First Impressions Community Exchange
Is your community interested in developing an action plan to enhance or build on your strengths, and address your challenges?
First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) is a structured and cost-effective process that reveals the first impression a community conveys to potential visitors, investors and new residents. It is a good place to start your first economic development planning endeavour.
What is a First Impressions Community Exchange?
FICE is a partnership with another peer community where each community visits the other and uses a checklist to inform each other of the strengths and challenges identified during the visit. FICE is beneficial to communities that are developing a plan for the future. It offers a fresh perspective of your community. The Ontario government initiated the FICE program in 2005, since then FICE has been successfully implemented in more than 150 communities in Ontario.
FICE is a straightforward, structured community process. A visiting team is typically made up of 6-8 community residents with diverse backgrounds, occupations, ages, etc. in order to assess the exchange community from a variety of perspectives. The team travels together to the exchange community, where they spend several hours gathering information individually or in pairs. The visit may include an overnight stay to assess the community's night life and accommodation services. The team then prepares a report and presents it to the exchange community. The exchange community reciprocates with a similar visit and report-back.
Why is it important?
By participating in the FICE program, your community will benefit from the feedback you receive from the visiting team. In addition your community volunteers will gain insights from their visit to the exchange community. The program supports and catalyzes voluntarism and a community's sense of belonging.
There are a number of reasons for asking people from outside your community to do the assessment.
Depending on the interest of the two exchange communities, FICE is available in four versions.
If you feel that a First Impressions Community Exchange would benefit your community, we encourage you to contact your Regional Economic Development Branch Advisor on the eligibility of your community and next steps.
Advisors are available to provide support to your community through:
How do I get it?