Community calendar usage urged

Duane Hicks

How many times have you planned a tea and bake sale–only to find out someone else is holding one at the exact same time?
How about a concert, fundraiser dinner, or sporting event?
If you have an event planned for this fall or winter, the Fort Frances Times has the perfect, free platform for you to let everyone know about it far in advance so as to avoid scheduling conflicts: an online community calendar.
The calendar can be found at fortfrances.com and rainyriverdistrict.com, a website built and hosted by the Fort Frances Times as a mobile-friendly portal for district happenings.
One local volunteer who is a strong proponent of the calendar is Diane Maxey, who just last week added a few new events to it.
Maxey said Fort Frances and area is a very busy place, with plenty of events going on at any give time.
The problem is too many events get scheduled at the same time because one organizer often does not know what the other is doing.
“When people are choosing dates, if they would only look at something like this and work around it, everybody could get to more events and choose what they want to go to,” Maxey told the Times.
“Everybody seems to want to put everything on at the same time,” she noted.
“We have to educate ourselves to spread it out.”
Maxey said there’s been many instances of scheduling conflicts over the years. One example is church teas and bake sales that take place in the fall.
Nearly all of them take place over the course of a couple of Saturdays in the same time slot (2-4 p.m.), forcing people who would like to go to more than one event to spend less time at each or simply choose fewer ones to attend.
A second example is the “Hockey Legends All-Stars” exhibit game and the “Tour de Fort” concert featuring Glass Tiger–both of which will take place here Oct. 19.
Maxey said Glass Tiger was the main reason she got a “Tour de Fort” passport this season and yet she would love to go to the hockey game, especially to cheer on Jeff Savage, the son of her best friend, June Caul, who is playing in it.
Caul is in the same boat as Maxey.
“Why did it have to be on that night?” Caul wondered. “You can’t tell me if they had looked ahead and found out what was going on in this community, they couldn’t have booked the hockey on another night?”
She noted the Glass Tiger date has been booked since at least the spring.
While Caul feels both events likely will be well-attended (“Tour de Fort” is sold out this season), it’s still a perfect example of what she’s talking about.
“I’ve seen it time after time after time–big events are at the same time, on the same evening, and you have to make a choice,” echoed Maxey.
“It’s a dilemma for a lot of people.”
The bottom line is organizers have to be more aware of what’s going on when and be more flexible in scheduling.
“It benefits everyone; every organization is able to be successful raising their funds,” Maxey reasoned.
“We screw each other up and it’s very sad.
“This [community calendar] is a golden opportunity for people to look at the calendar, plan their event around the calendar, around what everybody else is doing,” she noted.
“We can change a date–it’s not the end of the world.”
Adding an event to the calendar is simple. Just go to the site, click on the “Event calendar” button, then the “Add an event” button.
Then add an event title, event type (i.e., arts and entertainment, sporting, etc.), date and time, and event description.
The system is set up so events should show up on the calendar immediately after someone posts it.
The Times will monitor what is posted to make sure nothing inappropriate is added to the calendar.
If there’s any problems, the Times will add an approval process in the future.
Along the same lines as the community calendar, the Times also is urging people to submit photos taken here in Rainy River District.
Just click the “Photo of the Week” button, then click on the updates@fortfrances.com link to e-mail a photo.
Be sure to add any relevant information, such as when and where the photo was taken, as well as who took it so they can be credited by name.
Meant to be a resource for visitors, as well as area residents, the site also features a directory of dining and accommodations in Fort Frances and other district communities.

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