A few years back, after Yim and I had moved to Collingwood from Victoria, I had some ideas on how I could help build ‘something’ locally with an entrepreneurial bent and approached the Town’s business center, who directed me to the local BERN office, who directed me to a couple of guys who were thinking the same thing in a way but not exactly.
They were proposing something to me about creating something which was southern Georgian Bay inclusive.
I proposed something back to them which would brand the entire region.
We moved forward.
Gradually, the dual ideas started to mesh and people started to gain some interest. I built the Town of Collingwood’s website and tried to get them involved and sat on several meetings publicly talking about branding. At one meeting, the Town of Collingwood was represented, the Georgian Bay College was there and several other governmental and non-governmental agencies were also included. The two ‘founders’ of The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay were also there and when they could not explain exactly what it is they were actually doing, or trying to do, they asked me to stand up and explain what it is they / we were trying to do.
I took the stage and explained my vision.
My vision is of a region which is branded in a similar fashion as those of Price Edward County along the St. Lawrence River. I am fairly certain one of the board members, Jeff Shearer of On The Bay Magazine shares that vision with me, as does Joan Pajunen.
But my other goal for the Institute was to create within the website the opportunity for certain businesses to be assisted through crowd-sourcing types of projects within the four pillars of the website. This functionality was integrated into the website but one of the ‘founders’ chose to not publish this, which I think was and is a big mistake. However, the website has started to do what it was designed and built to do and that is to generate some funding for the concept of The Institute so 2017 should see some progress.
This month, June 2017, I intend to pass the website over to The Institute as their vision and mine have diverged significantly. I have little hope they will be able to continue with a vision which will be communicated but I wish them luck.
On a note, on July 5th, I passed along the details to The Institute after they had completed paying the outstanding balance which I financed at no charge for nine months and the first thing they did was remove my name from the strategy and creative direction. This is a group led by a fellow who wants the public to think this was his idea. I’d ask him in public who built the website for him.