May 26, 2004, St. Thomas, Ontario

Western Ontario and the Forest City are hosting a provincial Economic Development Conference starting on Sunday, which will bring over 250 participants to the region.  The Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations’ (OACFDC) Annual Conference, entitled "On the Horizon", showcases rural and Northern development excellence.
The OACFDC’s Annual Conference is a mainstay of the Community Futures Program, featuring Keynote Speakers Donna Messer and Robert Parker, and special guest Stuart Black, the Chief Executive of Inverness & Nairn Enterprises, Scotland, to speak about strategic community involvement.  Hosted by western Ontario’s eight Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), the conference runs from May 30 to June 1 at London’s Four Points Sheraton.
“Many of our colleagues do not realize the diversity that exists in western Ontario,” says Cara Finn, General Manager, CFDC of Middlesex County and Chair of the 2004 Conference Task Force.  “We have much more than urban centres, so we are introducing delegates to the flavours and the landscape that make the rural parts of this region unique.”
A yearly highlight is the OACFDC Awards Program, taking place this year during a gala event on Monday, May 31.  The Awards Program recognises exceptional CFDC achievements, as well Community Economic Development, Innovation, Youth Initiative, and Entrepreneur of the Year.  During the conference, delegates will attend six workshop sessions with topics ranging from strategic planning, to loan compliance, to main street revitalization.  Unique to this year’s conference, is an opportunity to sample local flavours during a Regional Feast at Quai du Vin Estate Winery north of Sparta.
The conference will attract a cross-section of participants, including CFDC staff and volunteers, as well as municipal, provincial and federal government representatives.
The OACFDC is a provincial association committed to supporting and providing services to its membership to improve capacity, efficiency and effectiveness.  Information about the Community Futures Program and the "On the Horizon" conference are available on line at 

For media and conference information:  Janine Lunn, Communications Officer, The Ontario Association of CFDCs, at 1-888-633-2326 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.