June is a month of transition and celebrations. ☀️
It is the halfway point of the year. Summer arrives. Graduations mark milestone accomplishments. And it is a time for reflection and renewed energy as we set new goals for the remaining months.
A warm welcome 👋
In the spirit of embracing new challenges and opportunities, I would like to give a warm welcome to the new Villagers who joined us in May, including:
GuelphToday reporter Isabel Buckmaster
Halton region reporter (summer intern) Chris Arnold
The Trillium reporter Jack Hauen
BradfordToday and InnisfilToday reporter Michael Owen
We’re #1! 🎊
We are thrilled to have won first place for Best Event for our Community Builders Awards at the Local Media Association Digital Innovation Awards! 🎉
This meaningful program promotes and celebrates vision and positivity in our communities. The feedback from nominators, judges, sponsors, winners and the community at large is heartwarming. The program offers much-appreciated recognition for the individuals and organizations doing the hard work to make our cities a better place to live.
From the judges of the Digital Innovation Awards: “Lots of opportunity for expansion. In true Village Media style, you found something meaningful, replicable and monetizable that brings value to your communities. The video production is great, and sponsors are appropriately represented. Nicely done!”
There are countless Villagers who work tirelessly on the CBAs to make it a success. It's a very special win for us.
Congratulations to everyone who helped bring this initiative to life! 🥳
And a special shout-out to Inside the Village, which received an honourable mention in the Best Product Initiative category. A big congrats to everyone on the ITV team for the recognition. 🌟
Speaking of the CBAs…
Our newly minted award-winning program recently celebrated its inaugural year in North Bay. The BayToday team hosted an intimate and inspiring awards reception to honour the remarkable recipients for our kick-off year.
Congrats on a fantastic launch!
ICYMI: Stellar coverage from SooToday during a nail-biting 29-hour experience
A harrowing situation involving a missing child in Sault Ste. Marie has once again demonstrated the impact and importance of a reliable and timely local news source.
From our Editor-in-Chief Michael Friscolanti:
SooToday proved, yet again, why communities need a local news source they can trust.
On the morning of May 12, a Grade 6 student disappeared from a popular outdoor learning centre on the edge of town. As the sun set that Friday night, 11-year-old Ruby Kerr was still missing, triggering a massive search and rescue operation that grew more urgent as each hour ticked by.
Throughout the ordeal, residents of Sault Ste. Marie — and beyond — turned to SooToday for the latest information, which we provided minute by minute. And when an OPP helicopter finally spotted Ruby 29 hours after she vanished, our reporters were the first to break the news and to provide exclusive video of the girl’s emotional reunion with her family.
SooToday did not find Ruby Kerr; that job was left up to the experts. But we did provide a service almost as valuable: keeping the community informed with accurate, reliable reporting.
Big bucks for Big Brothers Big Sisters 💰
Our latest community match initiative, Best Summer Ever, harnessed the giving power of our network by connecting local businesses and readers to raise funds for an important cause.
Thanks to the hard work of our sales teams, we were able to donate $28,600 to Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations in the communities we serve. The money raised will help Big Brothers Big Sisters continue to offer life-changing mentoring experiences right in our backyards. You all have definitely made it the best summer ever for children who rely on this programming!
Our Village sings for kids 🎤
Soo Sings for Kids is a popular annual fundraising event in Sault Ste. Marie that challenges local businesses to come together and put on their best performance to raise money for local children’s charities.
Over the last decade, the event has raised over $120,000 for kids in Sault Ste. Marie.
While Village Media/SooToday has been supporting the event for many years through live streaming, sponsorship and promotion, this was the first year we entered a team to compete.
A daunting task, our head office team practiced for months, learning lyrics, sharpening our singing and nailing the choreography. We performed our hearts out for the ARCH Hospice Paediatric Palliative Care Services. It was a great time for an even better cause.
You can catch our act starting at 2:46:30 🕺
✨ Spotlight on sponsorships ✨
May we present our May sponsorships 😁:
Alzheimer's Society Walk For Alzheimer's, Fresh Food Weekly
Five Star Foundation Resource Closet
VR Pro - Bronte Creek 5k, Townsend Smith Foundation - Hike for Hospice, Children's Aid Foundation
MS Society's MS Walk, Chamber of Commerce Business Expo
Country Core Records Inc - Summer Country Kickoff
Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce's Awards of Excellence, Chamber of Commerce Business Expo
Guelph Yogafest, Big Brothers Big Sisters Royal Reach Gala, Chamber of Commerce Business Expo
Children's Aid Foundation, Townsend Smith Foundation - Hike for Hospice
Doane House Hospice - Hike for Hospice
Hospice Orillia's Hike for Hospice, Orillia Chamber of Commerce Business Awards
Pelham Art Festival, South Niagara Rowing Club
Festival of Beer, Soo Sings, Cystic Fibrosis Walk
Defeat Depression Walk/Run
South Niagara Rowing Club
Nine job openings on the board 👀
An account executive position, editor role, reporter and freelance journalist postings are open now with our Village.
Pawesome Villager of the month 🐾
This is Gizmo! 🐶 He’s a nine-year-old shih tzu with a spunky personality. Fun fact - he prefers cats and plays through the fence with the kitty next door! 🐾
(Proud pet-parent: Melanie Hennessey)
That’s it for June 👋