The Art Shop, located in the picturesque Village of Lakefield, is a custom framing studio and art gallery featuring the work of renowned local artists.

The pandemic left owner Chris Hamblin in a tight spot to keep the lights on and remain engaged with her community. Recognizing that her website and digital marketing efforts needed a major boost, and being a small shop with limited resources, she turned to Digital Main Street and qualified for a Digital Transformation Grant.

Chris worked with her local DMS Digital Service Squad to develop a transformation plan that clarified her marketing goals and identified improvements for better rankings in search engine results.

They worked together to build an email marketing channel for a monthly newsletter and events calendar intended to educate the public and promote The Art Shop brand. Chris is also using social media advertising, Google AdWords and promotions to draw more visitors to the website. Her efforts include link sharing with community and industry partners.

The website and a Facebook page now feature new video content, cool pieces of artwork, testimonials from happy clients, and information about new trends in art and framing.

“I am excited about my DMS grant which I am using to expand my social media presence and keep existing clients engaged and bring in new customers,” Chris said. “Given the difficult current environment, I am most appreciative of this assistance.”




The Digital Main Street program has been further extended through funding from FedDev Ontario and the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT). The new round of funding includes $42.5 million from the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, a national recovery initiative delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. With $7.45 million from Ontario, this combined federal and provincial project will strengthen Ontario’s economic capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration, and will promote the development of a strong and diversified Ontario economy. For more information, please visit


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