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ENGAGING

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 watershed icon white bg 74x74 editorial | Watershed’s award-winning editorial
takes readers to the heart
of our community
with insightful stories
and articles.

 

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INSPIRING

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 watershed icon white bg 74x74 design | Watershed’s classic design appeals
to both readers and
advertisers who are
drawn to its artfully
designed pages.



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INSIGHTFUL

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circulation | With a regional circulation of 25,000 magazines per issue, Watershed is the largest publication
in the region.

 

Features 

 

Casting The Net of Opportunity

 

A year ago, the possibility of a Syrian refugee becoming part of Kendall and Joanne Dewey’s family-run commercial fishing operation was next to none. But when Slieman.…read more

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author: David Newland   
photography: Johnny C.Y. Lam

Joint Ventures

 

Whether you agree with its legalization or not, cannabis will definitely have an economic and social impact on our region. You’d be surprised at the spectrum of locals who are…read more

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author: Tom Cruickshank

 

Capturing the Essence Of Deborah Samuel

 

The acclaimed Canadian photographer’s unmistakable edgy style and her unique interpretation of the subjects captured by her lens, makes for hauntingly beautiful…read more

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author: Janet Davies  

A Centre for Connection and Creativity Through Music

 

Twenty years ago, Donna Bennett and Brian Finley had a dream to develop a summer music festival that would showcase classical, jazz, folk, and show music in a welcoming…read more

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author: Chris Cameron

 

INNOVATION:  Qoints and N100 Competition

author: Denny Manchee

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Attracting tech entrepreneurs to set up shop in Northumberland with a $100K carrot

Cobourg, tech Mecca. No, that’s not an oxymoron, it’s a big idea whose corporeal form is taking shape in a bare, spare office on William St. As lean as his tech startup, Cory Rosenfield talks digital analytics as though it was his first language. The 30-year-old is CEO and co-founder with Harris Maxwell of Qoints, a company that slices and dices the data of digital marketing campaigns to help clients see what’s working and what’s not.

Qoints can also compare a client’s results with its competitors – anonymously. A previous business allowed them to secure the rights to aggregate and pull best practices from their clients’ data. Smart move.

Let’s say you’re the brand manager for Starbucks K-cups, and you’re running 18 major digital loyalty promotions across Canada and the US in a year, and each one is somewhat different. Apps and platforms are changing so quickly, companies need to be equally nimble in their marketing strategies.

“Thirty years ago you could use Nielsen and get a report six weeks after the fact, but now in six weeks the coupon app you’re using doesn’t exist anymore,” says Cory, leaning against the desk, his blue suede shoes and yellow socks signaling his age and style. With a constantly-updated data feed, though, brands can tweak a campaign on the fly within that six weeks. “Right now we’re giving them a tool set to make obvious decisions but they still have to use their brains,” he says.

Cool, but why is this company in Cobourg? Well, last summer they won the N100 Startup Competition, a program launched by Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (NCFDC) in 2013. The N100 provides an equity investment of $100,000, as well as mentoring from the NCFDC and the business community – all contingent on the winning tech startup establishing an operating base in the region. “The goal of the NCFDC and our board of directors is to attract entrepreneurs to Northumberland and to create organic local partnerships and opportunities,” says John Hayden, Manager of Enterprise Programs and the brain behind N100. (He was inspired by a similar program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)

Still, Cobourg as a tech hub, that’s bold thinking. But when Hayden toured Silicon Valley for the first time, he was struck that the tech juggernaut was embedded in a series of small towns accessible to San Francisco and San José by train. “Call me a dreamer,” he says, “but I like to think that Port Hope, Cobourg and other communities in Northumberland could be like this. This is the economy of the future, and we have a high quality of life here – a gentle lakeshore commute by bicycle, affordable houses, great schools – and you can hop on the train and be at Union Station in just over an hour. We just need a critical mass of entrepreneurs to make it happen.”

How is this dream unfolding? Qoints, which was based in Toronto before winning the N100, now has office space in TO, Cobourg and Buffalo (which is rebranding as a tech centre and has its own competition called 43North worth $250K US; Qoints won that, too). “We were able to turn that $100K into about 500K because it validated what our company was doing,” says Cory. “In our 43North application we guaranteed an operational presence in Buffalo for 2016. My partner is there from Tuesday to Thursday. Most of our clients are in the States – the dollars are much bigger there – and the team at 43North has introduced us to a lot of powerful people.”

Qoints has six full-time employees right now, “and we’re a totally distributed team,” says the young CEO. One is overseas, two or three are in Toronto and at any given time there are one or two in Cobourg, including 20-year-old Blake Adams, who graduated from Cobourg CI and just completed his second year in business at Queen’s University. He interned for the NCFDC last summer and is working for Qoints this summer as a marketing analyst and communications specialist. “A lot of my friends were looking for work in Toronto and Ottawa,” says Blake, “but this local opportunity came up and it’s great.”

“We scooped him up!” says Cory. “But there’s no snap of the fingers and all of a sudden there are six engineers for us to hire here, so it’s a balancing act,” he adds. “The CFDC understands we’re working towards a dream of having more people here, but at the same time we’re business-minded, analytic, picking and choosing how we build out the team here, based on what talent’s available.”

Cory tells me they’ve just hired another team member, a marketing specialist who recently sold her house in Toronto and bought a much bigger one in Cobourg. “She comes from the agency world and does influencer marketing,” he says. “It made it a lot easier for us to make a deal with her once she learned she could ride her bike to work in six minutes. She was dreading the commute into Toronto.”

On May 4, 10 companies competing for this year’s N100 had three minutes each to pitch their businesses to a Power Panel of executives at the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope. The room was packed, the air electric. The competitors, selected from about 40 applicants, had no props, no visuals, just a mike and flooding adrenalin. It was Dragon’s Den, Cobourg Edition, and after two hours of presentations, five tech startups advanced to the next round: a business plan to be presented in June. From there, the group will be winnowed to three, who will have to present to the board in July.

Will the 2016 winner be a greentech company with a revolutionary air conditioner, or makers of a gadget that tells you how much sun you can take before getting burned, or the creators of a virtual operating room for training surgeons? At the very least Virtual SurgerySIM has nailed its tagline: “Most startups aren’t about life or death, this one is.”

As for the future of Qoints, Cory says, “We got our first formal acquisition offer last month. We have a long way to go before I’d entertain that, but I’ve got a call with the head of product at Nielsen tomorrow…” For more on the N100 and Qoints, go to www.n100.ca and www.qoints.com.

Departments

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FENCE POSTS: Champlain Slept Here

author: Dan Needles   illustrator: Shelagh Armstrong

There is a legend among historians that Samuel De Champlain, the great mapmaker, explorer and arguably the first “Canadian,” spent the winter of 1615…

 
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MUST, MUST, MUST: What’s New and What’s To Do

 
Our Must, Must, Must section highlights a broad range of events, festivals, activities and galleries that contribute to the diverse character of the Watershed region…

 
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BEYOND THE GARDEN GATE: A Tear In The Seam

author: Victoria Taylor, Landscape Architect, MES, MLS, OLA

Windbreak, buffer, treeline, green fence, field margin, shelterbelt, fence line, hedgerows…some of the terms used to describe the living corridors that bend and flow…

 
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WATERSHED PRESENTS: The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Oriana Singers

author: Cecilia Nasmith

It started 50 years ago, when a handful of friends, who were to call themselves the Oriana Singers, gathered around the kitchen table at Helen Massie’s farmhouse. The small, dedicated group shared a love of madrigals – a form of vocal chamber music – and a love of community..

Read more...

 
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GEORGE'S POND: Springing Into Action

author: George Smith   illustrator: Lee Rapp

Aaaah spring – the most deliciously anticipated season of the year. Most people I know start to lose patience with snow and frigid temperatures around mid-February…

 
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CULTURAL CURRENTS: Manasie Akpaliapik

author: Shelby Lisk

A whale jaw becomes the figure of Sedna, the shoulder bone of a walrus imagined into a man playing a drum, while muskox horns and caribou antlers lie on a dusty shelf, waiting to see…

 
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INNOVATION: Sound the Alarm

author: Meghan Sheffield   photography: Sasha Sefter

Imagine the typical tech innovator, the face of a new start up. If the image that comes to mind is cowboy meets computer nerd – the basement-dwelling, Zuckerberg-type – picture…

 
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HABITAT: The Carolinian in our Backyard, and Beyond

author: Norm Wagenaar  

Although our school books clearly delineate one forest region from another, the lines on the ground are blurred…

 
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FIELD NOTES: A Spring Procession of Bobolinks

author: Terry Sprague   photography: Helmer Nielsen

Every May 1st, my binoculars are aimed in the direction of the bromegrass fields beside our house. It’s time for the bobolinks to announce their arrival from their southern Brazil…

 
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LOVIN' THE LOCAL: A Showcase Of Locally Curated Products

author: Stephanie Campbell

We’re Lovin’ the Local: A showcase of locally made and locally inspired products that reflect the heart and soul of entrepreneurs rooted in Watershed Country

 
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FOOD & DRINK SCENE Foraging Ahead With Albert Ponzo

author: Albert Ponzo   photography: Johnny C.Y. Lam

Welcome to the local Food & Drink Scene where Watershed shares its secrets and discoveries. Our region is blessed with creative chefs, restaurateurs…

 
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A CURATED COLLECTION: Gatineau River, Gracefield 1955

The Art Gallery Of Northumberland Presents: A. Y. Jackson…

 
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MEANDERINGS: Belleville Harbour Circa 1900

author: Orland French   photograph: Courtesy of Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings

In the cold, snowy winters of the 1800s, gangs of lumbermen, deep in the forests of central and northern Hastings, piled up logs along the banks of the Skootamata…

First Words

first words

John De La Cour was on the masthead of the first issue of Watershed but we were friends long before I started publishing the magazine. In the early ’90s, John acted as my campaign manager when I ran for council... read more

Mailbag

IT CAME FROM WARKWORTH
I read with great interest the article in a recent issue of Watershed that told the story of the Black Fly, an innovative and exciting electric airplane that was developed in Northumberland County…

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SUMMER CAMPS

summer camp section

Watershed is compiling a list of
Summer Camps to occupy your art-obsessed,
stem-enthusiast, burgeoning thespian or
jack-or-jill-of-all-trades this summer.

VIEW LIST

AWARDS

18th yr

Partners

 

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hairline wide 865x8CONTRIBUTORS
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shelby lisk

shelby liskA freelance photographer, videographer and writer from Kenhté: ke…

sasha sefter

sasha sefter

An award-winning photographer based in Southern Ontario, Sasha is a recent graduate of the photojournalism…

christopher cameron

christopher cameronWith a new career as a freelance writer and editor, Christopher channels the dedication and discipline…