To help attract people to the area, three local municipalities first coined Red River North Tourism (RRNT). But, a once viable and vibrant idea is now collecting dust on the shelf.
The City of Selkirk, the RM of St. Andrews and the RM of St. Clements were the three participating members of RRNT, which was started around 1999. All three municipalities have a member of council sitting on the board, and have contributed approximatly $16,000 per RM, per year in funding. Running RRNT is Peter Mandryk, general manager at Red River North Community Futures. However, none of the participating municipalities could indicate what the future is for RRNT, and Mandryk was unavailable for comment.
St. Clements Coun. Glen Basarowich told the Journal RRNT is essentially no more, although a resolution to absolve its identity has not passed. He indicated the City of Selkirk had pulled away from the organization, which resulted in there not being enough funds to continue forward.
St. Andrews Mayor Don Forfar said Selkirk council had pulled away from RRNT, but did not indicate the status of the organization. However, he explained the tourism entity of the Selkirk Biz has been making presentations to each municipality, dating back to the spring, regarding allocating their tourism funding to them as an alternative. Forfar also indicated that St. Andrews and St. Clements are likely to go in that direction, although no formal resolutions affirming that have been passed.
“St. Andrews and St. Clements at that time didn’t do anything,” said Forfar of when the presentations were made in the spring, “because there was still money left and commitments made. I know that Selkirk gave them their allotment this year, to Selkirk Biz, to their tourism committee… I know both St. Andrews and St. Clements are looking at doing that, changing where we send our money. But, that decision hasn't been made yet.”
Selkirk Mayor Larry Johannson told the Journal he was not positive where RRNT currently stands. He explained council had not made any formal decisions in regards to the presentations from Selkirk Biz.
“We had a discussion at council about whether or not we were going to go with (Selkirk Biz). I think we’re kind of waiting for some more information and finding out from Red River what’s going on there. But I haven’t heard anything clear cut about it,” said Johannson.
According to Laurel Sarginson, Selkirk Biz director, RRNT to her knowledge has not had any recent meetings or expenditures.
“They have not been active,” Sarginson stated.
All involved councils directed the Journal’s inquiries to Mandryk, who was unavailable for comment.