Last week from Thursday through to Sunday, gymnast’s from across Ontario, were showcased at Nipissing University.  The 20th annual “Sunshine Classic” put on by Gymtrix; Nicki Chretien Mills, Bill Rhoads and Tim Mills.  Over eight hundred athletes converged on North Bay bringing coaches, parents and relatives to our City.  That was a great boost to our business economy and another great example of what Sports Tourism means to this area.  Meals, hotels, and visiting many of our stores while in North Bay, is a great annual start to our summer season of welcoming visitors to this region.

As long-time members of the Chamber, we want to congratulate Nicki, Tim and Bill along with the tremendous coaches and volunteers that surround them and this event, each year.  The organizing of an event of this size and calibre, starts right after the previous years competition and culminates with the kick off the next one.  It has been a labour of love for this organization and when you see the faces and smiles of the competitors/teams, being introduced at the opening ceremonies, we know what drives them to continue with this tradition.  Congratulations to all on a great job!

Along with the warmer weather finally arriving, it is great to see the number of people out on the weekends visiting the local farmers and artisan’s markets that take advantage of the great weather.  The North Bay Farmers’ Market held last Wednesday and Saturday mornings, were very busy places and so nice to see people out shopping and visiting, after to long winter.  The North Bay Farmers’ Market will be each Wednesday and Saturday throughout the summer until the Thanksgiving weekend, check out their schedule at http://northbayfarmersmarket.com/.   As well, last Friday evening at the waterfront, The Artisans Way kicked off their first evening event of the season.  Many people enjoyed the shopping experience in one of the most beautiful settings, that events like this can be held.  Visit their website at https://www.theartisansway.com/ to see when the next evening event will be held.

Don’t forget to visit the Heritage Railway and Carousel Company and the Discovery North Bay Museum.  Both are great places to bring out the kid in you and again thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who make North Bay what it is.  We have so many opportunities when it comes to leisure activities at our waterfront and we encourage all to come down and bring family and friends, as it is a great place to spend some time.

We look forward to the start of the DIA summer events, with many planned over the upcoming months.  Jeff and his board continue to work diligently to promote our downtown shopping, dinning and arts culture/venues and it is nice to see the sidewalk patios opening for the summer.  We hope that all our members, citizens and visitors take some time this summer to wander around our downtown and take a walk around our amazing waterfront.  Our Heritage Gardeners have done a tremendous job again and the entire waterfront is a welcoming place for all.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce