From recreation, to community sports, to search and rescue, and to being awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for volunteerism,
Peter is a tireless volunteer for the community having committed literally thousands of hours to recreation alone in recent years
to do his part in making his community a better place to live. This page clearly demonstrates his ties and commitment to the
community he lives in and passionately believes in.
THE EARLY YEARS
Peter was and continues to be a key proponent to the resurrection of the recreation program in
Cochrane. Upon becoming a member with the previous Recreation Committee in April of 2007, Peter and the rest of the Committee
embarked upon a courageous and bold new direction that saw the Town Recreation Program grow from a deficit position to having a net
worth of $70,000 in cash and assets in under two years. This continues to grow today. As well, the local Regional Constellation
Economic Impact Model that is used by community leaders across the region to identify economic impact, estimates that when all is
said and told the recreation campaign described below generated the following for the community:
$6 million in gross sales,
in value added economies,
$1.5 million in wages and Salaries.
As a member of the previous Recreation Committee, Peter committed countless
hours to helping create the community's first comprehensive recreation plan in quite some time. Bringing his background in management
and planning, Peter assisted in effectively detailing the ambitious goals and budgets for each exercise. Together they made
a concerted effort to re-energize the volunteer work force in the community from a sporadic handful, to a committed and vibrant force
of over one hundred. The following are some of the initiatives Peter was involved with in the recreation program resurgence
efforts at the begining:
The Cochrane Winter Carnival Task Force; where Peter was nominated by the Recreation Committee to seek out
a group of key men and woman from the community who would to take on the challenge of resurrecting the fabled Winter Carnival.
He was elected Chair of the task force by the new group who immediately begun to develop a winning strategy together. With
an aggressive marketing campaign and a mantra of empowering the community to determine for itself what it wanted to do and take direct
charge for of driving the outcome for themselves, Peter and the Task Force resurrected the once fabled event. Together they
embarked on building upon each successive success. Setting a goal to be one of the biggest Carnivals in Northern Ontario the
group again initiated an aggressive marketing campaign, empowered the community to take charge and get involved, and invested the
new resources accumulating in the recreation program to create one of the most successful Winter Carnivals in recent memory.
With over an estimated 7,000 people taking part and 90 plus amazing activities such as, world class ice sculpting, pond hockey, the
polar bear dip, the smash up car derby, numerous club events, an outdoor dance on the Lake and fireworks, the Carnival Task Force
successfully turned the previously struggling event into the second largest Winter Carnival in all of Ontario in just two years, while
maintaining its status as the provinces oldest. Cochrane and it's Winter Carnival were clearly back on the map.
Fest Task Force; As part of the Recreation Committee initiative to create a signature summer festival in Cochrane that would
be similar to the Winter Carnival, Peter was nominated by the Committee to spearhead the project. He again sought out key members
of the community while inviting others who were interested to join. The Summer Fest Task Force consisted of fourteen committed
community members. Elected as the Chair, Peter and the Task Force researched, planned and created the "Live Like A Northerner"
Summer Fest. Again through aggressive marketing and renewed interest in the community taking charge of its own affairs, the
Summer Fest was a smash hit that not only show cased our northern way of life, but the beauty and potential of our community, while
also giving everyone a chance to unwind before another long winter. With an estimated 4,000 people taking part, including an
incredible 1,500 on the Peninsula for the evening Beach Party, people from around the Region enjoyed traditional northern amenities
like a Pickerel fish fry and corn roast, southern BBQ competition, horse shoes, an ATV Mud Bog, a live concerts, and the only Dragon
Boat Races north of New Liskeard.
The World Under 17 Hockey Challenge Task Force; after the Recreation Committee successfully
won a bid for Cochrane to be one of the partner venues with Timmins to host the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, Peter was elected
to Chair the World Under 17 Task Force. The committee of seven charted a course to organize three games of international hockey
right here in Cochrane involving many challenges and requirements. With teams from around the world like Team Russia, Team Ontario,
Team Czech Republic, Team Western Canada, Team Pacific, and Team Finland, competing right here in Cochrane, the community was treated
to a very unique and memorable experience. While giving up over 80% of the gate receipts to Timmins as the fee, and thanks once
again to the dedicated volunteer workforce, the Task Force still managed to put on a world class event and generate a very healthy
profit. Hockey Canada and Timmins both expressed accolades toward Cochrane for how organized and well managed the event was,
citing their interest to have Cochrane involved again if there is ever another opportunity.
- The Commando Park Committee; Peter along
with five other concerned and enthusiastic members of the community are currently working together to plan, organize and drive the
development of Commando Park into a recreational and pleasure park capable of supporting Cochrane's major festivals and recreational
activities. The group is working together to assess ideas like a Pavilion hosting a Canteen, Washrooms and an Interpretive Center;
a Water Park; creative landscaping; mirradors, lit walking trails, sitting areas; power supply; and a picturesque photography area.
They have had a $10 million development plan architected and are in the process of fundraising to complete the project.
volunteer recreation initiatives Peter was involved with include:
- Re-Organizing the Events Center Canteen and turning a town run $30,000
/ year deficit into a volunteer run $6,000 / year profit for the Town, while providing an additional $15,000 profit for the community
recreational volunteer groups;
Establishing an outdoor hockey rink within one month of starting the new mandate at no cost to the
community satisfying a long outstanding unrealized opportunity under the previous recreation regime;
Built a permanent water slide
at the Beach;
Established the only bike share program in the North where unwanted bicycles are donated by the OPP and refurbished,
while being made available for free to the public to encourage activity;
Purchased water craft for public use at the beach to also
developing a trail network for walking and biking that will tie the lake in the center of the community to lakes
outside of the community creating both a local amenity and a tourist attraction.
As a father of an eleven year
career hockey player, Peter has dedicated countless hours in the local arena and in other regional arenas, with many other kids
and parents both supporting and coaching hockey. He has dedicated every weekend in that eleven year span to his son's interest
in hockey, while also being a mentor and role model for the many other children who he's coached. Peter believes hockey is a
great medium for teaching children the values and attributes that will serve them well in their development. As a coach, Peter
would frequently go above and beyond what was required, dedicating extra time to providing his players opportunities at spending time
together away from the rink learning about and enjoying our outdoor northern way of life.
Search & Rescue
As a member of the
Ontario Search and Rescue Volunteer Association, Peter has dedicated a great deal of time and resources to training and certification
programs like, survival training, first aid, health assessment, search and rescue techniques, mapping and navigation. On his
own time and cost, he's effectively prepared himself to be in a position to offer assistance to the Police and other families in need.
Paid Volunteer Projects
Through his company and at a reduced rate 1/4 his normal rate, Peter coordinated the Cochrane Community
Adjustment Committee who studied Cochrane’s current social and economic state and drafted a report of some thirty-nine recommendations
for adjustment to Mayor and Council. The CAC believes that the report recommendations are thoroughly supported by research and position
the community well for the challenges ahead.
The Cochrane Community Adjustment Committee (CAC) was a committee started
in partnership with the Ministry of Training Colleges & Universities (MTCU), the Cochrane & Area Community Development Corporation,
and the Town Of Cochrane. It commenced in November of 2008 and was mandated to evaluate Cochrane’s social and economic condition,
while making recommendations on how to make any necessary adjustments to prepare the community for the future. Fourteen members
of key sectors in our community participated on the Committee and worked tirelessly on developing the tools our leadership, citizens,
and service groups can use to not only help Cochrane survive the current challenges of the day, but to position Cochrane well for
the challenges of the next century.
Peter has not slowed down since his early years into volunteering.
Amidst running a private consulting practice, spending upwards of 80 hours a week as Mayor and maintaining his hobby ranch in the
country, he continues to take an active role in community recreation, special events and economic development. Now
acting as Chair of the Recreation Board he championed to develop, he also participates on the Winter Carnival and Summer Fest Committees,
while also sitting on several other community Boards and Committees.