Paisley & District Chamber of Commerce

Thursday March 21, 2013 7 pm

Town Hall

Attendants: Jennifer Harris (VP Marketing), Mary Gail Johnston, (VP Membership) Whanda Newman (Treasurer), Sandra Blodgett (President) and Max Johnston

Treasurers Report: The bank balance was 4255.96 on March 21, 2013.

Maple Syrup Fest Discussion March 23, 24: Mary Gail, Jim MacNamara and Max Johnston have volunteered to hand out passports at the Maple Syrup Fest.  Mary Cottrill, Mary Gail Johnston and Kim Samuels are the members of the Beaustification Committee that will decorate the village. Mary Gail has made plastic red leaves for the participating stores. Karen Kimpel has completed the passports. They will also be on the busses. Luke Weber will come from the Farm Gate Store and sell maple syrup by the arena bus stop.

Art Festival July 20: Max Johnston  has received written permission from Verne Weppler to close Water Street from Albert to James that day for an art festival. He has also received verbal approval from Jeff Tanner in case people might accidently walk on his property. There is room for 70 artists in a 10×10. 22 artists are already booked in.

Washroom Update: Max Johnston has an idea that we brainstorm ideas to keep the Legion washrooms open. Sandra suggested that we find a summer company student to get money from the Ontario government. Jennifer will check into getting a JCP grant and Sandra will look into finding a summer company student for the project. Max is willing to present our brainstorming at the council on April 8th if we have something prepared.

Agenda Review: Sandra will be away April 18. Mary Gail Johnston, Jenn Harris, Max Johnston are away on May 16. May meetings will be May 2 and May 23.

Branding Activities: Sandra moves that we accept RIVERS as Paisley’s primary brand and move forward with the branding process as outlined in the Branding Kit given by Spruce the Bruce. Jennifer Harris seconded the motion and all are in favour.

The chamber of Commerce will drive this idea home through intentional advertising and local residents and visitors will promote using word of mouth advertising.

Daytrippers of all sorts are our market. There are definately three seasons where people use the river and in the winter it is one of the most photographed things in the village.

We discussed subbrands and discussed that although artisans are prevelant in Paisley, perhaps not more than some other communities in Bruce County. Artisans can find a place to belong in both the rivers theme and the heritage theme. We feel strongly that heritage is included in the branding process as it is certainly something that makes us stand out in Bruce County and it is something worth protecting. We do not feel that heritage can be the primary brand because it does not bring in enough money to the merchants and the ROI is not high enough. Also it seems that plenty of the community may not be behind that brand enough.

Whanda Newman motions that we use heritage as the single subbrand. Mary Gail seconds it. All are in favour.

Our audience is southern Ontario.

The Leadership Team to move this Branding Kit forward is Chris Wilson (VPI Walkerton), Sandra Blodgett (Paisley), Karen Kimpel (Paisley) and Mary Gail Johnston (Paisley).

Activities that the river can and already does support are  birding, canoeing, fishing , photography, camping, trails, artistry, family fun, dikes and tressle bridge.

The promise that the river makes to us and our visitors is that it will always be there.

The money in the river comes from the activities themselves and merchants supprting the activities. The river is at the heart of the village , right in the center of our business community.  The river is publicly owned.

Using Jennifer’s prior knowledge of the branding process and the understanding that the activities are currently already alive and well, we assume that it will take $5000 to $10,000 to create our own brand.

A large percentage of the businesses already have something that directly or indirectly is related to the river.

The river has the potential to hit every market. It is obviously persuasive

Others who might agree that Paisley’s best asset is the river is: Ontario Out of Doors Magazines, Ministry, Saugeen Valley, Fishing Guides like Dave Kronzy, Saugeen Paddlers, Birding people.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15. Next meeting is April 4 @ 7:00.

Call Chris, Jenn, Anne