The goblins have the low mine
The crosses of elves in Saint-Élie-de-Caxton are deserted by the times. The elves themselves are rare. They have no fun anymore. They do not have fun anymore as in the good years. They have fewer people to tease. Sixty percent fewer visitors compared to last year. And an atmosphere a bit morose.
On felt coming this fall in tourist traffic in Saint-Élie-de-Caxton. In the municipality, the last two years have been marked by disputes, internal problems, conflicts of personalities, resignations, divergences of vision. In short, news from Saint-Elie was rarely positive. And it’s obvious that it has had an impact on tourism.
As if there were not enough clouds over the municipality, now we learn that it can not rely on its main natural resource, Fred Pellerin, to continue with the Municipality the deployment of certain activities tourist.
The reason mentioned by Fred and his accomplice, Jeannot Bournival, is as intriguing as it is revealing: harmony and pleasure “were not really present” in the last year. The Municipality invited them to continue the work for certain tourist products with which they were closely associated, notably the Christmas Fairy and the sound and narrative soundtrack of the audioguided visits. According to Fred Pellerin’s manager, the two residents of Saint-Élie will continue to collaborate on different projects with the village people, but in another way.
Between the lines, we understand that Fred Pellerin has had enough of the ways of doing the Municipality and some of its representatives.
The warning signs were numerous: strained relations with Mayor Robert Gauthier, disappointment about Fred’s absence from the Christmas Fair, a meeting that did not take place between the mayor and the storyteller, Fred’s renunciation to go forward with his project of a theater.
The ironic thing is that Mayor Gauthier always seems to consider Fred the “driving force of tourism” in Saint-Élie and that there is a disappointment to lose this engine.
Should we doubt the sincerity of Mayor Gauthier? For the past two years, it has been hammering home the need for the Municipality to diversify its tourism offer. Until then, no problem. But not showing more concern or consideration for its “tourism engine” may reveal deeper discomfort or first class hypocrisy.
From an outside eye, all this looks like a mess that is both sad, incomprehensible and mysterious.
The hardest thing to think about is that Fred Pellerin is not one to look for stardom or use his status to get favors. Those around him see him as a gentleman, a man of great humility, driven by a desire to put his village and his neighbors in value, they who have always been for him a great source of inspiration.
Could it be that some elected officials or leaders of the municipality are suddenly struck by amnesia? Fred Pellerin is the one who put Saint-Élie-de-Caxton on the map. Before Fred, very few people outside the Mauricie knew this village. But over the last few years, there have been tens of thousands coming because it’s Fred’s world. Some have settled there, sometimes offering a new touch of creativity and local flavor.
Could it be that the beautiful years of tourism in Saint-Élie-de-Caxton are a thing of the past? Hopefully it rather is only a blip and that caxtonienne community to rediscover the pleasure of receiving and demonstrate its warm welcome to thousands of people yet. Let’s also hope that the elected officials find some common sense, or that citizens will intervene to teach them a little bit.
There are elves who have spleen these days. We could ask them to do it.
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