Cape Ann Community Foundation Announces Grant Opportunity

Cape Ann License PlateThe Board of Directors of the Cape Ann Community Foundation (CACF) recently announced that they are inviting proposals for the Foundation’s
second annual round of grants. CACF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable
organization established in 2015 by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce to manage funds and award grants from the proceeds from the Cape Ann License Plate. CACF will make grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for projects that support the Foundation’s mission to improve the economy and overall quality of life for the residents of Cape Ann in the following areas:

• Regional promotion: projects that support and enhance the quality of life for the Cape Ann region and the communities of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport; and promote Cape Ann as a desirable place to live, work, recreate and vacation.

• Economic Development: projects that expand employment opportunities and enhance the economic vitality of Cape Ann, including but not limited to projects that facilitate the start-up of new enterprises or the expansion of existing enterprises on Cape Ann.

• Training and Education: projects that support the training and education of the current and future Cape Ann workforce, including entrepreneurial training, to help Cape Ann residents succeed and thrive in the 21st century economy. Eligible applicants include religious, educational, scientific and cultural institutions; poverty relief agencies; and in general any organization that qualifies as a 501(c) (3) charity and is based in or providing services to the Cape Ann community. Local governments and their subdivisions in the
communities of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport are also eligible to apply for CACF grants.

In their first-ever grant cycle last year the Cape Ann Community Foundation received 25 proposals and made awards to three Cape Ann area non-profit organizations: Action, Inc., Backyard Growers and Cape Ann Farmers Market.

“My fellow Board members and I encourage all Cape Ann area non-profits and municipalities with eligible projects to submit proposals for this funding cycle,” said CACF Board President Ruth Pino. “And remember, any Massachusetts resident can buy the Cape Ann License Plate. We need more
Cape Ann plates on the road to ensure funding for worthy initiatives in the future,” Pino added.

Grant guidelines and application forms are now available online at, and they may also be picked up at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce at 33 Commercial Street, Gloucester. The deadline for grant applications is May 1, 2018. For further information call the Chamber at (978) 283-1601 or email Peter Webber at

If you don’t have one of these amazing plates yet, CLICK HERE to order your plate online in minutes. Your plate will be mailed right to your door! Show your support for Cape Ann. Your plate will help to make Cape Ann an even better place to live, work and play – proceeds directly support our community. Anyone in with a car registered in MA can get one!


2018 Economic Outlook Breakfast

The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Economic Outlook Breakfast on Thursday, March 1, at the Gloucester House Restaurant, 63 Rogers Street, Gloucester. Check-in and breakfast will start at 7:30 AM and the program will begin at 8:00 AM. CLICK HERE to register.

Economic Outlook Breakfast

This year the Chamber welcomes President and CEO of Gorton’s Judson Reis as keynote speaker.  Judson’s timely presentation will offer an overview of Gorton’s current business after nearly 170 years here in Gloucester. He will also offer his insights on the state of the seafood industry domestically and internationally, how the industry has evolved and how Gorton’s is adapting to these changes.  Mr. Reis will also give his perspective and insights on the overall economic outlook for the year ahead.

(Judson Reis, President and CEO of Gorton’s)

Jud Reis joined Gorton’s in 1990 as a Marketing Assistant.  During his 28 year career at Gorton’s he has held a number of progressively more responsible roles within the Marketing activity including assignments in consumer marketing, trade planning, new products, and business development.  In 2004, he was promoted to Vice President of Marketing, where he had overall responsibility for the Gorton’s Brand in the US and BlueWater brand in Canada.  In April of 2009 he was promoted to President and CEO.

The Economic Outlook Breakfast will also feature such regular highlights as the introduction of new Chamber board members, special salutes, and the chance to connect with business colleagues and elected officials.  A light breakfast at the Gloucester House Restaurant is included and the program will conclude by 9:00 AM.  Tickets are $30 and may be purchased online at or by calling the Chamber office 978-283-1601.

Join Us On The Winter Birding Boat Trip

The Chamber is doing the Winter Birding Boat Trip again this year!
Weather permitting, we will be going out on Saturday, March 10, 2018, from 8:00 AM to Noon. The cost of this wonderful excursion is $75.00. Space is limited, so please sign up early– we did sell out last year and we expect to do so this year as well.

Winter Birding Boat Trip

The Cape Ann Winter Birding Boat Trip is a chance for bird-lovers to come to Gloucester and to brave whatever weather winter brings, in order to look for loons, grebes, sea ducks, alcids and other avian delights of the season along Cape Ann ‘s spectacular shoreline- including puffins- and we hope you will join us! CLICK HERE to register.

The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, passed in 1918. The treaty is a seminal piece of legislation that has saved, and continues to save, the life of billions upon billions of North American birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Geographic, Audubon, and BirdLife have created a timely alliance, joining forces this year to celebrate birds, while also raising awareness about the current dangers that they face. (Thank you Kim Smith for this reminder).
Come celebrate this most important anniversary with a trip to Stellwagen!

It seems to be shaping up to be another big Snowy Owl year, so we will be looking for these spectacular raptors as well as all the other winter specialties.

This trip has filled up for the past few years, so please register soon to be sure of getting a spot on the boat.

We will again be under the watchful expertise (in both navigating the boat and identifying the many birds and marine life!) of Captain Jay Frontierro on board the Privateer IV, with 7 Seas Whale Watch- Thank you Capt. Jay for this opportunity again this year!

We are honored to have Wayne Petersen, Jim Berry and Robert Buchsbaum along to help us identify our flying friends. Wayne is the Director of Massachusetts Important Bird Area (IBA) Program, with the Mass Audubon, and Jim and Robert are enthusiasts extraordinaire, and have been helping us with Bird Identification for years!

Last year we had a spectacular trip where along with the many different birds we spotted, we also were delighted to see Whales and Dolphins! We hope for the same this year!

If you have any questions, please contact Kerry at the Chamber 978-283-1601.

Chamber’s Annual Celebration & Cape Ann Divas Concert

Join us at the Shalin Liu for our Annual Celebration– the Welcoming of new President of the Board- Patricia Slade of the Manchester Cricket, saying good-bye to this year’s President Sara Young, of Schooner Adventure and the installation of our new Board of Directors.

This year we will have a cocktail reception in the event room of the Shalin Liu Performance Center, catered by Vinwood Caterers, followed by a concert by the Cape Ann Divas- a show Not to be missed!

Tickets for this event must be purchased at online at or by calling the box office at 978-546-7391.
$100 Reception and Concert
$50 Concert only

The Cape  Ann Divas
The 2018 Cape Ann Divas are six wonderfully talented female vocalists who are beloved on Cape Ann and have been wowing local audiences for years.  Now, for the first time ever, these six talented women, along with an accomplished group of four local musicians, will put together a show that will entertain and delight you! Tickets can be purchased HERE.

Kate Barry
Kate Barry’s talents run the gamut from jazz to pop–and just about everything in between. She also studied music in college, and her deeply affecting and smooth style will wow you.  You can hear her play locally at venues all over Cape Ann with her own Kate Barry Band as well as others (Cape Ann Big Band, Jazz Brewers and more.)  It’s hard not so smile when you listen to Kate!

Renee Dupuis
Renee Dupuis (voice, piano) is a soloist, backing vocalist and keyboardist with the bands SAFETY, What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?, the Susan Cattaneo Band and Todo Bien.  You can also hear her singing standards with the Cape Ann Big Band.  Along with bassist/guitarist Joe Cardoza, Renee co-writes and records with the duo Renee & Joe, who are currently wrapping up a second full-length album recorded at Bang A Song Studios.  Renee teaches voice on Cape Ann.  Check out for more info about upcoming performances and lessons.

Mari Martin
Mari Martin has been entertaining audiences from California to Massachusetts for over 20 years with her signature stage presence and soulful vocals.  She has opened for and shared the stage with such luminaries as Tower of Power, Average White Band, Alan Parsons, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, WAR, Travis Tritt, and Iris Dement.  While living in California, she was a back-up singer for Kenny Loggins, and had two popular bands of her own. Mari moved back to her hometown of Rockport to be closer to family, and performs regularly with multiple bands at local clubs and for private events along the North Shore.

Amy Rich
Amy is thrilled to be amongst these very talented Divas and to have the opportunity to perform here for you tonight. A transplant to Cape Ann from upstate New York in 1999, she studied vocal performance in college and went on to sing with bands here on the east coast, including the Inge Berge Band and bands on the west coast. This is her third time on stage at the Shalin Liu. She has performed here with the Cape Ann Big Band and the Cape Ann Divas in the past. She is so grateful for the support and encouragement of this community.  Amy has been singing with local singer/performer John Rockwell and is a founding member of the new buzz-worthy band the Headlands. Catch her at a local club near you!

Megan Wolf
Megan Wolf, a Gloucester native, is thrilled to return with the Cape Ann Divas to the Shalin Liu. The local singer-songwriter and recording artist first began her performance career with the community theatre group Annisquam Village Players at the young age of 5. Her passion for singing quickly grew and by the time she was 21 Megan was leading her own cover bands and playing the local venues and stages. Before long she began exploring her own songwriting and in 2015 paired up with guitarist Jon Butcher to co-write and produce her debut album, “That Girl” (EFX, 2017). Megan is also a member of the 80’s Pop/Dance band Safety, a mega-band composed of some of Cape Ann’s leading musicians and fellow Cape Ann Diva, Renee Dupuis. Megan’s powerful stage presence has led her to many noteworthy opportunities including playing alongside Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau and most recently joining Joe Cocker band members Cliff Goodwin, Deric Dyer, and Mitch Chakour as backing vocalist in the legacy project Mad Dogs Unchained. The band is preparing for an 18 date European tour of the U.K., Germany, and The Netherlands scheduled for February-March 2018.


Roger Brockelbank on drums  – Roger Brockelbank is a local teacher and drummer hailing from Beverly, MA.  His deft touch and remarkable ear make him a sough-after player. He currently plays with his own band Kind Soulz, Madhouse, the Lucky Boys and others.

Mark Retallack
on keys – Mark Retallack has played all over the North East and beyond. His playing is heavily rooted in jazz, but can shine in any genre. He currently plays in the North Shore wedding band Jump Street, the Lucky Boys, the Last Minutemen and more!

Bob Enick on Guitar—Boston based guitarist Bob Enik has been a regular on the city’s music scene for over 40 years. He’s played with big names and in small clubs.  He is a virtuoso with a style all his own.

Vinny Briguglio on bass—Over the years, Vinny has shared the stage with many talented Boston area musicians including Miranda Russell, Jen Kearney, Mari Martin, Dan King, The Boston Horns, Christine Baze, Groove Therapy, The Word, The Sultans of Swing, and many others.


Give the Gift of Cape Ann!

What do you get that hard-to-buy-for person on your list this holiday season? A Cape Ann Gift Certificate! These can be used at over 200 participating shops, restaurants, service businesses and more. Your gift… their choice. Click Here for a list of participating businesses.

Not only is this a great gift option, but it is a wonderful way to support our local businesses. They can be purchased at either Gloucester Shaw’s locations, Tuck’s Candy & Gifts in Rockport or at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.


You can also give the gift of Cape Ann by giving a Cape Ann License Plate to friends and family.  Stop by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce to pick up a free Cape Ann License Plate gift envelope – the perfect stocking stuffer!  And remember the proceeds go back to the community.  Plates can be ordered online and are mailed right to your door! Learn more here.


Give the Gift of Cape Ann this Holiday Season!

This holiday season support local businesses and show your love for the Cape Ann Community! Cape Ann Gift Certificates are a great way give a gift with options – perfect for anyone on your list.  They can be used at over 150 businesses on Cape Ann and can be purchased at the Chamber Office, both Shaws locations and at Tuck’s Candy & Gifts.  CLICK HERE for the full list of participating businesses.

Another unique gift (and fun stocking stuffer!) is a Cape Ann License Plate.  These plates can be ordered online and mailed right to the home of someone you love.  See below for details.  And remember… proceeds from the plates come back to the community – a great way to give back this holiday season!ShopCapeAnn-GiftCertificate-CALP.jpg


Last Call for Artists and Craft Vendors for Essex Clamfest!

Calling all artists and craft vendors! We still have some spots open for this year’s Essex ClamFest… and we’ve decided to wave the late fee this year. To apply as a vendor, contact Kerry at the Chamber –


On Saturday, October 21, the Essex ClamFest and Chowder Competition will take place in Essex. The annual event has everything the small town is known for including arts and crafts, K-9 demonstrations, food vendors, Ipswich Ale Local Brews and, of course, the ever popular clam chowder competition.  The festival will take place at Shepard Memorial Park in Essex from 11 AM to 4 PM.

The popular clam chowder competition is from noon to 2 PM (while supplies last).   It costs $5.00 to enter to chowder tasting area.  Nearly 1,000 people taste the best of the best, each voting for their favorite in the People’s Choice Award, while nine esteemed judges helped to select the winner of the Judge’s Award.

This year there are 12 competitors:

  • Ipswich Ale Brewers Table
  • Ipswich Clambake
  • J.T. Farnham’s
  • Lobsta Land
  • Mile Marker One
  • Relish Catering & Events
  • Salty Franks Hot Dogs
  • Shea’s Riverside Restaurant
  • The Farm Bar and Grille
  • The Pub at Cape Ann Brewing Co.
  • Windward Grille Restaurant
  • Woodman’s of Essex.

Essex Clamfest is brought to you by the Essex Division of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce. BankGloucester is the presenting sponsor, First Ipswich Bank is the gold sponsor and the media sponsor is North Shore 104.9.