The 7th Teeny Tiny Summit attracted its largest audience ever when the Municipality of Tweed hosted the summit earlier this summer. The first Teeny Tiny Summit was held in 2015, as the OMAFRAs East Region Economic Development staff wanted to support their smallest communities. These communities had several features in common…they were typically small, rural, with limited staff and resources, and little or no perceived economic development capacity and activity.
This year’s theme was ‘Creating our Future, Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary’ and was supported by the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) and the North and Central Hastings Community Futures Development Corporation. This year’s event covered four key topics that aimed to inspire others. Speakers shared their real-life examples of community volunteer involvement, strategic planning, telling personal stories and the importance of municipal-volunteer relationships.
Charles Ketchabaw and Lisa Marie Diliberto from Tale of a Town Canada shared stories of communities that they have worked with over the years, as well as providing participants with tools to engage or, animate, their community. Tweed & Co. created and performed a very rousing version of the Teeny Tiny song, ‘A Story of Us’, and Peter White shared the very exciting story of the Canadian Centre for Rural Revitalization.
The Teeny Tiny movement in rural Ontario is gaining momentum and interest from many “Teeny Tiny” rural Ontario communities. The Teeny Tiny Summit has inspired others through their events, along with growing number of personal success stories they shared.
Since 2015, over 800 people including municipal staff, community volunteers, government staff and community organizations have participated in Teeny Tiny Summits, and the momentum continues to grow. Plans are in development to create an ongoing Community of Practice, continue the strong partnership with ROMA.