South Algonquin Business Association News


Three wishes and a wand – Community Brainstorming Exercise
Have you ever stopped and said to your self, “It would be so much better if I didn’t have to drive to  Bancroft or Huntsville for ____! Why can’t we have one of those here?”

Well, now’s your chance to ask for what you need and want. SABA is opening the conversation about how to make South Algonquin a better place to live, work and play to the public, and it starts with your answers to this question. Please join us for an online discussion to share your “three wishes” for South Algonquin. Add your ideas to the mix. See something you approve of? Give it a thumbs up. We are looking for a wide range of ideas – not just about business or economic development – it could be related to leisure, work, social services, opportunities for kids…. or whatever your imagination tells you. Click here to participate, and feel free to share the link widely. Wondering why you should play? Well, it only takes a minute, imagining is free, and buckets of fun if you let your imagination run wild. And who knows, maybe together we can turn some of our wishes into a reality. Your feedback will help SABA advocate on your behalf going forward.


RTO 12 Meet & Greet
SABA is hoping to have a stronger presence and participation rate in RTO 12 activities in 2019/2020! Please consider attending one of the upcoming town hall meet and greets with the directors scheduled for March 25, 26, and 27. The closest one is in Bracebridge on March 26. For more information, to RSVP, or to learn about how to nominate yourself for an executive position with RTO 12, visit the RTO12 website. If you want to go and are are looking to share a ride, contact Angela ( or Gabriela (


RTO 12 and other Tourism Associations

SABA is exploring opportunities to participate, collaborate or partner with other neighbouring tourism associations. While we reach out and try to make connections, you may be interested in exploring the links yourself. Here’s what’s on our radar right now. If you know of others, send Angela a note (
Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization (RTO 11)
Click “Subscribe to our Industry Communications” to add yourself to the mailing list
Ottawa Valley Tourism Association
OVTA Membership - $200/year, sign-up at


RTO 12 Board Nominations – due April 12
SABA is encouraging anyone with an interest in tourism development in South Algonquin to nominate themselves for a board position on RTO 12. The selection process aims to have a diverse representation in terms of their coverage area. Since South Algonquin is not currently represented, presenting candidates from South Algonquin will be important to make sure our perspective is heard at the table. To learn about how to nominate yourself for an executive position with RTO 12, visit the RTO12 website. Nominations close on April 12, 2019 so don’t delay!


Training and Learning Centre of Renfrew County
The Training and Learning Centre of Renfrew County reached out to us this month and asked that we help spread the information about the services they provide. They are a non profit organization that provides free skills upgrading to eligible adults, based on their individual needs. They offer reading, writing, math, computer skills and a variety of learning opportunities, and promote lifelong learning for free! All free! 

They are here in person every Wednesday at the Library in Whitney. For more information, contact:
Training & Learning Centre of Renfrew County 
227 Bridge Street, Eganville, ON K0J 1T0
(613) 628-1720


Renfrew County ATV Association – Feedback Survey
The RC ATV Association is asking for feedback on the ATV trail system. The results of surveys like this are used in the grant process to apply for funding, and to show the outcomes of money spent. The survey takes approximately 4 minutes to complete and can be found at this address


Tourism Strategy Planning
SABA has been in contact with the RTO12 Tourism people to determine next steps for how to start taking advantage of some of their programming and support systems for tourism operators. Stay tuned for information in April about an upcoming visit by Kate Monk, Senior Director of Strategy and Communications. We will be looking for volunteers to chat with Kate about tourism in the area, either individually or in a group setting, as soon as the snow disappears.


Teeny Tiny Summits 2019

Mark your calendars for the 2019 round of “Teeny Tiny Summits”, which begin on April 4, 2019.
Sponsored by ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association), the Province of Ontario, and local economic development organizations, Teeny Tiny Summits are a chance for teeny tiny rural communities (populations ~ 1000 or fewer) to gather, celebrate and discuss economic development opportunities and successes in their region.
Featuring a keynote speaker (this year it’s Peter Kenyon) and various sessions relating to rural transportation, broadband access, First Nations relationship building, and support for small business, this year’s event in Calabogie on April 4, 2019 is sure to be enlightening. They’re planning a series of mentoring tables and success stories that will cover topics like community-led infrastructure projects, recreational trails, measuring the impact of events, and innovation.
Opportunities to sample local cuisine and engage with other folks who are interested in local economic development in nearby communities make the $40 cost a very affordable and worthwhile investment.
For more information about all the Teeny Tiny Summit locations this year, see:
For more information about the Calabogie event on April 4, 2019, see:
For more information about the Haliburton event on June 7, see:


Explorer’s Edge – Support for Tourism Operators

For tourism marketing purposes, South Algonquin is part of Regional Tourism Organization 12 (RTO12) (, branded and marketed to tourists under the name “Explorer’s Edge” ( This independent, non-profit organization funded by the Ontario government runs a variety of different marketing programs to support member businesses (more info available at They also undertake data gathering activities on behalf of members to measure the success of the programs they run and determine what effect their activities are having on member businesses.
At our SABA launch in January, James Murphy, Executive Director of Explorer’s Edge, shared some of their success stories with us, including the “Fuel and Fun” program, an international marketing strategy, and a potential future link to the Muskoka airport. SABA is excited about the opportunity to participate in Explorer’s Edge!
Tourism businesses in our township who want to participate in the Explorer’s Edge marketing program should send an email with the following information to Erin Smit (

  • One “square” photo (300x300 pixels). Note that rectangular images, or images that are larger will have to be cropped and you may lose part of your image.
  • Your contact info (name, address, email address, phone number)
  • Your business’s website address
  • Any information to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter
  • Up to 200 words describing your business
  • GPS coordinates if you’re in a hard to find location, or not located on a mapped road (on hard to find side road or on an island for example)

Membership costs a symbolic $1 and gives you the right to participate in their programming, vote in their elections, use their logo, and attend their Tourism Summit which happens in September each year. There are probably other benefits too – like committee work and volunteering if that interests you.
Any questions can be directed to Erin at (705) 646-0490 or to one of the SABA board members.