Browsing articles tagged with " New Brunswick"
Mar 10, 2017
admin

There’s no place like home (2017)

Finally, a feel-good story from the East! Moncton is “the place to be,” [1] says Canadian travel blogger Andrew Gunadie – Hurray! Down here, we all know that we live in a special place and I recently heard it said that ‘There’s the good times, the bad times and the Maritimes!”

But let’s start with a bit of background information. The first and the most famous travel writer was Herodotus, the Greek historian who lived in the fifth century BC. The role of any travel writer, he said, “is to be the tourist’s perfect companion: to be articulate, well informed, a skilled raconteur; to include in what he tells [sic] a fair share of the unusual with a dash of the exotic; to tell it all with infinite zest.” [2] Gunadie has many of those qualities, he is articulate, engaging, charming, and I want to believe him. But there is something in his travel truth that made me pause. To say that the City of Moncton is the ‘place to be’ or not, is not the aim of my commentary. I am curious about the tone, the coverage of his story and ultimately what it says about us.

When I first saw Gunadie’s video, I was delighted. Imagine, my hometown was the best place to be! Joy! My second impression was more nuanced. There is something steering the clip that reads like an advertisement. Maybe the ‘place to be’ reminded me of the infamous New Brunswick licence plate tagline, the “Be … in this place”.[3] I understand the necessity of naming things (cafés, pubs and restaurants), of speaking in clichés or memes (beach for oneself, beautiful sunset), but I believe that it is possible to write about a place without sounding like an ad.

A lot of travel writing is about selling something to someone, but it does not have to be like that. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Ernesto Che Guevara’s The Motorcycle Diaries are examples of two great works based on actual travel adventures. The genre continues to reinvent itself. In December 2016, Canadian Art Magazine awarded its Art Writing Prize to Calgary Art Critic, Ginger Carlson for her travel essay describing “a journey with artist Nicole Kelly Westman to former mining town Wayne, Alberta, to produce a new work.”[4]

The script of Our Country: Gunnarolla on why Moncton is his favourite place could have been lifted from a Tourism New Brunswick brochure. It is all niceties, product-oriented and we heard it before:

The East Coast is where the friendliest people live
Does anyone do seafood like the East Coast of Canada?
Moncton is perfect for road trips
Having a beach for oneself
Amazing sunsets
Walking ‘on the ocean floor’

This ‘walk on the ocean floor’ has been repeated like a mantra by the operators of the Hopewell Rocks as well as by the New Brunswick Department of Tourism.[5] It is probably something that everybody in New Brunswick does in his or her sleep, but to talk about Hopewell Rocks without mentioning the recent collapse of the Elephant Rock, one of the more popular of the Flowerpot formations, is puzzling. Gunardie surely wants to focus solely on the positive.[6]

The suspension of my belief came in a two-pronged realization. The first prong happened last month when the New Brunswick Department of Tourism announced that it was investing $1.1M for travel writers to promote tourism over the next 4 years[7]. Could this Canadian Geographic feature be part of that program? The second prong came a few days ago, when CBC New Brunswick published an article about Gunardie’s video. When I saw the video on Facebook, I thought that it walked like an advertorial and it talked like an advertorial, so I thought that it was an advertorial, but it did not trouble me, as after all, it was on Facebook. But to see it on CBC News was like seeing a little red flag on the horizon. The question is, why would CBC News would cover an ad? It is important to distinguish between the genuine article and the advertorial. Otherwise, we should have news stories about Leon’s couches.

How we see ourselves is important to consider, how other people see us might be more crucial. Our enthusiastic reaction to the Gunardie’s story is natural, but our social identity and the positive emotions we experience from belonging to any social group, or place, must not be shaped by marketers alone. The book has already been written, it’s called: Tourism Marketing for Cities and Towns and chapter 3: Analyzing the City or Town as a Tourism Product offers food for thought.[8]

Daniel H. Dugas
Moncton, NB

 


 

[1] “Travel blogger says Moncton is ‘the place to be’,” last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/blog-travel-gunnarolla-moncton-nb-favourite-1.4008283

For an interactive map of « Our Country » see Canadian Geographic, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://maps.canadiangeographic.ca/our-country/map.asp

[2] Lionel Casson, Travel in the Ancient World, (Hakkert, Totonto, 1974), 111

[3] “N.B. dumps licence plate slogan”, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/n-b-dumps-licence-plate-slogan-1.1089931

[4] “Calgary Critic Wins Canadian Art Writing Prize”, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://canadianart.ca/news/canadian-art-writing-prize-winner-announced/

[5] Tourism New Brunswick, Walk on the ocean floor, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/Products/ECs/WalktheOceanFloor-The-Hopewell-Rocks-EC.aspx

[6] “New Brunswick’ s famed Elephant Rock collapses in a pile of rubble”, last modified Feb 24, 2017, https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/03/15/new-brunswick-s-famed-elephant-rock-collapses-in-a-pile-of-rubble.html

[7] “Province pays $1.1M for travel writers to promote tourism over 4 years”, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/cash-coverage-tourism-vacation-1.3991776

[8] Bonita Kolb, Tourism Marketing for Cities and Towns: Using Branding and Events to Attract Tourists, (Routledge, 2017). https://www.routledge.com/Tourism-Marketing-for-Cities-and-Towns-Using-Social-Media-and-Branding/Kolb/p/book/9781138685192

For Analyzing the City or Town as a Tourism Product, see Chapter 3 in Google Books, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://bit.ly/2n6NjDm

 

Nov 28, 2014
admin

Spem reduxit / Hope restored (2014)

Key Words: New Brunswick, debt, marijuana, traffic code, zombies, marketing
zombie_silhouettes_by_symbiopticstudios-d5n8rmk

“Time to rebound is running out”, it’s a “financial disaster”[1], it’s “very concerning”[2], “our regional economy is flat-lining and we are depopulating… it’s a death spiral”[3], it’s a “perfect fiscal storm”[4] and so on. We’ve all heard the song. It’s terrible and it seems that there isn’t much we can do. We are doomed, but are we really?

Here are a few ideas, of what we might be able to do.

P as in POT
The first idea is a simple one: New Brunswick could legalize marijuana (medical and recreational). Our province has vast fields of uncultivated land, which always makes me wonder where have the farmers gone? In addition, our climate is mainly humid continental with warm summers, which is excellent for growing stuff. By decriminalizing marijuana, our province would be the first in the country, and this alone would be an incredible business opportunity.This prospect that has already created waves: in the aim of defining target markets and customers, market research professionals have begun asking Canadians what they think of marijuana. When the questions start flying, you can assume that the product is on its way. Even the Globe and Mail is writing about the future of cannabis in Canada.[5]

I like this idea because it has a two-fold potential: to generate tax revenues, and to become a fountain of youth. Legalize it and they will come. They, the young people from all over the country might consider New Brunswick as a place to live and to settle. This could be the true golden age of New Brunswick. For those who might say that marijuana falls into federal legislation (Controlled Drugs and Substances Act), I would point out that it is the provinces that control the “administration of justice.”[6] Moreover I would invoke the right to economic dignity. I believe that every province has a right to create an environment where its citizens can flourish and to deny New Brunswick the possibility of improved economic revenue would be criminal.

T as in TRAFFIC
The second idea concerns the drivers and the police departments of all towns and cities in New Brunswick. As a pedestrian I can attest to the danger of walking on our streets. There are many factors that make walking a dangerous activity: car culture, changing weather, darkness in winter, cultural misunderstanding on the meaning of yellow lights, etc. The fact is that there is a potential gold mine at every corner and maybe we should be exploiting these open pit deposits. A officer could monitor a crosswalk and give as many fines as necessary to drivers who see the flashing lights, see the pedestrians but don’t think they should slow down.

Z as in ZOMBIES
They are currently hot on TV with; Z Nation, The Returned, The Walking Dead, and of course, there are zombie walks all over the world. We are fascinated by their relentless stamina and as Angela Becerra Vidergar pointed out in a recent article “Zombies are important as a reflection of ourselves.”[7]

The question here is what can these tireless workers do for us? The motto for the city of Moncton is Resurgo, Latin for “To rise up again.” That is zombie speak and is awesome. The province should quickly seize Moncton’s motto, make it its own and market itself as a global hub for anything zombies. Here again, two birds with one stone, during the zombie walks, police could dispense tickets to zombie drivers.

Daniel Dugas
November 27 2014

[1] Richard Saillant, director general of the Canadian Institute for Research on Public Policy and Public Administration in “New Brunswick barrelling toward bankruptcy, analyst warns”, CBC News, April 29, 2014.

[2] Auditor General Kim MacPherson in “Auditor General troubled by debt growth”, CBC NEWS, Dec 05, 2013.

[3] Frank McKenna in, ‘Good governments do not allow mob rule”, The Chronicle Herald, November 4, 2014.

[4] Donald Savoie in “Paying the piper”, Atlantic Business Magazine, February 23, 2012

[5] Jeffrey Simpson, ‘Should Canada do a Uruguay on pot?’ Dec 3 2014.

See also, Jeffrey Simpson, ‘A marijuana measure worth watching‘. Dec 5, 2014.

[6] Sensible BC, Canada’s largest marijuana reform group in Frequently Asked Questions.

[7] Angela Becerra Vidergar in “Stanford scholar explains why zombie fascination is very much alive“, Stanford Report, February 20, 2013.

Zombie Silhouettes by SymbiopticStudios

Spem reduxit / Hope restored is New Brunswick ‘s motto

Click here to read part 1: Home of the New Balance: Nota bene published on August 26 2014.

Aug 26, 2014
admin

Home of the New Balance: Nota bene (2014)

rogers-with-logo

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural speech, January 20, 1961

Everyone knows it; the province of New Brunswick is in dire straits. The Auditor General, Kim MacPherson, describes the debt problem as “very concerning” and is calling for “significant changes to improve the financial health” of the province.[1] Every four years, the election cycle kicks in; electoral signs pop up everywhere and talking heads reveal their latest strategies to resolve the ever-growing debt problem. The best plan of action for many is to encourage gas exploration by means of hydraulic fracturing. Many are opposed. We know details of the proposed scenario, but never the whole story. What I would like to propose here is another way of resolving this lingering problem.

Sao Paulo, the 4th largest urban area in the world, believes that prohibiting advertising such as outdoor posters will free its citizens, the province of New Brunswick, the 8th smallest province in Canada, could certainly take example from this South American city and do exactly the opposite.[2] Let’s give advertisers what they are denied in Brazil: a world of total advertisement! We need to surrender, to abandon not only the sides of our roads and of our buildings but our very own nomenclature! We need to become somebody else! We need to BECOME THE SPONSORS! The idea is not new; other places have traded their souls before. In 1999, the village of Halfway, Oregon, changed its name to Half.com for a one-year period in accordance to a contract with the eBay subsidiary. In 2005, the town of Clark, Texas changed its name to DISH. In return the company DISH Network awarded DISH residents free cable service and programming for a period of 10 years. This lease is expiring very soon and if logic prevails, that little town’s name could switch to Netflix in the future.

What has never been done is what New Brunswick could try now, a systemic change of names. The names of all villages and towns, all roads, all monuments, all public buildings, even the name of the province would be on the shopping block. There are many ‘naturals’, names of company that could fit with existing communities. Through a sponsorship agreement with the communications and media company, the well known Rogersville could become Rogers. By adding an S to the town of Bailey in Sunbury County, they could probably make a deal with Gilbeys of Ireland, makers of the famous Baileys Irish Cream. Bay du Vin, on the south shore of Miramichi Bay, would certainly attract the interests of any number of wine makers. The little rural community of Burton could stay the same as long as Burton Snowboards get on board, so to speak. Add Tyres to Dunlop in Gloucester County and you get Dunlop Tyres. Popelogan Depot, an unincorporated community in Restigouche County could drop the Popelogan for Home and become Home Depot, and so on. As far as the name ‘New Brunswick’ goes, the footwear manufacturer New Balance seems to have the ideal credentials to take the big prize, in exchange for lots of royalties for NBers. Their logo is already a match with the current abbreviation of our province. On the other hand, settlements like Big Hole in Northumberland County and Baghdad near Grand Lake might have to be rebranded altogether. But imagine if there was a town called Sony, Irving or IBM. For one, the locals would have interesting demonyms. The IBMminions could even sing songs from their parent benefactor. The collection: Songs of The I.B.M. published in 1931 includes Painting the clouds with sunshine by J. P. Saxton:

We don’t pretend we’re gay.
We always feel that way,
Because we’re filling the world with sunshine.
With I.B.M. machines,
We’ve got the finest means,
For brightly painting the clouds with sunshine.
Records we make only to break,
Teaching the whole world we know
I.B.M.’s line, will all the time,
Help it to grow.
When things do not look right,
Our products make them right,
And keep on painting the clouds with sunshine.[3]

This grand project would not only redefine our onomastic landscape, it would also create a boom on employment: the lawyers, of course; the signage industry; the mapmakers and souvenir shops, would all be working overtime. But that’s not all; an underground network of hard-core genealogists unhappy with all of the changes could rise in every corner of the province of New Balance. Members of these cells would try to keep the old ways alive. It would be foolish to try to crush them. Au contraire, they should be encouraged, even if we have to create historical parks of taxonomy. Le Pays de la Sagouine and King’s Landing are two obvious models for this new world of ours. As for the sets of names to be sold, they would be auctioned to the highest bidder and would be legally binding according to the agreements drawn up by the province’s lawyers. With this plan, I truly believe that we could be out of debt in no time. If the DISH people, with the weight of all of their 201 citizens, got free cable for ten years, imagine what we could negotiate right here!

Daniel Dugas
Aug 23, 2014

P.S. Speaking words and marketing, we all recall the heated debate surrounding the slogan on New Brunswick’s licence plates: Be… In this place – Être… ici on le peut. As we know the slogan was discarded. The funny thing is that the province of New Brunswick was standing right in front of it’s very own slogan, a phrase that spells it’s own name, and on top of it all: a phrase that could be read in both official languages. This silver bullet is the Latin expression Nota bene, a phrase that means, “note well” and is often abbreviated as N.B. in English and N. B. in French. Sometimes ideas are sitting in front of us and only need only be picked up.

 

Part 2:
Spem reduxit / Hope restored (2014)

 

___________________________________________
[1] Auditor General troubled by debt growth, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/auditor-general-troubled-by-debt-growth-1.2451996

[2] The city of Sao Paulo promulgated in 2006 the Cidada Limpa (Clean City Law) banning all outdoor advertising. The text stipulates that every citizen has a right to live in a city that respects the urban space, heritage and architectural integrity of the buildings. http://ww2.prefeitura.sp.gov.br/cidadelimpa/conheca_lei/conheca_lei.html

[3] Songs of The I.B.M. Fellowship Songs of International Business Machines Corporation, 270 Broadway, New York, N. Y. 1937. Painting the clouds with sunshine, p.14. http://www.robweir.com/blog/attachments/songs-of-the-ibm.pdf

Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son neuvième recueil de poésie L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas is a poet, musician and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico and Australia. His ninth book of poetry: L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time has just been published by Les Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas es poeta, músico y videocreador. Ha participado en exposiciones individuales y colectivas, festivals y eventos literarios en Norteamérica, Europa, México y Australia. Acaba de publicar su noveno poemario, L’esprit du temps / The spirit of time (Les Editions Prise de parole).

L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time est un projet de transmutation du paysage publicitaire en paysage poétique. Ce livre est à la fois un livre de photographie, un recueil de poésie et un essai lucide mais ludique sur notre société matérialiste. Il a été produit en numérique et imprimé en quantité limitée.

Date : Décembre 2015
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782894239629

Éditions Prise de parole

http://www.prisedeparole.ca/auteurs/?id=148

Issuu

Archives

Shapes

Follow Me on Pinterest