There are several Chamber initiatives to report prior to our traditional summer break. We hope everyone has had a great start to the summer!

Our fifteenth Board member, Lissette Jones, joined us from ThinkSmart. Lisette will take on the Chair duties of the Membership Services Committee. We are currently working on introducing a Workplace Education Initiative which will offer fully funded courses to Chamber members and their staffs to support their business priorities and training needs. Thanks to Amelia Bishop and Annette St. Onge who will be organizing a focus group of members to get this process underway.

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The Town Beautification Committee under the leadership of Karen Pinsent has successfully brought back the Flower Basket Program for Main Street. The next project will be a plan for the Visitor Information Centre. For the first time we have leased the building and the land from the Town and this will allow us to do some more visitor friendly development on the site.

The Economic Development Committee headed by Annette St. Onge had it’s first meeting on June 16 and set out it’s preliminary agenda. The initial efforts of the Committee will be directed towards an application to ACOA for money to place public art in the Town and to build up the infrastructure of the Aquatic Gardens.

Following that, the Committee will turn it’s attention to working with the Town and the Garden Club on a long term enhancement scheme for the Water Garden Park. The Committee will also be conducting a review of the factors affecting the business environment in the Mahone Bay Area and more specifically will be looking at assisting with the Workplace Education Initiative, obtaining information about start-up business assistance for our members and organizing a symposium about insurance for events and festivals.

This month , Suzanne Lohnes-Croft and George Anderson will be meeting with MODL to discuss what can be done to clean up the sign situation at Exit 10.
The 1st Annual Appleseed Festival went ahead in May with Chamber endorsement. It was a huge success and will be repeated next year.
This begins to fulfill our hopes for more Fairs and Festivals in the
shoulder seasons.

Lee Simpson heads our Fairs, Festivals and Events Committee and is already in contact with the Lobster Crawl to make sure Mahone Bay is fully engaged to support in 2023. Lee is also working with the Lutheran Church to explore the feasibility of installing a perpetual camera showing shots of the Bay on-line.

Greg Phipps Grants Committee approved the following grants this year.

  • The Season of Father Christmas
  • South Shore Summer Theatre
  • Heritage Boatyard Co-Op
  • Downtown Flower Basket Program
  • Mahone Bay Music Association (2022 Concert Series)
  • South Shore Film Festival

The VIC is open and looks great. We’ve just hired a student and our hours are now open seven days a week. Surveys from visitors last year showed a strong demand for the return of maps and these are at the VIC now. Chamber members are entitled to a pack of 50 maps for their businesses. You can pick them up at the VIC.

The Town Ambassador program operating out of the VIC has started. This involves handing out the first name and text number of volunteers so that visitors may contact them with questions after they leave the VIC.

If you want to help with this drop by the VIC and leave your name and text number. Also, our old friend, Bob Sayer, will be conducting walking tours of the Town from the VIC this year.

The Main Street West improvement Program involves placing driftwood statues at various spots along West Main. This initiative is the result of a generous gift from Gilbert and Judy Van Ryckevorsel who have donated these works of art to the people of Mahone Bay.

All 5 statues are now in place and are quite an eye-catching tourist attraction. The Chamber supporting this effort by contributing to installation costs for this project for 3 of the 5 statues.

There will be a night to honour Gilbert and Judy later in July.

If you have any questions or comments please direct them to George Anderson or Danielle King or any other MBTCC Board member.

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