Weekly Bulletin of the

Rotary Club of St. Catharines South   

January 28, 2008

Rotary Shares


Call to Order : President June Manning

Anthem : Don Hetherington

Toast: Cathy Henry

Grace: Dan Toppari


Guests and Visiting Rotarians: Keith welcomed Arlene White, our guest speaker



Don Hetherington called upon Brian to donate on account of his clothing. Congratulations were shared with the four Rotarians who won silver in Madison Wisconsin. Laetitia donated a happy dollar for the wine she received. Dan recommended Twelve Angry Men as a movie to go see. Paul was happy to have had an excellent vacation. Keith was happy as a result of  the curling tournament, Keith and Ian were two of the silver winners. Jim had a great vacation in California. Gregg had a great time skiing in Whistler. Jim played in the Canadian National Pond Hockey Tournament-he is keeping his day job.


Announcements : June reported that the Inner Wheel event was cancelled. The Board will meet on Feb. 15 and there is a Club Assembly on Feb 25.  No meeting Feb 18. The Take It to Heart Meeting will be held Jan 29 at 7:30-they are beginning to prepare for November 08. Let Cathy know if you would like to book a table-they are going fast.  The GalaCommittee is meeting at JJ Kapps on Jan 30 at 7:30 am.  Sheila announced that Ian, Debbie and Paul are volunteering for bingo Feb 9. Incoming Board is to meet Feb 5 at 7:30 pm at Gregg's house to do some preliminary planning.  Dan announced that the Rotary Ski Day will be held Feb 15 in Ellicottville.


50/50 Draw:   Don drew the king of spades.


Guest Speaker:

Dan introduced Arlene White who is the Executive Director of the Bi-National Tourism Alliance.  Arlene previously worked for the Ministry of Tourism and is a life-long resident of Niagara.


Arlene provided a package outlining the work done in both US and Canada.  The Bi-National Tourism Alliance is incorporated on both sides of the Boarder. It was started in 2000 in recognition that a partnership for tourism is required by members from both sides of the Boarder. The drop in tourism in Niagara started in 2000.  The organization started talking to US cultural groups i.e. theatre, performing arts in recognition that there was not enough funding separately and that a model of partnering would make tourism attractive. They started by getting to know each other.  The first project was a summit between the Premier and the Governor, which resulted in Doors Open Niagara.  Seven years later Doors Open is still going on.  It started with 73 sites and has now expanded with local people and tourists taking part in the event. The first year they has 12,000 visitors in 2005 they had 119 sites with 26,000 visitors. In 2006 the snowstorm occurred that weekend so some sites were closed and visitors were down. In 2007 there were 23,000 visitors. This local event is based on Doors Open in Toronto, which was based on a model from France. It is the only bi-national Doors Open.


The goal of the group is to have tourism survive and grow in a global market and making Niagara an international destination.  They have begun working on activities to commemorate the War of 1812.  The website in the package will provide more information. This will be a celebration of peace, of the stories of the time, the people, the places and the experiences.


It is recognized that visits are down in the area to 1978 levels as a result of fees, tariffs and other challenges.  As a result a new model is required since this affects the economy and the people locally.


Don Beard thanked Marlene for the information provided and for presenting to the club.


Attendance :  Keith noted 28 people in attendance with 18 make-ups for 155% attendance.