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Diversification Leading to a New North Country Economy

Economic diversification is the key to building a world class state economy. To that end, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development would very much like to tip its hat to The Balsams Vice President of Sales and New Business Development Gary Armitage, a visionary thinker who is bringing a world class film festival to the North Country.

For years, we have been preaching the gospel of communities taking a community inventory of assets that are unique to their region, and through the creation of this festival, Gary has embraced that message. The North Country economy isn’t just about paper mills and machine shops (though they are certainly a big piece of the puzzle); it’s also about the Jericho Park ATV Festival in July that brought 2,000 visitors into the region and gave a quick boost to local stores, restaurants and motels; it’s about entrepreneurs with great ideas choosing the scenic North Country as a great launching pad for their business; and yes, it’s now about the First Annual FLICKERS North Country Film Festival as well.

The Balsams' Gary ArmitageI was fortunate enough to join Gary at lunch along with WTPL’s Jack Heath and Shelly Breer who have been spreading the word about this great event. I was incredibly impressed with everyone’s enthusiasm for creating a festival that would develop a new regional awareness of the beauty of the North Country as well as the untapped opportunities for its economic potential.

Good luck to Gary and the rest of The Balsam’s team for great success with the Festival. We at Economic Development and the “No Bull Business Blog” stand firmly behind this effort and will do our best to make it as successful as possible. By giving new visitors a ticket to a first class event, Gary is doing his part to build a new economic reality in an area that is about to learn how positive and profitable diversification can be.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

THE BALSAMS HOSTS THE FIRST ANNUAL
FLICKERS NORTH COUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL

Dixville Notch, N.H. – The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel is pleased to announce that it will host the first annual FLICKERS North Country Film Festival.  The non-profit festival aims to promote New Hampshire’s Great North Woods as a regional center for the arts, and is expected to bring celebrities, audiences and international filmmakers to the area.  This exciting event will be held September 30 – October 3, 2010 with screenings of a variety of films in multiple locations and gala events.

The FLICKERS North Country Film Festival is in partnership with the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIF) one of the most respected in the country, and is a qualifying event for Academy Award short film submissions. 

north_country_film_festival_logo“We are thrilled to be bringing this film festival to the North Country,” said Gary Armitage, Vice President of Sales and New Business Development at The BALSAMS.  “Through this unique event, we hope to encourage cultural tourism and support area businesses.  The beauty of our area is a natural draw for filmmakers and producers, and we aim to bring them here.  The film festival is a first step in what we hope to grow over time, spreading the event into our local communities.  Also, the date allows us to extend the tourism calendar beyond the end of the typical season and our goal is to attract visitors to experience Coös County and the North Country of New Hampshire.”

There are multiple events planned during the festival.  Audiences will be treated to the world premier screening of “Indian Stream Schoolhouse,” produced by Pittsburg, NH resident Roy Amey.  The “best of” winners from the August 2010 RIIF will also be screened along with the work of outstanding independent filmmakers from across the globe. As many as five films will be projected at once in areas throughout The BALSAMS, including the Ballot Room and The Switzerland of America Ballroom.  Shorts, feature length films and animated films across several genres including comedy, drama, fantasy and romance, to North Country and Franco-American culture will be screened. Watch for updates and announcements at http://northcountryfilmfestival.org/index.htm.

The non-profit festival is seeking individual and corporate sponsors. Contact Gary Armitage at 603-255-2669 or garmitage@thebalsams.com for more details. 

A black-tie gala event will also be held on Saturday, October 1 to benefit the Brattleboro Retreat, a mental health and addiction treatment center that provides a wide array of services for children and adults. Its newest program for uniformed service professionals is designed for police, firefighters, correctional officers, EMTs and military personnel who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of their duty.  The Retreat works with patients from Hollywood, CA to Hallowell, ME.  (www.brattlebororetreat.org)

For more information about the first annual FLICKERS North Country Film Festival, visit http://northcountryfilmfestival.org/index.htm.  The BALSAMS is pleased to be joined by Public Television of New Hampshire in supporting this first-ever event. 

About The BALSAMS
The BALSAMS is a premier New Hampshire resort hotel, featuring award-winning dining, outdoor wilderness adventures, unique events, endless activities, and fun for the entire family.  Our 8,000-acre mountain resort features everything from golfing on a Top 100 ranked, Donald Ross designed course, a Top 25 ranked tennis program, hiking and biking, whitewater rafting, kids’ summer camp, private alpine and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and more.  For more information go to www.thebalsams.com or call 800-255-0600.

ABOUT RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL:
The FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), has secured its place in the global community as the portal for the best in international independent cinema, earning the respect of domestic and foreign filmmakers, filmgoers and trend watchers. This confluence of art and commerce brought together world-class celebrities, award-winning filmmakers, new talent and audience members in record numbers last year. Ranked as one of the top 12 Festivals in the United States, RIIFF is also a qualifying festival for the Short Film Academy Award through its affiliation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. There are 65 film festivals worldwide which share this distinction and RIIFF is the only festival in New England. The next Festival will take place August 10-15, 2010. For more information about the festival, please visit www.rifilmfest.org.

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