Institute of Southern Georgian Bay Institute of Southern Georgian Bay

When we first arrived in Collingwood, I spoke publicly on the importance to promote the area and work to attract entrepreneurial talent to the area. I described the concept as an incubator and was introduced to David Green and Don May in the process. I explained my vision to them and they asked me to collaborate to achieve the vision as a team. A few weeks later, I spoke at a Town Hall Session and met Joan Pajunen who impressed me with her insight and vision. Now, almost three years later, the group has worked together to create a website which represents the ideas we discussed in the form of The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay.

The Concept

Before the concept of The Institute was fully formed, I met with David Green and Don May to share our ideas. My concept was the importance of attracting young entrepreneurial talent to the area and to help support projects which people may need professional guidance to help them to fruition. From those talks, and during several public meetings, I started to design the framework of the overall concept for The Institute from a strategic and website perspective.

Implementing a vision by creating a website which helps to professionally communicate the vision of the Institute was challenging as their are several members with a wide variety of business backgrounds involved in the process. My skill set has always been to distill down the ideas to a working website which is built on the concept of being able to generate revenue to support the business idea and have integrated analytics in place for future growth.

The Institute

The logo had been developed by a local artist so using this direction, I worked to create something which reflected the colours and feel of the logo.

The Website

The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay began when a small group of forward-thinking individuals came together to discuss the economics of the various communities in Southern Georgian Bay and the concept of a community working together to develop a future vision for growth and prosperity in the region.


The Home Page

The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay is a not for profit community “Think and Do Tank” comprised of talented, concerned and interested local people from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences, working together to promote prosperity in Southern Georgian Bay.

The Home Page is designed to present a series of support choices to visitors and allow them to choose and fund a project of their choice at a local level.

The Institute has identified four Pillars of Prosperity, which will guide its efforts to ensure a bright future for our region. Specific projects under each pillar have and continue to be initiated by our members.

Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The future of Southern Georgian Bay depends on supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Arts, Culture and Entertainment
Arts and Culture are the fabric and soul of societies and communities.

Water quality, invasive species, land use and development, waste management, manufacturing – we need to ensure that we remain sustainable as a community.

Social Justice
Food availability and quality, housing, income security, mental health, seniors, youth and transportation – these social issues are key to ensuring a better quality of life for all.

The map showcases the region that The Institute hopes to influence and the bottom section features a series of quotes from notable locals who have the ability to add credence to the project.


Each piece of the overall development for the website features images of the southern Georgian Bay region, creating a foundation for all future development.

The region itself is beautiful and I felt the need to reflect that visually.

The Newsletter

Part of any communications strategy should include a quarterly newsletter so as we were preparing to launch the website for The Institute, we created a newsletter template which was fully integrated with Google Analytics and was editable by a trainee.

The concept behind the website was (and is) to build it and teach a young marketing oriented individual to learn how to update and manage both the website and the newsletter.

Responsive design

During the development, we made the site responsive but the Board of Directors did not want to pay for this. They wanted it for free so I never implemented it.

The Marketing Handout

To announce the development of The Institute, I worked with Jeff Shearer of On The Bay Magazine to develop this handout to a public meeting held at the local Huron Club to launch the website.

The Site Map

This process was critical while developing this project as there were a large number of contributors with a wide range of ideas about how the website should look. This is where a site map is critical to the process. Having this allowed me to easily focus the group back to the basic concept that had been approved and move forward.

The Evolution

As the website was being developed, the dynamics of multiple contributors changed the site map before it was online to what is shown here. All websites evolve and here you can see the value of having a site map.

Where do people sign up?

How easy is it to funnel visitors to the Join Now page?

Important questions a Site Map help communicate visually.

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