According to the Town Gown Association of Ontario (TGAO), Kingston hosted the largest-ever annual TGAO Symposium this week.
This was Kingston’s first chance to host more than 140 people from across Ontario representing various municipalities, colleges, universities, police departments and students associations at this important two day conference. The annual TGAO event aims to increase the understanding of town and gown relations and to bring a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing municipalities with colleges and universities.
“The Town and Gown Association conference was a great way to bring people together from across Ontario to our community to share knowledge in town and gown experiences,” said Mark Gerretsen, Mayor of Kingston. “Events like this are great ways to facilitate new ideas, discuss best practices what other communities are doing on this important initiative.”
“With a wide spectrum of topics discussed and representation from over 15 Ontario municipalities including students, municipal councillors and neighbourhood representatives, a number of best practices were identified to enhance the quality of life in municipalities that host post-secondary educational institutions,” said Orest Katolyk, President of the TGAO. “We want to thank the Kingston community for hosting this year’s symposium.”
Attendees of this two day event took part in a variety of presentations from Kingston’s advocacy work on the ‘heads and beds’ levy to a crowd pleaser on student-led initiatives that are changing our cities. Also for the first time, the TGAO conference was live-streamed on twitter allowing attendees to weigh-in on the presentations and their experiences while in Kingston.
“The Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) was proud to be involved with this important municipal conference,” said Jeff Garrah, Chief Executive Officer of KEDCO. “It’s great to see so many people from across Ontario travel to Kingston to support this important symposium and share ideas and initiatives to foster stronger town/gown relationships.”
“We are well-aware of the great value of having these world-class learning institutions in our neighbourhoods and we were happy to see the Town/Gown communities come together in this way,” said Gerard Hunt, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer.
The TGAO thanked the City of Kingston for welcoming the Symposium and congratulated all those who took part and helped organize this historic event for the TGAO and the City of Kingston. The TGAO also welcomed another first for the City with the election of Judy Reichstein from the City’s Chief Administrative to the TGAO’s Board of Directors.
Media contact information: Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer 613-546-4291, extension 3116 (cell 613-329-3462), or call the City of Kingston’s media hotline at 613-546-4291, extension 2300.