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Chamber group to hold annual meeting here

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Fort Frances will see about 50 delegates, dignitaries, and guest speakers come into town this week when the local Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual fall general meeting of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce (NOACC).

“We’re looking forward to it,” Chamber president Christine Denby said of the Sept. 27-29 meeting. “It’s a great thing to have, especially with the delegates coming to see the museum and all the good things going on here in Fort Frances.

“As a Chamber, we’re geared up to show off our wonderful community,” she added, noting the theme for the conference is “We’re looking for the ultimate tourist.”

The conference will kick off tomorrow (Sept. 27) with registration at La Place Rendez-Vous from 4-7 p.m., followed by a mix-n-mingle at the Fort Frances Museum from 7-9 p.m.

“We’re highlighting the museum because of our commitment to that project. We think it’s well worthwhile,” said Denby, referring to the $25,000 pledge the Chamber made to the museum renovation project.

Much of the conference will take place at the Rendez-Vous, with registration taking place again on the morning of Friday, Sept. 28, followed by breakfast.

That will be followed by the NOACC business meeting, as well as a discussion/Q&A session with Elections Ontario representative Pat Brett regarding the referendum on electoral reform.

Next up will be presentations by Abitibi-Consolidated regional manager Doug Murray, the Ontario Chambers of Commerce, the North Superior Training Board, Onatario Mining Association, Ministry of Infrastructure Renewal (Northern Places to Grow), Northwestern Ontario economic development officer Dr. Robert Rosehart, and Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Ken Boshcoff.

(Some of these presentations have not been confirmed and may change closer to the date of the conference).

On Friday evening, Jack Allston, senior economic development officer, will be the keynote speaker during the dinner banquet. Winnipeg comedian Dean Jenkinson will provide the entertainment afterwards.

Chamber manager Dawn Booth noted local members can register for the NOACC meeting or simply choose to attend the Friday banquet with Allston and Jenkinson only.

Chamber non-members also are welcome to attend the banquet.

“If people can’t commit enough time to attend the entire conference, they can come out and participate at some level,” Booth said.

Saturday will start with breakfast for the delegates, followed by NOACC reports, updates, and presentations. The conference will end around noon that day.

The registration fee for the conference is $150 (this includes all meals).

Tickets for the Friday banquet only cost $35 for Chamber members and $40 for non-members.

Tying into the theme, conference registrants also will be entered into a draw to win the “Ultimate Tourist Vacation” at Grassy Narrows Lodge.

Those interested in attending can contact Booth at 274-5773 or 1-800-820-FORT (3678), or via e-mail at thefort@fortfranceschamber.com

NOACC represents a membership of 11 regional Chambers of Commerce throughout Northwestern Ontario.

Its meetings are held bi-annually in Northwestern Ontario communities. Policy is adopted through resolution format at the September meeting, and resolutions approved by NOACC speak directly to the provincial and federal governments.

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