Today marks the official launch of Gateway Algoma (www.gatewayalgoma.ca), the Algoma region’s first and most robust online youth portal created by youth, for youth.
Gateway Algoma is an online resource for Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma district youth ages 12 to 29 to find local information on youth-friendly activities, jobs and training, events and activities, resources, school information and health. It aims to encourage and support youth to become better connected with their community, be more informed, and to easily access important information relevant to them. The website is youth-focused and user-friendly with a simple design to help find information quickly.
“I am so pleased to see this project come to fruition,” said Sault Ste. Marie Mayor, Christian Provenzano. “Not only does it respond to a need identified by our youth, it also provides us the opportunity to further increase engagement and support youth initiatives in the future.”
“We hope that Gateway Algoma will help make a difference in the community by encouraging youth involvement through shared information on various social media channels,” said Patti McGonigal, Project Coordinator with YouLaunch, the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre’s youth entrepreneurship division. “This is a living website, meaning although in its early stages now, as youth become involved and the project moves forward, it will hopefully continue to grow to serve the region. From research to implementation, we’ve been very lucky to work with eager and supportive youth and community members to make it happen.”
Gateway Algoma has been made possible by a collection of dedicated partners and a variety of organizations committed to youth in the Algoma District. It is a collaborative project led by the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (YouLaunch and Community Geomatics Centre), with support from Algoma Public Health (Algoma Youth Engagement Network), the City of Sault Ste. Marie (Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council), and the NORDIK Institute (Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship).
Gateway Algoma will share or post about content relating to education, finance, volunteering, job opportunities, parents’ commitments to their children, social enterprises, and much more. It will also have a focus on connecting youth to arts and culture through graffiti, drama, sports, and musical events.
“The Algoma Youth Engagement Network consists of over 50 members from diverse organizations that impact young people in our region, and we are excited for the launch of Gateway Algoma!” said Corina Artuso, Youth Engagement Coordinator, Algoma Public Health. “This portal has been developed in partnership with young people in response to the need identified by youth during the 2014 Youth Forum. Gateway Algoma can be a valuable resource for connecting youth and adult allies in Algoma to the information, resources and opportunities that are available.”
“It’s rewarding to see the priorities that youth have identified being taken seriously and acted upon,” said Sean Meades, Acting Director of NORDIK Institute.
In December of 2016, Gateway Algoma held a contest for the creation of the logo. The only requirements were to use the text Gateway Algoma, be created by a student, and to incorporate youth of Algoma. Upon closing the contest the top logos were posted to social media and the winner was decided based on the most “likes.” Grace Swain from St. Mary’s College was the winner and her design went on to be digitalized by Trisha Designs. The Gateway Algoma logo seen on this webpage is the combination of these two designs to create what is used today.
Thoughts and comments are encouraged to help make this the best website it can be! Tell us what you think by visiting www.gatewayalgoma.ca and fill in the comment box on the bottom right corner. For updates about Gateway Algoma and youth friendly initiatives in Algoma, follow @GatewayAlgoma on Facebook and Instagram.
Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC)
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) is a non-profit organization established in 1999 to function as a catalyst for economic development and diversification in the information technology and science knowledge-based sectors. SSMIC’s mission is to drive business growth, facilitate research and commercialize innovation in globally significant areas of science and technology through partnerships, expert advice, community development, business incubation, youth outreach and sector development activities. Key SSMIC business divisions include: the Community Geomatics Centre, Rural Agri-Innovation Network, Business Support Services, YouLaunch, Lottery & Gaming and Smart Energy. Visit us online at www.ssmic.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Established in 2015, YouLaunch is the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre’s youth entrepreneur division which acts as a catalyst for youth entrepreneur development in the Sault and Algoma region. Through outreach activities and business start-up resources, youth ages 29 and under are engaged and supported to pursue their business ideas and consider entrepreneurship as a career. YouLaunch develops outreach activities, tools, and resources geared to youth entrepreneur development. Learn more at YouLaunch.ca, on Facebook, and Twitter. www.youlaunch.ca
The Community Geomatics Centre (CGC), a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation, functions as a not for profit organization to promote and establish the partnerships and technological means to efficiently share geospatial data, tools and knowledge amongst community organizations to create safer, healthier and more prosperous communities. At the core of the CGC solution is a dynamic team of highly skilled IT professionals, cutting edge municipal, utilities and health data models, tools and a highly secure data warehouse. It has developed over time into one of the most comprehensive municipal GIS systems in all of Canada and some say, the world.
Algoma Public Health / Algoma Youth Engagement Network
The Algoma Youth Engagement Network (AYEN) seeks to foster a collaborative approach to working with young people in Algoma. AYEN welcomes diverse community partners that are interested in creating meaningful youth engagement opportunities. AYEN shares training and resources, best practices, opportunities for youth, and fosters community partnerships. Such opportunities support young people while strengthening organizations and building healthier communities. Meetings are held monthly at Algoma Public Health. AYEN is run through Algoma Public Health as a part of the Youth Engagement and Development (YED) Model.
City of Sault Ste. Marie / Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council
The City of Sault Ste. Marie Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) provides a voice for the youth of Sault Ste. Marie, while advising City Council of important issues that concerns the City’s younger population. The MYAC is composed of up to 12 youth from Sault Ste. Marie. The council meets monthly at the Civic Centre.
NORDIK Institute / Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (SEE), Northern Region Partnership aims to bring together Northern Ontario to grow a movement of social enterprise, entrepreneurship and social innovation.
NORDIK Institute is Algoma University’s community based research organization whose goal is to build Northern Ontario’s capacity to conduct research that contributes to social, economic and environmental justice in rural, Indigenous and northern communities and provides evidence for informed policy and decision making.