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From the Desk of Chamber CEO Jill Raycroft

From the Desk of Chamber CEO Jill Raycroft

Belleville, ON July 14th 2017 -The past two weeks has been all about the Waterfront & Ethnic Festival...  the Chamber has held a contract with the City to plan and promote a few events each year, but Waterfront is the big one.  This was Susan Walsh's 10th festival out of the Log Cabin and I can't thank her enough for the dedication she puts toward to making it all happen.  Of course, it's an all hands on deck approach and Rosi & Matt are integral to keeping things moving and while we were all at the park last week, we had Bodhi and Shelby in the Cabin selling out advance midway bracelet coupons.  Even our co-op student from last term came in to help - thanks, Ryan!  

Of course, once the planning is complete - we wait to see what the weather will bring. And it delivered! The high water levels required some last minute changes to the normal configuration; the midway was moved over to the regular parking area - and parking was moved to the grassy area on West Zwick's and under the bridge to East Zwick's.  But the sun shone through most of it and the passing showers didn't dampen spirits.  We saw a completely new demographic to the festival in our Bay of Quinte Craft Beer Garden and the Ethnic Village food tents were selling out to long lines every day.  

While I hesitate to say it was a record breaking year - it certainly ranks as one of our best for attendance.  We are already discussing what will happen for next year - the 40th anniversary for the Ethnic portion of the Festival. 

Ultimately, a heartfelt thank you from the desk this week - to the staff at the cabin, the volunteers that give their time, the City (particularly Parks & Recreation staff), Rotary Sunrise and Rotary Satellite that helped with parking & the beer garden and ALL the sponsorship support from over 70 of our local businesses.  This festival is not possible without it.  

Finally, thank you to the Belleville community for coming out and celebrating where we live! 

Next week it's back to business - and we'll be back to talking about the Fair Workplaces Act, the Skills Mismatch and starting to plan how the Chamber is able to help you with a schedule of mingles, breakfasts and other events.  If you have any ideas, don't hesitate to post them in our Member Input page.