November Newsletter 2013
Dear Residents and Friends
Another successful tourism season has come to a close. The Bird Island Puffin Festival, a celebration of community and place, was again a huge success drawing large crowds nightly. Financially, as well, it was a great success as we netted a profit of approximately $12,000. Plans are already under way for the 17th edition of this festival and final dates will be announced in the new year. Roots, Rants, and Roars was also a resounding success. This festival sold out in only a few days after tickets went on sale. Patrons to this festival were treated to some amazing food by both provincial and national chefs. The great entertainment provided by top Newfoundland artists added to the ingredients needed for a superb culinary festival. Local artisans proudly displayed their crafts, adding an extra dimension to this event. As I write this newsletter, all invoices are not in; however, I am sure we did do well financially. The promotion that the Community of Elliston received from this Festival is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and brings awareness of what this community has to offer from a tourism perspective. Tourism Elliston would like to thank all volunteers who played a role in making both Festivals the huge success that they were.
Tourism Elliston worked with Wanda Cuff-Young and her company to develop a new website and to create Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube accounts. Please visit our sites for news, pictures, and videos:
This past summer, we were very fortunate to be a part of three separate funded student programs. Chantille Prince-Stagg, who was hired through Young Canada Works, a federally funded project, worked for 14 weeks with us here at the Tourism Office as my assistant. I, on behalf of Tourism Elliston, would like to thank Chantille for her fine work this summer. Chantille will continue to work part-time for us during the winter months. Five students were hired under the Canada Summer Jobs Program. Colin Collins-Faulkner, Cole Hayley, Kelsey Keel, Timothy Ryan, and Jacob Chaulk were all instrumental in helping us achieve the goals set out in our application. In a partnership program between Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador and Tourism Elliston Inc., four youth were hired for a special heritage project to restore and construct root cellars here in Elliston. Jonathan Cooper, Devon Chaulk, Jordan Hicks, and Sarah Stagg worked for eight weeks at this initiative. Tourism Elliston administers and manages all student projects each year. Financial investment is also required in all projects either as a community partner investment or by taking care of the employer’s share of Revenue Canada remittance for each employee, in addition to providing material and work-related expenses. Those three student projects cost Tourism Elliston approximately $9,000. We consider this a small investment in the light that it provides much needed employment for students in the summer to help them pursue their education.
Elliston is becoming quite a tourism destination on the Discovery Trail. Visitation to our community showed a dramatic increase this year. Tourism Elliston counted 8,111 visitors to the Information Centre in the Ryan’s Building; Elliston Adventure Craft Store, as a direct result, did very well. This number was an increase of over 3,400 people than in 2012. Approximately 15,000 people visited the Puffin Site, an increase of more than 5,000 from 2012. Tourism Elliston continues to spend thousands of dollars each year on promoting our tourism assets, especially the puffins and root cellars. Two successful festivals each year, with all the media attention, brings awareness of what a special place Elliston is. Tourism operators that I have recently spoken with have seen an increase in their business not only in Elliston, but also in the region. Tourism Elliston’s mandate as a not-for-profit organization is to promote and provide the economic climate so businesses can prosper. We will continue to strive to achieve this mandate.
The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers Program was also a huge success. We partnered with three other regional partners as outlined in the March newsletter, and as a result we received three workers: Elsie Eddy, Rowena Durdle, and Gertie Dalton. All three proved to be exceptional workers and helped us have a successful season.
Coordinating the Puffin Festival and Roots, Rants, and Roars Festival has kept me fairly busy throughout the summer and early fall. On behalf of Tourism Elliston, I represented the group at many regional and provincial meetings during that time frame including key Eastern Development Marketing Organization meetings. I also attended several cultural craft tourism developments, trail developments, and collaboration sessions held over the peninsula. As a result of those meetings, much awareness has been brought to establishing culturally-produced crafts and products relating to Elliston. The Klondike Trail has been upgraded as one of the premier trails on the peninsula and work will proceed in early spring to upgrade the Maberly-Little Catalina trail. Up to date, Tourism Elliston has contributed $4,000 to this trail network.
During the summer, I hosted more than a dozen bus and/or caravan tours. Chantille and I also did many educational presentations to those groups entitled Root Cellars and the Art and Science of Root Cellaring. Adventure Caravans, one of the largest tour promoters in the world, has already booked four tours with us for 2014.
We were very fortunate to be able to have Sidney Chaulk on staff again for the summer period. Sid’s duties were too numerous to mention. Sid was our “hands-on guy” to achieve day-to-day results. He was especially helpful in helping us erect infrastructure for both festivals. Sid also worked on many town, recreational, and church activities.
Zack and Cheryl operated Nanny’s Root Cellar Kitchen over this past year and have indicated that they will renew their lease with Tourism Elliston for the 2014 season. Tourism Elliston Inc. currently owns the building, and last year purchased the assets of the business to ensure that the restaurant continues to operate as part of our subsistence theme. The restaurant employed six people full-time during their seasonal operation, and had a successful first season. Zack and Cheryl are looking forward to 2014. Congratulations from Tourism Elliston!
Tourism Elliston, in partnership with the Trinity Historical Society, applied under the Fishery Heritage Program to have some heritage restoration work done; included in that application was the Tilley Store, owned by Albert and Harriet Tilley. Under the program Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, restoration work has been approved for $2,000. Tourism Elliston has to match this $2,000. Tourism Elliston recently entered into a lease agreement with Albert and Harriet; some work should be done on the building within the next few days. We give many thanks to Jim Miller, Project Coordinator for Trinity Historical Society, for including us in their proposal. We know that $2,000 is not a lot of money to do the work needed on the building; however, it will be a start. Hopefully as the Trinity Historical Society applies for more funding, we will be able to partner on a larger scale to have this building restored. We would like to thank Albert and Harriet for helping us make this initiative possible.
Tourism Elliston is also in the process of finalizing a proposal to Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Innovation, Business and Rural Development (IBRD) for funding to hire a consultant to do Phase II of the Heritage Development Plan for Elliston and the construction of a Root Cellar Interpretation Centre near the Puffin Site. We hope to have this completed within the next ten days. Final reports have also been filed on all of the major projects that we were involved in during 2013. Funding proposals for other initiatives have been forwarded or are in the process of being forwarded.
Tourism Elliston would like to thank its community partners the Town of Elliston, the Elliston Recreation Committee, and the Elliston Heritage Foundation for their support during 2013 and we look forward to partnering with you all in the coming year. At the same time, we would like to thank all our business partners in the community for their support during this past year. We could not have achieved our successes without partnering with business and community partners in the region; and of course, we thank you also for your continued support.
The Christmas season is fast approaching and we would like to encourage all residents to partake in the following community functions:
The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
7 p.m. on Thursday, December 5
The Salvation Army Band will be in attendance
Hot chocolate and cookies will be served after at the Tourism Office
The Annual Seniors Party
7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 10
Elliston Town Hall
Music, lunch, and refreshments
Annual Christmas Santa Claus Parade
10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14
Starting at the Recreation Centre
Feel free to contact me anytime at 468-7080 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of Tourism Elliston, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Event Planner for Tourism Elliston