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The public face of The Georgetown Conference is the capital of Kings County, PEI, population 675. She is a town where generations have made a living on the land and water. She is a proud community where you will find neatly kept homes and neighbours quick to lend a hand.

There is a spirit that belies the community’s economic reality. The sawmill is closed. The shipyard sits idle. The population is aging. It is increasingly difficult to compete with the lure of big paydays in nearby cities or far off provinces.

Georgetown is at a crossroads. She is not unique. Countless other communities throughout Atlantic Canada share this reality. But the future of these communities need not be a tale of continued decline.

We chose Georgetown not because her problems are any greater or worse than others. We chose Georgetown because she is not unique. Her challenges are shared with many communities represented by members of Newspapers Atlantic, the patron sponsor of The Georgetown Conference.

Our member papers – 70 community newspapers with a combined weekly circulation of 700,000 – believe by pooling our collective experience, energy and strength rural communities can grow. Our goal is to create a conference where community leaders can take a kernel of an idea discovered at The Georgetown Conference and transplant that idea in their home community be it in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or PEI.

Why Georgetown? Precisely because it is every town.