Pontiac tourism: Spring Forum welcomes you

This coming Saturday April 15, Tourisme Pontiac Tourism (TPT) is holding its Spring Forum at the Campbell’s Bay RA Centre. Opening presentations start at 10:30 and the day ends with prizes given out at 3:00.

Always enthusiastic, Ken Fisher, President of TPT says, “Our theme this year is promoting rural tourism. On Saturday we’re featuring a panel of local and regional tourism representatives. They will speak about their recent accomplishments, obstacles they’ve encountered -- and how they’ve dealt with them. We’re hoping that lots of Pontiac residents will attend, and find out what’s going on in and near their local community.”

He continues, “The morning starts with coffee and muffins served at 10:00, followed by an opening address at 10:30. The panel kicks off at 11:00, followed by lunch. The morning is $5.00 and includes the luncheon, but the afternoon is completely free.”

In fact, the afternoon sounds as if it will be a lot of fun.

“We’re planning to showcase the tourism operators of the Pontiac,” says Fisher. “We’ll have our own TPT booth on display. All our members have updated their listings with new photos and description of their business. As well, there’ll be tables where you can meet the operators, find out about their product, and learn what’s going on in your very own community, as well as in two neighbouring regions.”

In addition, Campbell’s Bay Mayor - Cletus Ferrigan, CLD’s President Ross Vowles, and other Pontiac representatives such as Heather Dickson, President of the SADC, will be in attendance. Come on out and meet them, express your enthusiasm and concerns over tourism here in the Pontiac.

The 11:00 panel discussion includes two well-known Pontiac tourism operators, Sean Mannion (Ottawa Adventures) and Linda Thompson (Pine Lodge). The two regional guests speakers are André Raymond, promoter of Québec’s Abitibi-Temiskaming region, and Bill Schweig, Reeve of Radcliffe Township, who is representing the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association.

After lunch, the TPT booth displays tourism operators here in the Pontiac. You’ll be familiar with many local entrepreneurs from Esprit Rafting, Ottawa Adventures, the Coulonge Chutes, Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour, Ottawa Waterway, Spruceholme, Pine Lodge, Pontiac Archives, just to mention a few.

You’ll also find tables where representatives from these businesses will showcase their products. Ottawa Valley Tourist Association and Abitibi-Temiskaming will be there too, so you can discover what adjacent tourism operators are doing.

Come on, find out what’s happening in your own back yard. You might just be surprised.

Why is tourism important to you as a resident of the Pontiac? Here’s a few reasons.

1. The rails to trails issue is highly controversial in Municipality of Pontiac. Beef farmers and other landowners with property bordering the old CPR track wax from lukewarm to enthusiastic to violently opposed to the concept of a recreational trail. Not everyone embraces tourism. Come on out to Campbell’s Bay and find out what the issues are and why tourism is a viable, growing industry here in your back yard.

2. Preservation wildlife habitat is critical for the reproduction and mere existence of plant, animal, bird, reptile and amphibian species. How do we develop sustainable tourism, especially eco- and adventure-tourism, yet preserve our natural world?

3. Hunting and fishing is popular here. Again, how do we ensure that Pontiac maintains a rich population of diverse species? Who is monitoring this?

4. Cottagers want to clear vegetation from their waterfront for their beaches and boats. Others developers want to build cottages around our beautiful lakes. How do we ensure our watercourses stay clean?

5. You have visitors to your home who want to see what the Pontiac is like. Whether you take young children to the Norway Bay Pier for a safe swim and picnic, take a group on a rafting trip down the Ottawa River, or dine at one of our local restaurants, you are plugging into our Tourisme Pontiac Tourism network. Find out what’s going on so your visitors can have such a great time they’ll want to return!

These are just five quick reasons why you should attend the Spring Forum. You’ll find there’s lots to grab and keep your attention as you visit the tourism representatives.

And here’s another reason you should come. At 3:00 there’s a basket of tourism products to win.

Because the afternoon is free, fun, and you can win a prize, you really have no excuse for not showing up! See you there.

For information, contact Ken Fisher, President of Tourisme Pontiac Tourism at 455-9295.


Katharine Fletcher is a freelance writer and an enthusiastic member of TPT who hopes to see you in Campbell’s Bay. Contact her at fletcher.katharine@gmail.com