Heritage meeting sees plenty of action

BARRY’S BAY – Madawaska Valley Township met for their regular heritage, parks and recreation committee meeting on March 28.

Tourism is important, heritage, parks and recreation committee members recently outlined at their March 28 meeting.
And so, Madawaska Valley officially has a new tourism logo.
Madawaska Valley Tourism Co-ordinator, Anya Blake, as part of her strategic plan for marketing, presented committee members with several designs on March 28 in regards to what she believed would entice tourists and also showcase what the Valley has to offer.
At the core of the design, the logo is playful, modern and active, Blake said.
Incorporated into the wording on the logo Madawaska Valley are little silhouettes of active people.
So, there’s a fiddler, painter, skier and much discussion to add a fishermen took place at the meeting also, to name a few. The silhouettes stand to symbolize what people can do here in the Valley, Blake said. In addition, as the Madawaska River is considered such a large central asset here, culturally and recreationally, a river, hills and valleys were also incorporated, the co-ordinator explained.
“This logo tells me, Madawaska Valley is an active community, with the hills, rivers, and valleys,” committee member David Shulist said. “The way the people are interacting, this is a powerful logo, if I was looking at this from a tourist’s perspective, this is a destination I would want to go [to].”
The committee agreed the logo had a distinctive and powerful look. Committee member Shaun O’Reilly made the motion to accept the recommendation for the logo. Committee member Bob Kulas seconded the motion, giving Blake the go ahead to begin using the logo.
But the more important issue at hand here, is branding, CAO Bryan Brown said.
“What we’re trying to do is define an experience here unlike any other,” Brown continued to say.
Similarly, with Haliburton, Muskoka, or even Las Vegas, for instance, these places now considered ideal tourism destinations, all started with a look, the CAO explained.
These places are our competition, Brown said. Beginning with this logo, the committee is hoping, with a lot of hard work, to one day see the Madawaska Valley as an ideal tourism location, on a much larger scale.
With beautiful landscape and a truly unique cultural experience unlike any other place in Ontario, the potential is here, Brown said.
For now, the logo will be used on maps, for advertising, brochures, magazines, the Internet, and welcome signage, for example. The logo will not replace the current municipal crest. It will primarily be used for tourism purposes only and not for administrative purposes, as the municipal crest is.
But as momentum progresses, this may be something the township might have to look at, Brown said. To be recognised as a tourist destination, the Valley cannot have 15 different looks, he explained.
But Blake is wasting no time. The logo will be getting put to use right away.
At the Thursday meeting, Blake also presented the committee with a recreational map she’s been putting together, which will help tourists to find points of interest, and again, things they can do in the Valley.
The map, similar to the new logo, focuses on encompassing and selling outdoor recreation in combination with Madawaska heritage and culture, she said. The map will include about 55 sites that would interest tourists within the Valley. From the Opeongo Heritage Trail, Bell Bay Provincial Park, the Mayflower Site, to picnic areas, and beaches, the map offers several places for tourists to visit, which can appeal to a broad range of interests, Blake said.
In the next few weeks, Blake is hoping they can get some volunteers to drive around and make sure each of the sites are accurately identified also.
And excitedly, Blake announced on this map will be the first time placement of their new tourism logo.
For those looking for more information, or for those interested in volunteering to help with the map sites, contact Blake at 613-756-5885 or 613-756-2747 ext. 220.
Recreational activities are essential for the vitality of the Madawaska Valley Township, says local resident.
On March 28, Combermere resident, Cheryl Stanley attended the heritage, parks and recreation committee meeting in Barry’s Bay as a representative for the newly formed Combermere heritage recreation committee to ask for the committee’s help.
“We’ve came together because of our shared commitment for our community,” she told committee members.
She outlined throughout her presentation, she and others understand with the economy’s current fiscal restraints, times are tough – but she’s suggesting there are things that can be done to help offset such matters, and developing and increasing more recreational activities within the communities can help, she said.
Story continues in the April 3, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.