Project Update – Feb 24, 2020

What’s Happening:
Thank you to those of you who spread the word regarding ESR Job Postings late December:
1.  Three Story tellers have been hired to research, collect artifacts and write 12 stories for an interpretive panel and multimedia story tour through South River and Machar (Rob Learn, Leslie Taylor and Danielle Marr).
2.  Danielle Marr is taking on community asset identification to add enhanced information to print and digital maps for 2020-2021 and identify resources for visitors and residents.
3.  Jennifer McCourt of Discovery Routes has been selected as the Map Designer.  We will be working with Christina Kearns to bring to life the original vision of the Explore South River map.
4.  Post cards have been mailed out and distributed at community events to gather grassroots input into the project.  Share your insights at drop boxes located at:
•  Friendly Circle
•  Kawartha Bank
•  Highlander Brewery
•  Eagle Lake Narrows Country Store
•  South River Machar Union Public Library
•  Dr. Robert Weaver’s dental office
5.  Next story sharing event is March 9 (6:30-8:00 pm) at Highlander Brew Co., hosted by our South River-Machar Library, Trails Associations and WORC.

Story Sharing

Join us:

March 9, 2020 6:30-8:00 pm at Highlander Brew Co. for our upcoming story sharing event.

Learn how our stories and our photos and artifacts will be used to create a memorable presentation of the stories of our region to visitors and residents alike for years to come.

It’s your story, come tell it.

Project Update: January 6, 2020

Jan 6,  we hosted our first story-sharing event with 17 attendees to collect our historical and cultural stories.  More events will be held this winter.  We will also be interviewing local memory-holders and conducting research of community archives to unearth our most inspiring stories.
Everyone is invited:
Together we will paint an inspiring picture of South River.  Everyone in P0A 1X0 is invited to participate. Residents and visitors will soon encounter a colourful post card featuring the question: What makes South River special?
Presenting our stories:
Later this month we will be hiring a story writer to begin crafting our stories which will appear on interpretive panels throughout our community, encouraging visitors to explore.  These stories will also be featured in our digital multimedia storytelling later this spring.
Celebrating our assets:
We are also hiring locally to research our existing inventory of community assets and design a 2020-2021 Explore South River print map of our region. This will form the basis for creating a digital map and handheld app.
Promoting our experiences:
Later this spring we are providing training for members who want to create new and enhanced experiences to sell to visitors and put these experiences on the map!

What’s Special about South River

Residents of the South River region – aka, P0A 1X0 (our postal code) will soon be invited to share their stories about what makes our area special to visitors and residents alike.

Look for this postcard to land in your inbox soon as we look to you for advice and insight into what makes our area special.

We’re also working with organizations to host story-sharing events.  The first of these is scheduled for Sunday, January 5 at 6 pm at the South River Friendly Circle Seniors Centre.

Join us as we learn and celebrate together.

The best is yet to come!

PARC Association (Not-for-profit for the promotion of arts recreation and culture in South River Area) is managing the Explore South River project on behalf of allies including Explore South River members, Friendly Circle Senior Centre, Forgotten Trails, artists and others. We invite all community groups, residents, businesses to co-create a thriving vision of our community showcasing highlights of our history, culture, arts, recreation, learning and entertainment.

What is The Explore South River Project:
• Design and placement of 12 interpretive story panels through our community which link to online media (audio/video) that comes to life on handheld devices.
• A print and digital map of all South River area art, recreation, culture, learning and entertainment assets and experiences including trails, and where to eat, sleep and play.
• An inclusive events calendar of all public arts, recreation, culture, entertainment events happening in the South River area.
• Identifying our stories: Collecting our historical and cultural stories at community story-sharing events by interviewing local memory-holders, conducting research of community archives to unearth our most inspiring stories. Conducting a community post-card survey.
• Presenting our stories: Creating multimedia versions of our stories in photo, text, audio, video by designing and producing interpretive panels, producing audio and video by interviewing locals with historical knowledge.
• Celebrating our assets: Researching existing inventories of community assets. Designing a print and digital map of our region. Creating a calendar of events and training organizations to post information about community happenings.
• Promoting our experiences: Providing training to create new and enhanced experiences to sell to visitors and putting the experiences on the map! Making access to all new content available in the palm of our hands.

Winter / Spring 2020 Job Postings
PARC Association extends an invitation to individuals and organizations to help make this vision a reality. We invite expressions of interest to complete the tasks required to complete the early stages of the project. Applicants may apply to fulfil more than one of the identified roles.
Applications will be accepted until January 10th by email to
Successful applicants will be contacted by January 20th. Applicants are asked to provide a cover letter, and a resume featuring relevant work experience
and a vision for how the role will be carried out. For roles involving multimedia creation, please link to samples of relevant work experience. For roles in which an organization is the applicant, identify the individual(s) who will complete the tasks.

Criteria to be used in selecting successful applicants include:
• demonstrated expertise in the field of work;
• a clear vision for how the role will be carried out with ability to meet timelines required;
• ability to agree upon a clear statement of work and financial compensation;
• knowledge of the Almaguin Highlands and the South River area;
• residence and place of business within 75 km of South River.

PARC is Hiring; Winter / Spring Job Descriptions:
Story teller: Author 12 stories by reviewing historical photos and documents and conducting community outreach and interviews, hosting community meetings. Developing a “voice or tone” for representing the people, places and experiences available in South River. Access story-telling assets including photos and memorabilia for digitization. Link stories to geographic locations in
Machar, South River and east to Algonquin Park. (January – March 30, 2020)

Community Asset Inventory: Conduct an inventory of community assets and create talent database. Review and combine existing strategic planning resources and conduct research adding
new talent database including the talent that exists in people (arts, recreation, culture, entertainment). Review data gathered from community outreach identifying what makes South River special. Work with ACED, Machar and South River to identify existing community values research for the South River area. Work with technology/web experts to develop a system for digitizing and storing these assets. (February – April 2020)

Print map designer: Work with existing digital map design assets such as Forgotten Trails base map to design a new 2020-2021 version of an Explore South River map to include member listings as well as art, recreation, culture, learning and entertainment assets identified in the Community, Asset Inventory and include Forgotten Trails, new interpretive sign locations, where to eat, sleep and access other important community resources. (April 2020)

Interpretive Sign designer: Building on collected data and grassroots community input, develop brand identity that connects the project assets. Layout and design media for 12 interpretive signs, including digitization of existing photos, memorabilia, and authored stories. Coordinate sign

Survey Results and Action Plans

Thank you Explore South River members for taking the time to respond to the Member Survey!

Members have decided how they would like their money spent and the goals they would like to pursue. It is important to listen to members, publish their decisions and follow their agreed-upon courses of action.

Over 93% of member respondents 14/15 have chosen OPTION B, a strong majority of the 25 current members.

OPTION B: Members have reaffirmed their vision to collaborate with the entire community to best represent a vibrant and thriving vision of South River to visitors and residents and enable the leveraging of funds from NOHFC and other community agencies to create something extra-ordinary together.

What happens now?

1. With your overwhelming support for The Explore South River Project, PARC met with NOHFC yesterday to review the work plan, insurance requirements and contract to access up to $45,000 funding awarded for the completion of the Explore South River Project.

2. On behalf of Explore South River members PARC is hereby making a formal request for NAISA to provide invoices and receipts for 2018-2019 expenses to account for almost $5000 raised by members to date.  With copies of these receipts from NAISA we will leverage over $8000 from NOHFC.

3. PARC will finalize the work plan and submit the signed contract with request for first part of funding from NOHFC once receiving NAISA’s copies of expenditures and reviewing accounting for remaining funds in the Explore South River account.

4. PARC will reach out to members who have expressed interest in helping complete the project to let you know about committee roles available and options for applying for paid work to complete the project.

5.  100% of respondents support the idea of paying for a two year membership up front to leverage fees from NOHFC.  You will soon be invited to renew your membership with fees being paid for 2020/2021 Explore South River memberships to PARC Association.  Sponsorship packages are also available.

6. An ad-hoc project steering committee will be formed from Explore South River members and new partners from allied organizations including The Friendly Circle Senior Centre, Forgotten Trails and others to review project timelines, job descriptions and make hiring decisions.

Surely, the best is yet to come

November Update.

The Explore South River train is back on the track.
On Nov 7 PARC hosted a very well-attended public event at Highlander Brew Co. where about 30 community members representing a variety of groups came out to learn about the Explore South River Project. 
Afterwards, at the meeting of current members, Todd Lucier and Bob Weaver from PARC outlined the project plans, and attendees shared support for the project and excitement for the opportunities it presents.

NEW South River Ice Ribbon Opens at Tom Thomson Park

Ice Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in South River at Noon,Saturday Feb 2, 2019
What happens when a small town pulls together almost thirty volunteers who contribute over 200 hours of collective effort in sub-zero temperatures (sometimes approaching -30 C) to pour tens of thousands of litres of water along a 400 m path?
You get the Ice Ribbon Skating Trail at Tom Thomson Park in South River, Ontario. The path has been open for public skating since this past weekend and the grand opening is scheduled for Noon on Saturday, February 2 (Groundhog Day).

“With all the effort folks have put in I sure hope Wiarton Willie confirms an extended mild winter so folks can enjoy the trail throughout February”, said PARC Association chair Todd Lucier who co-ordinated the ice-making effort. “It has been quite inspiring to have such terrific community support for this dream to become reality.“

Nearby Arrowhead Provincial Park has a skate trail that attracts thousands of visitors each winter. With full time park staff and gate fees that cover the cost of creating and maintaining their ice, Lucier and the South River community depend on the goodwill of the community to provide an ice skating opportunity with a suggested skater donation fee of just $2.

“Already it seems folks are taken with the idea of skating through the park. If residents and visitors get attached to the idea perhaps next year we will set our sights on getting some dedicated equipment and staff to take care of the ice – maybe even a zamboni. For now, we’ll do what we can to keep the ice surface in good repair by removing snow after large accumulations and providing twice a week watering. We invite patrons to lend a hand by pushing a shovel around the ribbon to keep the snow drifts at bay.” Lucier sees the Ice Ribbon as a stage for community events, “It’s a great place to host an outdoor gathering. I’m excited to see how folks will use the Ice Ribbon.”

In addition to the volunteer help, South River businesses have offered in-kind services and valuable resources that have made the Ice Ribbon project possible: Brown’s Quarry cleared the snow and created the path. Northern Edge Algonquin provided a tractor and snow blowing to remove large snowfalls. (Griffith Brothers Garage towed the tractor in and out of town when needed) with Black’s Guest house providing nearby parking for the rig. Stonemote Cottage and Northern Edge Algonquin built a watering rig. Highlander Brew Co. provided thousands of litres of 160 degree F hot water to flood the ice.
South River Guardian Pharmacy and Dr. Bob Weaver purchased shovels. Jeffery Dickerson crafted benches to make it easy for folks to lace up trailside. Sherry’s Diner provided hot chocolate and sandwiches to keep the volunteers bellies full. Lucier summed it up by saying, “It takes a community to make a dream come true.”

For more information:
Todd Lucier
705 498-9784