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  • Writer's pictureRon Laudadio

Codroy Valley Community Collaboration Session - September 19th 7-9pm @ St. Ann's

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

In the interest of being a transparent and engaged board and remaining collaborative with the community about what the CVADA can do to improve life in the valley, we held a collaborative session for the community on September 19th at the St. Ann's Centre. This collaborative session aimed to learn about what the community wants and how the CVADA board can take the initiative to address it.

In response to what we have learned, the CVADA board is committed to communicating more about our initiatives and upcoming events. We also plan to host more workshops and events focusing on topics the community wants to address.

We structured the session on the 19th in a new way. The session's structure is a unique and emerging method large organizations are beginning to leverage to be effective and efficient and improve their business results. So we suspected there was a good chance that we as a community could profit from the same benefits.

The session on the 19th was an experiment to see if it would work in a community environment and continue to provide value to us in the valley, and it did. At the end of the session, you told us you found a lot of value in this kind of session, and when we asked how many of you would do this session the same way again, EVERYONE put their hand up! Amazing!

You also told us that you want more of these collaborative sessions, so we will ensure that happens. We are working on a schedule for the next few months and will continue to hold these collaborative sessions quarterly.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to us! We want to ensure that we do what is best for the community; your input is invaluable. Thank you for your time and participation!

We look forward to our next community collaboration and will run the meeting similarly. We were happy our first session together ran so well, and now that you and the board have a bit of practice and know how it works, we will be even more productive the next time. Please remember we are ALWAYS open to feedback to continue to improve how we do things, including the structure of these sessions.

If you didn't attend our session, you could learn more about the session's structure by visiting our CVADA Quarterly Community Collaboration Sessions page.

Many of the CDAVA Board were there to hear firsthand what you had to say. They held the space for each of the four collaborative conversations we had around the topics. Those from the board were: Chris Bruce, Lana Thorimbert, Lucy Poirer, Melissa Samms, Nancy Power & Ron Laudadio. You can learn more about the board on our webpage about each of the members of the board.

During the session, you told us what was on your mind; together, we ranked the topics in priority, then discussed each of the topics thoroughly, defining three things:

1) Tell us more about the topic,

2) What could be done about it?

3) What could the CVADA do on your behalf?

The group proposed 16 topics, and after a vote, you suggested the three critical topics you wanted to ensure we discussed and figured out what next steps we could take.

During the evening, we explored seven topics. To get started on taking action on behalf of the community, the CVADA board will focus on what you chose to be the three most important topics we discussed that evening.

Tourism Development

You would like the board to investigate and begin initiatives that develop tourism and development in a few key ways:

  • Develop destinations of interest

    • Continue to augment trails like we are doing with Starlite, such as Costangs and the Wetland trails

    • Improve Murray's and Searston beaches

  • Improve awareness of what is available in the area for locals and visitors

    • Create a Codroy Valley community map with helpful information about the sights, experiences, services and goods available in the area and where to go for them.

  • Improve the tourist's experience with the views of the valley

    • Posting signs around the valley to remind tourists of a good photo opportunity where there are particularly gorgeous vistas.

    • Consider creating a similar branding campaign to Parks Canada's "Two Red Muskoka Chairs" photo campaign but something unique to the valley.

  • Add depth to the experience of visiting the Codroy Valley by promoting the area's history.

    • Interview the community seniors to capture and publish stories to bring out the cultural aspect of the community.

    • Host musical and storytelling events for locals and visitors.

Access to Food - Grocery

Now that Hockey has closed his store E.W. Gale's, the community is concerned about reliable access to food in the area. Beyond the Gillis store, Foodland is at least a 30-minute drive away, adding concern to the community's convenient access to food as many seniors don't have access to a vehicle.

The community would like the CVADA to investigate bringing a Co-Op into the area to augment accessibility to food. The community group asked the CVADA Board to explore locations, grants, loans, partnerships or extensions with existing Co-Op organizations and partnering with local support organizations.

Youth Activities & Events

The community would like more activities and events to entertain youths in a social context. In previous generations, there were many events, such as sports and dancing, and the community is familiar with planning and creating those kinds of events. However, today's youth generation is not interested in such events and wants to learn what kind of events they would be interested in attending.

The community has asked the CVADA to discover what events and activities the youth would find value in attending and sponsor such events in the valley.

We will discuss the excellent recommendations made by the community at our next CVADA Board meeting and then communicate how we plan to take action on the recommendations.

If you are willing to volunteer and help us with any of these initiatives, please send your interests and intentions by email at


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