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Last year I spent the week before Labour Day State side doing some shopping, visiting the mall
of America and all that fun stuff. Our drive back along the North shore of Lake Superior on the
US side was filled with all sorts of little “festivals”, Labour Day things and what not. A lot of people
out and about.
Cross the border and as I am coming into Nipigon I drive right to my house as if any other day in
the area. Then it occurs to me – this is Fall Fishing weekend in Nipigon!
Not a sign, literally, of Nipigon’s largest yearly event (was actually the 50th anniversary). Where
is the celebration of Nipigon? Anyone driving along the highway (thousands of cars every day)
would never know, never have the opportunity to stop and explore.
Why is there an apparent shortage of openness about what we have here in Northwest Ontario?
Large potential regional events become delegated to local events that even neighbouring communities
know nothing about. Yes, some people do, but what about most people?
The Red Rock Folk Fest, another yearly event does have a pretty good reputation and advertising
system in place and has become mostly regionally known, but why is its activities strictly limited
to Red Rock? Why can’t other communities’ help, hold complimentary activities, share advertising
with their own “local events”.
Northwest Ontario is separated by large distance, but common interests, common thoughts and
the desire to bring prosperity back to the region once enjoyed at the height of the forestry industry.
In order for tourism to really happen here there are numerous things we need to do at all levels.
The average person, small group, organization and town – we need to stop thinking of our events
and local resources being just of local interest – we need to share our knowledge, our pictures,
our resources and our events with those that may just happen upon our region.
We have a captive audience on those highways, now we just have to get the people to stop, the
first step is to openly celebrate what we have here.

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This article is from
Northwest Ontario Outdoors Magazine.
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