‘Many people didn’t know we existed’ until Country Living Show

By Roderick Benns

‘Many people didn’t know we existed’ until Country Living Show
Record turn-out at Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show.

Jo-Anne Smith’s business is For the Birds – and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her business of everything bird-related is just outside of Cameron in Kawartha Lakes, but too many people didn’t know where to find her – until four years ago.

That was when she decided to get some space at the Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show in Fenelon Falls.

‘Many people didn’t know we existed’ until Country Living Show
Jo-Anne Smith, For the Birds.

“We were finding many people didn’t know we existed. This show has been a great way to introduce the community to our business,” says Smith.

“It opened us up to a broad range of customers we wouldn’t otherwise have had.”

This year’s set-up has been even better, she says, noting the Chamber of Commerce has been “stellar” in organizing a particularly great event this year.

That’s music to the ears of Shannon Bain, manager of the Fenelon Falls and District Chamber of Commerce, who was enthused with the feedback she was getting over the weekend. (The event was held Friday through Sunday at the community centre.)

“Some of the vendors are losing their voices – there are so many people to talk to,” Bain says.

The Country Living Show, in its 34th year, broke last year’s attendance record at 3:30 pm on Saturday with still another day to go on Sunday to complete the show.

Bain says she is hearing how well organized everything is this year. She also credits the “many volunteers” who have helped to pull it off.

“They have been exceptional,” she says.

On the Locks restaurant in Fenelon Falls was in charge of food and Bain says their menu for the weekend has gotten great feedback.

Tim Wisener is committee chair for the Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show. Wisener says the parking lot itself on Saturday was proof positive how great this year’s show was going to be.

“It has been absolutely splendid – something incredible to see.”

This year the show featured six unique artist studios which were very popular, from woodworking art to paintings and jewelry.

Wisener points out that this year’s show is the biggest show yet, both in vendors and in attendance levels.

“We may need a bigger parking lot next year.”

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