Student summit could be one of London’s biggest conferences ever
THE LONDON CONVENTION Centre (LCC) is gearing up to host one of its largest conferences ever as it welcomes thousands of students and educators for a first-of-its kind conference.
From April 9 to 11, the Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS) will host and estimated 2,000-plus student leaders and educators from over 20 countries, and is being billed as the first large scale, international, multi-day leadership summit for youth from around the globe.
“It has the potential to be the [LCC’s] largest conference by attendance,” says Darrin Pollard, the director of business development for the London Convention Centre.
Facilitated by Orillia-based Youth Leadership Camps Canada (YLCC) and sponsored by educational institutions and businesses (Huron University College is the lead educational partner), GSLS will feature over 60 speakers, interactive workshops and peer collaboration.
According to Pollard, GSLS delegates are expected to generate an estimated economic impact of $1.1 million for the city.
“Thankfully, our past experience with large groups puts us in a favourable position to host [the summit],” continues Pollard. “The most important element to success is open communication with the event organizers. We have already had several advance meetings and will certainly have a couple more, including a very detailed pre-conference meeting with our entire management team and with [YLCC founder] Stu Saunders and his team.”
Founded in 1992, YLCC works with youth through more than 14 different programs and events each year, including the Ontario Student Leadership Conference (OSLC), the longest running and largest student leadership conference in Canada.
New funding supports eight area food-and-beverage producers
LAST WEEK, THE provincial and federal governments announced new funding to help grow Ontario food-and-beverage processing sector by supporting local businesses to increase productivity, meet consumer demand and create new jobs.
With support provided through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, 33 companies across Southwestern Ontario will receive $2.1 million in funding through the program, including eight businesses in the London area. Across Ontario, over 300 Ontario food processors will receive support through Growing Forward
One of the eight local firms to receive funding, the London Brewing Co-Operative received $92,633 to support the purchase and installation of upgraded brewing equipment to improve productivity and efficiency.
“Ontarians are now drinking more local hops and malts in their beer than ever thanks to the Growing Forward 2-funded London Brewing Co-Operative expansion—this is a positive, concise win for the food movement in Ontario,” says Jeff Pastorius, London Brewing Co-Operative co-founder.
“The food and beverage sector is incredibly important to London and the region of Southwestern Ontario,” adds Peter Fragiskatos, MP for London North Centre. “Federal and provincial cooperation is helping this vital sector thrive, and I congratulate all businesses receiving funding. We know these investments will boost the local economy in London and help meet our goal of providing good middle class jobs for Londoners.”
In addition to London Brewing Co-Operative, the following London-area businesses received Growing Forward 2 support:
• Black Fly Beverage Company received $250,000 to purchase and install automated end-of-line packaging equipment, raw materials processing upgrade equipment and a bottle blowing system and a compressor system.
• Forked River Brewing Corporation received $108,019 to purchase automated equipment and increase cellaring capabilities and install canning lines.
• The Original Cakerie received $100,000 to purchase and install an automated case packaging and palletizing system.
• McCormick Canada received $100,000 to purchase and install filler equipment and provide first-time staff training to help increase labour productivity.
• Hollandia Bakeries Limited (Mt. Brydges) received $25,185 to purchase an innovative detail icing roller, accountability/production software and an automated taping machine.
• Planet Shrimp Inc. (Aylmer) received $142,857 to develop and implement a custom management system for the shrimp farm to meet market demands for traceability.
• Las Chicas del Cafe Inc. (St. Thomas) received $5,319 to perform marketing activities to access new domestic markets.
A downtown hotel rebrands, refreshes and refers
ONE OF LONDON’S familiar downtown hotel properties, the StationPark Hotel, has been rebranded as The Park Hotel London. The rebranding comes just ahead of completion of an extensive $4-million guestroom renovation, due to for completion this spring.
The Park Hotel London has also been accepted into membership of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, a referral network that represents more than 650 hotels, resorts, residences hotel groups across 85 countries.
“We have the space and design to meet the needs of today’s travellers,” says Jeffrey Dennis, general manager of The Park Hotel London. “We are truly excited to be joining the Preferred Hotels & Resorts family moving forward. More importantly, our newly renovated all-suite boutique hotel will be welcoming new and current iPrefer members for years to come.”
Preferred Hotels & Resorts does not own, operate or manage any of the hotels within its portfolio. All of the properties within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio are independent entities.
The independent boutique-style property was opened in 1990 by London-based Decade Group Inc. and was the city’s first suite-style hotel. Today, the property is owned Mississauga-based Westmont Hospitality Group, one of the largest hotel operators and managers in Canada with over 100 brand names in its stable, including Marriott, Delta, Sheraton, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Comfort Inn, Quality, Radisson, Ramada and Travelodge, as well as a number of unique independent hotels.
Nestlé Canada Inc. to announce expansion of London plant
NESTLÉ CANADA INC. is expected to announce a sizable expansion to its Wilton Grove Road facility on March 2. The plant produces about 60 million litres of ice cream annually for national distribution.
Last year, Nestlé completed a $20-million installation of two new production lines to step up output of the classic Drumstick cone and the premium Haagen-Dazs line at the facility, but despite the boost to capacity, company officials say a major site expansion is required.
Founded in 1966 as a Silverwood Dairies plant and later sold to Ault Foods, the plant was acquired by Nestlé in 1997. In addition to the Drumstick and Haagen-Dazs lines, ice cream brands and products manufactured at the facility include Parlour and Real Dairy, fruit popsicles and various sundae and bar products based on candy bars and cookies such as Kit Kat and Coffee Crisp and Oreos.
The plant employs approximately 750 in high season from March to September, and about 500 during the remainder of the year. With a 29 per cent share of the market, Nestlé is the leading seller of ice cream in Canada,
Nestlé in Canada employs approximately 3,500 people in over 20 manufacturing, sales and distribution sites across the country, with the home office located in North York. Nestlé Canada Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestlé S.A, the world’s largest food-and-beverage company, producing more than 2,000 brands in 189 countries around the world.
After almost 90 years, the Seigel name strides out of retail footwear
IT’S THE FINAL lap for a family name synonymous with retail footwear in London for almost 90 years.
J. Seigel Footwear, owned by Jeff Seigel, will close its doors this spring, bringing an end to almost 90 years of shoe selling for the Seigel family.
In operation since 1931, Seigel’s father, Maurice Seigel, took over the family shoe store at 129 Dundas Street in 1954. To that store, he added a landmark warehouse at Clarence and York streets and settled in for decades of putting shoes on people’s feet.
When he decided to close his Dundas Street store in 1998, Jeff established his own company, J. Seigel Footwear, at 1295 Highbury Avenue North and has been in operation since. With an emphasis on personalized customer service and fitting, J. Seigel also specialized in narrow, extra-wide and extra-large shoe sizes.
According to Seigel, he is closing the store in order to free up time for retirement, and says there is still a possibility the business could be taken over by someone and moved to a different location.
Seigel says the store will remain open until the beginning of May or until inventory is cleared out, whichever comes first.
Business Events Calendar
The E.P.I.C. Networking events provide an opportunity to form new business relationships and maintain established contacts. The next E.P.I.C. event is at the newly renovated Boler Mountain Chalet on March 6.