All posts by ON Regional Economic Development

Agri-Food Innovations Recognized at Award Ceremony in Aurora

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence recently recognized some of the province’s most innovative leaders in the sector! We’d like to introduce some of these innovations to you.

On November 9, 2015, a regional event in Aurora showcased the award recipients from in and around the Greater Toronto Area including Haldimand County, Hamilton Region, Muskoka District, Niagara Region, Peel Region, Toronto and York Region.

Aqua Greens – Mississaugaphoto-original

Craig Petten and Pablo Alvarez have transformed their Mississauga-based aquaponics operation from one storey to four, quadrupling production without adding to its carbon footprint. Continue reading Agri-Food Innovations Recognized at Award Ceremony in Aurora

Agri-Food Innovations Recognized at Award Ceremony in Sudbury

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence recognizes and celebrates agri-food producers, processors, organizations and rural communities, who through their innovative ideas and projects are helping strengthen our communities, support a sustainable environment, create jobs and boost our economy.

The following are regional award recipients from Algoma, Sudbury and Timiskaming Districts.

Mill Market – Sault Ste. Marie

In many communities, farmers’ markets close up shop when the frost hits, sending the local food movement into hibernation. After all, outdoor stalls lose their appeal in sub-zero temperatures. That’s why organizer’s in Sault Ste. Marie decided to move their market indoors to keep the doors open year-round. A former fish hatchery in the city’s historic canal district was repurposed, and in 2014, the new Mill Market opened. Continue reading Agri-Food Innovations Recognized at Award Ceremony in Sudbury

A Closer Look at the 2015 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum

Topics presented were:

Building a Bio-Industrial Cluster in Southwestern Ontario
One Detroit: Building an Inclusive and Diverse Entrepreneurial Community
Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-food Organizations
Golden Horseshoe Food & Farming Alliance Asset Mapping Project
The Closure of the Heinz Plant in Leamington
Getting Results from Social Media
Agriculture as a Local Economic Development Opportunity

The seventh annual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum was recently held in Chatham-Kent. The two-day event provided an opportunity for those involved in agriculture and food-related areas of economic development to network, share successes, and learn more about programs targeted to the sector. More than 70 people from across the province took part in tours that featured agri-tourism destinations, producers, manufacturers, and food processors. They were able to connect with those who have first-hand experience in the industry. Continue reading A Closer Look at the 2015 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum

New Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-Food Organizations

A new performance measurement guide has been developed for Agriculture and Agri-Food organizations. The guide takes the reader through a step-by-step process designed to to help organizations develop a performance measurement plan.111

Performance measurement is the ongoing process of collecting, analyzing and reporting results. Performance measurement has a ton of benefits and helps organizations in several different ways. For starters, it helps assess the progress an initiative is making towards a desired outcome or goal. It also helps to foster a culture of continuous improvement within an organization which ultimately leads to more successful initiatives. Finally, measuring performance helps improve efficiency and effectiveness and provide leaders with evidence to communicate success. Continue reading New Performance Measurement guide for Agriculture & Agri-Food Organizations

E-Learning: Building Organizational Capacity – The Importance of Effective Governance

Screenshot from Board Governance Module

An effective governing body is an essential component to any organization. Despite their importance; they can be quite complicated to understand. The Board Governance learning module is one of four new e-learning modules that focus’ on the important aspects of building an effective organization.

This interactive module covers valuable information that will help establish how a governing body can work for any organization. The Board Governance module is divided into four lessons, which are:
Continue reading E-Learning: Building Organizational Capacity – The Importance of Effective Governance

Celebrating Ontario’s Leaders in Agri-Food Innovation

As part of Ontario Agriculture Week, we wanted to highlight some of the past Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence winners, who contribute to the success of the Ontario’s Agri-Food sector. The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program recognizes innovation that creates new products, improves existing products, helps in the creation of new jobs and ultimately strengthens economic growth in Ontario. In 2014, 50 award recipients from across the province were recognized. Continue reading Celebrating Ontario’s Leaders in Agri-Food Innovation

Rural Economic Development Program Opens for New Applications

Ontario is providing rural communities, businesses and organizations, with funding to help attract investment, create jobs, and boost tourism, through a renewed Rural Economic Development (RED) program.  The renewed program will now have two streams for applications: a Community Development Stream and a Business Development Stream. For projects to qualify under either stream, applicants must demonstrate how their project benefits rural Ontario.

The RED program is now open and will accept applications on the following dates:Picture1

  • October 2, 2015 to January 15, 2016;
  • January 16, 2016 to April 15, 2016;
  • April 16, 2016 to July 15, 2016;
  • July 16, 2016 to October 15, 2016;
  • October 16, 2016 to January 15, 2017.

With support from the Rural Economic Development program, rural Ontario will be better positioned to:

  • Attract investment and create high-value jobs as well as train and sustain a highly-skilled, knowledge-based workforce capable of succeeding in today’s global economy
  • Promote innovative and creative local industries that can translate ideas into products and services for a global market.

For more information on the renewed RED program, please visit our website.

Promoting Agriculture at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop

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Participants at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop listening to OMAFRA “Growing Agriculture and Agri-Food in Northern Ontario” session.

On September 24th OMAFRA Regional Economic Development Branch staff Pierrette Desrochers, Agriculture Development Advisor; Monique Legault, Manager North Region in collaboration with John O’Neil OMAFRA Planner for the north presented a workshop entitled “Growing Agriculture and Agri-Food in Northern Ontario” at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop in Sudbury.

Continue reading Promoting Agriculture at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop

Overview of the First Impression Community Exchange Program

A group of people having a discussionA First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) is a structured and cost-effective process that reveals the first impression a community conveys to potential visitors, investors and new residents. The results can serve as the basis for action plans to enhance or build on community strengths and address challenges. Continue reading Overview of the First Impression Community Exchange Program

Staff Profile: Heather Candler

Get to know our staff. We’ll be profiling them here so you can get to know who can help you grow your ideas. 

Heather Candler
Heather Candler, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor

What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch?  I have the pleasure of working as an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor out of the Brighton office in Eastern Ontario.  I work with rural Eastern Ontario communities in both Northumberland and Haliburton Counties on economic development initiatives. Continue reading Staff Profile: Heather Candler