As part of the DMS Lab program, which launched this summer under the Future Proof banner, Digital Main Street in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and the PARC Association is proud to announce that the Explore South River project has received funding to bring the project online.
The Explore South River project brings together the communities of South River and Machar to document the stories of the region, while highlighting local small businesses and things to do through an interactive map. Project funding made available through the DMS Lab will enable development of an online version of the map as well as recordings of the stories which can be accessed throughout the region via QR code.
“We are very excited to be able to take our grassroots storytelling project online. Our interpretive storytelling panels paired with our new digital app will encourage visitors to our region to get out and explore,” said Todd Lucier, Chair of PARC Association.
The Explore South River app will also introduce visitors to the region’s most valuable asset – its people.
“We are going to introduce artists, naturalists and guides, experience providers, food and accommodation partners, and businesses to visitors with short introductory videos,” said Lucier. “And our community events calendar will showcase everything going on in the region, right in the palm of everyone’s hands.”
With continued travel restrictions, Ontario residents are looking to explore their province more than ever before. The Explore South River project will help to enrich the experience of people visiting the area, while also boosting local businesses. The Digital Main Street Lab seeks to pilot projects that help main street businesses find new and innovative way to connect to customers.
“This is great news for the small businesses around the Village of South River and the Township of Machar,” said Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norman Miller. “The first place people go to research places to visit and things to do is online so this will help attract people to the area and promote local businesses. I look forward to seeing the final result.”
”Ontario’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and their recovery is critical to Ontario’s recovery,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “COVID-19 has continued to present challenges in the way we do business. I am pleased that the DMS Lab program is working with organizations like PARC to create innovative, online solutions that connect our small businesses to new customers and expand their reach to consumers across Ontario.”
“Through the Explore South River project, Ontarians can discover the unique offerings found throughout the South River and Machar region quickly and easily,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Programs like Digital Main Street are putting small businesses in rural communities on the map, while celebrating the contributions these businesses make in helping to form our local identities.”