Vankleek Hill’s tourist information centre is back for 2021, providing information for visitors inside the Creating Centre at the corner of Main and High streets.
The centre is operated by the Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association (BMA), which has leased space in the Creating Centre for the months of July and August, during the height of the village’s tourist season. The info centre is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Wednesday through Sunday.
Compared to non-pandemic years, the visitor count is down, but has picked up since August 1, says info centre student Erin Cassidy.
“People are usually looking for a place to eat or restaurant suggestions,” says Cassidy. “Quite often they are looking for (how to get to) Beau’s (Brewery).”
As in 2020, COVID-19 safety protocols are in place. Visitors are invited to knock at the door at 11 High Street and must wear a mask to go inside. The centre has a COVID protocol in place and staff may also step outside to speak with visitors.
Cassidy is also taking care of other business to support the local business association. She is doing daily posts on the Vankleek Hill BMA’s Facebook page, updating the master list of businesses with their contact information and is connecting with businesses to ensure they have the opportunity to join the BMA. Cassidy is also ensuring that she promotes local businesses on the #myvkh Facebook page and is sharing details about upcoming events, including the weekly Saturday morning Farmers’ Market.
Part of Cassidy’s work this summer includes making appointments and meeting with business owners to shoot a short video or take photos at the business location in order to create a short promotional video.
The student position was made possible thanks to a grant from Canada Summer Jobs. The Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association also received support from Champlain Township in the form of a $5,000 community grant in 2021.
As 2021 draws to a close, a new executive group will be in place for the next two-year term of office.
The current executive group, headed by president Louise Sproule, is hoping for a new executive which will focus on support for business development and growth, while the association’s events will carry on as before, with Trash and Treasure (the annual village-wide yard sale) taking place the first Saturday in June 2022. In addition, the association will be take on the responsibility for Porchfest, as organizer Ken Duff hands off the event to the BMA. A Porchfest subcommittee is formed and will be running the event under the auspices of the BMA.
To find out more about the Vankleek Hill BMA, visit: www.myvkh.com or send an email to: [email protected]