Come North conferences to plan population growth strategy: Planning sessions will explore how to attract, welcome, and retain new arrivals in the North.

AuthorRomaniuk, Colleen

According to Charles Cirtwill, the North needs to get better at telling its own story.

The president and CEO of the Northern Policy Institute (NPI) hopes that the upcoming Come North planning conferences will help the region communicate its narrative a bit better.

"We have a lot of cultural and other experiences here that aren't available elsewhere. We need to start talking about how great life in our communities can be," he said.

This February, the Northwest Community Futures Network and the City of Temiskaming Shores are hosting two planning conferences in Northern communities in partnership with NPI and the Northwestern Ontario Immigration Partnership.

The conferences, called Come North, will be held in two locations in northeastern and northwestern Ontario. Their purpose is to create a population growth strategy by exploring the experiences of new arrivals in the region.

The first session will be held from Feb. 11 to 13 at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites hotel in New Liskeard, and the second session will be held from Feb. 18 to 20 at Delta Hotels by Marriott in Thunder Bay.

Everyone is welcome to join the conversation.

This includes First Nations reps, economic development officers, tourist groups, local immigration partnerships, school boards, colleges and universities, private sector companies, grassroots organizations, sports and music clubs, recent immigrants, and more.

The events are free to attend, but spots are limited. Participants are encouraged to take advantage of the transportation subsidies available.

Cirtwill hopes that these planning sessions will serve as a starting point to break the ice when it comes to collaboration and co-operation across silos.

"These sessions are about whether our communities are welcoming," he said. "How can different organizations work together to share resources and attract more people to the North?"

The events will cover a lot of ground. A series of breakout sessions have been designed to determine how easy it is to fill out paperwork, how...

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