Respond to OHTO's Monthly Guiding Question to Share Your Story

Come Wander has been created to share the stories of Ontario's Highlands and provide a place for our tourism partners and operators to share their brand message and reach new audiences. We know you're busy, so we're asking that you answer just one simple question each month.

We love a cushy robe, fuzzy slippers, and being pampered; but sometimes the chance to sit under the warm sun and embrace the tranquility of nature leaves us feeling equally refreshed. This month, we want to know:

What's your favourite way to relax and focus on your own wellbeing?

Please submit your response to this question by Friday, June 29, 2018.

Click here for more information.

Contact 8,500 potential customers at Saw Tech Log and RURAL Expo

20 - 22 July, 2018 Renfrew, Ontario

After a very successful show last year we are including rural businesses & services in 2018.

8,500 visitors last year!      Outdoor or Indoor Exhibit space is available.

Exhibitors can co-ordinate with us to create their own "Events within the Event" and we will promote them.... Classes, Education sessions etc. Connect with potential customers!

We will promote your show specials and products you are featuring.

Click here to view our overview of the show as a PDF.

Tourism Stakeholder Sessions hosted by OHTO

Register for a Tourism Stakeholder Session by Friday!

With the Come Wander brand resonating with consumers and inspiring visitation, it’s more important than ever that we back this up as a region by ensuring we offer incredible experiences to visitors in destination. Doing so will create ambassadors for the region, help further leverage #ComeWander messaging, and inspire even more visitation.

The OHTO team is thrilled to be hitting the road to host Tourism Stakeholder Sessions at six locations across the region next week from April 30-May 3.

Sessions will focus on the importance of adopting a destination experience mindset, providing tools to implement this, and exploring next steps for how we can support visitors as they Come Wander Ontario’s Highlands. Join us at a session near you to explore, “The Power of Place: How Nurturing Your Destination Experience Can Create Buzz and Drive Visitation

Sessions will not only be a chance to further explore this topic, but will also provide the opportunity to network with OHTO staff and peers. Evening sessions will be hosted as a cocktail-style event with appetizers and a cash bar.

Please have a look at the schedule below and click here to register for the session most convenient to you by Friday, April 27.

Looking to register to attend the Renfrew session and the OVTA Tourism Conference & AGM? Please click here.


Saw Tech Log & Rural Expo brings together all those interested in the forestry, farming, rural and cottage industries. Expanding on last years event it was asked by industry to include the rural and complete natural resource based industries. So we are!

After 8 successful events in Ontario, Saw Tech has decided to return to Renfrew for 2018. With attendance of over 8,000 delegates for the first event hosted in the valley the organizers are expecting an even larger crowd for 2018. Renfrew is Ontario’s largest county and home to more wood related businesses than any other county in Ontario. Renfrew is also home to some of the oldest lumber businesses in Canada. In central and eastern Ontario, the local forest industry generates $573 million every year.

Building on the success of this year’s show, plans have been solidified for Renfrew to host once again Ontario’s largest forestry expo at the Ma-Te-Way Activity center, July 20-22, 2018.

Glenn Dredhart (Saw Tech Log & Rural Expo show manager) said that this next event will host even more displays and more activities along with more exhibitor engagement due to the expansion of the event. We had 190 indoor and outdoor exhibits in 2017 and are expecting over 250 for 2018 making this event the largest forest expo in Canada. Exhibits covering every aspect of the forest will be on display in Renfrew.

Over 8000 forest enthusiasts attended Renfrew’s 3 day event in 2017 and the exhibitors were all happy with the turn out of the event, stating that the quality of the attendee was the best they have seen in many years of attending other similar events. Sales were done right on site at the event and companies continue to have business trickle in well after the event was over.

Glenn added that with attendees travelling from other provinces and states the immediate economic impact was great for the Ottawa Valley and for Renfrew with restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and gas stations all feeling the economic benefit from the event.

The Canadian Trade-Ex Group (show organizers) are already working hard to produce an even larger event and a larger crowd of delegates and visitors to experience what the Forest has to offer in the Ottawa Valley for 2018.

Click the above image to view an interactive brochure of this event!

Visit the event website at for registration information!

Hike For Hospice Renfrew Special Offer for Businesses from 96.1 myFM Radio

Hospice Renfrew serves the sensitive needs of dying loved ones and their families from all over the Ottawa Valley.  Hospice Renfrew displays tender loving care for dying loved ones and their families.  Some of us have personally experienced the professional compassionate care exhibited by Hospice Renfrew. This is one important event I participate in as a walker each year because you never know when any of us may require the professional services of Hospice Renfrew. (Hike For Hospice Registration is May 6,2018 at 12:30 PM at Me-Te-Way Activity Arena Complex in Renfrew followed by The 2018 Hike For Hospice at 2:00 PM.)

Cancer hits home and impacts most families.  On the positive side, the cancer survival rate is now an impressive 63%.  myFM Radio considers the Hike For Hospice on May 6,2018 at 2:00 PM of monumental importance.

As a "community minded" business, service, industry or municipality you can help make The 2018 Hike For Hospice the best ever with your timely sponsorship of Hike For Hospice Promotional Messages (each containing your business name and location) on the "voice" of The Ottawa Valley ... myFM Radio which will file Live Reports.

Click here to learn more!

Thank You,
Bob Mahusky
Certified Radio Marketer
tel.613-432-6936 x2111

CN Cycle for CHEO - Last week to save!

Your last week to save!

Register before April 16 to save on your CN Cycle for CHEO registration fee. Of course you can waive the fee entirely by pledging to fundraise $50. Children can waive their fee as well by fundraising $20.
Routes include a 70K and 35K cycle, a 15K cycle or inline skate and both a 5K and 2K walking option. All routes are fully supported and take participants through some of Ottawa’s most beautiful areas. There are games, food, and entertainment available for the whole family on the grounds of the Canadian War Museum.
Sunday, May 6 will be a day to remember – to remember what a special community this is, how wonderful it is to get active with friends and family and how important it is to support children who are facing cancer.
Come ride with us!

Reflections on Music and Poetry – An evening with David Solway with musical accompaniment from Janice Fiamengo

Apr 18: 7–9  pm,   Neat Coffee Shop in Burnstown

This event will focus on poetry, a reading and a discussion with the audience on the nature of the poetic imagination and creativity in general.  David will also illustrate the relation and difference between poetic craft and popular music with respect to cadence and lyrics.  People tend to believe that popular songs are merely poetry set to music, which is a completely false analogy. To illustrate this point, David will read a few poems and Janice will join him in showing how a similar theme is mediated differently in the two genres.

This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in poetry and music. Book dinner at Neat before the event or join us afterward for a mix and mingle. Make it a great night out and it is recommended to book seats in advance to ensure availability.

Tickets:  $15 (incl HST) are available online at or at Neat Coffee Shop.

For more info contact:

David Solway is a leading Canadian poet, essayist and author of 35 books on various subjects including poetry,  criticism, travel, education and politics.  His wife Janice Fiamengo is a professor of English at the University of Ottawa and the author of books and articles on Canadian literature.

RSVP for a Tourism Stakeholder Session Today! Hosted by the OHTO

Since launching the Come Wander brand to consumers last spring, we’ve not only seen incredible visitor engagement across our digital channels, but have also been thrilled with the level of brand support from tourism stakeholders.
We’ve established a brand message that is resonating with consumers and inspiring visitation, and it’s important we back this up by ensuring we offer incredible experiences to visitors in destination. Doing so will create ambassadors for the region, help further leverage #ComeWander messaging, and inspire even more visitation.
This spring, we’re once again hitting the road to host Stakeholder Sessions across Ontario’s Highlands, and will be focusing on the importance of adopting a destination experience mindset, providing tools to implement this, and exploring next steps for how we can support visitors as they Come Wander Ontario’s Highlands.
Join us at a session near you to explore, “The Power of Place: How Nurturing Your Destination Experience Can Create Buzz and Drive Visitation”
This year’s Stakeholder Sessions will not only be a chance to further explore this topic, but will also provide the opportunity to network with OHTO staff and peers. Evening sessions will be hosted as a cocktail-style event with appetizers and a cash bar.
Please have a look at the schedule below and click here to register for the session most convenient to you.

2018 Ottawa Valley Tourism Conference & OVTA AGM - April 30th, 2018

Registration is now open for the 2018 Ottawa Valley Tourism Conference & OVTA AGM! Taking place on Monday, April 30th, at Santa Fe Southwestern Grill in Renfrew, the conference theme is "Say What?! Managing the Online Conversation".

80% of people report that the internet is the first place they look when they need information - and over 50% are using search engines to research. Ideally your customers, and potential customers, are accessing information about you on marketing channels that you control. Chances are, however, that is not the case. Visitors and potential customers are being swayed by third party information (think social media, online review platforms) that you have no direct control over.

But fear not! There is a difference between not having direct control and not having influence. The 2018 Ottawa Valley Tourism Conference & AGM will show you how to harness that influence and make online conversations work in your favour. 

Tickets are $55 for OVTA members and $65 for non-members.Click here for more information and to register.

Deadline to register for the full day event is April 25th. 

Employer One Survey Results are IN!

The Labour Market Group of Renfrew and Lanark have compiled the results from the 2017/2018 Employer One Survey.  The Employer One Survey report provides valuable insights into local skill and human resource requirements for Renfrew and Lanark County. 

We'd also like to send out a big thank you  to all organizations that assisted in the data collection process.  Your assistance in this process has contributed to the success of this year's Survey Results.  We look forward to the 2019 Employer One Survey, where we hope to continue to increase the employer engagement in order to provide service providers, local businesses, youth, and educators with valuable insights into local skill and human resource requirements.  

Please find the full report by clicking here.

The Leading Edge March 2018 - Taking Care of Business

The March Edition of The Leading Edge is now available!

There are two realities in life - change is inevitable, and most people hate change. The same is true of business - the economy is in a state of continual flux, customer's preferences and attitudes change constantly; technology, distribution, markets, industries are dynamic. Competition is, well, competitive - marketing that worked yesterday may not work today.

This online newsletter is produced by the Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation

2018 Batesville Memorial Tree Plant


Saturday, May 12th, 2018 at the Petawawa Research Forest
Saturday, May 26th, 2018 in the Nipissing Forest

To register for one or both plants:
Cell: 705-845-6310

All levels of planters welcome!
No planting experience necessary…
Come for a few hours or the full day.

Celebrating Women in Business Event - March 8, 2018

In recognition of International Women’s Day, Enterprise Renfrew County is hosting a “Celebrating Women in Business” event in partnership with Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation at the Best Western Pembroke Inn & Conference Centre in Pembroke Ontario from 9 am – 2 pm.

Keynote speaker, Nina Spencer, is a popular Toronto-based international corporate speaker, workshop facilitator, speaker’s coach and best-selling author. Nina will share tips, techniques and strategies for “Getting Passion Out of Your Profession” where you will learn how to keep loving the fine entrepreneurial work you do for a living.

“Some people show up and the energy goes up! Others arrive and the energy goes down. Under which category do you fall? Are you aware of how you are perceived by colleagues, staff, clients, the business community you serve, and others with whom you daily interact? Is there a chance that you know how to demonstrate your upbeat, positive attitude, business and service excellence acumen, impressive leadership, and empathic and responsive communication skills, etc., but find these traits aren’t coming through as well lately because stresses, changes in people and situations, and the demands of entrepreneurial life get you down... or because it just feels like it’s been “the same old, same old” for too long? And even if you are one of the lucky ones, who has continued to love what you do for a living despite challenges along the way, how do you sustain your passion for the days ahead? How do you inspire others to do the same, to keep your business’s brand strong, productive and admired? You’re more likely to feel passionate about your efforts if you practice specific attitudinal and behavioral skills. That’s where Getting Passion Out of Your Profession steps in… to inspire, inform, refuel and fortify the professional-life and personal-life you; to cheer on the entrepreneurial cheerleaders!”

Jennifer DeBruin is a passionate, experienced entrepreneur and educator with 20 years’ experience.  Understanding the evolution of self and business, she creates opportunities for clients to shift their perspective, embrace change as a way to new opportunities and develop innovative strategies to succeed. She will lead participants through a dynamic session on “Balance or Burnout”, covering topics of Taking Inventory, Decision Making, Organization and Time Management and Stress Management.

Pre-registration is required by Friday March 2, 2018. Tickets cost $40.00 + HST ($45.20), includes lunch and refreshments. The first 75 people to register and pay before February 23rd receive a free copy of “Getting Passion Out of Your Profession” by Nina Spencer. For complete details visit Enterprise Renfrew County’s website at  or contact Kim Fraser at 613-735-8224.

2018 Summer Experience Program

The Summer Experience Program provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, Indigenous organizations and First Nation communities, to create career-related summer employment opportunities for students.

SEP positions must focus on activities supporting key sectors within the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Ministry of the Status of Women and Ministry of Seniors Affairs, including citizenship, voluntarism, seniors, women, tourism, culture, sport and recreation. Summer student positions should offer training for future careers or work experience in skills transferable to the general workforce.

Please review the Summer Experience Program Guidelines and Terms and Conditions for information on the various Ministry priorities, to assess your organization’s eligibility and to familiarize yourself with the specific program criteria for hiring a summer student.

All applications must be submitted online, in either English or French through Grants Ontario.

The deadline to apply for the 2018 Summer Experience Program is Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).