East Coast Tourism Ad Smackdown

The East Coast Music Awards returned to CBC Television this year, with the four East Coast provinces picking up the tab through tourism advertising. How is this year’s tourism marketing line-up?

  • Newfoundland and Labrador is back with witty, compelling, colour-saturated, ads that have me thinking we should be going there soon.
  • Nova Scotia has lost the Bruce Guthro Come to Life jingle, which is a shame, but they still do a pretty good job on the stunning scenic shots.
  • New Brunswick didn’t market tourism at all, but choose simply to run those annoying “I moved back home because New Brunswick is so awesome” commercials make me want to avoid the province at all costs.
  • Prince Edward Island ran dreadful Canada Games-focused ads that looked like they were produced by the Grade 6 “Introduction to iMovie” class. It was not this province’s finest marketing hour.

We watched the awards broadcast on CBC’s Bold digital channel, which limited its coverage to just an hour, and cut to a commercial halfway through Meaghan Blanchard’s performance and then just disappeared, replaced by an opera broadcast. Weird.


Randy's picture
Randy on March 2, 2009 - 04:29

Do go to Newfoundland.

And don’t fly there. The full experience is best achieved by taking the ferry which reinforces the isolation and distance.

Take the ferry from North Sydney to Argentia which puts you only 2 hours outside of St. John’s. Spend a few days around there touring the cultural attractions (definitely check out The Rooms — the award winning provincial museum and art gallery).

After St. John’s, tour back across the island. A day can be spent in the southern Avalong at Ferryland and the Irish Loop through Trepassey (Amelia Earhart’s trans-Atlantic departure point), Cape St. Mary’s and Harbour Grace.

An overnight side trip out the Burin Peninsula and a short pedestrian ferry ride to St. Pierre & Miquelon is definitely recommended (the ferry schedule forces you to stay overnight). A day trip from Clarenville out the Bonavista Peninsula is also recommended — particularly for icebergs. An overnight in Terra Nova National Park. An overnight trip out to the Twillingates and Fogo Island in Notre Dame Bay. A night or two in Gros Morne National Park. An overnight in St. Anthony and a visit to L’Anse aux Meadows. A night in Corner Brook. (a side trip to Burgeo and a short ferry ride to Ramea Island is recommended) And your return to North Sydney from Port aux Basques.

Take the daytime departure around mid-morning which puts you into Cape Breton around suppertime and then stay somewhere relaxing (Baddeck, Grand Narrows, St. Peters or Inverness) for a night before the trip back to Caribou and the ferry home to PEI.

If you’re feeling adventurous, the coastal ferry to Labrador runs out of Lewisporte (to Cartwright and Goose Bay) or you can take the regular ferry from St. Barbe across to Blanc Sablon on the Strait of Belle Isle. Pack a full-size spare tire (tie it on the roof) and extra gas cans for the gravel roads.

Andrew MacPherson's picture
Andrew MacPherson on March 2, 2009 - 23:47

Do avoid New Brunswick. I have…I spent an extra year in university to in part avoid living in Fredericton. No regrets.

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