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Grocery sales down 40 per cent over long weekend compared to last year

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham says grocery sales were down 40 per cent over a typical long weekend in the city because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a wide-ranging media scrum Letham and CAO Ron Taylor shared their thoughts on the disappointing business trends from the recent Victoria Day weekend and what issues the city will be facing moving forward next month and even into next year.

On the grocery store numbers, Letham says that “unless residents use their local businesses they are going to lose them.”

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Mayor fears substantial tourism losses but says not the time to give up

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham fears “substantial losses” depending on how long the city’s tourism-related businesses remain closed because of the pandemic.

The mayor, talking with local reporters at a weekly press scrum, says he has concerns about tourism and the upcoming long weekend but that it’s not time to give up on the season yet.

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Carden Alvar Nature Photography a fantastic opportunity for nature lovers

in Around Town/Environment by
Capture the rare birds, wildflowers, and unique landscape. Photo: Ginny Moore.

As the City of Kawartha Lakes defines it, experiential tourism is a form of travel in which the visitor goes beyond the usual mass tourism draws and participates in activities that enable them to experience a place by directly connecting to its history, people and culture.

Visitors can learn new skills, participate in local projects, or work with local masters to create their own masterpiece. By engaging with the locals, visitors experience the authentic hands-on dimensions of a place and its people through storytelling, delicious food and sights that turn to memories to last a lifetime.

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Council approves working group to research cultural centre for Kawartha Lakes  

in The Arts by
Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie and roundtable discussions.
Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie.

At the March 19 Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting, Council heard from Dianne Lister and Susan Taylor, representatives from the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council (KLAC) and the Cultural Centre Committee, who recommended that Council strike a working group to examine the possibility of a cultural centre for the municipality.

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KLAC wants to work with new council to advance tourism, development

in Community/The Arts by
L to R: Andy Letham, Brian Junkin, Gord James.

The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council and the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network are looking forward to working with the new council to further strengthen cultural tourism and economic development in the municipality.

The groups were interested in electing candidates who support the cultural sector and who believe that long-term investment in the culture of the Kawartha Lakes is vital to economic and social growth.

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City developing Balsam Lake ‘Dry Stone Wall’ experience to promote cultural tourism

in Around Town/Community/Opinion by

The invitation:  To participate in a trial run of a Kawartha Lakes Arts & Heritage Trail “Experience.” Over the course of a weekend participants are to be introduced to the art of dry stone walling. They will restore a section of the roughly 150-year-old Laidlaw wall that lines a stretch of Balsam Lake Drive.

The invitee: An Advocate columnist with minimal manual dexterity, little aptitude, and the soft hands of a scribe.

The Experience: Orientation

It’s a chilly Saturday morning in late October when we meet in the warmth of the Days Inn lobby: a writer, a museum volunteer, an economic development officer, a travel agent, and a dry stone mason.

Not hard to identify the mason, our instructor. John Shaw-Rimmington is lanky and weathered looking, with a white beard and untrimmed hair. His handshake is strong, and the hand that wraps around mine is roughened, reddened, one fingernail black.

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Memories and motor trips: Get-away in a Model A

in Just in Time by

For the past two decades, an annual summertime tradition in the McKechnie household has been the Model A Owners of Canada annual “Get-Away In A Model A” tour, usually taking place during the third weekend of August.  Suitcases, lawn chairs, coolers, and umbrellas are packed into the back of our 1930 Model A Ford town sedan, which has been our family since my father purchased it from the late Doug Windrem, of Omemee, almost 30 years ago.

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Lieutenant Governor says we can ‘absolutely’ eliminate poverty

in Around Town/Community/Poverty Reduction by
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario says we can ‘absolutely’ eliminate poverty
Dowdeswell was making her first-ever trip to Kawartha Lakes and met with Mayor Andy Letham and other community leaders.

Declaring that all of us are vulnerable to changing life circumstances, Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell says we can “absolutely” end poverty as we know it if we choose to do so. Dowdeswell was making her first-ever trip to Kawartha Lakes and met with Mayor Andy Letham, as well as local Federal MP Jamie Schmale, a number of councillors, business people, and other community leaders, to talk about tourism.

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Kawartha Lakes nets just under $100,000 in downtown revitalization money

in Business/Community/Local News by

Kawartha Lakes is getting more than $92,000 to enhance their downtown cores with landscaping, signage and lights, crosswalks for pedestrian safety, and even for local businesses to  spruce up storefronts.

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