County's IPM display takes shape - April 27, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Huron County is hoping to highlight the differences and strengths of all nine of its individual municipalities at this September’s International Plowing Match (IPM) in Walton.
Jenna Ujiye, economic development marketing co-ordinator, spoke to Huron County Council at its April 19 committee of the whole meeting and, in addition to presenting proposed lay-outs for the county’s IPM showcase, requested that her budget be raised from $108,000 to $186,600.
She told councillors about the importance of the display, what it will include and what staff are hoping the ambitious display will achieve at the match.
“As part of the overall IPM, the County of Huron will have a showcase where visitors can learn about the quality of life available in Huron County,” Ujiye’s report states. “The showcase will feature displays of all municipalities within Huron County, along with other highlights of the area. The showcase tent is organized and staffed by the County of Huron and partners. It is expected that 15,000 people per day will attend the match over the five days.”
Ujiye told councillors that the showcase is comprised of three tents and will include nine uniform barn and silo displays, one for each municipality. Each barn and silo will focus on one of Huron’s nine municipalities, featuring specific history and benefits of that municipality and all that it offers residents.
They will also focus on the county’s agri-marketing campaign, natural heritage features, arts and culture, Canada 150 celebrations and a number of interactive programming features including musicians, a speaker series, local art and local wine and beer samples, among other features.
Ujiye also told councillors that some of the proposed costs may be recovered, whether it’s wood taken from Huron County forests and trees that needed to be harvested or the sale of the barns after the match, she expects that some of the money spent will be recovered after the match.
In addition to the increase to the budget, Ujiye also said that a $10,000 contingency has been built into the newest version of the budget that will hopefully cover any potential future overages.
In the county’s countryside tent, Ujiye said the vision is a “forest walk” that will run down the centre of the tent to make visitors feel as though they’re in a forest. On one side of the forest walk will be the municipal displays, while the other side will be a hospitality area.
The county’s coastline tent will emphasis the lake-front aspect of Huron County with sand castles, a stage and local musicians, a beach bar and artists’ murals.
Council accepted Ujiye’s presentation and approved her request.