Music, oysters, and history: Tignish tourism attractions welcome back visitors

·2 min read
Musicians take the stage at the Stompin' Tom Centre in 2020. The centre opens this year on June 18, 2021. (Submitted by Anne Arsenault - image credit)
Musicians take the stage at the Stompin' Tom Centre in 2020. The centre opens this year on June 18, 2021. (Submitted by Anne Arsenault - image credit)

After a quiet tourism year in the Tignish region, things are picking up with new music, entertainment, and a whole new salty rite of passage.

The North Cape Wind Energy Interpretive Centre, gift shop, and Stompin' Tom Centre are all set to open next Friday for Father's Day weekend.

Anne Arsenault, general manager and CEO of Tignish Initiatives, told Island Morning that the Wind & Reef Restaurant was already quite busy during its opening last weekend after taking a year off.

Traffic will hopefully only go up from there, Arsenault said, as vaccinated Atlantic visitors could start coming in late June with the rest of the country following in August and September.

"We all know it's going to start out slow but the locals are around, and they're looking to support the businesses that are open," Arsenault said Thursday.

"It gives everybody a chance to ramp things up. It's not ideal but we'll take it and we'll make the best of it."

Arsenault said they needed to keep some attractions closed last summer as visitation was "way down," but it also gave them the opportunity to make a lot of changes.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press
Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

The restaurant is under new ownership, the interpretive centre has new exhibits and the Tignish Heritage Inn had its guest rooms and common areas refreshed.

At the Stompin' Tom Centre, the regular daily free entertainment will be followed by a new "shucked-in" ceremony on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Participants will learn about the local industry, how to shuck an oyster and eat it — chased down with a shot of P.E.I. moonshine. Once they recite a verse, they will receive a certificate as an "honourary" Islander, Arsenault said.

People coming to the area can now have a full North Cape experience, Arsenault said, as they have worked with tourism operators in the area to create new signage and a cluster of activities to entice people to come and stay longer.

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