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Economic Development eNews | January 14, 2020
Business Profile
Top feature photo: Creative Concrete owner Charles Fournier with an installation of one of his unique concrete countertops.
Above photos from top to bottom: Chuck in his 2,600-square-foot workshop, with some of his work at the 1000 Islands Brewing Company and standing in front of one of his fireplace mantle creations.
Creative Concrete Industries
is a Canadian trailblazer
in this new trending craft
BROCKVILLE - Concrete isn't just for sidewalks anymore.

High-end concrete is making itself known indoors these days with outstanding, lasting and unforgettable results. One of Canada's most talented concrete designers is Charles (Chuck) Fournier, owner of Creative Concrete Industries, located in Elizabethtown-Kitley Township.

"I love what I do because I get to build something new and one-of-a-kind every day," says Chuck of his creations, many of which are on a grand scale. For example, he has created a triple island kitchen counter with three waterfalls along with many other functional pieces you have to see to believe, such as hearths, sinks and showers.

Two major commercial projects, identifiable by many for their uniqueness, are bar and table surfaces at 1000 Islands Brewing Company, in Brockville's downtown core, and the Rabbit Hole on Ottawa's Sparks Street.

"Every flat surface at the 1000 Islands Brewing Company is concrete I created," says Chuck, adding part of his love of the craft is welcoming a challenge.

"I've built things most others will not attempt - that's where I'm going with my company. Whatever you can imagine, I can build."

Once a foreman with a construction company, Chuck's career path changed after taking a basic concrete course in Toronto. "I fell in love with it immediately," he says. Soon he was travelling to Nashville to the highly-regarded Concrete Design School working closely with American craftsman Dusty Baker. Today, just a few years later, Chuck is a trainer at the school alongside Dusty.

"He's been my inspiration," says Chuck. Dusty is known for his sculpting, casting, carving and colouring of concrete.

Although Chuck has had specialized training, he still thought it would take a while to establish his business here in the area. Instead, it has taken off at a rapid pace since opening more than two years ago. "I thought I would be doing one kitchen a month. Now I'm doing jobs from Ottawa to Toronto, both residential and commercial.

"I feel I got into this niche craft at the right time. People love the work. It's different every time. Not one piece is ever the same," he says, adding he gets a lot of attention with images of his work he posts on social media. He also credits the support of his mom, Isabel Bottigoni, owner of 1000 Islands Miniature Golf and Driving Range, and brother Mark. The trio operate their businesses at the same location.

Learn more about Creative Concrete Industries and see completed works on their Instagram and Facebook pages or visit their website. Creative Concrete is located at 1850 County Road 2, just outside of Brockville.

In August, Chuck will be offering a hands-on concrete workshop Canadian style, including form-making, from simple to complex, to artisan.
Funding Opportunity
Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative launched

The Ontario government has launched the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative, a program under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, to grow agri-food and agri-products sectors. It is comprised of "Funding for Sectors" and "Strategic Solutions" that will support collaborative agriculture and food value-chain partners to address emerging sector challenges and opportunities.

Application intake: January 6-27

Priority Areas: Protection and Assurance; Environmental Stewardship; Economic Development; Food Safety and Traceability; Animal Health; Plant Health; Soil Health and Water Quality; Market Development; Technology Solutions; and Addressing Labour Supply and Training Challenges.

Business Networking
Rideau Lakes Business Network

Featured guest speakers are Rideau Lakes Mayor Arie Hoogenboom, who will speak about the township's accomplishments and challenges; and Tom Graham, of TD Graham + Associates, who will discuss the township branding project.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 14, 7 p.m. networking; 7:30 p.m. introductions; 8 p.m. Guest speakers and Q&A
WHERE: Portland Community Hall, Portland
COST: Free

For information, send organizers an email.
Workshops and Seminars
Goal Sketching for Business Planning

Learn how to write down goals and revisit them to see how far your business has progressed. Businesses with successful brands routinely review their notes to determine the direction for the future. Goal Sketching helps you plan and strategize for the future.

WHEN: Thursday, January 16, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Small Business Advisory Centre,
91 Cornelia Street, Entrance B, Smiths Falls
COST: $22.52

Managing Food Safety & Handling

For anyone serving food to others, especially to the public, this workshop meets all legislated food handler requirements.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 21,
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Employment + Education Centre,
105 Strowger Boulevard, Brockville
COST: $55

WHMIS Online Training Course

Worksite Safety's Quick-Learn WHMIS online training course is ideal for individuals and employers that wish to obtain or renew their WHMIS Certification Training.

WHEN: Thursday, January 23,
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
WHERE: CSE Consulting, 191 King Street, Prescott
COST: $33.90

Learn more or call the Prescott office at 613-925-0222 to register.
QuickBooks Online Basics for Business

Learn how to create estimates, convert them to invoices, receive payments, track expenses and run reports.

WHEN: Friday, January 24, 8:30 to 11 a.m.
WHERE: Grenville Mutual Insurance, 380 Colonnade Drive, Kemptville
COST: $35 per session (or $120 for all 4 sessions)

This is the first session of the Morning Workshop Series 2020 hosted by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre. A total of 4 sessions run from January to April. The sessions can be taken individually or as a group of 4.

Learn more about this session or the series.
Social Media Etiquette and the Business Owner's Rights

Hosted by the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce, Todd Storms, a Templeman LLP Partner, will discuss the public commentary by clients, competitors or between business owners on the social media landscape. Learn to what extent people can comment, what you can do to deal with these comments and what the laws are concerning these matters in Ontario.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 28, Registration 7 a.m. Session 7:30 - 9 a.m.
WHERE: Brockville Country Club, 1548 King Street West, Brockville
COST: $25 for chamber members; $30 non-members

The deadline to register is January 22nd. Register now.
Learn more about these events on our Workshops and Seminars page.
United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Office
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 |  econdev@uclg.on.ca