North Dundas Local Business Expo ’17 occupies the Joel Steele Community Centre, Saturday, May 13

The interior of the Joel Steele Community Centre (Winchester Arena) this morning, as the place was being transformed into the Local Business Expo '17 venue. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER — The Joel Steele Community Centre hosts its first full-out trade show in a decade this Saturday — the culmination of a few harried months of planning by volunteers with the North Dundas Chamber of Commerce.

The group’s first show in a decade, Local Business Expo ’17 will occupy both floors of the arena building May 13 — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free, and the first 200 visitors will receive keepsake “goodie” bags with items drawn from the nearly 80 local businesses that have sold out the venue’s available exhibit space.

“While the concept of a business expo has been tossed around for the past couple of years, the board members finally decided to put the talk into action in March,” recounted Chamber President Rachel Potvin. “With a great team of volunteers and support behind us, we forged ahead, breaking new ground as we went.”

The event was designed from the outset to cater to “a very broad audience,” Potvin said.

“This is why we included activities for the kids, live musical entertainment, educational seminars and more —beyond just standard business booths. With such a short amount of time to coordinate all of that, frankly, I am amazed that it has all come together the way it has. We have such a great group of active directors and volunteers that have assisted with the coordination and behind the scenes work that is necessary to put together this caliber of a show.

“I have no doubt that everyone who comes to check out the show on Saturday will be thrilled with what our region has to offer. It’s been quite the experience see all our local businesses come together with such amazing enthusiasm for this event. I know I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing the final project come together!”

As of Thursday morning, the main arena floor of the Centre was decked out with curtained-off booth space awaiting the exhibitors, some of them already set up in anticipation of Saturday’s opening.

Upstairs, the “vendors market” features 20 tables of various direct sellers and other businesses. The upstairs hall will also serve as Winchelsea Events’ lunch spot part of the day, and a hub of live entertainment that will see the stage occupied by Cory M. Coons as well as performers associated with the North Dundas Arts Council.

Downstairs, the main stage will feature demonstrations and fashion shows. Seminars are also expected to take place in the arena boardroom.

Hungry visitors should also check out treats offered by Cup of Jo’s, Simply Baked, and Chesterville Farmers’ Market members like Bea Bread. The Maple Ridge Centre will also have popcorn and shave ice on tap.

Vendors and exhibitors will kick off the final precursor to the show with a banquet this Friday night at the Centre.

Storm Internet will be providing industrial strength WiFi for the event.

With the Expo starting to take shape on the arena floor, North Dundas Chamber of Commerce members posed with Melissa Lamb of CTV Morning Live (from left) North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan, Nelson Zandbergen, Lamb, Francine Duncan, Lisa Williams and Kristie Billings. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Local Business Expo ’17


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