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November Sport Networking Meeting Recap

November Sport Networking Meeting Recap


Ela Stypa Jones MC’d the Sport Networking Meeting on Thursday, November 9, 2017. This was our last Sport Networking Meeting of 2017, so it was very fitting for us to get to be our own hosts at the Brantford Visitor & Tourism Centre.

Thank You

Jackie from Domino’s pizza generously provided the delicious spread of food at this month’s meeting. We were spoiled for choice with pepperoni, pineapple, vegetarian and Canadian options. Jackie couldn’t be with us at this meeting, but we send our sincere thanks. Ela was also able to share some exciting news that Domino’s Brantford is expanding and Jackie will be opening a second location in late December, early January. Congratulations Jackie, and thanks again!

The Brantford Visitor and Tourism Centre

A quick show of hands around the room demonstrated that about 95% of attendees have been to the Tourism Centre before, which makes us very happy. The Tourism Centre has now been open for 15 years, and we are a quick, easy stop off the highway servicing both local residents and visitors with all their travelling needs. We have three main goals here at the Tourism Center:

  1.      Increase the amount of visitors to Brantford
  2.      Increase the average spending and length of stay of visitors in Brantford
  3.      Create a memorable experience for all our visitors

In 2016, the Brantford Visitor and Tourism Centre welcomed 12,258 visitors from all over the world. This represents a 10% increase over the prior year.


Ela described how local residents are our best customer and proposed the question: “What have you done to be a tourist in your own town?” With a group of 40 individuals in attendance, the responses we received during this icebreaker ranged, including: trails, restaurants, hotels, library, Brantwood Farms, Sanderson Centre, Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre and Wayne Gretzky International Hockey Tournament, fishing and tubing the Grand River, skating in Harmony Square, cycling, Earl Haig Family Fun Park, Community Charity Airshow, Bell City Brewing Company, Mohawk Park, and Blue Dog. Wow! What an amazingly diverse response that just proves how lucky we are to be living in this vibrant and growing community that truly offers something for everyone.

Presentation: Brantford Municipal Sport Tourism Strategy

Presented by: Nicole Drake, Manager of Tourism & Marketing, City of Brantford

As many of you know, Economic Development and Tourism absorbed the coordination of sport tourism from the Parks & Recreation department in 2013, and it has quickly become a very important part of the work of our division. In December 2016, City Council approved the updated Economic Development & Tourism Strategy, which included a recommendation to undertake an assessment of the sport tourism market in order to provide strategic direction and recommendations for next 5-10 years. A consultant will be selected by the end of the month and the goal of the Municipal Sport Tourism Strategy is to provide strategic direction for the City’s sport tourism efforts over the next 5 to 10 years, resulting in clear strategic directions and identification of the resources required to implement the initiatives identified. The Economic Development & Tourism Department is the lead for this project, but it will involve many other departments and community groups, and we need your involvement as well. This project is expected to take 6-8 months (November 2017 to May 2018). If you have questions about the project or would like to be added to the project mailing list, please contact the project lead, Donna Clements, Tourism Business Development Officer at

Presentation: BScene’s #BRANTastic New Website

Presented by: Jason Freeze, Owner of BScene

Jason unveiled his brand new website, which was designed locally by Smashing Pixels. The website is not live just yet, but will be launched mid-November. The clean, fresh new website look is designed to be more user-friendly. It will now be easier than ever to discover what #BRANTastic events are on each month. Event listings will include date, time, location, posters, photos, and the option to add these events to your calendar directly from the website. The overall website is more intuitive and interactive for users. It is broken down into six categories: entertainment, community, sports, family, arts, and education. There will be opportunities for sponsorship and advertising on the website to come. For more information, please contact Jason directly at

Presentation: Brantford-Brant Business Resource Enterprise Centre

Presented by: Mae Legg, Senior Small Business Consultant

The goal of the Brantford-Brant Business Resource Enterprise Centre (BRC) is to assist in the creation and development of businesses and their goals and objectives. The BRC assists business start-ups, expansions and seasoned businesses who are looking for advice or information. In addition to offering free workshops, one-on-one counseling sessions, succession planning, and much more, the BRC also facilitates the delivery of two provincially-funded programs: Summer Company (for students ages 18-29 who are in school currently and returning to school in the fall) and Starter Company Plus (formerly Starter Company) for those 18 years and up. Starter Company saw the delivery of 27 business grants of $5,000 each from January 2015 through March 2017, and Starter Company Plus has seen 7 grants delivered to date with the program scheduled to wrap-up in 2019. Mae showed an inspiring Starter Company promotional video that captures the spirit of the program and passion of the entrepreneurs, while highlighting the specific services that the BRC offers. For more information about the role that the BRC can play in your business, please contact Mae directly at

Shout Outs!

David McKee, Brantford’s Official Town Crier

A survey was recently conducted that does not show the value of arts & culture in our community. The survey will be re-conducted, and David is hoping to encourage more participation. He asked the group if he could share the e-mail when it becomes available. He cautioned that a lack of participation in the survey unfairly represents a lack of enthusiasm about arts and culture in Brantford, which could be a detriment if we don’t respond appropriately.  Contact David directly at for more information.

Jason Freeze, BScene

Jason reminded everyone to submit all upcoming events. He also announced that the Santa Claus Parade will be held on November 25 and this year’s theme is “Christmas Around Canada” to tie in with Canada’s 150th birthday. Contact Jason at for more information.

Dr. Angela Hanlon, Holistic Healing Arts

Dr. Angela introduced a new group acupuncture programing opening up soon. They can house up to five people at a time, in very comfortable leather chairs that vibrate. This program is a little more affordable and still gives you the great hands-on care you need. Contact Angela at for more information.

Rob Adams, Brant Curling Club

Brant Curling Club will be offering first aid training on November 25 and 26th for $130. For more information or to register, please contact Rob directly at 

Thank You

Thanks once again to Jackie from Domino’s pizza for generously providing our meal at the November Sport Networking Meeting luncheon. Another thank you also goes out to Dr. Angela Hanlon from Holistic Healing Arts for providing a $140 gift certificate for our raffle. A special thank you also goes out to all of our participants at the Sport Networking Meeting – we are thrilled to have you all as such strong members and ambassadors of sport in our community. Your hard work and dedication are what make us the Tournament Capital of Ontario.

See you in the New Year!


Brantford Sports , Sport Networking Meeting , TCO , Tournament Capital of Ontario , Tourism , Municipal Sport Tourism Strategy , Brantford-Brant Business Resource Enterprise Centre , BRC , BScene , David McKee , Town Crier , Brant Curling Club , Holistic Healing Arts


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