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Beyond the City Lights

The cities of Belleville and Quinte West, along with presenting sponsor Scotiabank, are hosting the Beyond the City Lights Rural Tourism Conference on March 20, 2013 at the Maranatha Church in Belleville.  The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs is a partner.

The theme of the conference is “It’s All About the Local Food”, which will focus on promoting the entire value chain including the producer, processor, supplier and consumer and how they can benefit from current culinary and agri-tourism trends.

According to Quinte West Economic Development Manager Linda Lisle,  “The idea stemmed from a Regional Local Foods Business Retention and Expansion Project that was recently completed across nine municipalities surrounding and including the two cities”.

Guest speaker will be Jane Eckert, an agri-tourism expert who has turned her family’s farm into one of St. Louis, Missouri’s most popular entertainment and tourist destinations, attracting 400,000 guests annually.   Other session topics will cover industry trends, marketing ideas and strategies, collaboration, customer service, special events and more.

In addition to a great day of networking, delegates will be treated to a lunchtime “Culinary Experience” featuring locally sourced dishes created by local culinary experts and is being sponsored by Regional Tourism Organizations 9 & 8; The Great Waterway and Kawarthas & Northumberland who have joined together to help promote this conference across Eastern Ontario. Other sponsors of the event include the East Central Ontario Training Board, Trenval Business Development Corp., Nestle Canada Inc., Quinte Economic Development Commission, Canadian Blast Freezers, Northumberland County and the Hastings County Cattlemen’s Association.

Visit www.beyondthecitylights.ca for more information and registration details.