The Rotary Club Of Festival City

President:  Dianne Yundt

Minutes of the meeting of April 23, 2013

Club email:

Club website:

Guests: Rotary Exchange student Leticia Figueiredo. David Hicks is the guest speaker. Paul West and Robert Bell represent the Intelligent Communities Forum.

Door Prize: Louise Spandler donated the prize won by Randy Mathews.


  1. Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI): Parts 1, 2 and 3 will be offered at this training session taking place May 4. Reserve a spot by signing up online.
  2. MS Walk: Carolyn Dingman announced that our club is entering a team for the event taking place May 5. The walk/run starts at Central High School. A pledge sheet was circulated for anyone interested in sponsoring the team.
  3. House of Blessing: donations of food and toiletries will be accepted a next week’s meeting.
  4. Rotary Social Evenings: Deb Stacey-Rivers announced the launch of social evenings for the membership. These will take place on the last Tuesday evening of each month. The first one will be at the Rivers home on May 28. It will be a “Wine and Cheese” evening. Bring your favourite cheese with a short description of the cheese type.
  5. Bingo: The next Bingo is Sunday May 12. Volunteers are needed. Sign up on ClubRunner or contact Vince Hill or Jack West.
  6. Rotaract Banquet: It is confirmed that the banquet is Wednesday May 29 at the Arden Park. Tickets are $40. It is hoped that all members of Festival City Rotary will be able to attend. Rotaract is a joint venture of Festival City and Stratford Rotary Clubs. Tyler Canal has tickets for the event beginning at 6 PM.

Guest Speaker: Paul West from the City of Stratford Smart Cities Committee introduced Robert Bell, one of the three founders of the Intelligent Communities Forum. Robert is in Stratford to learn more about our broadband service and to speak to various groups and tour facilities. He will be attending 33 events during his stay. This is part of our application to remain in the top 7 smart communities of the world. There are 118 other communities competing. Last year Stratford came 4th in the competition with only 2 points keeping us out of top place taken by Riverside California. Other top communities were Toronto with its harbourfront development, Oulu Finland, Tallinn Estonia, Columbus Ohio, and a city in Taiwan.

Laura Pogson introduced David Hicks, freelance author and a founder of the Intelligent Communities Forum. David told us about the history of Stratford’s involvement in the Smart Cities competition starting in 2009 with Stratford placing in the top 7 for the last three years in a row. To be successful Stratford has to address 5 issues. Issues include citywide access to high speed broadband, a knowledge based work force (there is a worker shortage in this area in Stratford), digital inclusion for everyone, marketing and advocacy, and innovation.

At the next competition in New York a delegation of 17 people from Stratford will be in attendance. The three founders and 200 jurors will assess the applications. An analytics company will study the data submitted by the cities.

Because Stratford is becoming known as a Smart City, industries are taking a close look at Stratford and some have already located here. The recently opened Accelerator Institute on Wellington Street has already been instrumental in encouraging the startup of several high tech enterprises. One such startup involves recent graduates of the Master’s program at the Stratford campus of the U of W.

David was thanked by Donna Hinz