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The Bayfield-Nares Islanders’ Association (BNIA) is a non-profit organization that represents the cottagers and residents of Nares and Bayfield Inlets. This area on the eastern coast of Georgian Bay extends from the Pointe au Baril lighthouse (southern limit), to Head Island (northern limit). It includes several hundred islands and adjacent mainland where more than two hundred cottages are located.

The BNIA meets annually in midsummer. Directors are elected annually and meet several times a year to deal with issues affecting the area.

A primary objective of the BNIA is: To protect, maintain and improve the natural environment of Bayfield-Nares. The main functions of the Association are to:

  • Keep members informed on a variety of topics, such as zoning, environmental concerns (water quality and fishing), and services (garbage, telephones, and emergency help).
  • Provide information to various government and regulatory agencies on topics which affect the members.
  • Represent the area and work with other cottagers’ associations under the umbrella of the Georgian Bay Association.
  • Provide information, coordination and support to cottagers and residents in emergency situations.
  • Communicate to members via the Directory & Yearbook and a winter newsletter.
  • Organize the annual regatta, marathon canoe race and sailing race.

The BNIA was incorporated on April 19, 1962 by letters Patent issued by the Province of Ontario. It was the continuation of the unincorporated association, Bayfield Inlet Islanders’ Association, which was formed on August 2, 1958 after a spectacular fire on the McTavish/Dulmage Island (882- also known as Brown’s Island).