For probably six times this shipping season the Pearl Mist luxury great lakes cruise ship docked again on the weekend at the foot of King Street to little or no fanfare. Midland may be “missing the boat” on golden opportunities to grow tourism.
Our Fourth Annual Butter Tart Festival attracted 30+ thousand and sold over 120,000 butter tarts among our many other local attractions. These events put Midland on the map. It is the same with the Pearl Mist that travels back and forth from Chicago to Toronto……Midland was named a port of call because it a safe community, has a good fresh water supply for passengers and has an ideal harbour and dock to tie up to.
During last municipal election at a “meet the candidates meeting” there were those who hosted the event who acknowledged they were aware there was a need to welcome ship passengers with a variety of events. That was then and this is now…..words are cheap.
Each time the cruise ship arrives it is with new visitors, many of whom may have never been to Midland or this part of Ontario, or Canada for that fact. While it may be more of the same for locals, we are wasting this golden opportunity each time we watch the ship come and go without rolling out the welcome mat. Anyone who has been on a vacation anywhere a cruise ship docks will know what I mean, it is big deal time and time again and the opportunity to make that golden first impression cannot be squandered… yet we are doing that time and time again. Perhaps Midland Council’s glee club councillor could see this opportunity and put his skills to work on something as valuable as welcoming hundreds of new visitors to the community and showing off all that we have to offer.
Same with promoting that fact that North American’s first ever Christmas Carol, Huron Carol was penned in 1643 at Ste Marie among the Hurons by Jesuit priest Fr. Jean de Brebeuf.
Parry Sound, Home of Bobby Orr; North Bay, Gateway to the North; Brantford, Home of Alexander Graham Bell; Woodstock, Home of Snowbank Spring Countess, Midland, Home of in-camera meetings…..well okay Butter Tart Festival but let’s not forget Pearl Mist and Huron Carol!
BIA executives come and go, same with C. of C. Administrators….those who take office should be mandated to promote passenger ships arriving here in the Heart of Huronia at the Gateway to the 30,000 Islands which it was known for the better part of a century and promote North America’s first ever Christmas Carol was penned here in 1643…..for crying out loud what does it take to get this message across? And you wonder why some other communities tend to leave our town in their dust?
Editor’s Note for clarification as one councillor was offended by this term and the other was omitted from reference: Glee Club Councillors: Oschefski / Ross – responsible for organizing and hosting numerous events lately that build tourism and local involvement.