I’m back for this week as a guest columnist, as the President and CEO is away on holidays; but who am I kidding, I’m happy to be writing this column on behalf of the Chamber as it has been an incredible week for our region!

So much has happened with so many great accolades and positive comments over this past week of hosting the World Women’s Curling Championships.  To the vice-chairs Dave Bennett, Mark Brown and Rick Miller, Curling Canada and the 400 plus volunteers, YOU DID IT!  While it was a large undertaking, we are now certain that North Bay and area can pull off a huge international event with style.

Special thanks to the outlying municipalities that also welcomed the women’s teams by allowing practice times at their local curling clubs.  Fans got a first look at the teams while they practiced in Powassan, Astorville and West Nipissing.  Even a bit of competition at some of the clubs with locals playing a few matches against these incredible athletes was fun and welcoming.

Not only did we have fantastic media coverage locally prior to and throughout this Championship, the world got to know our area a bit better with national and international broadcasting of some of the games which were viewed by millions around the world.  You certainly can’t buy that kind of attention that North Bay recently received.

Facebook has been blowing up as the antics of Buzzmasters and Tourism North Bay have been actively welcoming fans and participants to the Curling Championships with their “travelling ice hut”, giveaways and photo ops.

CBC Radio also broadcasted their morning show on Friday from North Bay, of course highlighting the curling but also touching on many other topics of importance to the region.  Topics included the Memorial Gardens renovations, the Mike Harris days, the casino, local talent and some gazing into what the future of North Bay has in store.

During these 10 amazing days, other business also occurred with a delegation from the Ukraine, a Defence Conference, another great announcement for Canadore College’s Village Campaign of $100,000 from TD Bank, just to name a few.  It doesn’t stop there; this coming week we have a few other visits with investors, the provincial budget is presented at Queen’s Park, a dozen entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas to funders, and the Chamber members will have an opportunity to network at a Business After Hours event co-sponsored by the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority and Laurentian Ski Hill.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the great program of the Nipissing Trackers on Laurentian Ski Hill and subsequently televised this past week with Rick Mercer.  I think Rick really likes our area, as this week, it looks like our local helicopter school, Essential Helicopters will be highlighted on the Mercer Report.

All I can say is thank you to the whole community for being positive, open and friendly to all our guests.

Patti Carr is the Vice-President of Policy and Communications for the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce