Healthy Communities Symposium 2013
Co-hosted by the Haliburton Communities in Action Committee and OHCC, the 2013 Healthy Communities Symposium was a resounding success. Thanks to all the sponsors, speakers and participants that made this a wonderful event.
Each year OHCC hosts a Healthy Communities symposium in conjunction with its Annual General Meeting. It is held in various locations around the province, and hosted in partnership with a local organization. This year it was held at the Minden Community Centre on October 3rd and 4th, 2013.
The purpose of the symposium was to provide a forum for learning and sharing that would inspire and support those that are involved in creating healthy communities.
For 2013, OHCC welcomed the opportunity to partner with the Haliburton Communities in Action Committee (CIA) to bring the symposium to the Haliburton Highlands. The CIA is a community-based coalition concerned about health, safety and the environment with the mission of “making Haliburton County a healthy, active community through active transportation planning”. In 2012, OHCC recognized the work of the Communities in Action Committee and presented them with the Sheila Lupson Healthy Community Recognition Award.
The symposium coincided with the first weekend of the Haliburton Studio Art Tour. This was also a great time of year to visit the Haliburton Highlands in its fall colours.
An Economic Activity Report was produced for the symposium. A total of 100 perople attended the symposium, with 77 from out-of-town. Forty-seven of the out-of-towners completed a survey of their spending, which showed that:
- Total spending on accommodation was approximately $4,585;
- Total spending on food outside of the symposium was approximately $1,477; and
- Almost half of attendees spent a total of $3,150 on recreation, shopping and other activities.
In addition, local spending by the symposium organizers amounted to $9,265. The total economic activity generated by the symposium was calculated at $21,735.
The theme of the symposium was Healthy Rural Communities. There are many common challenges faced in rural areas across Ontario when it comes to creating healthy communities. There is also a growing interest in how rural communities can build on their strengths to overcome these challenges. The 2013 symposium provided the opportunity to showcase some of the Haliburton Highlands' healthy community initiatives, share success stories and provide others from across Ontario with ideas that they can apply in their home communities.
Through a combination of workshops, presentations and site visits, participants had an opportunity to learn about rural economic development, and how Haliburton has become a leader and innovator in creating healthy rural communities. Individuals gained a better understanding of local initiatives and healthy communities in general.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 3, 2013
The symposium began on Thursday evening with a wonderful reception and dinner which sourced locally produced food provided in partnership with Foodland Ontario. Following the meal, a Keynote Address was provided by Wayne Caldwell, and three short films produced by Harvest Haliburton were shown.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 4, 2013
On the Friday morning, symposium participants heard from Andy Campbell, General Manager of the Haliburton County Development Corporation (HCDC) as one of the sponsors of the event. Andy spoke about why the HCDC identified healthy communities as a strategic priority, the fact that they have developed the largest loan portfolio in Canada, and some of the results of their investment in community economic development projects across the Haliburton Highlands.