September on Cape Ann was just glorious this year! Fall is officially here, and with it comes a whole new set of Chamber initiatives, including fun events and re-focusing on our economic and education priorities.
First, a quick look back at last month – we had a very busy September featuring a first Blackburn Brew Fest organized by our NEXT GENYoung Professionals in celebration of our 100 Year Young anniversary. The event was a BIG success, sellingout with 1,000 participants locally and from around the North Shore and beyond – an incredible way to share the beauty and have fun celebrating our next generation in the nation’s oldest working waterfront. The next week we held a blow-out multi-Business After Hours, featuring the Cape Ann YMCA, Cape Ann Savings Bank and Halyard Apartments; and then it was on to our 35th Annual Love Greater Cape Ann Fundraising Auction – another sell-out with 220+ supporters, many winning exciting trips and items from all around our region – thank you to all who supported that important fundraiser.
October is another big month with our Business After Hours at Appleton Farms in Ipswich on the 6th – it will be a big one where we are inviting both members and non-members to learn a bit about our work. The next week is our very popular and impactful Businesswomen’s Luncheon. This year’s event is titled Empowered Women, Empowering Women with three featured leaders: Lisa Lutoff-Perlof – President & CEO of Celebrity Cruises; Beth Francis – President & CEO of Essex County Community Foundation, and Sheree Zizik – Owner of Beauport Hospitality Group. Then it is on to our BIG $25,000 Game, on October 20 this year – someone is going to win $10,000; with 12 chances to win at least $500, and only 500 tickets sold, these are the best odds in town. We are back in-person at the Gloucester Elks, and attendance is limited to 150 so registration is required – you do not need to be there to win, and tickets are going fast – call TODAY to get yours. And just two days later, on October 22, the Essex Clamfest is back! After a two-year hiatus, we will again be featuring the famed Chowdah competition for bragging rights for the best chowder on greater Cape Ann. The event also features about 50 vendors, music, food trucks and beer – a wonderful time for the entire family.
Also in October is Cape Ann Plein Air (CAPA) 2022, October 1 – 9. Now in its sixth year it retains its place as the largest outdoor painting competition in New England and top five in the country. Thirty-six artists from around the region and country have been juried-in to paint our incredibly beautiful region. Although not a Chamber event, Susan Gould-Coviello is the Executive Director and Ken is on the Board as Treasurer. The first big events is the Quick Draw painting competition, on Sunday October 2 at the Cox Reservation in Essex . The Quick Draw welcomes local artists as well as featuring the juried-in painters, totaling more than 100 painters of all levels of ability to paint for 2 quick hours, and then their paintings are offered for sale. The second major eventis the Gala Art Sale on October 9 at Rockport Golf Club featuring more than 150 incredible depictions from all around our amazing region.CAPA is an important economic driver, as it is intentionally scheduled during our shoulder visitor season and intended specifically to bolster our creative economy and to spotlight our extraordinary arts heritage and the substantial arts and culture on greater Cape Ann today. Please see more information here: Cape Ann Plein Air Festival – New England’s Largest Outdoor Painting Competition; tickets to the Gala are going fast, get yours right now!
Regarding our other priorities of Regional Promotion, Economic Development, and Training & Education – we are already well into our 2022 publications cycle (see the new advertising contracts herein) and planning our Fall Tourism Collaborative/ Summer Review, co-hosted with Discover Gloucester, on October 14 –details to follow. We are also planning for electoral candidate forums and our Fall Cape Ann Caucus. This is a unique forum where we bring together local and state elected officials and public safety, education and business leaders to discuss issues and opportunities affecting our region. We have also have kicked-off our Business Education Collaborative, meeting monthly with the Greater Cape Ann Schools, including Ipswich, to progress education initiatives.
Don’t forget that all Cape Ann License Plates are easily available online on the Registry of Motor Vehicles website. Just click the following link and follow the instructions to order your Cape Ann plate, and your plates will be delivered to you in a few days – no trip to the Registry required! Cape Ann License Plate.It is only $40 extra every other year, and our Community Foundation has used these funds to grant more than $70,000 to local non-profits and schools.
Greater Cape Ann’s vibrant business community plays an important role in what makes this area a special place to live, work and play. Together we have it all and are making great things happen.