Maxey seeking public input on community calendar idea

With so many fundraisers and community events going on, Rainy River District can be a very busy place.
As such, keeping track of what’s happening can be a little confusing—both for those planning the activities and those interested in attending them.
That’s what well-known local volunteer Diane Maxey wants to change with a new community calendar she’s trying to get off the ground.
The thing is, she can’t do it without input from district groups and individuals—and that’s what she’s asking for right now.
“It all stems from the fact there’s so many activities in Emo, Rainy River, and Fort Frances that overlap and I think we could do a better job of making sure that doesn’t happen,” Maxey said Tuesday.
“I would like to see people able to plan their weekends, plan their days, with the big events going on,” she added. “There’s so many things going on. I’m very busy, we’re all very busy. If we could just plan things out.
“I know I’ve gone away on a weekend where very possibly, if I had known something was going to go on, I could have stayed in town and waited until the next one,” noted Maxey.
She has started the process of making a calendar by taking one of the large desk calendars the Times gives out each year and marking down the major events that will be happening for the rest of the year.
However, Maxey is looking for more information to fill out the calendar to get as complete a schedule as possible that will make it possible both for organizers to co-ordinate and avoid conflicting events, and for the public to fill out their day planners well in advance—ideally boosting event participation in either case.
Maxey said anyone with pertinent information is encouraged to give her a call at 274-7309. If she’s not home, leave her a message.
She stressed she wants the name of the event, the date, the location, the start time, and the duration to make the calendar as accurate as possible.
Maxey noted there are some criteria as to what will make it on the calendar. For instance, the events must be open to the public and of some significance, such as the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, the Emo Fair, “Spring Fever Days,” “Fun in the Sun” or even high school prom or graduation.
Individual meetings of service clubs or groups apply only to members of those groups, and thus aren’t appropriate for the community calendar.
Maxey stressed she wants input both from Fort Frances groups as well as those in Emo, Rainy River, and all points in-between, and would prefer if each community had a co-ordinator like herself who could gather information from their respective municipalities.
She added the calendar would use colour codes, where each community would be assigned a colour to make it easy to see which community is hosting which event when reading the calendar.
It also would use a “key” with abbreviations like “IFK” (for Ice for Kids Arena) to easily identify locations.
Once Maxey can compile the information, she’s hoping to get it printed on large calendars that will be placed at strategic locations in the district, such as the Memorial Sports Centre, Civic Centre, curling club, La Place Rendez-Vous, Times’ office, and the Chamber of Commerce here in Fort Frances.
While there will be some cost to having the calendars printed, Maxey will be contacting local groups, such as the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce and BIA, about providing funding.
As well, an online version will be developed, where Internet users can browse the calendar and click on event links for more information. This will be provided by the Fort Frances Times.
Maxey is hoping to get an initial run of calendars ready by the end of May and so would like to get input as soon as possible.
She admitted the calendars likely will need to be updated throughout the year, as events may be re-scheduled or cancelled, and new ones are planned, but hopefully the idea of the community calendar gets groups to commit to dates once they set them.
While Maxey only is interested in event info up until the end of 2007 at this point, she would like to see the “trial run” be a success and the community calendar to continue each year.
“I think it can work,” she remarked. “Everybody I’ve talked to has indicated there’s a need for it.
“Well, let’s get behind it. Let’s give it a shot and really see if we can do it,” she added.