Ideas wanted for heritage tourism opening

Duane Hicks

The Town of Fort Frances will be celebrating the opening of Phase II of the Heritage Tourism Project during “Tourism Week” (June 3-8), and museum curator Pam Cain is putting out a call to urge services clubs and other groups to organize an event to coincide with the celebration.
While it may seem like a long time away, Cain said the earlier planning gets underway, the better it can be promoted to be as successful as possible.
“I know most of the publications that advertise events in their schedules need that information quickly, so if we can get some people involved in events along the parkway or downtown, it will add to the event,” she remarked.
“It’s Tourism Week, so we’ll be welcoming people to the community,” she stressed.
Cain said tentative plans so far include the grand opening of Phase II of the Heritage Tourism Project on Thursday, June 3.
This will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Hallett and lookout tower sites (although these sites actually will open on the May long weekend).
Also on that day, artists will have their work on display on Scott Street, and there will be an “Amazing Race” and scavenger hunt.
There also likely will be some type of workshop tying into a proposed “What Hooks You Here!” collaborative rug-hooking initiative under the Community Arts & Heritage Education Project.
Then on Friday, June 4, there will be an international tug-of-war between Fort Frances and International Falls, with each side pulling on a rope from either side of the river.
Cain said the town also is hoping to get Scheer’s Lumberjack Show, which was here for the town’s centennial in 2003, to come back to put on a performance for students as well as an evening community show.
And on Saturday, June 5, the “Fly-in/Drive-in BBQ” will be held at the Fort Frances Airport.
This has been moved from the fall, when it traditionally has been staged, to coincide with “Tourism Week” and the rest of the celebrations.
As well, the exhibit, “Lumber Camp Life,” which is from the Thunder Bay Museum but also features artifacts from the Fort Frances Museum’s collection—will be on display at the Fort Frances Museum throughout June.
“This is basically a call out to get people on board and start thinking about what they might want to do, and let us know so we can advertise it and schedule it in,” said Cain.
A likely theme is “Take the Path to the Parkway,” Cain added, noting “wayfinding” (using signage to delineate a route) is a big part of Phase II of the Heritage Tourism Project.
As such, the celebration is an opportunity to host events along the way from the “Great Canadian Main Street” and La Verendrye Parkway to other community sites.
Some possible event ideas include a pie sale, barbecue, “loggers lunch,” “voyageur party,” rubber duckie race, Rainy River water race or regatta, or boat parade.
Anyone with questions, comments, or suggestions is asked to call Cain at 274-7891 or e-mail her at