Time for a Pontiac-wide event calendar!

Added: Wed, 08/30/2017 - 11:09pm
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The age old complaint, “there's never anything to do in the Pontiac” certainly had no foundation last weekend, from August 25 to 27. “Three festivals on one weekend,” said MRC Pontiac Warden Raymond Durocher during the last Council of Mayors meeting, referring to the Campbell's Bay Summer Festival, L'Isle-aux-Allumettes' Islandfest, and the Strong Men's Competiton at the
Fort-Coulonge arena. There were also several other events held across the region.
This much activity is really something to be proud of; the benefits are many and demonstrate the Pontiac is proactively trying to better its future. Events like the ones held last weekend foster community building by allowing residents to get together, socialize and enjoy activities; they invite residents of other municipalities to visit their neighbours; and they encourage people from outside the area to discover the region and its businesses.
However, as nice as it is to see the Pontiac in such a state of festivity, there is one
downfall. People can't be everywhere at once and they are not inclined to travel to other municipalities if there is another activity closer to home. Would there have been even better turnouts if they were held on different weekends? It's not the first time Pontiac events have essentially competed with one another for attendance numbers. The result is that each claims a smaller portion of the pie... something that could be rectified with increased organization and cooperation. 
What about creating a Pontiac-wide event calendar? The idea isn't new and was
previously brought to the Council of Mayors' attention when a series of winter events were held on the same date earlier this year.
Why hasn't there been any move on this suggestion? It seems fairly easy to execute.
The mayors meet at least twice a month for either their Plenary or Council of Mayors meetings. These are opportunities for upcoming events to be discussed and dates set... dates that don't interfere with activities planned in other communities. The events can then be placed on one calendar that is published on the MRC's and municipalities' websites, social media, community news
letters, and in local newspapers. Of course, mayors would also need to be in close contact with community groups and others organizing the activities, which is also a good thing.
The calendar can be updated as the year progresses, adding events along the way. It would be a great advertising tool for the region, allowing outsiders to plan trips and vacations to correspond with different activities and by keeping local residents, and media, informed.
A bit of teamwork and cooperation is all that is needed. How many times have we
all, especially elected representatives, stressed that in order for the Pontiac to succeed, everyone needs to work together? It's time to put words into action ... and then on a calendar!

Allyson Beauregard
Rédacteur / Managing Editor