Establishment of Rural Action Centre highlight of year
WELLINGTON, PEI – Sept. 26, 2012 – As it prepares to face an uncertain future because of budget cuts, the Baie Acadienne Development Corporation (SDBA) has wrapped up a year of changes as it completed certain initiatives and launched brand-new ones, says president Angèle Arsenault.
Speaking during the SDBA’s annual meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 25, in Wellington, the president said the community’s former action plan came to an end and then implementation of the new three-year strategic plan began.
“This new plan promotes partnerships, consultation and engagement,” she mentioned. It seeks to increase the SDBA’s public profile; to create an environment of sharing, exchanging and learning; to create alliances and partnerships to support local organizations; to promote the retention of youth; and to link the SDBA’s orientations and initiatives to those of other community partners.
The year’s biggest success story is without a doubt the establishment of one of the province’s Rural Action Centre in the SDBA’s facilities in Wellington. This centre, which had an extremely successful first year, is “a very important tool in meeting the needs of our entrepreneurial and community clientele,” added Arsenault.
The centre’s activities report shows impressive statistics for its first year of operation under SDBA management. Nineteen new clients were served, a total of 1,071 in-person contacts were made, 598 phone contacts were made and 39 email contacts were established. In addition to serving local clients in both French and English, the Wellington location is the only centre that is designated as bilingual; it can therefore serve francophone clients from all over the province.
“This centre, whose goal is to bring support services closer to the entrepreneurial and community clientele, seems to be meeting its objectives,” notes the report, prepared by executive director Louise Comeau.
The centre’s client information officer, Jeannine Arsenault, collaborated mostly with the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI in organizing seven noontime information sessions on various topics, attracting 89 participants. As well, the centre was a sponsor of the Chamber’s Entrepreneurs’ Gala.
The SDBA held two sessions for Evangeline project leaders. Twenty-five people attended these sessions where stakeholders provided updates on the progress of their project.
The SDBA also participated in a campaign designed to help make the Centre Goéland more sustainable.
During the year, the organization also continued to manage four buildings in the community: the Community Business Centre, the Place du Village mini mall, the Promenade acadienne and the restaurant at Day’s Corner. The SDBA plans to continue its efforts to sell some of these buildings over the coming year.
The organization is also looking at various options to ensure that it can continue to serve its community for many years to come.
The SDBA serves the territory from Northam Road to Miscouche; much of its work is concentrated in the Evangeline region.
CUTLINE: Seen during the annual meeting of the Baie Acadienne Development Corporation, Sept. 25 in Wellington, are, from left, SDBA president Angèle Arsenault, meeting secretary Jeannine Arsenault and board secretary-treasurer Roger Gallant.
For more information:
Angèle Arsenault, president
Baie Acadienne Development Corporation