Four local cheesemakers earn 9 nominations for Canadian Cheese Grand Prix

Four local cheesemakers earn 9 nominations for Canadian Cheese Grand Prix

cheeseWith four outstanding local cheesemakers garnering numerous nominations for this year’s prestigious Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, yet another page is being written in Oxford County’s long and illustrious cheese history book. Local entrants, among hundreds of competitors from across Canada, are Bright Brand Cheese & Butter, Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, Local Dairy Products and MountainOak Cheese Ltd. Cheesemakers from Canada’s east to west coasts submitted 268 cheeses in 27 categories for the 9th annual competition, with 81 finalists chosen for the April 22 Gala of Champions in Toronto.


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Festivals & Events Ontario Appoints Kathrin Delutis as Executive Director


Board President Rosemarie O’Brien is pleased to announce the appointment of Kathrin Delutis to the position of Executive Director of Festival and Events Ontario (FEO). Ms. Delutis will start with FEO on March 16, 2015.


“Festival and Events Ontario provides leadership and support to hundreds of festivals, events and suppliers,” explained Ms. O’Brien. “In Kathrin, we have found an accomplished leader who will work alongside the Board and staff to take FEO into the future with vision and confidence. She has extensive experience in the not-for-profit realm, firm roots in events and great competence in strategy development and annual planning.”


“I am truly honoured to lead this organization,” said Ms. Delutis. “FEO has been led by a dedicated group of staff and board members, looking to build its capacity, and I look forward to working together, to build an even stronger association.”


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Elgin County Takes Home Economic Development Award

Elgin County Economic Development is pleased to be the recipient of an Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) Marketing Award of Excellence for its Savour Elgin/Elgin Arts Trail Discovery Guide. The County also received honourable mention for the Elgin County Experiences Guide. The award was presented at the EDCO annual conference in Hamilton on February 12, 2015.


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Tourism Experts Prepare for Prosperous Season Ahead

On February 18th and 19th, the Best Western PLUS Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre in London, Ontario will host 200+ tourism professionals for the fourth annual Ontario’s Southwest Tourism Conference. This is a forum for those in the tourism industry to stay up-to-date with trends, share ideas and network with colleagues.


Tourists already spend over 1.4 billion a year in this region. With economists predicting the loonie could drop even more, this is prime time for tourism growth in Southern Ontario.


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SWOTC Seeking Volunteer Leaders for Board of Directors


Do you have a passion for tourism, the skill to lead and a willingness to serve?


Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (Ontario’s Southwest) serves the tourism sectors within the Counties of Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Haldimand, Norfolk and the City of London.  With funding from the Ministry of Tourism, this innovative non-profit plans to achieve the vision whereby Ontario’s Southwest is a vibrant and prosperous tourism region. We intend to do this by taking a leadership position and proudly and collaboratively working with all tourism stakeholders to champion tourism as a vital economic driver.


For additional details and application information, please view the application. If you would like a fillable version of the application, please email

Art exploration returns for the second annual Railway City Arts Crawl

In late February, the streets of St. Thomas will once again be peppered with art lovers and curious onlookers. Back for a second year, the Railway City Arts Crawl is a winter celebration of local arts and culture spanning a variety of public and commercial venues throughout St. Thomas on February 27 and 28. A free event, the Arts Crawl invites people to move leisurely from site to site using a passport as a guide and to interact with talented local artists engaging in the creative process.


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Winter Bites is back!

Winter is here and that means Winter Bites Restaurant Week is back! During Winter Bites Restaurant Week, January 12 to January 18, 2015, diners can visit participating Essex County restaurants and indulge in a 3-course meal starting at only $10. Participants can dine on prix-fixe menus with $10, $15, $25 or $35 options. Each restaurant will offer a unique Winter Bites menu where diners can select from a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts.

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HMCS Ojibwa wins prestigious Canadian Tourism Award

1HMCS OJIBWA came up a winner last night for the second time this month.  The Elgin Military Museum received the TIAC Brewster Travel Innovator of the Year Award for Ojibwa’s opening season at the Travel Industry Association of Canada awards gala in Ottawa Wednesday night.

“This is an incredible finish to a great year,” said Ian Raven, Executive Director of the Museum.  “We were honoured to be finalists in the company of such amazing competition.  Every one of the four finalists should be on every Canadian’s must see list.”

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New smartphone app helps users ‘Buy Local, Eat Smart, Get Healthy’

Western University researchers and partners released the SmartAPPetite app recently, providing Southwestern Ontarians customized tips about local food, healthy eating, recipes, and information about local farmers and food providers.  As part of an effort to connect the region to healthy, local food options, the smartphone app promotes the motto ‘Buy Local, Eat Smart, Get Healthy,’ and its creators aim to give a boost to the local food economy while helping people improve their diets.

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City of Windsor Captures “Tourism Event of the Year” Award

award 2The 2013 International Children’s Games (ICG) has been selected as the Tourism Event of the Year! The award was presented last night (November 13) at the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario’s “2014 Tourism Industry Awards of Excellence” event in Collingwood.  The ICG was singled out for its focus on increasing visitor satisfaction, economic spend, and long-term impact on the region.

ICG 2013 was a catalyst that drew the Windsor Essex community together to offer over 5,000 visitors an unforgettable experience and an introduction to all the region has to offer.
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