 per table.  To book your VIP table, call the Chamber office at 807.274.5773

For more information please contact Sarah Hallikas at the Chamber Office 807-274-5773 or email

See you at QUEST FOR THE BEST !!!

RRVAS Flea Market

The Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society will be holding a Flea Market on Sunday, July 15, 2012 from 1pm to 4pm at the Emo Grandstands.
The Fort Frances Public Library will be hosting the "Cool Science Caravan" at the Library in Fort Frances on July 26th, from 4-7 pm.  Admission is only $2.00 each, and all ages are welcome.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Video Conferencing Schedule for July 2012

(5th) 10:00 – 12:00 Starting a Home Based Business

(10th) 12:30 – 3:30 GST/HST Seminar – Rules and Information for Registrants

(12th) 1:00 – 4:00 Your Business Plan – Getting Started

(18th) 10:00 – 12:00 Pricing Through the Supply Chain

(24th) 1:00 – 3:00 Business Opportunities and Ideas – Choosing the Right One!

(26th) 1:00 – 4:00 Your Business Plan –  Operations &Financial Summary

(31st) 1:00 – 2:00 Selling Your Product or Service to Government of Canada

Please contact the office at 274-3276 to register.  Seminars are $5 each.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

RRFDC has Annual Meeting in Emo...

Geoff Gillon speaks to the membership about the
previous and upcoming activities of the RRFDC.

On Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 7 pm, the RRFDC held its Annual General Meeting at the Emo Legion.  Approximately 25 people attended this meeting, and Chairman George Emes welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the current Board of Directors, Committee Members, Staff and FedNor representative.

Pam Bryson, Community Economic Development Office for FedNor then said a few words about the RRFDC and all the hard work that they had achieved over the past few years.

George also gave special thanks to Freeda Carmody and Tara Rajala, who will not be returning this year, to the Board.  A gift of appreciation were given to both for their years of service with the Board.

Jeff Busniuk of Viherjoki, Busniuk and Kelly, the corporation’s auditor, presented a brief review of RRFDC’s Audited Financial Statements to the membership.

A report of the Nominating Committee was given, with seven names being brought forward as candidates for three, 3-year terms on the Board of Directors.  Of those seven names, the membership elected the following candidates: Jim Belluz, Deb Cornell, and George Emes.

The business part of the meeting was then followed by an “Overview of Activities” presentation by Geoff Gillon, the corporation’s Economic Developer.

The RRFDC wishes to thank all those who attended this year’s meeting.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Thank You from the 908 Rainy Lake Squadron

908 Rainy Lake Air Cadet Squadron wishes to thank all those who supported them at the 13th Annual Flyin BBQ on Sunday, June 3 at the Fort Frances Airport.

Special Thanks to: (we regret any omissions)

Click to Enlarge

"Thanks to everyone who supported us today!!!"

Our new year begins September 2012. Must be 12 years of age.
We meet every Wednesday evening at the Memorial Sports Centre at 6:45 p.m.

Winners of the draw were:
Roger Gerhard and Sylvia Dokuchie

Monday, June 04, 2012

Dragon Boat Festival

The 1st Annual Boundary Waters Dragon Boat Festival will be held at the Sorting Gap Marina in Fort Frances on Sunday, July 1st from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

For more information or how to register for this event, visit

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tribute to the Legends of Country Music...

The Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society presents

Tribute to the Legends of Country Music
Dolly, Patsy, Loretta, Kitty, Jeannie, Jim Reeves, Hank Williams Sr., 
Johnny Cash, Statler Bros., Willie Nelson, etc.

Performed by
Country Blend

Sunday, June 3, 2012
Emo Royal Canadian Legion

Show Time:  7:00 p.m.
Tickets:  $20.00

Tickets are available at Causeway Insurance (Fort Frances), 
Tompkins Hardware (Emo) , by calling the 
RRVAS Board Secretary at 482-2428  or at the door

Proceeds go to improvements on the Emo Fair Grounds

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

13th Annual Fly-In Drive-In BBQ

The 13th Annual Fly-in, Drive-in BBQ will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2012 from 10 am to 2pm at the Fort Frances Airport.

On display this year will be Homebuilts, Wheel Planes, RC Aircrafts,  and Amphib Planes.  There will also be an Antique Car Show sponsored by the International Early Iron Car Club.

This year's BBQ will be catered by the 908 Rainy Lake Air Cadets, and tickets will be available on site.

For more information about this year's event, please contact Bruce Caldwell at 807-274-3070.

Hope to see there!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

June Video Conferencing

(Click on photo to enlarge)
To register for any of these seminars, call the RRFDC office at 274-3276.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Home Show 2012

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce Annual Home & Leisure Show will be held this weekend at the Fort Frances Memorial Sports Centre.

Friday, May 11th ~ 4pm - 9pm
Saturday, May 12th ~ 9am - 4pm

The Strongman Competition will also be held at the event...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Video Conference Workshops for May

May 1 - Branding Basics                                      1-3 pm

May 2 - CRA Payroll Information Seminar          1-4 pm

May 9 - GST/HST Rules and Information            10:30 - 1:30 pm

May 10 - The Basics of Exporting                        1-3 pm

May 23 - Selling Your Product or Service
                to the Gov't of Canada                           1-2pm

The Rainy River District is 'Going Local'

(Excerpt taken from Sunset Country News, Spring 2012)

What is 'GoLocal'?
GoLocal is an alliance of local businesses and organizations banding together to compete with big box stores, outshopping, and internet shopping.  It is a similar concept to Sunset Country Travel Association with hopes for the same success as Sunset Country.  The ultimate goal of 'GoLocal' is to encourage the purchasing of goods and services from non-local to local businesses.

In the initial stages, the 'GoLocal' program will:

  1. Support the Brand of the Small Independent Retailer;
  2. Enhance the Distribution System for Locally Produced/Manufactured Products;
  3. Inspire Local People to Recognize the Value of 'Going Local'; and 
  4. Support a Value Added Tourism Experience.
Why 'GoLocal'?
  1. When we support locally-owned businesses, the money circulates three times longer in the local economy.
  2. With that money, locally owned businesses provide jobs.
  3. Local businesses support local non-profits and community events.
  4. Because they live here, and their livelihood depends on it, local businesses provide the best service and support.
  5. Local businesses reciprocate and send business your way.
  6. Buying local helps protect the planet because fewer products are shipped from far off places.
  7. Most importantly, local businesses provide our unique local flavour, character, and personality.
Contact Us: Rainy River Future Development Corp. at 807-274-3276 or email

Career Fair & Training Expo - May 24th

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Commercial Real Estate Info Session

Helping  you make an informed decision.  Purchasing or selling premises is often the biggest investment a company will ever make....

In a market where real estate comes with a high price tag, business owners should first exercies due diligence at every step of the acquisition.  So what makes a successful transaction?  In this session, you will learn about:

  • Getting your financing in order
  • Getting expert help with legal and tax issues
  • Environmental guidelings
In partnership with Pinchin Environmental, BDC presents:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
La Place Rendez-Vous Hotel
1201 Idylwild Drive, Fort Frances

Hot Breakfast will be provided.
Compliments of BDC & Pinchin Environmental.

RSVP by Friday, May 4, 2012
Space is Limited !!!   To reserve your seat, please contact:
Bev Green
Tel: 807 467-3525
Fax: 807 467-3533

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rainy Lake Hotel Meeting

The public will get a chance next week to comment on what should be done with the former Rainy Lake Hotel in Fort Frances. A committee has been meeting with a variety of groups

Consultant Tannis Drysdale says one of the more plausible ideas is a market square proposed by the Downtown Business Improvement Association.
The meeting takes place April 18th at the Fort Frances Legion.

News excerpt from CFOB news.
For more news information please visit:

Summer Company Program

The Northwest Business Centre is now accepting applications for the 'Summer Company' program.

Spokesperson Stefanie Armstrong says students between the ages of 15 and 29 are qualified to apply.

The application deadline is May 7.

News excerpt from CFOB news.
For more news information please visit:

Monday, April 02, 2012

April Video Conferencing Seminars

3            1:00 – 3:00            Time Management and Goal Setting
4            1:00 – 3:00            Selling and Negotiating to Win
5            1:00 – 3:00            Critical Elements of Customer Service
10          1:00 – 5:00            Interviewing Skills
11          1:00 – 3:00            Business Opportunities and Ideas – Choosing the Right One!
17           1:00 – 4:30            CBSA Customs Workshop
19          1:00 – 3:00            How to Get Media Exposure for Your Business
23          1:00 – 3:00            Through the Gallery Doors – The Business Side of Art NEW
24          1:00 – 4:00            CRA: Small Business Tax Information Workshop
26       10:00 – 12:00             Profit from Your Kitchen Creation NEW

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Signs Coming to Downtown Fort Frances

Excerpt from Fort Frances Times
By Duane Hicks, Staff writer

Photo courtesy of
Fort Frances Times
A Fort Frances Power Corp. crew has been busy this week taking down winter decorations from lampposts along Scott Street to make way for new banners purchased by the Downtown BIA.  Downtown BIA chair Connie Cuthbertson said yesterday that the new banners, which the BIA commissioned local artist Lindsay Hamilton to create, should be installed by the end of the month.

The banners have been cut from metal, and have a finish applied to them to give them colour and texture. 
“I am quite excited,” enthused Cuthbertson.  The images depicted on the banners range from cattails and mosquitoes to blackbirds, blue jays, and even a black bear up a tree.
“It’s like the flora and fauna of our region, depicting where it is we are from, and wave that flag, so to speak,” Cuthbertson remarked.
“We are proud of where we’re from,” she added. “We have so much here that we can offer outside people that we don’t even realize how lucky we are to be living where we are.

To read more of this article, click here:

Bonnie Blue set to change hands

Excerpt from Fort Frances Times
By Duane Hicks

The name "Bonnie Blue" won't be seen on Scott Street in the near future as the business will be changing hands as of March 31st.
Barb Stainke, who has operated the business since 1999, said it will be leased by Mike Schmid of Sunset Supplements.  And while it still will be a lottery and movie outlet, with possible expansion to other areas down the road, it will be under a new name.  
Stainke decided to leave the business because she would like to spend more time with her family, and has minor health problems that need to be dealt with.  She said she'll miss the day-to-day interaction with her customers.

To read more of this article, click here:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Volunteers Needed....

Annual Alzheimer Charitable Dinner

Annual Alzheimer Charitable Dinner
"Spring Reflections"
Saturday, March 24, 2012
La Place Rendezvous
6:00 pm Cocktails
6:30 pm Dinner

Dinner * Entertainment * Silent Auction
Tickets $65 or $520 (table of 8)
$35 charitable tax receipt

To purchase your tickets, please call 1.800.682.0245, order online at or at Northwoods Gallery

Help make a difference in the lives of those affected by Alzheimer's disease

***Alzheimer (Kenora/Rainy River Districts)***

Birdie & Company

Tracy Gibson presents:

Coming this April, a two-act comedy entitled "Birdie & Company".
A dinner theatre at La Place Rendezvous on April 19th, 20th, 21st.
Tickets will be on sale at La Place Rendezvous beginning March 20, 2012 and cost $40.00 each.

Monday, March 05, 2012

2012-2013 Memberships

The Board of Directors appreciates your interest in the future of the Rainy River District and the RRFDC.  Therefore, we are reminding you that your current membership will expire on
March 31st, 2012.

RRFDC memberships for 2012/2013 can be purchased from our office for $5.00, in person or by mail.

RRFDC will be holding its Annual General Meeting on
June 13, 2012 (watch for details coming soon). 
In order to vote at that meeting, you must be a paid member by June 3, 2012
(10 days prior to the meeting). 

There will be three (3) Board of Director positions open for election, and we will be looking for people interested in serving on our Committees.

RRFDC always welcomes new members.  If you know of anyone who may be interested in being a part of our membership, please feel free to pass this information on or have them contact the office.

If you have any questions, or would like a copy of the membership information package, please feel free to contact the office.

Rainy River Future Development Corporation
608 Scott Street, Fort Frances, Ontario P9A 1H6

Tel: (807) 274-3276
Fax: (807) 274-6989

Friday, March 02, 2012

Hire a Student

This summer consider hiring a student.  You can tap into a source of motivated, talented and energetic young people who are ready and willing to work, while at the same time; provide your business with extra help to get the job done.

The Provincial Government is investing in student employment in Northern Ontario through the Summer Jobs Service program delivered by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.  The Summer Jobs Service can help you by providing a $2.00 subsidy per hour incentive to hire young people.

You can receive funding of up to a maximum of 560 hours per position, for example, 35 hours per week for 16 weeks at $2.00 per hour.  Subsidized placements must not begin before April 1, 2012 and must not extend past September 30, 2012.  There is no minimum number of weeks.  Students must be between the ages of 15 and 30 upon commencement of employment.

We invite you to participate in the Summer Jobs Service initiative.  Application forms can be found on our website:

You can fill out the application online and submit it by e-mail.  You also have the option to print your completed application and submit it to your local Ministry of Northern Development and Mines office by fax, mail, or drop off.   Please submit your application before April 30, 2012.

If you would like a paper version of the application form, please contact the Northern Development Office nearest to you and one will be faxed or mailed.  If you require further information, please do not hesitate to call.  

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Workshops for March

1st      Common Business Mistakes        10-12 pm
          and How to Avoid Them
7th      Cash Flow is King                        1-3 pm
8th      Business Opportunities                1-3 pm
13th     Your Business Plan                     1-4 pm
          Getting Started

15th      Basics of Exporting                      1-3 pm 
21st     GST/HST Seminar                      12:30-3:30 pm
22nd    Developing Proposals                  1-3 pm
27th     Your Business Plan                     1-4 pm

Friday, February 24, 2012

Respect Campaign Launched

By Heather Latter, Staff writer
(Fort Frances Times Ltd.)

Several members of local businesses and organizations were on hand at Boston Pizza here last Thursday morning as the Celebrating Diversity Committee launched its “Respect” campaign to the public.

The presentation, entitled “Six Steps to a More Respectful Community,” aimed to help initiate conversations about diversity amongst the participants.

“It’s all about raising people’s awareness of the issues around diversity and the importance of respecting difference,” explained committee chair Trudy McCormick.

“Creating a respectful community is everyone’s responsibility,” she stressed.

McCormick continued by offering the six steps developed so that people can be more respectful members of the community in which we live and work. She added respect matters because respect has a real impact.

“Respect makes people feel valued, and will bring customers and clients back again and again,” she reasoned.

“First impressions can make all the difference.”

McCormick said respect also enables open communication.

“Dealing with—and resolving—respect issues makes for a safer, healthier work environment,” she explained.

“And if you do it respectfully, it will make difficult discussion easier,” she added, noting how simply changing a word can change the impact.

For example, McCormick might say, “Boy, have I had a crazy day.” But the word “crazy” can be offensive to some people, so perhaps if she said, “Boy, have I had a chaotic day,” it might be more appropriate.

Respect also can have a legal impact since discrimination and bullying are explicitly included in Bill 168—The Workplace Violence and Harassment Law.

“Respect can help avoid potential lawsuits,” McCormick said.

Small group discussions also were held with participants last Thursday talking about times they felt respect and times they felt disrespected.

“And hopefully by having conversations about it, then when people are in a situation the next time, they’ll have some ideas of how to handle it better,” explained McCormick said, though acknowledging the definition of diversity is very broad as it includes gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, religion, people with disabilities, people with mental illness, race, age, etc.

The idea and basis for the “Respect” campaign came from a very successful project which Confederation College had started back in 2006.

“It started with the realization that something was needed to inform people, and educate people, about respect and everything that goes with it,” said Anne Renaud, manager of the local Confederation College campus, who also was on hand for Thursday’s public launch.

“A lot of people have done a lot work to get it to where it is and it’s nice to see it come to fruition,” she added.

“To see it expand beyond the doors of the college is just amazing.

“I really hope different businesses and organizations are going to take the opportunity to have the ‘Respect’ training and presentation done for their staff because I think it’s something everyone can use,” Renaud stressed.

“I thought the session could be useful to anyone with respect to both their personal and professional lives,” said Ashlee Grimard of the Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre here, who also took in the “Respect” training.

“The six steps to respect outlined were very user-friendly and could be easily integrated into any organizations’ culture,” she noted.

“Overall, it was a great and a job well-done by the diversity committee.”

The one-hour presentation, offered up by volunteers, now is available at no cost to businesses and organizations across the district.  Those who take the workshop will be provided with visible identifiers, such as lanyards and door signs, so anyone going into these organizations immediately will know they can expect to be treated with respect.

For more information about having the “Respect” workshop presented at your business or organization, call McCormick at 274-5327.

Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce Business Awards

By Duane Hicks/Fort Frances Times Ltd.

Gillons’ Insurance was named Business of the Year (16+ employees) during the 16th-annual Bell Business Awards banquet last night at the Adventure Inn.  Also nominated for that award were Ainsworth, Fort Frances Times, and Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc.

Betty’s of Fort Frances, meanwhile, captured the Business of the Year award (1-15 employees).  Other nominees for that honour included:  Chown and Botsford Dentistry, Emo Feed Service, Lakeland Personnel, Simplicity Professional Hair and Body Care, and The UPS Store.

Jeff Savage of BDO Canada LP was named Employee of the Year.  The others nominees were Brenda Allan (CIBC), Anne-Marie Armstrong (M├ętis Nation of Ontario), Heather DeGagne (Shoppers Drug Mart), Duane Hicks (Fort Frances Times), Judy Kielczewski (Betty’s), Tana Mann (CIBC), and Linda Meadwell (93.1 The Border).  This year’s Business Woman of the Year Award went to Erin Wood of Simplicity Professional Hair and Body Care.

Also in the running were Shanda DeGagne-Begin (Leon DeGagne Ltd.), Lillian Gerley (The UPS Store), Lisa Jodoin (Scentsy), Kathy Judson (Re/Max Realty), and Cecile Lavigne (Squeek E Kleen).

Nick Beyak of Sunset Country Ford Sales Ltd. was named Entrepreneur of the Year.  The other nominees included Dean Bethune and Todd Bruyere (Saulteaux Consulting & Engineering), Travis Glowasky (Studio Gibbous), Dawn Gustafson (LifeTime Smiles Preventive Oral Health Care), Naicatchewenin Development Corp., and Erin Wood (Simplicity Professional Hair and Body Care).

Gaby Hanzuk (Special Olympics) was honoured with the Tony Beyak Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award.  Chad Canfield, Rochelle Mosbeck, and Joelle Paull were the other nominees.

The Customer Service Award (Individual) was presented to Laurie Webb-Brown of Tim Hortons.  Also nominated were: Andrea Avis (Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre), Nisa Blase (Dairy Queen), Krista Kellar (Citi Financial), Steve Lenart (Bell Alliant), Sandra McNay (Masquerade Rentals), and John Pierce (Fort Frances Times).

The Fort Frances Dental Centre, meanwhile, was honoured with the Customer Service Award (Business) over Boston Pizza, Sunset Country Ford Sales Ltd., and Webb’s Wholesale.

The Safety Award (Business or Individual) went to the Town of Fort Frances over Leon DeGagne Ltd. and Lakewood Tire.

The Town of Fort Frances Accessibility Award was granted to Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. over the Rainy River District School Board.

The Small Business Trainer of the Year Award went to M.L. Caron Electric.  Other nominees in that category were ACO Electric, Ryan Mason Contracting, Rusty Myers Flying Service, and World of Water.

 SKS Unlimited (Steve Sinclair) took home the Home-Based Business Award, which was given out for the first time this year.  Also nominated for that award were: It’s All in the Details (Stephanie Logan), Inga Design (Inga Friesen), Kirtsy’s Intergalactic Daycare Service (Kirsty Sinclair), Scentsy (Connie Hendrickson), and Scentsy (Lisa Jodoin).

In addition, Tannis Drysdale was honoured with the James Paul Award was this year.  This is a rare award, which is given to individuals or businesses for their outstanding contribution and years of dedication to the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce.

More than 150 people attended the gala, which was emceed by Dr. Bruce Lidkea of Lidkea Optometry, the 2011 Business of the Year (1-15 employees).

Dave Ashworth, of Musik by Dave, provided musical entertainment, including a song about event sponsors sung to the tune of Dr. Hook’s “The Cover of the Rolling Stone.”

Simeon Nussbaumer, manager of field services for Bell Alliant, also shared a few words of support for the annual event.

Rainy River District 4-H Awards

The Rainy River District 4-H Awards will be held on Friday, March 2, 2012 at the Millennium Hall in Stratton.  Dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m..

Please call and confirm your attendance with Kim Dessere at 807-483-5412.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Innovative, informative and inspirational are only some of the adjectives used to describe Barbara Stegemann, CEO and founder of The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc.   She will be the keynote speaker at a brunch in Kenora (8:00 a.m. Best Western Lakeside Inn) and dinner in Fort Frances (5:30 p.m. Le Place Rendez Vous) on Thursday, March 8th, presented by the Northwest Business Centre to coincide with International Women’s Day.
From a humble beginning in rural Canada to entrepreneurial success internationally; Barb will share her business model that allowed her to transform her vision into reality without, in her words, losing herself in the process.
“I believe that we, as women, can achieve success in the business world and still have a rewarding personal and family life. Naturally we need to work hard, but more than that we need to work with conscience, without compromising our values and give something back, but we don’t need to do it alone”, says Barb. When we work together we share ideas, resources and energy, and ultimately we inspire each other to more than we may have thought possible.”
Barb’s entrepreneurial vision comes from the heart. She created The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc., a company that sources organic oils from Afghanistan, Haiti, and other countries experiencing turmoil, to encourage change and reverse issues of war and poverty. She is the first woman from Atlantic Canada to get a venture capital deal in the history of the Dragons’ Den, (February 2011) when she made the Dragons cry with her compelling pitch and message of the importance of doing trade with nations that are experiencing war or strife.

One cold call later her fragrances were in The Bay stores across the country, and they will be on hand and available to purchase on March 8th. Barb will also have copies of her book, The 7 Virtues of a Philospher Queen; a Woman’s Guide to Living and Leading in an Illogical World, available for purchase, or as a gift with purchase to those who purchase her fragrance.
A nominee for Chatelaine's Women of the Year 2011 entrepreneur award, Barbara recently received the "Women Innovators" Award from the US State Department. She also has the distinction of being the first woman to be made an Honourary Colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force for 14 Wing Greenwood. And her days in the Dragons’ Den are not yet over; Barb will be featured on their “Where are they now?” show on Wednesday, February 29th at 8 p.m. EST
Primary funding for this initiative to mark International Women’s Day and celebrate the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs is provided by the Province of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development & Innovation. The Northwest Business Centre is proud to also welcome the RBC Royal Bank as our commercial sponsor for Barbara’s visit to both communities.
Ticket price and locations are: 
Kenora Thursday, March 8, 2012 
8:00—11:00 a.m. Best Western Lakeside Inn 
$20 Includes HST/Brunch; 
Tickets available at: RBC Royal Bank and HoJoe Coffee & Books Inc. in Kenora 

Fort Frances Thursday, March 8, 2012 
5:30—9:30 p.m. Le Place Rendez Vous 
$30 Includes HST/Dinner 
Tickets available at: RBC Royal Bank and Northwoods Gallery & Gifts in Fort Frances
For more information contact: 
Diane Schwartz-Williams 
Northwest Business Centre 
Ph. 807-467-4643
Barb Stegemann 
The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc. 
Ph: 902-446-0400
Dragons Den Clip 

History TV show on the naming of Noble Rose of Afgahanistan 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Snow Sculptures

The creation of a number of snow sculptures in Fort Frances is a go.

But the Rainy River Arts Collective's Winter Sculpture Garden is no longer a contest.

Spokesperson Lindsay Hamilton says only a couple of groups actually registered.

So those groups and a couple of other artists will instead craft the 8 foot cubed snow piles over the next ten days as part of a demonstration project.

Hamilton is hoping it will lead to greater interest for next year.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Food Security Gathering

Increase access to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate foods for ALL!
THURS.  MARCH 8, 2012
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Lunch will be provided)
EMO INN--Emo, Ontario
Cost: FREE

Food is a basic human right.  Everyone has the right to access enough safe, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food in a way that promotes self-reliance and social justice.  This is known as food security.   Unfortunately, food insecurity is a problem in Northwestern Ontario.

What can you do to help?
Get in the know...about the root issues and what can be done.
Get involved in your security is not just a poverty issue; it is a much larger issue that involves the whole food system and affects every one of us.

Food Security: It's Everybody's Business

Join us for an interactive day to learn about food security and share ideas about how we can increase food security in the Rainy River District.

Who should attend?
Anyone interested in increasing access to food in the Rainy River District, health promoters, health educators, community health representatives, local food enthusiasts, producers and farmers.

Limited Space!
To register, please call Siobhan Booth at (807) 482-2211 by March 2, 2012.

Wild Food Workshop

Rainy River District Stewardship presents:

Saturday, March 3, 2012
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
at the Devlin Hall

Workshop is $25 per person.
Tickets available at the Devlin Municipal Office, Betty's in Fort Frances, Wood's Quality Bakery in Rainy River and Emo Feed Service or email

Wild food Lunch is free.

Heritage Luncheon

There will be a Heritage Luncheon on:

Friday, February 17th, 2012
11 am to 1 pm
Emo United Church
3 Roy Street
The $8.00 Menu includes:
Hot & Hearty Casserole
Dessert Coffee

There will be Bake Tables with homemade goodies.
Proceeds in support of the Pioneer Museum, Emo

Sponsored by:  Womens' Institutes of the Rainy River District

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Workshop aimed at entrepreneurs...

Monday, 6 February 2012 - 2:14pm
Staff, Fort Frances Times Ltd.
Attention all entrepreneurs!
The Northwest Business Centre is hosting a workshop, entitled “The ABCs of Entrepreneurship—Aboriginal Business Day,” at the Couchiching Bingo Hall on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Running from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., the event will provide the opportunity to learn about business support services, programs, and accessible funding through intergovernmental agencies and other partners, as well as developing a business plan, marketing, and research and innovation.

“This event is so tailor-made for someone who’s got an idea of a business they might like to start or they’re maybe in the early stages of starting it,” said Diane Schwartz-Williams, manager of the Northwest Business Centre.

“Or even for someone who’s been in it for a while and wants to grow and expand because the resources and information are going to be right there.

“There will be a personal connection, not via e-mail or Internet or phone,” she stressed.

“The folks are going to be right there, ready to answer questions one on one.

“It’s not going to be a day full of lots of speeches, where people are sitting and listening,” added Schwartz-Williams.

“The whole idea is to get people involved, thinking and doing, with a little bit of information coming at them from the presenters and speakers.”

Schwartz-Williams said quite a few representatives will be on hand from organizations including the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., and FedNor.

The Rainy River Future Development Corp., the United Native Friendship Centre, Seven Generations, Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong, and Service Canada also are expected to attend.
Some of them will be speaking while others will man informational displays, fielding questions from attendees.

The workshop also will feature keynote speaker Jeremiah Windego, CEO of the Naicatchewenin Development Corp., who will share best practices and motivation for both entrepreneurs and First Nations’ communities “to move their vision to reality.”
“We’re going to have a lot of resources, people, and information in one room for that day,” Schwartz-Williams pledged.

The workshop is open to people of all ages, whether they’re students, adults, or seniors.
The event is free, and lunch will be provided.

Pre-registration is required, however, by visiting

Limited bus transportation also is available (please advise when registering).

Anyone with questions can contact Schwartz-Williams at 1-807-467-4643 or via e-mail at, or contact Stefanie at 1-807-223-1166 or via e-mail at

The Northwest Business Centre is holding the same event next Tuesday (Feb. 14) at Eagle Lake First FN.