Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Whole Lot of Experience

Jan Bonhomme
Executive Director
St. Lawrence 1812 Bicentennial Alliance

For this INSIDE SCOOP article, I thought you would like to know a little about Jan Bonhomme, the Executive Director of the St. Lawrence 1812 Bicentennial Alliance. Jan shared with us the following, which just may be the most “insightful and useful" SCOOP you might have enjoy to date … “I have spent the past 35 years planning events and working with volunteers in every way possible and have more “getting down and dirty stories” than anyone else I have ever met. My experience has also taught me how to do a lot with very little – limited facilities, limited funding and limited volunteers – what every small town in Ontario faces when staging successful events. My first 20 years was working in municipal recreation organizing sporting tournaments, jazz recitals, beach concerts, gymnastics meets, Canada Day etc. - a good lead up to the next ten years of my career. I then became the Event Co-ordinator for our local Chamber of Commerce with Port Elgin Pumpkinfest being my main responsibility. Playing a part in that event growing from 200 to 50,000 visitors taught me so much about the value of community involvement and volunteer efforts. At the same time, I also saw the benefits of all of our community groups sharing event supplies which led me to open the first Special Events Resource Centre in the province. The success of this facility then led to a position with Festivals and Events Ontario as their Network Development Manager, going across the province providing event training, and promoting the benefits of working together regionally. While in this position, my husband retired and we moved to the other end of the province – Eastern Ontario – where I was asked to co-ordinate the International Plowing Match in 2007 that was being staged in my new home town. After three years of putting my heart and soul into that massive event, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism & Culture started planning the 1812 Bicentennial and I was approached to lead the Eastern Ontario efforts. Throughout the past 20 years though, the highlight of my career has been going into small town Ontario sites and teaching volunteers learn how to stage successful events. I have visited more than 300 towns to date and hope to continue in this wonderful mentor role for the years to come”.
(To Be Continued...)

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