Pictou featured in Irish newspaper

Prepare for an even bigger influx of tourists this season: Pictou has been featured in the main Irish newspaper, The Irish Times.

The travel feature in the weekend’s copy of the newspaper was not only about Nova Scotia (article titled “Super Nova”), but focused to a significant extent on Pictou.

In an article titled Nova Scotia: Canada’s wild Irish-flavoured playground, writer Emma Somers says, “Something about Nova Scotia’s dramatic coastline, sandy beaches and lush hills has a look of Ireland to it, like a distant cousin with your grandmother’s colouring. And with a long history of immigration from Ireland and Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries, it shares more than a few Irish mannerisms too. But Nova Scotia has a personality that is all its own.”

The article features a picture of the Hector Quay and a quote from an overheard conversation in the Lobster Bar restaurant.

Prof. Chris Morash, who was recently appointed as the Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College in Dublin and has a Pictou connection writes to The Advocate, “It’s good to see the town getting such exposure.”

The Somers article says: “Downtown Pictou is a quaint affair, the Hector Heritage Quay its main attraction. With a population of about 3,500, it gets its name from its original Micmac inhabitants, who called the area Pictook, meaning “exploding gas”, possibly a sound that came from coal fields in the region. But by the end of the 18th century the Hector would sail in from Scotland, bringing with it 170 Scottish highlanders and making Pictou the “birthplace of New Scotland”, a heritage proudly celebrated today with a full-size replica of the ship on the dockside (treat yourself to some of Mrs. McGregor’s Shortbread afterwards: mrsmacgregors.com).”

Darlene MacDonald, treasurer of the Ship Hector Society, is thrilled with the exposure.

“Wow… great recognition for the town and the Hector Heritage Quay.”

She notes, “Last summer was an amazing summer at the Quay, with visitation up by almost 20 per cent – and we also hosted two BBC film crews and a film crew from Ireland—it is wonderful that the site is being recognized in international circles and we welcome everyone from around the world. We have high hopes for the Ship Hector this summer as we welcome Tall Ships 2017 during the Canada Day weekend—the perfect opportunity to showcase our community and the many attractions and activities taking place this year.”

This year, as local residents prepare to celebrate the nation’s 150th, there may be an even bigger contingent of Irish tourists looking to make the Irish-Canada connection and celebrate this milestone as well.