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Chamber set to host virtual fireside chat with Ross Romano

Topics of discussion include recently announced micro-credentials, Ontario’s current Provincial Emergency response, and vaccine distribution, says Chamber CEO
20200124-Sault MPP Ross Romano-DT
Sault MPP Ross Romano file photo. Darren Taylor/SooToday

Join the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce for their annual Fireside Chat with Sault Ste. Marie Member of Provincial Parliament, Ross Romano. This year’s chat will be held virtually due to COVID-19, and will begin on Thursday 11:30 a.m.  

“We’ll be talking about the most pressing issues affecting business and the economy,” said Rory Ring, CEO, Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. “Obviously, we will discuss Ontario’s current Provincial Emergency response and stay-at-home orders, how that is impacting businesses and what the next steps should be moving forward. We anticipate there will be some discussion on vaccine distribution as well. The provincial government rolled out their 2021 Budget at the end of March and there were a number of items that were of particular interest to us as a chamber including initiatives intended to help tourism, expand training, and expand vital infrastructure such as broadband.”

“We will also spend some time talking to our MPP about his recent announcements in his role as Minister of Colleges and Universities about micro-credentials and how that might help local businesses,” Ring said. 

The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is currently moving into their second year of hosting events virtually. Prior to this, Fireside Chats were hosted in a luncheon format. 

“We hosted a number of virtual town hall events last year with our MPP, our MP and our Mayor – some together, some individually – with most of the discussion focused solely on the immediate response to COVID-19 at that time. We now have a window of hindsight on COVID as well as a much clearer idea of what the long-term impacts are going to be personally and economically. That means it’s time to start having discussions about how we move forward in a much broader sense. This is a bit of a return to the types of discussions we would have at our fireside chats prior to the pandemic,” Ring said. 

This Thursday’s virtual event is free to attend for Chamber of Commerce members and their employees. The registration fee for non-members is $10. 

“Communicating the concerns of our members and formulating solutions that best represent the needs of local business are central to the activities of the SSMCOC,” Ring said. “Our fireside chat series gives us the opportunity to connect our members directly to our elected officials. It always results in a positive discussion and exchange of ideas.”

With the province now under lockdown to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Saultites are encouraged now more than ever to continue following public health guidelines and stay home as much as possible. 

So each week, SooToday will share some of the virtual events taking place to help you make the most of these unprecedented times and have fun safely at home.

If you or someone you know is planning a local virtual event (concert, class, celebration, etc.), send the details to

Other events taking place this week include:

Outdoor Activities for Kids Webinar

April 28

With the weather starting to warm up, kids will be itching to get outside and play. With this free webinar, The Kensington Conservancy will provide some fun ideas for what kids can be doing and learning about while enjoying being outdoors this time of the year. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m.

Learn to draw Disney

May 2

Join children’s author and illustrator, Simon Hetherington for this exclusive online event where you can learn how to draw some well-known and loved characters from the Disney universe. This class will be held via Facebook Live on Sunday, May 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Free Watercolour Painting Class - "May The Force Be With You"

May 4

Celebrate Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you) and paint a Star Wars themed watercolour painting with Chris from Artist’s Palette Durham Region. The online class will be held on YouTube on Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. You will need watercolour paper, dry cake palette or tube watercolours, or watered down acrylic paint, a pencil, water resistant black pen or marker, brushes of different sizes, a water cup and paper towel.

Have an event coming up? Add it to our Community Calendar here.

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