Salmon Classic, Manitoulin Island gets much love from southwestern Ontario

REELING THEM IN––Expositor Publisher Rick McCutcheon goes over the 2017 M.S. Chi-Cheemaun sailing schedule with two would-be Manitoulin visitors from Grand Bend during the London Boat, Fishing and Outdoors Show. An Expositor team was on hand for the three-day show to promote the Manitoulin Expositor Salmon Classic and all things Manitoulin, complete with the hot-off-the-press 2017 edition of This is Manitoulin.

LONDON—Manitoulin Island was well represented in southwestern Ontario last weekend as a team from The Manitoulin Expositor represented the Salmon Classic, This is Manitoulin, the M.S. Chi-Cheemaun and all things Manitoulin at the 34th annual London Boat, Fishing and Outdoors Show.

“Our booth was very, very well received,” said Salmon Classic coordinator Dave Patterson. “We had hundreds of great ‘goodie bags’ loaded with brochures from Island accommodations and events, ferry schedules, and the 2017 edition of This is Manitoulin—hot off the press.”

“Last year the Salmon Classic held fort at the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show but this year we decided to try a different audience and we’re quite positive it’s going to pay off—the visitors to our booth were so receptive and many of them were already familiar with Manitoulin so it’s an easy sell,” Mr. Patterson added.

“Those who are familiar with Manitoulin Island were quick to light up as soon as they saw the booth and wanted to spend time with us and share their Island memories,” added Alicia McCutcheon, editor of The Expositor. “If they said, ‘Manitoulin, I haven’t been there in many years,’ we’d counter with ‘Well, it’s time to come back!’ They always agreed,” Ms. McCutcheon laughed.

The Salmon Classic, gearing up for its second run, has already gained a good reputation among the angling set with some of last year’s derby fishermen stopping by the booth to share their excitement for this year’s month-long tournament and even greater cash prizes. Many more had heard about the start-up derby and were keen to learn more. “We even had people double checking the derby dates so they could book their holidays!” Mr. Patterson enthused.

“Everyone was so excited to learn about the new dates, July 29 to August 27, and even bigger cash prizes coming in at $30,000 with a prize of $100 a day for the heaviest catch, plus more opportunities to win,” Mr. Patterson continued.

“We developed the Salmon Classic as a way to help bolster tourism on Manitoulin,” he added, “and we encourage Island businesses to use the derby to their advantage. Accommodations, for instance, may want to come up with a fishermen’s rate during that month or community groups could host a dinner as a fundraiser for their cause, inviting the derby participants to come. There’s no shortage of ways to get involved and cross-promote.”

The Expositor crew was pleased to have handed out upwards of 1,000 copies of This is Manitoulin and other Manitoulin materials. This is Manitoulin, with its 57,000 circulation, and printed yearly by this newspaper since the 1960s, will also be handed out at the upcoming Toronto International Bicycle Show and Toronto Sportsmen’s Show, through newspaper insertions in southern Ontario as well as tourism information centres across the province.

For more information on the Salmon Classic, call Mr. Patterson at 705-368-2744, email or visit Adult tickets for the four-week derby are just $65 with a new youth category for anglers 14 and under for $35 and are available online or at The Expositor Office in Little Current or at the Manitoulin West Recorder in Gore Bay.