Town re-launches revamped website

Duane Hicks

The Town of Fort Frances’ website has been re-launched with an intuitive interface and a clean, modern look that brings it in line with its “Boundless” brand.
“It is completely on-brand, technically smart, and I think it’s super cool, as well,” Tannis Drysdale, a consultant with the Rainy River Future Development Corp., said at Monday night’s council meeting.
The revamped site, which is found at www.fort-frances.com, contains links to town services via easy-to-use tabs labelled for visitors, residents, and businesses.
It also features a map of town sites and public places of interest, such as parks, as well as notices of upcoming community events, such as Canada Day and concerts, notices of tender, and other relevant information.
Times Web Design was the project manager for the redesign, working with Twist Marketing, who developed the new brand, and Metric Marketing out of Winnipeg, who built the new site.
“It’s an improved site,” said Times’ spokesperson Linda Plumridge.
“Basically, they’ve taken nine different town-affiliated sites and combined them into one in a streamlined version that works with mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers and meets accessibility standards,” she noted.
“It also follows the branding.
“It took a lot of work on behalf of all of the people involved, including all of the town employees who went through to make sure the content is up to date and will continue to do so,” added Plumridge.
Overall, the new design is cleaner and user-friendly.
“While it may look pretty, we also wanted it to function better,” Plumridge stressed.
“Functionality is key and we think this has been done.
“It is easier for people to find what they want to find from the Town of Fort Frances, and it showcases Fort Frances as it needs to be for anyone who may be visiting, who wants to move here, start a business here, whatever their needs may be,” she noted.
Drysdale said the website contains plenty of information right now but it is vital to keep it current.
“It will only be as good as the information in it on a day-to-day basis so we’re all going to endeavour to work very hard to make sure it has the most up-to-date information,” she stressed.
In response to a question from Coun. Wendy Brunetta, Drysdale said photos on the website will change to reflect the seasons.
Similarly, video content on the site, which currently includes the first “Boundless” video made by filmmaker Andrew George, will increase down the road, including videos showcasing Fort Frances in summertime as well as an industrial video for prospective business investors.
In other economic development news, the tourist information centre here will be getting a moose next week.
Drysdale said the taxidermied moose will be located in the foyer.
The public will get a chance to meet the stuffed moose during a reception there next Tuesday (June 30) from 2-3 p.m.
Coffee and dessert will be served.
The RRFDC worked with Bruce Caldwell to bring the “Snowbirds” here earlier this month, which was a big success.
Meanwhile, the second-annual “Harmony of Nations” Music Festival is in the works for July 17-18 here.
Drysdale said tickets are selling well, with the RRFDC working together with local First Nations and Métis to make the event a success.
The RRFDC also continues to assist the Assisted Living Action Group (A.L.A.G.) in its efforts to develop an assisted living facility in Fort Frances.
The “Go Local” program now has more than 4,000 cards in circulation and businesses have awarded more than one million “Go Local” points.
In the mining sector, Drysdale said since it’s become clear that New Gold’s Rainy River Project is going ahead and camp construction has begun, “there’s been an escalation” in inquiries from companies interested in providing services to the new mine and into industrial park land.
The opening of the mine is slated for February, 2017.
As well, the RRFDC is hoping to hear back soon regarding a district-wide telecommunications upgrade project with Tbaytel and Industry Canada.