North Dundas Chamber of Commerce President, Nanda Wubs Huizenga, has some bold ideas when it comes to aiding local commerce. One such idea is that community events help bring in the kind of tourism and people traffic that supports local businesses of all types.
“We’ve been talking a lot about tourism, because my belief is that it’s not retail that brings people to our community, it’s our events,” said Nanda. The Chamber will be starting a Tourism Committee in October to help facilitate even more community activities. “Any event or group that brings in people… I’m hoping to have a representative and meet twice a year so that we can better coordinate our events in the Township, and better promote and support each other.” The Chamber will also be creating a tourism web page, appended to the local website ShopNorthDundas.ca, which the Chamber manages. “Tourism is so key for our community,” said Nanda.
Nanda gave the example of a local event she attended last week – the Bee Amazed fundraising event at Smirlholm Farms in Morewood. Nanda attended the event with her family, and she enjoyed herself. “He has a good vision for it, and he had some key components there,” Nanda said of the event. “He had a display with live bees, so you can see how they’re building a hive, which was very cool. The atmosphere was very festive!”
The event also featured other things to explore on the farm, including a cabin, and drinks served by a mobile bar company, Thirst Responder. Nanda explained that Thirst Responder makes cocktails, and in the case of the Bee Amazed event, they had three cocktails which were infused with honey. “I tried all three,” Nanda said. “My favourite was Beeknees.” According to Nanda, Smirlholm Farms owner Glenn Smirle had some trouble with the Township when seeking approval for the event, but Thirst Responder stepped in and helped the event go forward.
Bee Amazed was a fundraiser for the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Care Fund. It wrapped up on August 7, but of course it is just one of dozens of important community events that take place locally year round. Another prime example is the apple picking that takes place at Mountain Orchards. In talking with the owner of that business, Nanda learned that the event brings in about 200,000 people to the community each year. When such high volumes of people come to North Dundas, it provides benefit to retail shops, restaurants, and other businesses because it allows people to learn what is available in the community.
To learn more about local community events, the websites of the Township of North Dundas and the North Dundas Chamber of Commerce are good places to start. News of upcoming local events is also published in the North Dundas Times.