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From The Ground Up 
Chamber Newsletter Released February 18th, 2016
Good Afternoon Chamber Members - 

It's Winter Carnival week and we couldn't be more excited!  There are so many things to do and see around Town, you won't want to miss this amazing event.  The Winter Carnival committee has been working super hard to make this year's one of the best, being the first week long Winter Carnival as well.

Tonight, we will be hosting a quick Business After Hours at Vacation Time Real Estate to kick off this evenings festivities from 5pm to 5:45pm.  We will then head out around Historic Downtown to participate in the activities and retail promotions.  See below to RSVP.  

I'll end off my note with some more very exciting news.  I am happy to announce that my husband Ryan and I will be welcoming our second baby mid August this year!  I'll be taking a year maternity leave beginning mid August and Danielle and I will be working diligently to ensure all programs and initiatives are covered before and during my leave, not to worry! 

I look forward to seeing many of you tonight.

Have a great Winter Carnival Weekend!
Tara

{ Chamber Updates }

RSVP Today & Join Us Tonight!
 

Join the Gravenhurst Chamber for an After Hours social celebrating the expanded Winter Carnival.  

Chamber members and guests are invited to join us at Vacation Time Real Estate on February 18th from 5:00 - 5:45 pm.  

From Vacation Time Real Estate, we will then set out touring Historic Downtown Gravenhurst and participate in Thursday Night Winter Carnival activities and retail promotions.  



 
{Welcome New Members}
 
  • Muskoka Lakes Landscaping
  • Port's Heating
  • North Cafe
  • Muskoka International Film Festival
  • Above & Beyond Building Contractors
  • Harvey's Swiss Chalet in Gravenhurst
  • Joanne Lake, Forest Hill Real Estate

{ Winter Carnival Week}

A Week of Fun!
This longstanding Gravenhurst tradition celebrates all that our community has to offer, and features super-fun events including Puddle Jumps, Kids Events, Skokie's Pizza and Birthday Parties, Polar Bear Dip, Pancake Breakfast, Demolition Derby, Live Entertainment and so much more!  Keep checking back for updates and event schedules at www.GravenhurstWinterCarnival.ca

Book Your Ad Today!
Manager of Programs Tara Doyle is now booking advertising spots for local businesses wanting to promote their businesses to local residents, seasonal cottagers and visiting guests.  Want more information on the 2016 enhanced Experience Gravenhurst Map? Click Here to view the media kit and campaign details.  

 Join #TeamChamber
The success of our programs is based on our ability to work with talented and skilled volunteers who wish to contribute to the Chamber's goals.  

From assistance with coordinating events, assisting us promote the activities and events taking place in Gravenhurst to working from home on a project basis.  We welcome the opportunity to work with our members and community. 


Click Here to find out more about the volunteer opportunities at the Chamber.
Want to know more? Contact us to discuss the activities you enjoy and the time you can commit, as well, we can suggest roles that may be of interest.  


 
 
Strategic Plan Now Online

Click Here to view the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce's strategic plan posted on gravenhurstchamber.com.  
 
Muskoka Visitor Guide 2016 
Partnered with Muskoka Tourism, participating Muskoka Chambers are collaborating to create a rejuvenated regional tourism publication.  Click Here to review the media kit.  




 

Gravenhurst365 Wins Two Prestigious Provincial Awards
 The Town of Gravenhurst Economic Development department’s (EDC) Gravenhurst365 program has received two prestigious marketing awards from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) at the Annual President’s Dinner which concluded the Annual EDCO Conference held in Toronto, February 2-4. Read More.

2015 Business Survey Now Available 
The Town of Gravenhurst Economic Development and Communications team recently released a 2015 Business Survey Summary.  This new annual project was developed and implemented for the first time in 2015. Going forward this tool will be used by the Economic Development and Communications Team to set strategy and target specific issues that our businesses will be facing.  In addition to strategy development the data from this report will allow the Economic Development and Communications Team to acquire valuable economic data that can be used to serve its clients in the future.  Review the Survey Report.

Recommended Budget Keeps Town on Path to Financial Sustainability - Taxpayers Likely to See a 1 to 4 % Increase in Their 2016 Tax Bill
The recommended 2016 Budget was presented to Gravenhurst Town Council on Wednesday February 17th, by Val Sequeira, Director of Corporate Services/Treasurer. It continues to implement the multi-year plan initiated in 2015 that will move the Town towards greater financial strength and sustainability.  The tabling of the recommended budget is the first step in the budget cycle and Council’s first opportunity to receive the budget recommended by staff. Council will deliberate on the budget on March 1st and 2nd with a meeting scheduled specifically for public input onMarch 5th. Council is scheduled to approve the 2016 budget on March 10th. All meetings are open to the public and attendance is encouraged.  Read More. 

Summer Employment Opportunities
The Town of Gravenhurst is currently looking to fill positions for Summer 2016. Full job descriptions can be found at www.gravenhurst.ca/jobs.  Deadline for applications: February 26, 2016.  

Community Improvement Plan Grant Program for Downtown Gravenhurst Businesses is Open!
Your Opportunity to Gain Financial Support for Your Downtown Business  
GRANTS, REBATES, OR EXEMPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE GRAVENHURST COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR:  Planning, Design, and Building Permit Costs, Improvements to Façades, Rear, or Side Walls Upgrades to Building or Fire Codes & Heritage Restoration, Residential Conversion/Rehabilitation Landscaping, Property & Signage Improvements, Tax Relief for Property Improvements Rebates/Exemptions for Development Charges.  Details and application forms are available at: www.gravenhurst.ca/CIP.  Deadline for applications: Thursday March 31, 2016.  For more information contact: dan.kerr@gravenhurst.ca 705-687-3412 Ext. 270


Town of Gravenhurst Notices
View online

{ Member News & Updates }
Muskoka Wharf Marine Creates Lake Muskoka Ice Trail

The Ice Trail begins at Muskoka Wharf Marine located across from the Residence Inn by Marriott Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf.  The marina team has cleared a huge section and then it narrows to approximately 8 to 10 feet wide and continues all the way around the point towards Boston Pizza and loops there and comes back to the marina. The marina is charging a flat fee of $5 per person (kids 7 and under are free). The trail is open from 9am to 4:30pm for skating. If you have questions please contact Greg De Marco, Muskoka Wharf Rentals 705-687-0006

Great Moose Adventures Opens Summer Camp Registration




From canoe trips, overnight and day camps, the team at Great Moose Adventures has opened their summer schedule and registration.  Click Here for details.  




 



 

Knox Presbyterian Spring Flower Sale


 
Home for Sale - Forrest Hill Real Estate Listing


Click Here to view the 270 Lorne Street, Gravenhurst real estate listing of member Joanne Lake at Forrest Hill Real Estate.  




 
{ Business & Learning Opportunities }

Muskoka Maple Festival Offers Partnerships & Opportunities 

Employment North Offers Job Grant for Employee Training
Canada-Ontario Job Grant (the Job Grant) provides an opportunity for employers to invest in their workforce, with help from the government.  Ontario's workforce is our most valuable asset. As the economic environment evolves, so do the skill needs of employers. Experience shows that employer involvement in training improves business performance.  The Job Grant will provide direct financial support to individual employers who wish to purchase training for their employees. It will be available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees.  Read More.  For more information contact Judy Blake, Job Developer/Employment North
at 705-687-6350, Ext. 5.



Vendor Applications Open for MBA Home & Cottage Show
The MBA Home & Cottage Show will take place at the Gravenhurst Centennial Centre  April 22-24, 2016 and Muskoka Builders' Association is now accepting applications for Exhibitors.  Please see the application here.  Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the office at 705-645-3008 or info@muskokabuilders.com


Voluntary Health & Safety Program to be Offered by WSIB This Spring - 5% WSIB Rebate
Business owners can find it challenging to understand what occupational health and safety responsibilities apply to your business and to stay up to date. The WSIB can help.  They invite you to a free health and safety training program which will explain both your occupational health & safety and WSIB requirements. By taking part in the WSIB’s “Building your Health and Safety Program” you will receive:

  • Information on how to reduce WSIB costs
  • Hands on training for both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Workplace Safety 
  • Free, accessible and easy to understand health & safety resources
  • Free ongoing support with a small business health & safety consultant

Through this voluntary health & safety program, your company will receive a one- time 5% rebate on your previous year’s WSIB premiums.  CLICK HERE to download the application.


 

Chambers Plan Ontario - Ontario Resource Bulletin - Click Here
Canadian Chamber of Commerce January Newsletter - Click Here
Business Development Bank of Canada January Newsletter - Click Here
Muskoka Small Business Centre February Newsletter - Click Here
Latest News from Snow Goer - 
Click Here
Gravenhurst Opera House January Newsletter - Click Here
Muskoka Tourism December 2015 Update - Click Here
Muskoka411.com - Breaking News 24/7 - Click Here
{ Gravenhurst & Area Events Listing }
Feb 15th - 21st | The 2016 Gravenhurst Winter Carnival
This longstanding Gravenhurst tradition celebrates all that our community has to offer, and features super-fun events including Snowmobile Radar Runs, Puddle Jumps, Kids Events, Skokie's Pizza and Birthday Parties, Polar Bear Dip, Pancake Breakfast, Demolition Derby, Live Entertainment and so much more!  Keep checking back for updates and event schedules at www.GravenhurstWinterCarnival.ca
 
 
Feb 23rd | Fine Films Presents "Grandma"
Fine Films is pleased to present GRANDMA, starring Lily Tomlin, on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 7pm.  Thank you to our sponsor, for this month's film, The Bank of Nova Scotia, Gravenhurst.  Tickets are available from the Opera House Box Office for $7 until 5 pm on February 23 and at the door for $10. Please see <www.gravenhurst.ca/en/opera/shows.asp> for more infomation and a trailer.


Feb 27th | Led Zeppelin II at Peter's Players
One thing I know for sure is that Zep fans are unrelenting in their love for the band. Many people don’t realize that during the 70's – no other band or artist came close to selling as many albums as Led Zeppelin. At the time the critics were panning them and making fun of them. But the people spoke. They bought the albums and went to the concerts. The nerdy naysayers were left licking their wounds. No Grammys. No number one singles. No singles! Led Zeppelin were the people’s band. And Led Zeppelin II was their call to arms. Tickets: http://www.petersplayers.com/event_post/classic-albums-live-led-zeppelin-ii/
 
April 2nd | Mad Dogs & Englishmen at Peter's Players
Lance Anderson presents MAD DOGS and ENGLISHMEN – The Music of JOE COCKER and LEON RUSSELL Returning to Peter’s Players by popular demand! The Crowd favourite at the 2013 Kitchener Blues Festival, this show with 14 of the country’s top Blues and Roots music artists is a powerhouse Soul and Gospel/rock show guaranteed to bring the house down!
Tickets: http://www.petersplayers.com/event_post/mad-dogs-englishmen/
 
April 9th | C.J. Chenier at Peter's Players
When Paul Simon recorded his 1990 album Rhythm of the Saints, he handpicked C.J. Chenier to play accordion (alongside Ringo Starr on drums) then asked him to join his “Born at the Right Time Tour”. A few years later C.J. showed up as a guest on the Gin Blossom’s “New Miserable Experience” album. Tickets: http://www.petersplayers.com/event_post/c-j-chenier/

August 16th | 100-Mile Cruise
 
LIMITED TICKETS AVAILABLE! $190 per person plus HST. Includes the all day cruise, lunch and dinner on board. For information or to book your passage, please contact: MUSKOKA STEAMSHIPS 1-866-687-6667
Watch the video of what's to come HERE!
Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance Plan has been protecting Canadian businesses for over 40 years. The Benefits Coach, your exclusive advisor in the Gravenhurst area, can help you select the right options for building your plan and fitting into your budget.

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