PORT HOOD: Inverness County’s Tourism and Culture Department provided an update to council during the regular monthly meeting.

Donna MacDonald, with the tourism and culture department, told council on June 3 they are working on a couple of projects, one being a brochure.

Because the pandemic has led to the cancellation of dances, festivals and events, this year the brochure will concentrate on safe outdoor activities by highlighting beaches, scenic drives, trails, parks, cultural centres, and encourages residents to support local businesses and farmers’ markets.

With the brochure still in draft form, MacDonald said they are tweaking it, with expectations to have it complete in coming weeks. A digital version of the brochure will be available on the municipality’s web site, and will be sent out to mailboxes and available at Visitor Information Centres in Port Hastings, Margaree and Chéticamp.

“With this content, we’re hopeful that it will inspire residents to perhaps try something new,” MacDonald told council. “Sometimes we forget, or take for granted, the opportunities we have available to us right here in Inverness County, and all of Cape Breton for that matter.”

Amey Beaton, also with the tourism and culture department, told council about a new map of the municipality on the inside of the brochure, as well as promotional videos of Inverness County communities.

Beaton said the map is designed for an advertising campaign. There is also an interactive feature map on the Canada’s Musical Coast web site, which is getting a refresh in coming months, she said.

“We wanted you to realize that it’s going to be coming to your mail boxes,” Beaton told council. “The general purpose is to promote local adventures, encouraging folks to get out and perhaps re-live some nostalgic ways of a Sunday drive or supper on the beach, that kind of thing. We have a fun, inspired beaches contest here that we’re excited about.”

The map also includes “Community Brand Bubbles,” such as the recent rebranding of Margaree (‘Adventures Abound”) and Whycocomagh  (“The Great Outdoors”) which involved promotional videos of both areas which will launch on the web site.

Beaton said they will work with Destination Cape Breton to get footage for a promotional video to help Port Hood’s breach branding efforts, which will likely be ready for next year. Next year, the department will finish brand bubbles for Judique and Pleasant Bay.

Beaton said the videos will launch on the musical coast web site and on Facebook soon.

“We thought it was time for the municipality to help these communities celebrate their new brand,” Beaton noted. “Once we were able to put it together on the map, it became even more obvious that this is going to play out quite nicely as an entire county.”

Warden Laurie Cranton added hopes that this tourism season and next will be successful.

“This shows that we are certainly being aggressive and trying to support our business community out there at a time right now when they really need that help,” he added. “I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that everybody can get out at least halfway through the season and have a successful end to the year, and be able to move into next year with a positive new vision. But things have changed, and we see that.”