FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PICTOU COUNTY COMMUNITIES LAUNCH POSTCARD & MARKETING CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE LIFE IN PICTOU COUNTY- LIVING HERE MAKES GREAT SENSE
NEW GLASGOW, NS, January 17, 2013…. The six municipalities of Pictou County, Nova Scotia: the Towns of New Glasgow, Stellarton, Trenton, Pictou, Westville and the County of Pictou, all part of the region Pictou County in northern Nova Scotia, have joined together to launch a creative community marketing campaign entitled, Pictou County- a family of communities- New Glasgow, Stellarton, Pictou, Trenton, Westville, County of Pictou- Living Here Makes Great Sense!
A news conference was held in the New Glasgow Town Hall on Thursday morning, attended by all the mayors and warden of all six municipal units as well as community and business leaders. The six collectively unveiled a postcard campaign, which invites citizens of the region to tell Money Sense magazine first hand why they believe Pictou County, a family of communities, is a good place to live, work and raise a family. The postcard features a sunset photo of Melmerby Beach, one of Canada’s best known beaches, and insert photos represent the strength of the area, a thriving business sector with national leaders such as Sobeys Inc., many healthy lifestyle options, the wealth of festivals and events, abundance of musical talents, historic towns and picturesque coastal communities.The campaign got a boost from the Member of Parliament for Central Nova, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defense who has officially offered his endorsement and support. Minister Peter MacKay was unable to attend the news conference due to commitments in Ottawa but sent along a message that was read by Mayor MacMillan.
Minister MacKay said, “"I proudly endorse this united campaign in response to the previous Money Sense ratings of my home town of New Glasgow and my home region of Pictou County. One needs only to visit this area for one day to gain a sense of its amazing people and generosity of spirit. We are home to global business leaders, international musicians, artists, and athletes, and inspiring educators. Our region's industrial base has helped shape our province and country. I am more than confident that our community is a great example of Canadian innovation, integrity and progress."New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan said, “It is with great pleasure that I announce this collective promotional campaign by the six municipalities of Pictou County. We have united forces with our community and media partners as well as our Member of Parliament to tell the nation the true story about life in the New Glasgow Census Agglomerate area and more accurately in the communities of Pictou County. I greatly appreciate the willingness of our sister towns and the County to step up to the plate and explain that we are a family of communities and that we share and celebrate in each other’s accomplishments and work together to address our challenges. We are very proud of the high water quality and standards in our town, the sound infrastructure, our environmental stewardship, the Downtown Revitalization project, our strong heritage, as well as a proud legacy of athletic and musical talent, and entrepreneurial and government leadership,” says Mayor MacMillan. “Our regional education facilities and system are strong, we are home to a regional hospital, a regional farmers market and we have great recreational facilities, most recently an outstanding world class wellness and recreational facility that are important recruitment tools for our major employers. On paper a town or city can look very similar. It is the human elements which change the perception and reality of any place. Pictou County is a great region with amazing people, a strong community spirit and many assets. This is a community that has had its share of triumphs and also some tragedies and under both circumstances always handles itself with dignity, courage, grace and determination. This is the measure of a community that many would want to call home.”
“We are interested and open to see how we fare against communities of comparable size and population and are always looking for ways to improve,” said Mayor MacMillan. “These are the reasons we participate in recognized programs such as the national Communities in Bloom program and take part in initiatives such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Partners for Climate Protection, the federal and provincial partnership through the Building Canada program, the provincial Integrated Community Sustainability Planning Initiative, the UNSECO program for Municipalities against Racism. Our neighbouring towns in Pictou County also participate in many of these programs as well. New Glasgow has won top national and provincial honours through Communities in Bloom and TIANS and our neighbouring towns Stellarton and Trenton have fared very strongly in the provincial and national CIB program while Pictou attractions and events have also received provincial and national tourism accolades. Collectively we have won regional awards for our solid waste management programs and events throughout all communities have been heralded as among the nation’s best. Melmerby Beach is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the country. Pictou County is also blessed with Atlantic and national leaders in business including Sobeys Inc., Michelin, MacKay Meters, Velsoft, Stark Oil, Northern Pulp, Scotsburn Dairy, Advocate Printing, Wear Well Garments, DSTN Trenton Ltd., Stright MacKay, SW Weeks Construction, AW Leil’s Cranes and Equipment, Keltic Concrete, Nova Construction, Group Savoie Inc., Grohmann Knives and many, many more. Our record speaks for itself.”
The promotional campaign is also being championed by local media including East Coast FM 94.1, The Advocate and The News as well as regional organizations such as Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores (DEANS) and the Pictou Regional Development Agency (PRDA). It was inspired by last year’s poor ratings of the New Glasgow Census Agglomerate by Money Sense magazine. Citizens are invited to send the attractive postcard, designed by Maureen Connors, to Money Sense magazine. The back of the postcard features a check list of the many attributes of the region as well as room for personal testimonies about living, raising families and working in these towns and region. The postcards will be mailed by the Town of New Glasgow and DEANS. The local UPS printing company, located in New Glasgow and owned by Milton Gallant, has donated the printing of the postcards as a gesture of community support.
Testimonials are also being gathered from local leaders in the areas of government, business, volunteerism, charitable organizations, education, athletics, music and the arts. These testimonials will be aired on East Coast FM and a series of features will also appear in both the local daily and weekly newspapers and on the Town of New Glasgow’s facebook page and web site as well as linked by the other municipalities and community organizations. A grassroots video is also underway through the talents of a local videographer Tony DeCoste and local citizens will be endorsing the strengths of the region listed on the back of the postcard which includes attributes and assets such as employment opportunities and cultural diversity to leading environmental stewardship, a growing creative economy and extraordinary volunteerism and scenic beauty. Anyone interested in sending a postcard can fill one in at the New Glasgow Town Hall; at the East Coast FM station, the News, the Advocate offices or request one from their municipal town halls.
Warden Ron Baillie, Chair of the Pictou County Mayors and Warden Committee and Chair of the Pictou County Wellness Centre Authority said, “I am delighted to offer comment on behalf of my colleagues on this creative and positive campaign that unites Pictou County and promotes this great region. Pictou County has much to offer collectively and each or our communities add to this strength and character. We are proud of our region and we are proud of our communities individually. We celebrate each other’s successes for this means success for us all. We take great civic pride in our many coastal and rural communities as well as our five historic towns. Today is an opportunity to tell the story of Pictou County and its family of communities to Money Sense magazine and also further afield. Our region is positioned for a promising future, built on the strong foundations of our history and heritage. We need look no further than the Pictou County Wellness Centre for an outstanding example of the abilities and potential for Pictou County. We have businesses that are national leaders and we have people with outstanding work ethic and a multitude of talents. We also have a community where neighbours look out for and care for each other and the broader community. This is the formula for true success and that makes really good sense. In closing, I would like to thank Mayor MacMillan and the Town of New Glasgow for taking a lead role in this campaign, our local media for their incredible support, our regional organizations such as DEANS and PRDA for endorsing and supporting the campaign and a special thanks to our MP the Honourable Peter MacKay for standing tall and believing in his home region.”
The municipal leaders of Pictou County hope that a representative of Money Sense magazine will be willing to visit the region in person this summer and are eager with the assistance of DEANS and others to showcase Pictou County’s well known hospitality.
BACKGROUNDER: The Money Sense magazine categorized New Glasgow as part of a Census Agglomerate at 36,288. The population of New Glasgow is 9,455 and the entire region of Pictou County is about 46,000. On the Census Canada site the Census Agglomerate for New Glasgow includes New Glasgow, Stellarton, Trenton, Westville, Merigomish Harbour, Fisher’s Grant, Pictou Sub Division C and Pictou Subdivision B- which means Pictou and parts of the County. Approximately 10,000 of the region’s population from rural areas are not included in the New Glasgow Census Agglomerate nor did the magazine include assets from the neighbouring towns in its evaluation although it included their populations.
Pictou County is known for the leadership and success of its people in a broad scope of occupations. It has been home to a long list of government leaders that range from Minister MacKay to his father former MP Elmer MacKay, former Nova Scotia premiers Dr. John Hamm and Donald Cameron, and former New Glasgow Mayor Ann MacLean, a past president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, as well as numerous senators. It is also home to human rights activists such as the late Dr. Carrie Best and Henderson Paris, also a human rights activist and founder of the Run Against Racism; award winning musicians and authors such as Dave Gunning, Fleur Mainville, Doris Mason, the Stanfields, members of the band Wintersleep, opera singer Shelia Brand, actors such as Walter Borden of Stratford theatre fame , Mike Smith of the Trailer Park Boys and Diego Klattenhoff of the Golden Globe winning TV series Homeland and Giller Prize winning author Johanna Skibsrud. Professional athletes such as hockey players Colin White and Jon Sim, both Stanley Cup champions as well as Bill Masterton trophy winner and former NHLer Lowell MacDonald, Derrick Walser, a recent Spengler Cup gold medalists, NHL Goalie Joey MacDonald, former NHL goalie Troy Gamble and former number one featherweight boxer in the world Art Hafey were also born and raised in the Pictou County region.
Overall Criteria used by Money Sense included: Walk/Bike to Work Unemployment Rate Housing Costs Household Income Discretionary Income Sale Taxes Income Taxes New Cars on the Road Air Quality Population Growth Crime rate Transit Available Culture – people employed Doctors Available Health Professionals Employed Amenities Weather
Cities such as Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, Quebec City, Calgary and even Cape Breton Island evaluated as one community were compared to the community they called the New Glasgow Census Agglomerate.