Rachel Patenaude and Sarah Rennie The Hemmingford Junior Council for Community Development launched the municipality’s first tourism website and new logo on June 25. The website aims to attract North American and even international visitors to the charming village and surrounding county, which features attractions like Parc Safari as well as award-winning wineries and cideries, pioneer apple orchards, and much more. In keeping with social distancing measures, the website launch took place over the Zoom videoconferencing platform. The presentation was organized by the nine young professionals and two senior leaders that make up the Hemmingford Junior Council, which is dedicated to the community’s industrial and tourism-related projects as part of the local sustainable development program. The new website was created to act as a hub for local tourism destinations. It features direct links to each destination’s individual website, which offers visitors access to up-to-date operating hours and information pertaining to special COVID-19 instructions. Currently in its first phase of development, the website, which was designed by the communications firm Réactif, is the product of a series of roundtable discussions led by the Junior Council over a two-year period. Around 40 businesses and stakeholders in the local tourism industry took part in this ‘bottom-up’ approach, which led to the development of a full tourism strategy. More than 40 Hemmingford enterprises and stakeholders in the tourism industry took part in roundtable discussions over two years, which eventually culminated in the launch on June 25 of the community’s first tourism website. (PHOTO Courtesy of Hemmingford Junior Council) Huntingdon MNA and President of the Committee of Labour and the Economy, Claire IsaBelle was especially complimentary of the project. “A tourism strategy and a website to promote the attractions of Hemmingford, managed and developed by a youth council dedicated to their region, are not only very rare, but also very effective,” she says. “The involvement of young people, supported by local partners, can only encourage tourism, and even the sustainable development of our community,” she adds. “We are proud of our Junior Council the collaboration we experienced from all of the local enterprises in the tourism sector over the last several years,” says Paul Viau, the mayor of the Township of Hemmingford. “It’s been a remarkable experience,” he adds, noting he is also proud of “Hemmingford and its assets.” For the members of the Junior Council the experience provided multiple opportunities for mentorship and leadership, despite the process having taken more time than initially planned. “I am very satisfied with how it turned out,” says Junior Council project manager Justin Petch. “This platform will ultimately be a great stepping-stone from which we can build awareness of our beautiful region and its local businesses.” After the website launch, Junior Council member Devon Watt was just as optimistic. “All of our collective efforts put into something tangible was nice to see and to get the positive feedback that we did is very encouraging for our group and our area.” Watt suggests that establishing buy-in on the part of the local businesses was relatively easy, while noting the roundtable discussions also included stakeholders such as the Circuit du Paysan and local government. “A collective tourism platform is something businesses in the area have been looking for, so the impression I got was that everyone was eager to get involved in the process.” Destination Hemmingford logo unveiled Coinciding with the launch of the new website, the Junior Council also revealed the design of the new Destination Hemmingford logo, which represents all that the region has to offer. For example, Hemmingford is known for apple orchards, and more recently a number of fine wineries and cideries. As such, the apple with the grapevine at its centre signifies the booming agritourism sector. A border region, Hemmingford is not only bilingual, it also shares much of its heritage and resources with its American neighbours. The depiction of the name in two colours (green and black), as well as the line through the O, tells the story of a region with multiple harmonious identities that work together to make Hemmingford a truly unique destination. The new website and logo can now be found online at: destinationhemmingford.com.