It’s like the regular old Island isn’t good enough for them…

It just dawned on me: when the tourismocrats do crazy things like this, it’s because don’t actually like Prince Edward Island and feel that the only way to effectively promote tourism is to try to hide the real Island behind a freaky faux Island trucked in from away.

Here’s a freaky example:

The pinnacle of the Festival will be the Canjet Snow Kingdom, the home of Jack Frost.

Then, of course, there’s the “Family Concerts in the Park featuring Tributes to Shania Twain and Hilary Duff,” the “TechnoMedia Snow Maze” and the “Treehouse Live Outdoor Stage.”

In the freaky tourism dream-Island, everything has to have corporate sponsorship because nobody in their right mind would actually support this kind of thing without corporate cocaine to fuel it.

It might as well be Red Deer, Brandon, or Moncton at this point, they will have so effectively sucked the Island out of the Island.

Good-bye Charlie Town, we hardly knew ya…


Ann's picture
Ann on December 21, 2004 - 16:27 Permalink

I think you might be missing the point a little bit. I don’t this campaign is designed to bring people from Ontario here to experience PEI. I think it’s designed to bring people from Kensington or Tignish or Souris into Charlottetown. Because if they come to town they might do a little shopping, or eat out or buy gas.
I don’t think that market would be esepcially attracted to come into town to see something Islandish because they ARE Islandish (whatever that means anyway).

I just don’t think people from outside Charlottetown would make a special family trip here without a little incentive and that’s what this is trying to provide. Can you give me an example of another, more acceptable activity that would accomplish the same thing?

Alan's picture
Alan on December 21, 2004 - 17:46 Permalink

I think Peter is spot on and I am amazed that when I say it Nils and Willson nash but when Rukseter points out the phoney baloney, well…

So here is an example of what is done here as it is in most places. A Santa Clause parade. Not sponsored though lots of the floats are. Also, lots of kids come into town with their families as out-of-town school bands are invited. Corny as anything but brings bodies to town. We also have a great event where the utility workers put up lights on trees and a whack of people are invited to come sing carols to watch maybe the best part of a hundred tree light up in a park. Hundreds came. Sponsorship was very low key. Throughout the holidays there are a succession of these sorts of things but no “tourism strategy” overarching it. Just stuff for people to do. The same thing happens every weekend in summer. As Peter has often yearned for, these are community events not “tourism events” but because they are corny and honest and fun, people come.

Is a person who travels not a tourist when there is no “campaign” involved? Aim for the people trade rather than the tourist trade and you may have more happy people coming to town.

Chris Corrigan's picture
Chris Corrigan on December 21, 2004 - 18:10 Permalink

The height of folly was reached some years ago at the Vancouver International children’s Festival when the major sponsor was KIA, the Korean car company. Right in the middle of the field, there was a car dealership. THere were probably 6 cars parked on the grass with sales people there to answer questions.

THis has absoutley nothing to do with a children’s festival and this shameless corporate shilling so pissed off Raffi that he vowed never to play at the festival again. And a kids festival without Raffi on the main stage is, well, a debacle.

The cool thing was that the kids thought the KIA dealership was part of the fun and the sales people mostly spent ten days chasing eight year olds of the hoods of the new cars. Anarchists in the making. Who wouldn’t be?

Since then, it’s become better, although the Alcan craft tent still riles.

Nils's picture
Nils on December 21, 2004 - 18:13 Permalink

Kinda with Ann on this one … it looks like something geared to pull the hinterlands dwellers into Charlottetown. And while it feels like coals to Newcastle (or ice to an Eskimo?), I’m not so alarmed about the ice castle idea. In fact, it might be half-assed neat, assuming my tax dollars aren’t being squandered on it. Even better if they had like an ice night club. People do travel to go to those.

I’m less impressed with their plans for entertainment and such (“Come see somebody who sounds a lot like somebody else!”)… but then, I’m not their target market.

As much as I do love this place — and I do — come February I’m looking for something to distract me from the sheer weight of winter. This may not be it, but (sorry, Charlie) it beats a ratty fake dog mascot.

Ken's picture
Ken on December 21, 2004 - 18:44 Permalink

Regular old winter is not good enough for them or me, and God bless the winter tourist!

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on December 21, 2004 - 18:55 Permalink

I am amazed that when I say it Nils and Willson nash but when Rukseter points out the phoney baloney, well…

Compare your comments to Rukavina’s. Compare the style and content. Nash, hmmmm, Nils perhaps — never Willson

Alan's picture
Alan on December 21, 2004 - 19:52 Permalink

Fair enough, Craig, and I was not meaning to trigger a unhappy thread but I think this sort of issue deals with the characterization of the community to itself and is one of the things that your community needs to address and get past. If you are worried about style, well, there’ll be some ways to go yet before you may figure out the things you all spend some much time asking about yourselves — why so much planning seems done so far from the people when you live in a small community, why so many things do not seem to be for that community but rather for others and why there seems to be money for this or that when there is apparently no money to attract doctors or build schools. All questions worth putting bluntly.

Marcus's picture
Marcus on December 22, 2004 - 05:14 Permalink

PEI in winter… I remember Charlie Town — adults skoff but to any kid stamping their frozen feet in Simmons Arena during Charlottetown Winter Carnival — that character was pretty neat. So whatever happened to the days when you could go snowshoeing in Victoria Park during the carnival, or ice skating on Charlottetown Harbour (or Dalvay Lake if former isn’t frozen). Or just find any unploughed country road to go cross-country skiing on — all to get out and celebrate winter? I guess our tastes have gotten more complex — maybe we’re trying to compete with Quebec City… And concerts just don’t seem to wash in a market as limited as PEI, summer or winter. Whether it’s Festival of Lights or some other lame excuse, the “Capital Commission/CADC/provincial/federal/municipal waste of money” seem to find some way to blow it everytime. A better deal would be to give out $100 gift certificates to Blockbuster (they don’t charge late fees now) for every Islander to let us hibernate in peace.

Mandy's picture
Mandy on December 22, 2004 - 07:16 Permalink

The important thing to remember is that the kiddies 6 month and under can enjoy this $12 a ticket madness for free, while the rest of us have to work hard to get the dosh to enjoy the show.