2017 Newsletter

December, 2017 Newsletter

Dear residents and friends of Elliston:

It’s almost Christmas time again, can you believe it?! Where is the time going?!

It’s been another very successful and busy year for us, here at Tourism Elliston Inc. In January, Don Johnson resigned from this position and I was hired as the Office Administrator/staff person for Tourism Elliston, a job I truly love! It has been a pleasure to get out of bed and come to work each and every day, over the past year.
We have been fortunate to have received the support of both provincial and federal funding agencies for many of our initiatives.

From the Department of Advanced Education and Skills, Tourism Elliston received $2,250.00 to help with the cost of the 2017 Elliston Come Home Year activities. Jessica Dyke was hired as the coordinator. The event was a tremendous success that saw a lot of people come home to attend the festivities. It was held three days prior to our regular Bird Island Puffin Festival, making our festival a ten day celebration! A picnic at Coles’ Gulch; a family day in the park; a meet and greet night; a Texas Holdem poker night; and a lovely dinner and dance were on the agenda. It was wonderful to see so many people join in on the fun! Thank you, Jessica, for doing an amazing job!

The 20th Bird Island Puffin Festival was a success again this year. The turnout was a good one, but we understand that after 20 years of holding the same activities, it is time for a change. Our next festival will have these changes. It is too early, yet, for us to give any details, as we haven’t made any final decisions on the specifics, but rest assured that you won’t be disappointed! If you have any ideas as to things we may add to make the festival better, please feel free to drop by the office or email me at rootcellars@persona.ca and I will be more than happy to pass your ideas along to the members of Tourism Elliston. We would like to thank the government departments and all local businesses for both the monetary and prize donations we received again this year. Without these sponsorships our festival would not be possible.

The Roots, Rants, and Roars Culinary Festival was also an astounding success again this year, with sold-out crowds at each event. This culinary food festival attracts people from all across Canada and the U.S., to our beautiful area. They love it here and some have already booked their accommodations for RRR 2018. Revenue brought in from events like the Roots, Rants, and Roars Festival benefit so many local people – B & B owner/operators/employees; stores, both large and small; restaurants; and other small businesses. It is important to us that you know, all revenue earned from our festivals goes back into the community through a way that you may not always notice. In 2017, we received $20,000.00 from the Department of Innovation, Trade and Regional Development for the RRR festival.

We have hired Tract Consulting to design a plan to upgrade the Elliston Municipal Park. Work will begin sometime in 2018. We are all very excited about this and we hope you will be as well.
Tourism Elliston Inc. also received $4,838.40 from the Canadian Heritage Association, under the Young Canada Works Program. This funding allowed us to hire a post-secondary student to work in our office for a total of 12 weeks. The lucky student was Spencer Oldford. Spencer assisted with many duties related to the Bird Island Puffin Festival and other office related activities. He was also a great asset with coordinating the behind the scenes details of the Peninsula Idol. Thank you, Spencer, you did a great job!
Under the Canada Summer Job grant, we received $13,428.00 to hire five students. Evan Collins and Serena Matthews were hired to work in the park, as Festival Assistant and Park Attendant; Cassidy Waye was hired to work in the office as the Media Promotional Assistant; and both Hayley Eddy and Sarah Faulkner were hired at Nanny’s Root Cellar Kitchen. It is always a joy to work with the youth of our area and to see them succeed in their roles. Awesome work, guys!

The Bonavista-Trinity Regional Chamber of Commerce, through the Amplify Program, sponsored us in the amount of $3,130.40.This money allowed us the opportunity to hire Samantha Linthorne. Samantha also worked at the Municipal Park. Thank you, Samantha, you were a joy to work with!
Through the Department of Advanced Education and Skills, under a Job Creation Program and funding in the amount of $6,220.00, we were able to hire seven people to finish the work needed on the exterior of the James Ryan building, more commonly known as the Elliston Adventure Craft Store/Visitor Information Centre. The fire escape leading down from the upper floors is one to be admired. I don’t think we will have any worries about this one washing away! If you haven’t seen it yet, it would be worth your while to visit the area and take a look. Great work, Corey Sweetland; Cecil Ploughman; Anderson Dalton; Bruce Mantini; Malcolm Little; Jason Keats; and Tyler Hicks! I really enjoyed getting to know you all.

The Department of Advanced Education and Skills, under a Job Creation Partnership Program, also provided us with $14,850.00 to hire two interpreters at the Elliston Adventure Craft Store/Visitor Information Centre and two for the Puffin Site. The greater part of these funds was to provide a ‘Tourism 101’ training course to the workers. More than 20,000 people visited our Puffin Site this past summer. I think that is so amazing that our little town of Elliston is so well-known all over the world for our puffin colony, our root cellars, and our Sealer’s Memorial. Visitors come from everywhere – Switzerland; England; the United States; Ontario; many towns in NL and any other place you can name. We are very fortunate. Thank you to Pamela Fleming; Alex Crewe; Violet Crewe; and Colette Burt for providing information to all of the visitors who came to our area!
The Department of Advanced Education and Skills, under a Wage Subsidy Program, provided us with $3150.00, half of the wages to hire Lorraine Reid as a cook at Nanny’s Root Cellar Kitchen. Thank you, Lorraine, for your excellent work!

In August, I had the pleasure of hosting two Adventure Caravan tours. These groups of approximately 35 – 40 , who came here from all areas of the United States and elsewhere, were taken down to the James Ryan building, and given a presentation of how Tourism Elliston Inc. came to be and how far it has come since that dreadful day when the lights went out in Elliston. A “Land and Sea” video of the root cellars of Elliston was played to show them just exactly why our root cellars are so important to this little “Root Cellar Capital of the World”. On each tour, two prizes are given away. When I assisted Calvin Hayley with his tours, he would give away a bottle of Nanny Hayley’s Jam, so I kept the trend going, and I give out his jam for prizes as well. They all love it! Most of them have never tasted a partridgeberry before. The things we take for granted…..
We are still working on plans to repair the Salvation Army building. Currently, we have $20,000.00 donated to us from the Heritage Foundation of NL. to make a start at the building. Plans are to make a start in early Spring 2018. It is a very expensive adventure to take on, but when we get it restored, it will be another historic landmark added to our community.

Plans are also underway to construct a new parking lot in around the area of the Puffin Site. I think we will all agree that this is needed to resolve some of the traffic congestion in that area.

Nanny’s Root Cellar Kitchen had another very successful year. Geraldine Baker, our Manager, took on this role in 2016 for Tourism Elliston. Geraldine and the girls did an amazing job at providing excellent traditional food and service to the many people, locals and tourists alike, who visited the restaurant. The food they served was absolutely delicious! Thank you to Geraldine, Kim, Lorraine, Joan, and Terri for another great year! Also thank you to Jessica Dyke who was employed at Nanny’s for the latter few weeks of the season.
The members of Tourism Elliston have worked tirelessly over the past year. Regular meetings were held at least once a week to discuss the many, many plans they are undergoing. It is all worthwhile when they/we see things begin to take shape. That is their desire for the town in which they love so much.
On behalf of Tourism Elliston members, I would like to thank the volunteers who so effortlessly spend countless hours assisting us at our festivals. Without you, it would be virtually impossible to succeed. Your work is appreciated beyond words!

Sid Chaulk was our maintenance man and Jack-of-all-Trades again this past summer. His duties were whatever we, at Tourism Elliston, or anyone needed him to do. Nothing is/was too much trouble for this wonderful man! We hope to see him back to work in the summer of 2018. Thank you, Sid, for all of your hard work.
Lastly, I want to thank Tourism Elliston for allowing me the opportunity to work in this office. It has been a pleasure and a great learning experience getting to know you and the organization plans for this little town, that I consider ‘almost home’.  I have certainly enjoyed my time here and look forward to what is yet to come!
I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the best of health and happiness in the New Year, 2018!
Kindest regards on behalf of myself and the members of Tourism Elliston. Enjoy the season and all it brings to you and your family.

Brenda Keel
Office Administrator for Tourism Elliston Inc.