Kanata event to showcase small town communities; local businesses and community groups encouraged to participate

On Oct. 24, Discover Communities will be showcasing the municipalities of Lanark County, North Grenville and Rideau Lakes at the Hazeldean Mall in Kanata. The event, which will highlight the many opportunities available for prospective newcomers to these areas, is offered in co-operation with Homefront Canada, a national military relocation service.

Discover Communities was born from a passion for small communities and concern for the issues they face, and exists primarily as an online and social media presence, which includes Discover Smiths Falls, Discover Perth, Discover Merrickville, Discover Almonte/Mississippi Mills, Discover Kemptville, Discover Westport and Rideau Lakes, Discover Manotick, and Discover Carleton Place. In 2014 the Discover brand branched out in Smiths Falls to include a monthly print newspaper, called Hometown News, and which is expanding to include Perth in October 2015.

The Kanata event will mark their first event to actively highlight the communities to the greater Ottawa area, and will offer prospective newcomers information about Lanark County communities, including municipal services, housing, education and employment services, childcare and family services, extra-curricular and recreational activities. Each municipality will have its own “zone” at the event designed to highlight local tourist attractions, history and culture as well as vendors and businesses.

“It’s kind of evolved into the Epcot Centre of small towns,” event organizer, Sarah Cavanagh said, “The people who are visiting the event will feel like they’re visiting each community.”

More than 1,000 people are expected and community businesses and community groups are encouraged to become involved. Cross promotion has taken place through Homefront Canada, and information on the event has been distributed to thousands of military families.

Cavanagh pointed out it’s a way to introduce the west end of Ottawa, “It’s not just about the people relocating,” Cavanagh stressed, “It’s also the people 20 minutes away who don’t realize the great opportunities to work, play, shop and explore in the surrounding areas.”

Communities who will be represented at the event include Smiths Falls, Montague Township, Tay Valley Township, Almonte/Mississippi Mills, Lanark County, Merrickville, Westport, Kemptville, Perth and Carleton Place.

The event will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, and will feature interactive booths, children’s activities, vendors and live entertainment. The first 150 visiting military families will receive a free “swag bag’ full of goodies and souvenirs from participating businesses and municipalities. Admission to the event is free.

For information about being a part of the event please contact Sarah Cavanagh at / 613-253-8952