N.L. with an Ehm: Newest Newfoundland and Labrador tourism ad encourages provincial curiosity

·3 min read

A trio of young boys inquisitively approaches the opening of a root cellar.

The cellar could be anywhere. It could be Elliston, perhaps, or Twillingate or anywhere else in Newfoundland and Labrador where such cellars dot the landscape.

The three are hesitant as they approach the doorway, but their curiosity draws them to look inside.

It is a scene that perhaps best captures the essence of the province’s latest tourism ad.

Dubbed “Life Rewards the Curious,” the video went live a week ago and has been racking up views across various social media platforms.

The two-minute-long spot was put together by St. John’s-based Target Marketing and is voiced by Erica Ehm.

A former MuchMusic VJ, Ehm was invited to lend her voice to the project and auditioned to serve as the video’s narrator. When she was sent the footage, she was impressed by what she saw.

“When I saw the stunning ad, I was thinking, “I need to be the voice of this gorgeous commercial,’” said Ehm. “I did my audition and they chose me. In the session, once I saw the heard the music and saw the gorgeous images together, it set this incredible tone to put my voice in, kind of like, spoken-word poetry.”

Since March 11, the video has more than 20,000 views on YouTube and thousands more on the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Facebook page.

Pulled through the ad by Ehm’s words, the viewer moves from one snapshot of Newfoundland and Labrador to the next as if they were floating on a soft breeze.

There are shots of coastal highways, rolling fields and close-knit communities, among others.

“It is, for sure, one of my favourite experiences doing voiceovers,” said Ehm.

Sprinkled throughout the video are images of the Shoreline Heritage Walk in Bay Roberts. There is an aerial shot of the area known locally as Mad Rock and the corresponding piece of trailway.

A little later a young woman sits on a stone wall and it looks like the part of the trail that starts in French’s Cove.

“Some of (the trail) is there which makes us extremely happy and proud,” said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood. “It’s been extremely popular during COVID-19. Last June, I was getting phone calls about the east end and the traffic that was parked there.”

The Shoreline Heritage Walk is a seven-kilometre trail that attracts visitors to the east end of the Conception Bay North community.

It runs in a loop and takes users from one side of the point to the other.

“It is something we’re very proud of,” said Wood of the popular trail system. “Its success motivated us to do other trails.”

Working on the project has sparked a desire in Ehm to explore more of the province.

Ehm has been to the province in the past. She introduced Spinal Tap on the shores of Quidi Vidi Lake as the band started their cross-country trek from St. John’s to Vancouver on Canada Day 1992.

Another project brought her to the capital city where the trip ended inside Alan Doyle’s kitchen for a kitchen party.

Her connection extends beyond that.

Ehm visited St. John’s during a book tour and was roommates with Newfoundland songstress Kim Stockwood for three years in the early 1990s.

Despite that rich connection to the province, there were very few instances where the work she did took her beyond the boundaries of St. John’s.

“I have not seen nearly enough of (the province),” said Ehm.

That is sure to change now.

Since the video went live and Ehm has shared it to her social media channels, she’s had plenty of comments from people who have added Newfoundland and Labrador to their travel to-do lists when the pandemic restrictions loosen.

It is on her list too.

“I would love to explore more of Newfoundland (and Labrador) and all that it offers,” said Ehm.

Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice