Echo Essentials North Bay Edition

Feb 8, 2024

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This Saturday, the Nipissing-Timiskaming Conservatives will be picking between 2021 candidate Steve Trahan and newcomer Cassidy Villeneuve as the local riding association’s nominee to run in the next federal election. Voting takes place at the Best Western Hotel from 1:30 to 4 p.m. See the BayToday story for background.

(Click on the Echo Essentials logo in the email newsletter for the updated website version, past editions and subscription form.)

Top Shelf

  • Best snowmobile day trips … if local trails were open
  • New Echo podcast features North Bay ‘odd couple’

Coffee Mug

Today’s ‘Evolution’
by Allan Hirsh

evolution cartoon by allan hirsh

Echo Essentials

Best snowmobile day-trips
…if local trails were open

shawn flindall of north bay snowmobile club

North Bay Snowmobile Club’s Shawn Flindall talks about the best day-trips in the area … if there was enough snow to open trails this year.

Shawn Flindall, of the North Bay Snowmobile Club, shares his favourite day-trips in the inaugural Echo Essentials Podcast, co-hosted by Scott Clark and Dave Dale.

Flindall was chosen as the first guest of the new show in early December…way back when our biggest fear was a ‘green’ Christmas. It seemed like a safe bet, subject-wise, because the podcast wasn’t launching until February. There’s always at least a metre of snow in the bush by then and trails are often open in early January. Such is not the case.

The new fear is a green Valentines with rain forecast Friday, although it will be fairly cold next week as we approach the Family Day weekend, which warms the hearts of ice fishing enthusiasts. If you’re ‘Jonesing’ for a road trip, go for a drive to the tourist outfitters suffering a lack of guests this winter. They’ll appreciate it because it’s almost too late to pray for enough snow to open trails.

New Echo podcast
features North Bay
‘odd couple’

Lisa Boivin, host of Echo’s premier podcast To North Bay With Love, found herself interviewing polar opposites for today’s episode. Her guests are Echo’s principal partner, Scott Clark, and Essentials newsletter editor and Echo content director, Dave Dale, speaking about their latest adventure.

Clark is an optimist who wakes early for a jog in the morning, Dale is a skeptic and nighthawk who is known to be a shade snarky until noon. Clark looks at the bright side of things and puts his trust in others. Dale has been described as a “contrarian” who prefers to be known as a ‘realist’ and thinks Clark is a bit “gullible.”
It might remind the older crowd of the popular 1970s sitcom, “The Odd Couple” featuring Tony Randal as ‘Felix’ (Clark) and Jack Klugman as ‘Oscar’ (Dale).

What they have in common, however, is a strong passion for the community and decades of close involvement with the people and organizations that make North Bay a vibrant city.

“From the outset of launching the Echo network five months ago, our goal has been to amplify local voices and I am definitely ‘optimistic’ the friction between Dave and I will make it fun, interesting and an ‘Essential’ addition to the local media scene,” Clark said.

Today’s Zen Suggestion: Patience is a virtue…but so is assertiveness. Sometimes you just have to flip a coin.


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Echo Network

To North Bay With Love:

Tonya Raymond joins host Lisa Boivin to talk about Nurse Next Door, which focuses on helping seniors live longer in their own homes. Listen HERE.

Lisa Boivin, host of Echo’s premier podcast, To North Bay With Love, will be recording an episode and meeting fans at the North Bay Home & Garden Show at Memorial Gardens Feb. 23-25.

Boivin will be joined by Bill Steer of the Backroads Bill show, studio producer Ben Sargent and Dave Dale of Small Town Times/Back in the Bay Magazine, among others. A schedule of appearances and recordings will be posted in this newsletter closer to the date. See the BayToday story about the Expo HERE.

Echo Essentials Podcast:

The Echo Essentials Podcast will drop new episodes Thursday afternoons. The show features interviews with community builders and leaders, as well as commentary on news items.

The first episode includes some introductory banter between co-hosts Dave Dale and Scott Clark about the “worst winter ever” and how it threw a curve ball at their strategy right off the bat.

“I thought it would be safe to launch the podcast in February with a snowmobile focus, because there’s always a groomed trail open in February,” Dale said, describing why they chose Shawn Flindall, of the North Bay Snowmobile Club, as their first guest. It reminds him of Robert Burn’s legendary quote written in 1785: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Obviously, this year has been anything but predictable or average with the NBSC only being able to officially open their part of the provincial trail network for about a week in January before shutting it down.

As part of the podcast, Dale and Clark will be discussing the latest city council news. For the inaugural issue, they have a City of North Bay YouTube channel clip of a recent meeting where Coun. Chris Mayne tries his hand at telling a joke.

Subjects for upcoming issues include immigration and international students, as well as the city’s Trout Lake management plan study, arena proposals.

You can find the show on most podcast platforms, the website, YouTube and whatever regional media platforms pick it up as syndicated content.


Cogeco has the big tilt between Niagara and North Bay Battalion live on YourTV Thursday at 7 p.m. Rotary At Home TV Bingo is on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Lions At Home TV Bingo on Sunday’s at 7 p.m.

Backroads Bill:

bill steer in a pothole

In Wednesday’s Backroads Bill podcast, Bill and producer Ben Sargent are joined by Jeff Scott, Nippissing University Professor, and Larry Dyke, Professor Emeritus from Queen’s University and longtime member of the Geological Survey of Canada, to talk about giant holes that appear in nature coined “potholes”.

New podcasts drop Wednesday mornings. Listen on the Echo website HERE. You can also find the Backroads Bill podcast on Spotify, Apple, IHeart Radio, Spreaker, Google, and Amazon. Read the Backroads Bill column at

The Frontline:

The North Bay Mitsubishi After Action Report starts as soon as the Battalion (25-16-8) and Niagara IceDogs (24-20-4) get off the Memorial Gardens ice on Thursday evening.

The latest Powassan Voodoos podcast features former trainer and equipment manager JJ Johnson, who talks about the championship season that never materialized due to COVID sticking a fork in the 2019-20 season.

Cheap Seats:

Cheap Seats is an eclectic conversation between best friends, Drew and Nick, who love talking about movies and whatever else comes to mind. The Jan. 31 episode is their 31st show and it’s a mixed bag of topics, entitled: “Wha Happa, Running isn’t for everyone, How violent is the night?” Other topics are: Knives Out 3, Roadhouse, Spoilers and Movie death items.

Art People Podcast:

The Art People Podcast is a five-episode series produced by actor Joe Drinkwalter, with interviews with Michelina Beam of Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre, Brianna Lintner of BReal Studios, actor and director Rob McCubbin, singer and songwriter Hannah Grace, and Kelsey Ruhl, about the On the Edge Fringe Festival.


Events Echo

Gateway City Brewery Here is a throwback to 4 dudes standing in an empty building at 600 Gormanville Rd.📸: @ryanmarshall_photography

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Gateway City Brewery is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Saturday, Feb. 10. Shawn Sasyniuk plays from noon to 3 p.m., Super Fun Time Trivia is 4 to 6 p.m. and Those Lights are on stage 7 to 10 p.m. This @ryanmarshall_photography pic was taken when “four dudes” were at the beginning of their journey at 600 Gormanville Road and they now have a new location at 490 Gormanville (across from the Jane Street intersection).

Thursday, Feb. 8

  • Canada Update: Nuclear Waste Online Webinar Series from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • North Bay Battalion host the Niagara IceDogs at Memorial Gardens, puck drop is 7 p.m.
  • Super Fun Time Trivia at Moose’s Cookhouse at 7:30 p.m.
  • Stef Paquette at New Ontario Brewing Co., presented by La Soirée des Arts and part of the 61st Le Carnaval des Compagnons

Friday, Feb. 9

  • Lakers basketball vs Algoma featuring their Indigenous Cultural Celebration night, RJ Surtees Student Athletic Centre, women at 6 p.m., men at 8 p.m.
  • NDA hockey semifinals continue with first place Chippewa facing off against fourth-place Algonquin on the Memorial Gardens ice at 6 p.m. The other series began Wednesday with the second-place Scollard Bears blanking Franco Cite 6-0. Their second game is set for 7 p.m. tonight in Sturgeon Falls.
  • Broome Turners at New Ontario Brewing Co.

Saturday, Feb. 10

  • NDA semifinals, Series 1, Game 2, between Chippewa and Algonquin at Sam Jacks arena at 8 p.m. (or it will be at Memorial Gardens if the Bears vs Patriotes series is already over.)
  • Country Night at New Ontario Brewing Co. featuring Brock Mattsson and Dante Ravenhearst 8 to 11 p.m.
  • Gateway Theatre Guild hosting a playwriting workshop presented by Kirstin Shepherd at the North Bay Public Library 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. (limited capacity, pre-registration required, cost is $30 for non-members and $15 for members
  • North Bay Farmers’ Market at the Kennedy Building at McIntyre and Fraser 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


(For more events further out on the calendar, check Tourism North Bay’s comprehensive events listing guide. On Facebook, check out Creative Industries North Bay or check out their December newsletter HERE.)

First-time reader? Sign up for this free newsletter HERE. We publish Tuesday and Thursday.

If you have something to add to the discussion or an idea for one of Echo’s podcasters or affiliates, email Content Director Dave Dale at [email protected].


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