Doors closed in Algonquin Highlands
By Chad Ingram
The Township of Algonquin Highlands will not be participating in Doors Open 2016.
Council made that decision at its Nov. 5 meeting.
In recent weeks, councillors have been mulling whether to take part in the event.
Doors Open Ontario is a festival that invites people into unique and interesting spaces often unseen by the public. Since 2009, the four lower-tier townships of Haliburton County have been alternating hosting the event.
It took place in Highlands East this September.
Algonquin Highlands hosted Doors Open in 2012 and while it was successful, councillors have reiterated that hosting the event was a lot of work.
“I really think that the event itself was really worthwhile,” said Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen, adding that while she was willing to help out, she was not as willing to take an organizing committee role.
Councillors each already sit on various committees of council.
Last time around, council representatives on the committee were Lisa Barry and Gord Henderson, the latter of whom is not on council this term.
Barry wondered if Doors Open might be a project for township's new cultural committee, but council felt that Doors Open's April deadline – for site locations, accompanying editorial, photos and the production of a map – may be too soon for a committee that has not yet met.
Barry emphasized that in 2012, much of the work was done by Haliburton County tourism department employees who are no longer with the county. The mandate of the county's tourism department has since changed, focusing largely on marketing.
Reeve Carol Moffatt said that there was little interest on behalf of residents to open up their homes – she noted there are some very unique properties in the township – and Barry said she thought the township had already extinguished its “A list” during the 2012 event.
Stops on the tour included St. Peter's, St. Stephen's and Knox United churches, the Bigwin steamboat and Stouffer Mill B&B, among others.