|Aerial view of Chapleau 2015|
"@VisitChapleau" on Twitter is an invitation for newcomers to pay a virtual visit to Chapleau before making a trip there, but it also provides a "nostalgic carpet" ride for those of us who lived in the community.
A project of the Chapleau Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), @VisitChapleau is an excellent example of a social media application to extol the benefits of a community.
CEDC describes it as "an invitation to become lost in your passion -- fishing, hunting, enjoying art and nature, looking for Northern Lights in our beautiful part of Northern Ontario." With a mix of awesome photos depicting Chapleau and area and text (140 characters in each post) they are succeeding.
|"Michael Levesque Trails: This photo was taken during the summer of 2014. That summer CEDC staff mapped the trail with GPS in order to show it on local maps and visitor guides:" Stephen Lee|
Before I go any further though, and in the interests of full disclosure, for the past 22 years, a good part of my life has centred around appplications of New (now called Social) Media Communications. I taught my first course in writing for new media in 1994 at College of the Rockies, and added other courses when the college launched a full graduate program -- although retired now, I still am involved daily in social media applications.
Let me share some of my discoveries on @VisitChapleau during a recent visit to it on Twitter.
|"Chapleau River: The dock, as seen in September 2015. The quality of life, the joy that comes from living so close to this.. it's wonderful:" Stephen Lee|
I really liked the invitation to those of us who no longer live in Chapleau to send "tweets" about what makes us proud of the community, and our favourite spot. I hope many will respond to the invite and include photos.
My favourite spot, based on my visit home in 2015 is the Louis Dube Peace Park, located across from where I grew up and played at the 'Big Rock'.
I could not help feeling nostalgic when I saw a hockey tournament is planned for "Taste of the North" the Chapleau Winter Carnival from February 19 to 21. My first involvement with the carnival was in 1958 when I was president of the Chapleau High School Student Council, and chair Jimmy Dillon appointed me to the committee. It continued one way and another for most of the years I lived in Chapleau.
There is also the ice sculpture contest.
Just a word on Taste of the North. It was coined in 1974 when Walter Wilson was carnival chair.
I also noted that the 19th Annual Pike Fishing Derby is scheduled for February 13..... apparently it is SOLD OUT!
|Throwback to circa 1910 Chapleau hockey champions|
The site also advises that over 100 photos were submitted in the 2016 Welcome Guide Photo Challenge, and posts the winning photos in the four categories of adventure, wildlife, people and fishing. Simply amazing! My congratulations to the winners and all those who participated.
Here are a couple of comments made by visitors:
"I've been to your town. Such a beautiful place. I really hope I can make it back to do some fishing again."
"A perfect day would be snowmobiling, skating, ice fishing and a good movie."
I chuckled upon reading references to the weather with a quote from an old popular song:
"Some say the weather outside is frightful, but we say let it snow, let it snow!"
As one who loved travelling back lanes and backyards as a kid in Chapleau, I really enjoyed this one: "Here is to the small towns and back roads. The getaways and pure clean doses of nature."
That just about sums it up.
I extend my most sincere congratulations to the folks at CEDC who are maximizing the potential of social media in a most positive way. My sincere thanks to Stephen Lee for his assistance and co-operation, and apologies to Ann (Bedford) Midgley for taking "nostalgic carpet" out of context... I just had to use it Ann.
Finally, on a most personal note, I so much appreciated that CEDC paid tribute to the community's veterans on @VisitChapleau last Remembrance Day.
See you on Twitter at @VisitChapleau! My email is email@example.com