Lucky Dockside Festival of the Arts visitors

IMG_0144 (2)IMG_0147 (1)











Three visitors to Dockside Festival of the Arts were door prize winners receiving gifts donated by the generous vendors. Gravenhurst Chamber executive director Sandy Lockhart presents a beautiful basket of gifts to Joan Miller of St. Catharines (top left). Chamber president Bob Collins presents a gift basket to Margaret Faudemer of Washago (top right).

New Utterson resident Brad MacDonald won a bird feeder.IMG_0180 (1)


Muskoka Chambers Form New Committee

Dear Members & Partners,

In the spirit of growth, I am contacting you on behalf of the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Some of the Muskoka Chambers have formed a committee to investigate how the existing Chambers of Commerce can bring added value to their members by exploring a number of possibilities of how working and sharing resources can be of benefit. In the coming months, we plan to produce a report on the plan’s feasibility.

The committee is comprised of Board Members and Staff from the Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Muskoka Lakes and Port Sydney/Utterson Chambers of Commerce. Forming a committee was a decision that each board voted to support. The primary goal is to improve value to your membership. Through the coming months, the committee will meet routinely to investigate if shared services, increased collaboration and operating together will provide greater value to members and each community.

Some preliminary benchmarks for the committee’s report are:

  • Is a regional structure financially viable?
  • Can we enhance the Muskoka Brand and better support regional business development opportunities?
  • Will this operation better utilize Chamber resources?
  • Can we increase membership benefits?

We will be asking for your considerations and participation as part of the process and you can be assured that no decisions will be made without the support and involvement of our members.

Like all business owners, development and growth is a continual process and in the instance of this committee, we look forward to better understanding the potential opportunities that can progress through regional collaboration. Included below is a list of the committee members from each of the communities.

I remind you, this is exploratory and no outcome is predetermined.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or the Chamber office for additional information.


Bob Collins,
Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce

Gravenhurst Chamber Welcomes New Executive Director & Interim Manager of Programs

tarajoy sandy caption

Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce has completed their search for its incoming Executive Director. Gravenhurst resident, Sandy Lockhart, will fill the role beginning the week of August 22nd.

“I’m really excited about representing Gravenhurst as the Chamber’s Executive Director,” says Lockhart.  “In past roles, I’ve always had a Muskoka-Wide focus, so I’m looking forward to putting Gravenhurst first. I’ve been lucky enough to live here for almost 30 years and raise my family here.”

Sandy’s career has been focused on media, communications, public relations and event coordination.  Raised by entrepreneurial parents and with a self-employed husband, she is familiar with many of the challenges and benefits of operating a small business in Muskoka.

“I look forward to meeting all the chamber members and engaging the community as I introduce myself to the Gravenhurst business people,” she says.

Chamber President Bob Collins believes the new Chamber Executive Director is going to make the position her own. “She will lead the Chamber with conviction and new ideas,” he says.

Sandy will replace Danielle Millar who has been the Chamber’s Executive Director since 2012. Millar announced her departure in June and the planned Executive Director transition allows for a brief overlap in staff.

The change of Executive Directors is only one of the significant staff transitions taking place. Manager of Programs Tara Doyle just began her maternity leave expecting a baby boy to arrive in the next few weeks.  The Chamber welcomes Joy Cantle-Jones back to the Organization for the coming year. This will be Cantle-Jones’ second term with the Chamber as she held the Manager of Programs role for Doyle’s 2014 maternity leave.

“We wish Tara and her expanding family all the best for the coming year,” says Collins.  “As we are transitioning key staff members, we are pleased to be welcoming back Joy Cantle-Jones who brings experience and enthusiasm to the position.  Joy is a long-term friend of the Organization and having her back on board is a positive step.”

For more information, please contact:

Bob Collins
President, Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce