First Impressions Community Exchange
What is a First Impressions Community Exchange?
The First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) provides an opportunity for communities to gain a fresh perspective on how they are seen through the eyes of first-time visitors. The program provides a structured opportunity for communities to learn about the first impressions they convey to visitors.
Volunteer teams from partnered exchange communities each conduct an unannounced visit and record their observations on a variety of topics such as community entrances, downtown amenities, services available in the community, and tourist attractions. The observations from the visit serve as the basis of a report back to that community. The report can assist decision makers with economic development planning.
There are three FICE assessment options available:
Why is it important?
FICE can be undertaken as a stand-alone project for communities who are seeking information that will help guide future economic development plans, or as a component part that will support a broader strategic plan.
FICE can help communities:
What is the First Impressions Community Exchange Process?
There are four stages to every FICE. The first two stages involve the preparation for and execution of the community exchange. The third and fourth stages involve the report back meeting that will take place when your exchange community presents their observations to you. This report back will then allow your community to develop and implement its action plans.
If you feel that a First Impressions Community Exchange would benefit your community, we encourage you to contact your Advisor on the eligibility of your community and next steps.
Advisors are available to provide support to your community through:
b) An in-depth step-by-step Coordinators Manual
How do I get it?
In southern Ontario, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisors from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) can help communities determine whether a FICE will help support broader planning initiatives. Agriculture Development Advisors from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) provide this service in northern Ontario.
If you would like to receive a copy of the FICE Coordinators Manual, complete a FICE Information Request Form.
For more information on FICE, contact an Advisor or call the Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.