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OPINION: Tourism sector growing in Cornwall

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By Nick Seebruch
OPINION: Tourism sector growing in Cornwall
Jason Camm (left) with brother Matt after their game at the Ontario Curling Championships at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Thursday, January 30, 2020 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

They say that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. With the rocks flying in Cornwall this week, there must be a few people in town who live in concrete bunkers.

Of course, I’m referring to the amazing curlers who are in town this week for the Ontario Curling Championships. This event is just another example of the hard work that the Cornwall Tourism team has been doing to bring new and exciting events to the city.

Over the past two years, there have been several changes that have happened in the tourism sector in Cornwall. This includes the attraction of new events, and City Council’s creation of the Tourism Fund.

The Ontario Curling Championships are just the latest success. After Cornwall Tourism submitted a bid to CurlON, the City of Cornwall was awarded with the honour of hosting this important annual tournament.

This bid promises to be well worth the money. In addition to putting a spotlight on Cornwall and growing our reputation as a curling town, hosting this tournament also promises to be an economic driver, generating $1.6 million over the course of this week according to CurlON.

This is just the latest example of important events the Cornwall Tourism has managed to pull off in the last few years. Of course, there is the annual Shorty Jenkins Classic that has been hosted in Cornwall for the past several years which established our reputation in the world of curling, but Tourism has also brought in other sports and events.

Last fall, Cornwall Tourism attracted the Cirque du Soleil show AXEL. This on ice show was performed for the first time in Cornwall and the Cirque du Soleil team used the Cornwall Civic Complex to prepare and practice. The show was so popular that an additional show was added to the schedule.

As a sidebar, both AXEL and the Ontario Curling Champioships shows the versatility and utility of the Cornwall Civic Complex. Both events required the temporary but rapid transformation of the Ed Lumley Arena, something that Facilities and Rental Coordinator Janice Robinson and the whole team at the Cornwall Civic Complex should be given credit for helping make possible.

For the past two years, Cornwall Tourism has also brought OHL exhibition games to Cornwall between the Kingston Frontenacs and the Ottawa ‘67s, both years, this event was well attended.

So far, we’ve only talked abut the events that take place at the Cornwall Civic Complex, but Tourism has supported many other events that happen year-round throughout the city.

What’s next for Tourism? Well, September 2020 will see the 5km Foam Fest fun run at the Cornwall Civic Complex, this will be the first time this event has been held in Cornwall. Also, I expect to see more funding announcements from the Cornwall Tourism Fund. So far, it seems like many of the projects that have received support through the Tourism Fund have been event based. I hope that in future, the Tourism Fund Board considers backing attractions that are not exclusively event based, while events do attract tourists to the city, attractions, whether they be businesses or features of historical or artistic significance, like the tunnel in Brockville for example, would help to generate jobs in Cornwall while also giving tourists something to see and do year-round.

What do you think readers? Have you seen positive changes to the tourism sector in Cornwall? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nseebruch@seawaynews.media

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