Reopening of Visitor’s Centre planning underway

Valerie G. Barnes Connell Jordan/Northern Advocate. The Woodlands and Waterways Visitor’s Centre remains closed until the new Board Members and General Manager meet to plan the re-opening.

With a new manager hired, the Woodlands and Waterways Visitor’s Centre board will meet, with the new manager involved, on Monday, Aug. 14 to beginning mapping out the future of the centre.

The GST and PST arrears have been paid off, with the help of a loan from the Northern Village of Air Ronge and $25,000, given by the Town of La Ronge, Ryan Veteri, chair of the board, said in an interview with the Northern Advocate.

“We’re becoming financially stable,” he said.

Following the Centre’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) “we got a new board appointed.

Along with getting the finances in order, the board began its work by searching for a new General Manager.

Veteri said the Centre will focus on tourism as “that’s what the three partners are paying for.”

When asked about the opportunity for local crafters, he said, that would not be happening.

“If the new manager can come up with something that would be feasible, we could look at it, but, we got to g t back to basics, what it (the Centre) was originally designed to be.”

Veteri also said he’s excited to have a full board in place, but things have been at a standstill until the new manager was hired, so that person could be involved in the planning from the beginning.

Board members have been busy with the day-to-day things, like getting the banking changed over from the previous board and management, “that kind of stuff,” Veteri said.

The board is a “board of governance; it’s not a working board. So, all of us have been just doing what we can in our spare time, during evenings.

“It has been a lot of work, but I have to say, it’s actually been really exciting having a full board and all board members are working hard. We got a really great team … we’re making things work.”

They are considering holding a re-opening barbeque and more decisions will be forthcoming following the Aug. 14 board meeting.

But how the plans and visions unfold depends much on the new manager. They wanted the new manager in place first “to see what they kind of envision. Because, the person we hire will have some experience in the tourism sector and we’ll go from there,” Veteri said in an interview, prior to the hiring of the new manager. The Board Members are: Representing the Northern Village of Air Ronge: Corey Hardcastle; and Kristy McDougall; Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB): Charlene Venne; and Kevin Roberts; and the Town of La Ronge: Veteri; and Viviana Ruiz Arcand. Members at Large are: Krista Funk; Shelly Lobb; James Hope Howard; Tania Colbert; and Jose Roske.