Friday, 23 September 2011

Doors Open Across Elgin and St. Thomas This Fall

Over the next two weekends Elgin County and St. Thomas heritage sites and public venues will throw open their doors to public visitors.

2011 marks the 10th anniversary of Doors Open Ontario, and each year the event gets bigger and better. From April to October each year residents and visitors to Ontario are invited to explore the province's hidden treasures, some of which have never been open to the public before.

Doors Open events in Elgin and St. Thomas will allow visitors unique opportunities to tour everything from wineries, breweries, historic railway locations, natural conservation sites, heritage homes, churches and businesses, to fire stations, museums, agri-tourism operations, art galleries and community centres.

Doors Open East Elgin includes locations across the Municipality of Bayham, the Township of Malahide and the Town of Aylmer. September 24th, 2011

Doors Open Port Stanley & Sparta gives visitor the opportunity to tour interesting locations within the historic Quaker village of Sparta as well as the bustling port-side village of Port Stanley. October 1st, 2011.

Doors Open St. Thomas takes visitors back in time to when the Railway was the City's driving economic force. October 1-2, 2011.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Savour Elgin Receives International Recognition!

(Business Development Coordinator Kate Burns, Elgin County Warden Dave Mennill)
TORONTO, ON – The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) has presented Elgin County with two awards in recognition of its excellent marketing materials for promoting culinary tourism throughout the County.

IEDC Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. The awards are presented at the IEDC Annual Conference and this year Elgin County received an award for their Savour Elgin Culinary Guide and the Savour Elgin website,
Culinary tourism is a growing industry and with many consumers choosing to vacation locally, the culinary tourism industry is in the perfect position to take advantage of this trend. The Savour Elgin Culinary Guide and website have been available for a year, with the assistance of a dedicated Steering Committee and Yfactor. These materials efficiently and effectively market Elgin County’s restaurants, agri-tourism operations, farmers markets and wineries and breweries.

The Culinary Guide is a portable information source designed to fit in a purse or glove box of a car. The Guide features all members of the Savour Elgin program with original photography and a personal story behind each business, allowing visitors to get to know the people and places they might visit. Some businesses have also included recipes and ingredient lists of their specialized dishes for people to make at home.

The Savour Elgin website gives visitors a taste of what they’ll experience in Elgin County. The website features each member of the Savour Elgin program and it also incorporates the Tourism Ytool which makes it easy for website visitors to find out about events, restaurants or hotels and to quickly create individual itineraries for their upcoming visit to Elgin County. Interactive maps make locating the destinations effortless for prospective tourists.

These are the third and fourth awards that have been presented to Elgin for their Savour Elgin program. Warden Mennill noted, "We have exceeded our expectations with this program, and are thrilled with the results. Through our proactive approach to marketing we have created excellent materials for visitors who come to Elgin County and hopefully the Culinary Guide and website makes their trips more informative and enjoyable."

Friday, 16 September 2011

Exciting New Direction for Elgin County

Elgin County Council has approved a new Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan for 2011-2014.

This four year strategy takes the County’s identified economic strengths and provides a new direction in the context of the creative rural economy.

Developing talent and innovation is the basis for this strategy that focuses on creative people and knowledge as economic generators. Supporting entrepreneurs and small business is of primary importance as is promoting Elgin County’s available employment lands. This strategy will tell Elgin’s story, celebrating and promoting quality of place in a way that will attract and retain talented and innovative businesses and residents.

"We’re really excited about this new phase." says Economic Development General Manager Alan Smith, "The role of the department will remain the same, to foster and help create an environment that supports the growth of the economy and prosperity for Elgin’s businesses and residents."

Click here for a copy of the New Economic Development Strategy & Action Plan 2011-2014

Friday, 2 September 2011

Celebrate Ontario 2012 is now open for applications!

Celebrate Ontario is an annual program that helps new and existing festivals and events enhance their programs, activities and services. The program also supports bid and event hosting costs of major one-time events and festivals attracting out-of-province visitors through the Blockbuster category.

This support helps grow tourism in the province by making it easier for event organizers to offer new and improved experiences that will attract more tourists and increase visitor spending.

All organizers of festivals and events are invited to apply. For full details, including what's eligible, how to apply, and when to apply are on the Ministry of Tourism and Culture's website at: