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Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association excited to support HHS robotics competition

(From left) HMATA board members Jeff Suddaby (board chair) and Steve Carr, and executive director Kelly Haywood, present a cheque for $9,000 to Hoya Robotics team members and mentors Will Tempest, Sophia Webster, Ian McTavish, Austin Dumont, Alison Dumont, and Greg Avdeeff, accompanied by the team’s 2023 competition robot, Stinger.

Huntsville, ON, November 9, 2023 – The Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association (HMATA) is excited to support Huntsville High School’s robotics team, Hoya Robotics, in bringing a First Robotics competition to Huntsville.

Planning for the competition, which would attract upwards of 20 high school robotics teams to Huntsville, is in the works for the new year.

“We think this is a great event and we are pleased to support it,” Jeff Suddaby, HMATA board chair, told the team on behalf of the HMATA board of directors. “You not only shared your passion for robotics with us, you opened our eyes to the positive economic benefits that this competition can bring to Huntsville. We look forward to welcoming your competitors. Go, Hoyas, go!”

HMATA’s $9,000 contribution is a “huge seed for a big garden,” said HHS teacher and robotics mentor, Ian McTavish. The team aims for this to be the first of many competitions in Huntsville and invites the community to attend one of these thrilling events.

Hoya Robotics also works to promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), and robotics in particular, to students, the community, and beyond. Most recently, they have been tasked by First Robotics Canada to support the formation of a new robotics team at Georgian College’s Bracebridge campus. “The goal is to build a [robotics] corridor all the way from north of Toronto to North Bay and beyond,” said McTavish.

The team will kick off the First Robotics competition season on January 6, when the 2024 game parameters are released by the organization, and will be joined by a team from Manitoulin Island for the announcement. Hoya Robotics will then have a mere eight weeks to build a robot to First Robotics specifications before the competition season begins.

HMATA, which was recently named by Town Council as Huntsville’s official Destination Marketing Organization, is beginning to implement its recently completed strategic plan and looks forward to working toward its goal of making Huntsville one of Ontario’s most-cherished year-round destinations via tourism promotion and development and support for local tourism partners and events.

Since 2020, HMATA has dispersed more than $1 million for tourism marketing and supported many local events, attractions and organizations including the hugely successful Eclipse Walk with Light at Muskoka Heritage Place, Huntsville Festival of the Arts programming, the Downtown Huntsville BIA, the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce, many community events, and local youth organizations. All of the funds distributed by HMATA are collected via the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax, paid by visitors to Huntsville at local accommodations.


Media contact:

Jeff Suddaby, HMATA board chair 705-783-8404

About HMATA:

The Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association (HMATA) is a non-share capital corporation created in 2019 to promote and develop tourism in Huntsville. HMATA receives a portion of the funds generated via the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax at local hotels, motels, resorts and short-term rental accommodations. Its focus is on attracting more visitors to Huntsville through sports and cultural events, new tourism product development and enhanced attractions and outdoor activities. The remainder of the MAT is retained by the Town of Huntsville and is earmarked for initiatives that promote and support tourism and economic development efforts benefitting both residents and visitors to Huntsville, as well as affordable housing initiatives. For more information about HMATA, visit


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