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Community embraces launch of OrilliaMatters

New digital news source debuts in Orillia

Members of the community gathered Monday at an Orillia restaurant to celebrate the launch of OrilliaMatters, Village Media's latest online news endeavour. was launched into cyberspace Monday morning, providing residents of Orillia and area with a daily source of news and information and helping to fill a void left by the closing of the Packet & Times in November.

Village Media CEO Jeff Elgie made the trip from Sault Ste. Marie to join in the celebration.

"We love small markets," he told the crowd gathered at Studabakers. "We're from small communities. We're happy to be here."

Local dignitaries were also on hand to welcome Orillia Matters.

"When it comes to getting local news out, the Orillia Packet was very important," said Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes, who is confident readers of the former Packet & Times newspaper will embrace the new online site, regardless of their age. "I've got news for you: There are more grandmothers and grandfathers online."

Orillia Coun. Robert Kloostra noted he was on the website bright and early to see the latest local news. "This is great for the community," he said.

Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton agreed, crediting Village Media for setting up shop in Orillia with "a platform that has been well tested in other markets."

OrilliaMatters includes former Packet & Times employees John Hammill (publisher), Nicole Parkes (regional sales manager), Dave Dawson (community editor) and Nathan Taylor (regional reporter).