A small group of dedicated women have banded together over the past two years to create Canada Day activities here.
The Fun in the Sun committee said the level of activity at Point Park on Canada Day has gone from just 35 people the year before they took over to now thousands.
The FITS committee initially formed in the late summer of 2015 after being disappointed by the lack of Canada Day activities at the Point.
The idea came about when the members were sitting around a campfire and had the thought, “What would it take to get some daytime activities going on for Canada Day?”
“There was nothing going on. No one had organized anything for years,” said committee member Cynthia Donald.
Fellow member Joyce McCormick said three years ago, before their committee was formed, only a handful of people turned out at the Point—a stark contrast to when the town used to see a swarm of activity there.
“When we first moved out here 20-30 years ago now, the Point was crawling with people,” noted committee member Cathy Richards.
“We used to go down, I would take my family, we would pick our spot, and spend the whole day down there,” McCormick recalled.
“Then all of the sudden, three years ago I went down there, took my grandchildren down there, and I counted them,” she added.
“There was 35 people, that was it.”
“There was nothing there, no vendors, no food, nothing," said Donald. "And it had been like that for years prior.”
With no money for a budget, the ladies quickly started brainstorming fundraising ideas. What soon followed was the purchase of a doughnut-making machine and plans to host a “social.”
They received donations from the community, as well, and managed to muster up enough support from their first “social” that ran in 2016 to make the Canada Day activities possible.
As well, the FITS committee earned some money through its Moffat Fund application.
Their efforts didn't go unnoticed with more than 6,000 people visiting the Point for Canada Day activities in 2016.
The following year had poorer weather but the committee still managed to draw an excess of 4,000 people there.
The types of activities the FITS committee brought in included an entertainment tent, dunk tank, bouncy castles, face-painting, food truck vendors, sports competitions, artisans, log-rolling, kayaking, canoeing, wakeboarding, and other water sports.
To make this year's Canada Day equally successful, the committee is looking to raise money through fundraisers around town.
They also are in need of volunteers to help out in any way they can.
Donald said volunteering with Fun in the Sun is a great way to get community service hours for high school students in order to graduate.
The committee also is calling on all musicians, entertainers, and local talent who would be interested in performing in front of the Canada Day crowd.
As well, FITS is looking for any businesses, churches, community groups, committees, and organizations that want to promote themselves by sponsoring and facilitating a Canada Day event.
Donald said the Point is frequented by thousands of people looking to celebrate Canada Day activities, so an event run by a business or service groups will help to get them great exposure.
To reach out to the FITS committee, message them on their Facebook page entitled “Fun in the Sun-Fort Frances.”
You also can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org