Slave Lake and District Chamber of Commerce Chamber notebook

October 26, 2020 meeting
Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Community Futures
November 5 is Leadercast Women in Slave Lake, said Robin-Lee Vance with Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake. This is in-person at the Legacy Centre. With COVID-19 restrictions, there are only 40 tickets available. This is an all-day conference with famous speakers presented via video.
Leading up to and during Small Business Week, Community Futures held three short webinars.
“They were very good,” said Vance. “And they were recorded,” so people can watch them on Community Future’s website. Most attendees were local, but someone attended from Smoky Lake.
Three all-day courses were postponed to be presented in chunks in the new year.

Nonprofit strategy sessions
Early in 2020, the Chamber set up a series of nonprofit strategy meetings, said Kimberley Hughes, Chamber executive director. These will start up again soon. The Town of Slave Lake has donated the Multi Purpose Room at the Multi Rec Centre for these meetings.
“A lot of people are really wanting to collaborate more than ever,” she said.

Mini Monster Halloween was scheduled for October 31. Businesses are put on a map and trick-or-treaters go around to collect candy from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. With the COVID-19 restrictions, businesses are getting creative on how to hand out the candy.

Moonlight Madness
Friday, November 20 is Moonlight Madness. The details are still being figured out, but will include a parade, craft fair, gingerbread contest, and maybe some other things. The chamber was looking for parade theme suggestions.
“I’m already getting calls,” said Hughes, asking about the parade theme.
The All Seasons Market will run the craft fair. The Fix will host the gingerbread contest.

Small Business Week
“We had some pretty good turnouts,” said Hughes. Small Business Week was a couple of short webinars and an in-person information session on reading financial statements.
The traditional social event the ‘fall mixer’ didn’t happen, but depending on the COVID-19 situation this might happen in the spring instead.
The mixer is an opportunity for people and business owners to learn about the chamber in a casual environment.

Town of Slave Lake
“I actually think Slave Lake is doing quite well,” said Slave Lake mayor Tyler Warman, both with COVID and the economy. The mills are busy and there’s some oilfield drilling in Marten Hills. The town’s main focus over the next few years will be economic development: “supporting business, encouraging business, and diversifying business.”

High Prairie School Division
High Prairie School Division desperately needs more substitute teachers and bus drivers, said H.P.S.D trustees Ali Mouallem and Steve Adams (chair). This is because of the “COVID trap”, with people required to self isolate for 10 days if they have symptoms. At one point so far, there were 15 teachers off.
Despite this, however, school within the restrictions is going well, they said. Parents had the option of at-home or in-class learning through the division. At the end of October, 41 planned to switch from at-home to in-class, and 18 made the reverse switch. There are two more opportunities in the school year for parents to switch their children should they choose.
The board and school boards across Alberta are petitioning the Minister of Education to not count this school year’s attendance when calculating funding, the trustees continued. Recently, the Alberta government announced a new process for funding based on a three-year weighted average of enrollment. If this year’s enrollment is included, it will negatively impact H.P.S.D. and other school divisions.
(On Oct. 28, the trustees received an email that two H.P.S.D. schools had been inspected by Occupational Health and Safety, to do with cleaning and health safety measures. They passed with flying colours.)

M.D. of Lesser Slave River
The M.D. of Lesser Slave River recently completed face-to-face interviews for a new CAO, said M.D. councillor Darcie Acton. “We are very hopeful.” The M.D. and town are lobbying the Alberta government on several issues. These include pavement and keeping the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation open.

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