The Kapuskasing and District Chamber of Commerce hosted its Annual General Meeting on Thursday evening, with the President’s report, financials and a pair of guest speakers on the itinerary.
First up was the annual report of Chamber President, Martin Proulx, who gave a synopsis of the year past, as well as several initiatives the Chamber has undertaken to raise its profile for the future.
“Moving forward we’re adding to our vision that the KDCC become a resource-based organization in order to help our members grow and build their profitability and generate mission of providing to our members the visibility they need and the platform to help them communicate not only with our local population, but with our neighbouring communities and visitors coming into our region”.
To that end, the chamber has created a new website, www.kapchamber.ca and will also soon be distributing a Chamber magazine, which will be available at a number of key locations in Kapuskasing as well as throughout Northern Ontario.
“The idea of a printed magazine has been brewing for a while,” said Proulx. “We realize the need of such a resource to better promote and showcase what the region has to offer to residents, travelers, business owners and potential investors”.
“In addition to a business directory, the magazine will feature community profiles from Opasatika through Fauquier of things to see and do and other things that are good to know if you are new to the area”. The magazine is expected to publish in June with a circulation of 10,000 copies in high-traffic areas such as hotels, airports, restaurants and travel information centres.
Next up was a review of Chamber finances, which saw a net loss of $43,672 compared to a net loss of $4,105 the year previous. This was due mainly to an expenditure of nearly $25,000 in repairs and maintenance to a building on Hwy. 11 the Chamber owns, which needed among other things, a new roof. “This renovation had been pushed back several years and it was time to get it done,” said Proulx. “If we want to continue to use the building as a rental property, which is our full intention, the work needed to be done.”
Hitting the stage next, was Mayor Alan Spacek, who summarized the various projects the municipality has on the go, Kapuskasing Energy, the recently completed purchase of the former experimental farm, mining, becoming an evacuation hub, the potential opportunity for Kapuskasing to become a food distribution hub to communities on the James Bay coast, the Connecting Link, the Ring of Fire project as well as regional developments such as the Energy East Pipeline Project.
Last but certainly not least, was featured guest speaker Martin Latulippe, who energized the crowd as he talked about what it takes to move the needle in today’s economy as an entrepreneur and a leader.