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Entrepreneurs and Creative Sarnia-Lambton

Posts about opening and running a business in Sarnia-Lambton, and the Creative Industries.

Resources to Help Kick-Start Your Business

Are you an entrepreneur who has a lot of great ideas for a business? Are you overwhelmed by the number of ideas you have and where to start? Do you find the idea of running a business to be way over your head? If you are saying yes to most of these questions then you are in need of some resources to help guide you in becoming a successful entrepreneur. Click on the links below to read through blogs and articles discussing creative businesses that can provide you with some tips to start-off on the right foot.

"7 ways to generate business ideas this year"

Jelena Djurkic from MaRS wrote an excellent article that everyone should read if you are interested in starting up a creative business, but are still looking for that perfect idea. The author provides 7 tips on finding the market gaps and coming up with creative solutions that can become a successful business.

"25 Creative Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses"

Small businesses need to have creative marketing ideas to be able to compete with larger businesses. There are many ways to execute effective marketing with a small budget. If you are out of ideas on how you could market your business with the budget you have, then read through this blog to learn about 25 new ideas to help your business become a success.

"{31 Days to} Build Your Own Creative Business"

Lisa Jacobs is an owner of her own creative business, Energy Shop Jewelry, and as her business has continued to be a success she decided to share her wisdom on her blog. One blog was posted each day for 31 days that provides information on how to start your very own creative business. It begins right from the start of how to brainstorm the idea and slowly progresses from there. If you need some guidance on how to start-up your creative business then this is a great resource to read through!

"The 10 Most Creative New Business Ideas Out There"

This article showcases examples of 10 creative new business ideas that happened in the past year, 2014. This is an interesting read for those of you in the creative industries who like to see what is being created to solve marketing problems and what ideas became a successful business. The author, Carol Tice, provides a brief description of each of the 10 successful new businesses.

"10 Unique and Creative Business Ideas"

Similar to the previous link, this article discusses 10 inventive creative business ideas. You can use these as case study examples on how other businesses became successful in the creative industries and what kind of ideas are out there to get your ideas flowing. Isabel Isidro, the author, provides a brief description on each business and a link to their website for your viewing.

"8 Websites For Creative Business Ideas If You Want To Be An Entrepreneur"

This article provides links and descriptions to websites that share business ideas and consumer trends. It is a great website to see if your idea is already out there, if there is a need for it, and to get feedback on what other entrepreneurs think of it. 

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10 Steps to Starting a New Business

1. Visit the Business Enterprise Centre of Sarnia-Lambton- call 519-332-1820 or email Fraser Perry. They would be happy to speak with you.

2. Research your business idea

What to Consider
​Direct Competitors
​Potential Customers
​Where to Go
​Business Enterprise Centre of Sarnia-Lambton
​Lambton County Libraries
​Post-secondary Institutions
​Sources of Information
​Government Information
​Variable Costs
​Customers and Suppliers

3. Select your business advisors

  • Lawyer
  • Accountant
  • Banker
  • Insurance Agent/Broker
  • W.S.I.B. and support from the Safe Workplace Associations
  • Health and Safety System Resources (including direction from your Business Enterprise Centre)

4. Select you business structure

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation

*Know the difference between these types of businesses. Your choice will likely affect both the amount and type of record-keeping that you will have to do, as well as the taxation levels of your business. Be sure to consult with your business advisors before you start business.

5. Clarify common administrative issues

  • Business Name Search and Registration
  • Registering a Business Number (H.S.T., etc.)
  • Business Income Tax and Payroll "Source Deductions" Inquiries
  • Remittances to federal, provincial and municipal bodies

6. Select a business location

  • Type of Operation Intended
  • Location Considerations
  • Leasing Considerations

7. Check licensing, land use and zoning requirements

  • Zoning
  • Municipal Licenses and Compliance with By-Laws
  • Special Regulations and Licenses
  • Accomodations and Liquor Licensed Establishments
  • Building Permits
  • Issues of Public Health and Safety

8. Write your business plan

9. Sources of start-up financing

  • Self Financing
  • Family and Friends
  • Partners and Shareholders
  • Private Investors
  • Institutional Lenders
  • Government Programs

10. Continue to visit your Business Enterprise Centre

  • We help individuals prepare for the startup of a new business, and provide counselling for stabilization and growth of existing businesses.
  • The Province of Ontario is a founding partner and on-going supporter of the Business Enterprise Centre of Sarnia-Lambton.

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The Social Entrepreneur: A Social Enterprise Online Magazine

You may be wondering, "what is a social enterprise?" The answer to that question is simple, a social enterprise is a business. Okay, it does get a little more complicated than that. A social enterprise is a business that creates community impact and social values. They also limit or do not have distribution of profits and assets to individual share holders. Social enterprises are a means to achieve value.

If a social enterprise is an area of business that you are interested in or currently a part of, then check out The Social Entrepreneur, an online magazine. The online magazine includes categories on the following topics:

  • ​News (ex. Do I need a Business Plan?, Small Business Survival Rates)
  • Inner Balance (ex. Fostering a Culture of Innovation, Finding a Mentor)
  • Our Stories (ex. ATN: Our Journey of Social Enterprise)
  • Coffee Break (ex. The Entrepreneur Comic, Entrepreneurship F.E.A.R. Series)
  • Technology (ex. Small Business Accounting Software, Do I need a responsive website?)
  • Profiles (ex.Snug Vest: Easing Anxiety One "Hug" at a Time)
  • Shop (ex. Print subscription)
New stories, information, profiles, etc. are posted daily and it is a resource that is full of practical and informative articles for a social entrepreneur. 

If you are interested in profiling your organization or project in The Social Entrepreneur, contact Ted Zatylny at Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) and he will see what he can do for you! 

So what are you waiting for? Click on the link and enjoy:

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Famous Sarnians

Sarnia-Lambton has had many famous individuals who were born and raised here and went on to be extremely successful in their fields. Several of these individuals focused their skills on the creative industries and created a profitable business and long-running career. Click here for a full listing of famous Sarnians.

David Chilton

David Chilton is a Canadian author, investor, and television personality from Sarnia, ON who now resides in Waterloo, ON. He self-published his first book, The Wealthy Barber, in 1989 and sold over 2 million copies becoming one of the best-selling books in Canada in the past 50 years. He published a follow-up to Canada's all-time bestseller in 2011 called The Wealthy Barber Returns. David Chilton collaborated with the two authors Greta and Janet Podleski as publisher for well-known cookbooks, including Looneyspoons and Shrink & Be Merry. David Chilton stared on CBC's Dragons' Den for three seasons and closed 22 deals before leaving the show to look forward to new opportunities.

David Keeley

David Keeley was born in Sarnia, ON in 1961 and is an actor who has been seen in the revival of "The Mikado" and the original production of "Mamma Mia!" He has appeared in several plays at the Stratford Festival of Canada and has also acted on the big screen. He best known for his appearances in The Manchurian Candidate, Small Avalanches, and Devil May Cry.

Sid Meier

Sid Meier was born in 1954 in Sarnia, ON and is called the "Godfather of Computer Gaming." He co-founded MicroPose in 1982 and is a co-founder of Firaxis and the Director of Creative Development at the studio. Sid has been a game designer for three decades and created games Silent Service, F-15 Strike Eagle, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. Several prestigious accolades have been won for his contribution to the video game industry.

Kim Mitchell

Kim Mitchell was born in Sarnia, ON in 1952 and is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and broadcaster. At the age of 17 he moved to Toronto where he began playing guitar in bar bands. From 1972-1981 he was the lead singer and guitarist of the band Max Webster and then decided to have a solo career in 1982. The Kim Mitchell Band features Peter Fredette on bass and vocals, Chris Sutherland on drums and vocals, and Ray Coburn on keyboards. He currently works as a radio show host for CILQ-FM (Q107) in Toronto.

Dave Salmoni

Dave Salmoni was born and raised in Sarnia, ON and has always loved to surround himself with wildlife. At a young age he was curious about the natural world and everything that lived in it. His walls were covered in pictures of big cats and owned many pets over the years. Dave Salmoni became an animal trainer, entertainer, and television producer. He has his own production company, Triosphere, which is based in South Africa and specializes in wildlife films. Dave is the expert of large predators for Animal Planet and the host of the six-part series Frontier Earth. He has also hosted several other television documentaries, including Living with Tigers, Animal Face-Off, After the Attack, and Rogue Nature. 

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Arts in the News

Art gallery acquires portrait of Lambton County namesake:

A portrait oil painting of John Lambton was donated to the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery. The County of Lambton was named after him as he was the First Earl of Durham and high commissioner during the rebellions in the 1830s. Ron Van Horne and Scott Fergusonare art collectors who donated the portrait in front of the Lambton County council to the curator Lisa Daniels.

Sarnia set to welcome Masterworks from Beaverbrook Art Gallery:

Seventy-five masterworks from Beaverbrook Art Gallery will be coming to Sarnia at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery. This exhibition was organized to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and will be displayed in Sarnia from October to early 2016. Three pieces of art done by Salvador Dali and other well-noted artists, including Lucian Freud, Constable, and Krieghoff are displaying their art in this exhibition. This will be the only stop in central Canada before the touring exhibition goes out east.

(Photo Credit: Tourism Sarnia-Lambton)

Downtown festival continues to be popular- Artwalk:

Thousands of people came to take part in the 13th annual Artwalk in downtown Sarnia on the first weekend of June, 2015. There were an estimated 200 art and food vendors filling the streets of downtown for this popular tradition. In addition to the vendors, the festival also had entertainment, street buskers, multicultural village showcase, children's village, and an eco-village over the two day event.

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Information for Entrepreneurs

​Sarnia-Lambton is a great place to open a new creative business or relocate your existing company. Close to both U.S. and Canadian markets, the area boasts a low cost of living and access to excellent business infrastructure. There are several resources available for entrepreneurs in Sarnia-Lambton:

Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership

  • The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) provides support to people who own and operate local businesses. Whether you are thinking of starting up a new venture, or expanding an existing business, SLEP can help.

Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation

  • The Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation helps small businesses in Sarnia-Lambton be more successful by creating permanent jobs and wealth in the community. Business counseling and access to capital is available to both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Canada Business

Ontario Business Program Guide

Digital Napkin

  • The Digital Napkin is an online community created to connect the entrepreneurial minds of Sarnia Lambton county. Do you have a great new idea that you want to gauge interest in? Looking for partnership in a new venture? Do you have a question about any aspect of starting or expanding a business? visit us – start a conversation.

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Sarnia-Lambton Creative Sector Session

Join the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership for the Creative Sector Session. This event is designed for individual artists and creative workers, cultural organizations and creative firms to join in shaping the future of the Sarnia-Lambton creative sector.

During the event Cobalt Connects will be sharing the results of a recent survey on the local creative community, as well as recommendations for its enhancement. Participants will be asked to engage in interactive discussions about how to move ideas forward, and to refine the recommendations facilitated by Purpose Capital and Cobalt Connects.

The more creative voices around the table the better, so please register and come out to the event!

Thursday, October 1st, 2015
9:30 AM to 3:00 PM 

Victoria Playhouse Petrolia (VPP)
411 Greenfield Street
Petrolia, ON N0N 1R0

Arrival & Registration 9:30 - 10:00 AM Continental breakfast provided by Snap Catering
Introduction 10:00 - 10:15 AM Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
Survey Results 10:15-10:45 AM Jeremy Freiburger, Cobalt Connects
Interactive Stations 11:00-12:00 noon Cobalts Connects - 3 interactive stations
Lunch Break 12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch provided by Snap Catering 
Francis Martin 1:00 - 1:15 PM Local artist airbrush demo
Digging Deeper 1:15 - 2:30 PM Cobalt & Purpose Capital design jam
Close & Next Steps 2:30 - 3:00 PM End of day summary

If you haven't completed the survey yet please do so by following the link.

For more information about the event feel free to contact:
Cobalt Connects, 905-548-0111,

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Festivals Galore!

​What is that you say? You want to live in a community that celebrates their culture, unique community attributes, and a reason to all come together and have fun?! Well then, Sarnia-Lambton is the community for you! Festivals showcase the benefits of where you live and bring everyone together to build a stronger sense of community and create partnerships and awareness on specific areas of focus. Festivals are also an excellent opportunity to showcase your creative business and network with the right people to make your business a success. Take a look at the festivals that occur in our community below and see if any of them peak your interests.

Street Festivals

Snowfest has celebrated 23 years and is a one of the best winter events. Snow and Ice Artists from all over come to Sarnia to show off their skills as they turn 8 foot tall and 8 foot in diameter pillars of snow into wonderful works of art. This event occurs over a weekend and includes lots of family activities. There are ice carving demonstrations, speed carving competitions, the popular ice slide, live entertainment, and hot drinks and snacks that are all part of the festivities.

Celebration of Lights begins at the end of November and runs for the month of December with a remarkable display of lights in Sarnia. Residents and visitors come yearly to view the displays of lights and enjoy the Christmas spirit. The opening ceremony includes cake, hot chocolate or apple cider, Jingle Bell Walk, live entertainment, photos with Santa Claus, fireworks, and horse trolley rides. This is a great family event to come participate in and enjoy the magic!

(Photo Credit: Tourism Sarnia-Lambton)

Festival of Good Things is all about good music, good people, and good beer and wine. This is a one day event on Labour Day weekend in Sarnia that has all day live entertainment, community workshops, and taste testing of local breweries and wineries. There is also some great food to enjoy, the Handmade Market to showcase your craft, the Kids Zone, and you can try out The Boarder Pass Triple Crown Cable Wake Tour….need I say more?!

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Environmental Action in Sarnia-Lambton

Creative entrepreneurs interested in the environmental field are bound to thrive in Sarnia-Lambton. There are many opportunities to take part in social events and network with individuals who share similar interests. This blog lists and describes environmental programs, events, clubs, and organizations that make our community a better place to live. They provide excellent opportunities for a creative entrepreneur to connect with the right people to make your environmental business a success.

Green Drinks

​Green Drinks is a monthly event that takes place on the second Wednesday of the month and welcomes anyone interested in the environmental field. People from all backgrounds can come together to attend an informal session and discuss current environmental issues or hot topics. A 'discussion leader' is chosen for the monthly topic and presents for 10 to 15 minutes and then everyone can join in on the discussion. Those who attend the event can enjoy sipping on a pint and eating some snacks while students, business owners, and concerned citizens talk about the monthly topic. These casual meetings are a great way to network, catch up with people you know, and learn something new. Start attending Green Drinks and you could find employment, meet new friends, and develop new ideas.


Lambton Wildlife Inc.

​This is the, "leading field naturalist, conservation, and environmental group in Lambton County." There are over 200 families and local residents from Lambton County who enjoy natural history and share interests, knowledge, experience, and worries for the state of the environment. This group started in 1988 and is a non-profit, volunteer, naturalist organization. Their mandate is to conserve, preserve, and protect the natural environment in Lambton County. Lambton Wildlife Inc. hosts both indoor and outdoor public nature programs, they sponsor "Young Naturalists" club, and award a bursary to a secondary school student completing studies in an environmental field. Come participate and help out this organization because everyone makes a difference!


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Lambton County Fall Fairs

​Livestock shows, exhibition displays, lumberjack woodcarvings, demolition derby, crafts, baking, parades, and carnival rides… what do these all have in common you ask? These events are all at the Lambton County Fall Fairs! Fall fairs are a great opportunity to get the community together to display or trade produce, farming machinery, or crafts. You can also showcase your livestock and enjoy the carnival entertainment. Lambton County Fall Fairs are the perfect occasion for creative entrepreneurs who focus on the agricultural industry to show-off their work to the right crowd. Lambton County has a variety of fall fairs that take place throughout the month of September and October that are described below.

Petrolia and Enniskillen Fall Fair

Petrolia and Enniskillen Fall Fair takes place from Friday to Sunday in September and everyone is welcome. Main events at the fall fair include the MX Riders show, free horse-drawn wagon rides, tractor pull, beer garden, demolition derby, mini rod pullers, and live music. There are also vendors setting up displays and activities taking place all day long. Activities include, but are not limited to, children's pet show, baby show, heavy horse show, parade, sheep show, and face painting. There are also numerous other activities to ensure the entire family has a fun-filled weekend.

Plympton-Wyoming Fall Fair

Plympton-Wyoming Fall Fair is Lambton County's longest running fair. This fair falls on the second weekend in September, right after Labour Day weekend. The weekend starts off with a blast as the community takes part in the annual barn dance. There are so many events and activities taking place over the weekend to entertain and interest everyone. Some of these activities and events include livestock shows, live auction, exhibits, parade, log sawing contest, "Jaws of Life" demonstration, tractor pull, and a beer tent. See why this fair has been running for so long by taking part in the event and creating new memories.

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Starting A Business

If you are new to Sarnia-Lambton and have an entrepreneurial spirit, you may be considering starting a business. There are many advantages to making an investment of this kind, but extensive research and planning is required to do it successfully.

Small businesses play a large role in the Ontario economy. In fact, there are over 350,000 small sized businesses employing over a third of all workers in the province.

Sarnia-Lambton is a great place to open a new business or relocate your existing company. Close to both U.S. and Canadian markets, the area boasts a low cost of living and access to excellent business infrastructure.

The following sections will discuss the benefits and challenges of opening a business in Ontario. It will direct you to many tools and resources to get you started in the process, and help you determine whether this path is right for you.

Important pages you find in this section:

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Highlighting Music, Art, and Film Festivals

​A large component of the active art scene in Sarnia-Lambton are the festivals and special events that occur throughout the year. The variety and number of events and festivals in Sarnia-Lambton provide an opportunity for creative businesses to showcase their work to the general public and create partnerships within the art and culture community. Read through the variety of art, music, and film festivals and events in our community below and see if they draw your interest as a creative business entrepreneur.

Art Festivals and Events

Artwalk is one of the most well-known festivals that occurs on an annual basis in our community. It is a weekend long festival where the streets of Downtown Sarnia are closed off to allow for vendors to set up their stalls that showcase the Arts and Environment. Hundreds of artists, food vendors, crafts people, environmental vendors, and live performances are set-up on the streets of downtown. This festival encourages a partnership to develop between artists and environmentalists where they can put their heads together to increase ecological awareness and creativity and come up with sustainable solutions. This festival has been running for twelve years and enriches Sarnia-Lambton communities by developing the Culture District.

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Natural Features of Sarnia-Lambton

​Sarnia-Lambton is a dream location for those who are outdoor enthusiasts! There are so many natural wonders in our community that you sometimes have to pinch yourself to remind you that this is where you live and work. Not only are there many benefits to this area to make it enjoyable to fill your days outside, but there is also an endless amount of inspiration for those of you in the creative businesses who use nature as your media. The location of our community provides waterfront views and sandy beaches and there are many gorgeous parks, protected areas, and trails full of a variety of flora and fauna. If that is still not enough to entice you to check out our community then read the descriptions below on some of the highlighted features of Sarnia-Lambton.

Waterfront Location

​Sarnia and Point Edward are located along the southern tip of Lake Huron. This provides waterfront parks, marinas, and beaches all along the outskirts of our community. If you are a water enthusiast then you can enjoy all of the following benefits of living in a location like Sarnia-Lambton: one of the most gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, taking your boat out for a cruise, sailing lessons, wakeboarding classes, walks along the waterfront, fishing, and warm sunny beach days. Come relax and enjoy the beauty of Lake Huron in Sarnia and Point Edward.

​Lambton Shores is another community located in Lambton County that also has the benefits of being located on the shores of Lake Huron. There are endless beaches that you can stroll along and enjoy picturesque sunsets and sunrises. This area along Lake Huron is known as cottage country and you can enjoy a small-town feel and miles of sandy beaches, dunes, and trails. Grand Bend Main Beach is a popular destination during the summer months. It is a public beach that has lifeguards and a shopping and restaurant strip nearby. There is an accessible splash pad and playground, volleyball nets, concession stand, observation deck and pavilion, and a boardwalk along the length of the beach. This is a great stop to take in the hustle and bustle of summer activity along the shorelines of Lake Huron.

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Creative County Fund: A Step Towards Success

​The Lambton Creative County Committee formed in 2012 with the objective, "to encourage, partner and fund activities that build a better sense of identity, history, and pride of place in Lambton." The yearly budget is $75,000 that the Committee can award to the chosen recipients. This is an excellent way to receive some funding to start-up your creative business and turn your idea into a reality. So now you might be asking what exactly the Creative County Fund (CCF) is. It is a way for local arts, heritage, and culture projects to receive financial assistance for their new initiative.

Program Objectives

The Program Objectives are:

  • Encourage innovation and assist new efforts in the cultural community;
  • Improve the health and liveliness of our communities and those who reside here through developing cultural resources;
  • Arts, culture and heritage become a central part of every citizens life;
  • Increase awareness and access for the public on arts, heritage and culture;
  • Utilize our rich creative community to celebrate diversity and respect;
  • Make culture the main component to economic growth and quality of life;
  • Increase and encourage partnerships, entrepreneurship, and collaboration to foster creativity; and
  • Increase the awareness of our community's cultural assets and the programs available to teach us about them.
General Program Guidelines

The full Program Guidelines can be found here. Some general guidelines for applications are:

  • Eligible to individuals, organizations, and clubs;
  • Enhancement to an existing program, or a new initiative;
  • Create new or enhance current partnerships and collaborations to provide programming;
  • Plan to generate revenue from other funding sources in your budget; and
  • Partners must provide letters of support to confirm funding.
Application Form

Applicants have to consult with Cultural Services staff by a set deadline prior to completing their CCF application. Once this has been done, the completed CCF application and the two letters of reference from project partners can be emailed to by the set deadline.

Funding Availability

There are four quadrants that make up Lambton County:

  1. Central Lambton (Petrolia, Enniskillen, Point Edward, Oil Springs)
  2. South Lambton (St. Clair, Dawn-Euphemia, Brooke-Alvinston)
  3. North Lambton (Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming, Warwick)
  4. Sarnia

For each of these four quadrants there is a maximum of $10,000 in funding. The remaining $35,000 is allocated to projects that benefit the County as a whole. To be eligible in this category the project has to have partnerships throughout the County and involve all of Lambton County's community.

For more information on the CCF please go to this website or contact the County of Lambton's Cultural Service Division at 519-845-0801.

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Case Studies of Successful Creative Businesses

​Case Studies in Sarnia-Lambton:

​Refined Fool Brewing Co.

Refined Fool Brewing Co. is a microbrewery located on Davis Street that just had its grand opening in May of 2014. Ten friends who had a passion for brewing and all things beer came together to invest in starting up the first brewery in Sarnia in over a hundred years. The group had been experimenting with craft beer-making for the past year and researching successful breweries in Michigan. The brewery is 700 square feet and sells beer in 12oz pints, 750ml bombers, and 1.89L growlers. The brewery has six regular brands that they keep in-stock all-year round and seasonal varieties that change throughout the year.

The brewery has been extremely successful since its opening in May of 2014. They began with being open one day a week and are now open seven days a week with current renovations on-going to create more space. The group of ten friends had made goals to accomplish within 5 years and those goals have all been met. In December of 2014 Refine Fool Brewing Co. was showcased on the Marilyn Denis Show receiving national attention. There was a men's gift guide segment on the TV talk show where two of the owners from Refined Fools Brewing Co. brought out 75 gift baskets for the audience members.

Refined Fool brews have started to appear in restaurants throughout Sarnia and the owners are having a hard time keeping up with the demand from restaurants and bars. This is one of the reasons the brewery is doubling in size to meet the demands of the restaurants, as well as the sales at the store. The brewery is increasing their barrel system so they are able to double their output. There are also plans set in place to start selling one of their brews, Noble Oaf, at the LCBO starting in the spring in Sarnia and nearby communities like Windsor and London.

In the News:

Boarder Pass

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Community Strengths of Sarnia-Lambton

​A Community Summit was held in 2004 where over 125 individuals attended the half-day event that well represented the community of Sarnia-Lambton. The purpose of the Community Summit was to assess the community and come together to formulate a collective vision and direction for Sarnia-Lambton. The participants at the event analysed the strengths of the community and there were a total of 12 strengths that kept re-appearing from the participant's answers:

  • Community spirit & involvement
  • Location
  • Bluewater country
  • Quality of life
  • Solid economic base
  • Skilled workforce
  • Tourism and recreation assets
  • Attractive natural environment
  • Social, community and municipal services
  • Educational institutions
  • Transportation hub
  • History and culture
The most relevant community strengths to creative industry entrepreneurs have been highlighted below.


​The location of our community is a huge asset with the main features being the waterfront and surrounding natural environment. Sarnia-Lambton is also a border community and has easy access to the United States providing the community with tourism and trade benefits. There is also room for growth and development based on where we are located.

Photo above: Bluewater Bridge, where St. Clair River and Lake Huron meet (Photo Credit: Tourism Sarnia-Lambton).

Quality of Life

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Thriving Arts and Culture in Sarnia-Lambton

​Creative economies are being recognized around the world as a driver of generating careers and prosperity in a municipality or community, and Sarnia-Lambton has made the creative economy an area of focus. Sarnia-Lambton has a rich cultural community and arts scene that promotes creative industries in this area. Live in Lambton and Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership provide useful links and information on the major arts and culture amenities in this community. The arts and culture in Sarnia-Lambton include art galleries, museums, musical groups and studios, and theatre/film venues that are further described below.

Art Galleries:

Judith & Norman ALIX Art Gallery vision is to, "serve the community as a public resource that will provide stimulating opportunities for people to come together, exchange ideas, grow and prosper through art." The gallery has a collection of historical and contemporary Canadian visual culture and visual art, and a variety of programs that engage children and adults in the arts.

Above phtoto- Judith & Norman ALIX Art Gallery in downtown Sarnia (Photo Credit: Tourism Sarnia-Lambton).

Lawrence House Centre for the Arts promotes visual arts, music and performing arts, and literary arts in Sarnia-Lambton. Local artists are able to showcase their work in exhibitions, perform at concerts and spoken word events, and children are able to attend art programs that are run throughout the year.

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Creative Industries: What Are They?

Creative Industries: What Are They?

Creativity is everywhere in your day to day life. You can utilize this creativity in a business and turn your ideas into a profit. The main reference for all creative businesses has become John Howkins book called, "The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas" published in 2001.

There are 14 sectors that Howkins includes in the creative industries: advertising, architecture, art, crafts, design, fashion, publishing, film and video, TV and radio, interactive leisure software, music, performing arts, photography, software and computer services. These sectors make up what we call the 'creative industries.'

Personal satisfaction and success are coming from ideas instead of money or machinery. Industries are being revitalized by the creative economy and this new form of economy is shifting where people set down their roots to live, work, and learn.

Creative industries is a new and active sector that has grown rapidly in the past two decades and is expected to continue to grow in the future. According to the most recent Stats Canada report, in Ontario the culture gross domestic product (GDP) is contributing 21,896 million dollars towards the economy and is one of the largest growing sectors for employment with 278,801 culture jobs.

Sarnia-Lambton Received Funding for the Creative Industries

​Sarnia-Lambton received funding from the provincial government to explore opportunities in creative industries and social enterprises. With this funding Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, a local economic development service, is looking to identify opportunities in creative industries and match them with entrepreneurs and funding. This is all part of a project that is looking to develop the creative sector in Sarnia-Lambton and make it a key growth factor in our economy.


Keep coming back to Live in Lambton: Entrepreneur Link on a weekly basis to find out more about the creative industries. Blog topics will showcase the vibrant arts and culture scene in Sarnia-Lambton and why you, as a creative entrepreneur, should come to our community to set-up your business.

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Cultural Industries sector contributes jobs, GDP

According to Statistics Canada, the cultural sector in Ontario contributes $23 billion in GDP annually and 301,000 jobs to the province's economy.

A report released June 9, 2015 states that just under 4% of Ontario's overall GDP comes from this sector.

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New Blog for Creative Sector Entrepreneurs

Over the next few weeks, we'll be adding posts to this blog that will cover a wide range of topics. Entrepreneurs interested in the creative sector will find posts that will help to point them in the right direction to start or run a small business.

There are lots of resources out there. We'll be sharing our favourites.

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