Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we travel to the east coast, visiting New Brunswick. Let’s figure out if the province is more aptly nicknamed Petit Québec or Picture Province:
Motto: “Hope restored” – This sounds like a movie tagline!
Food: Do you like the McDonald’s McFlurry? Well, you have a New Brunswick location to thank for the dessert. In 1995, a store in Bathurst was the first to sell the product. Next, it was tested at location across the U.S., before it was widely released in North America in March 1998. Franchisee Ron McLellan created the treat, which can now be found at McDonald’s restaurants around the world.
Drink: Canada’s oldest independent brewery, Moosehead, can be found in Saint John. It was founded in 1867 by the Oland family, who still own and operate the company. The brewery’s popular Moosehead Lager has earned medals at the World Beer Cup, Monde Selection and Canadian Brewing Awards. Michael J. Fox once noted he enjoyed the brand and received a free truckload of beer in response.
Site to See: The Bay of Fundy/Fundy National Park is a top tourist destination in New Brunswick. The bay actually lies between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – with a portion touching U.S. state Maine – while the national park is located near the village of Alma. 25 hiking trails can be found throughout the park, while highlights of the bay itself, include the highest tidal range in the world.
Street: The Fundy Coastal Drive offers a 460 km trek, with notable highlights including the Hopewell Rocks, Fundy National Park and Fundy Trail Parkway. The towns of Saint John and St. Andrews by-the-Sea can also be visited along the way. The route stretches from Moncton all the way to St. Stephen, with many points of interest in between.
TV Show: There wasn’t much to choose from here, but Race Against the Tide is a reality show, which sees teams compete to construct sand sculptures in the Bay of Fundy. The teams only have so much time before the tide washes away their hard work. 10 episodes comprised season one of the series, while the second season of the show will begin airing next month.
Movie: Still Mine stars James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold as a husband and wife Craig and Irene Morrison, who encounter difficulties from a government official when they attempt to build a new home to help with Irene’s failing health. Set in the village of St. Martins, the film has a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for seven categories at the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards, winning once.
Book/Author: Born in Fredericton, Julia Catherine Beckwith is recognized as Canada’s first published novelist. At just 17 years old, she wrote St. Ursula’s Covent (aka The Nun of Canada), although the novel wasn’t published until over 10 years later in 1824. Beckwith would go on to write two more novels, the last of which was never released. Only six copies of her first work are known to exist.
Fictional Character: La Sagouine is a 1971 play that tells the tale of the titular Acadian cleaning lady, who resides in New Brunswick. It was written in Acadian French by Antonine Maillet, who was born in Bouctouche. The collection of monologues has since been translated into English twice. Maillet was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1976 and promoted to Companion in 1981.
Fictional City: Montgomery Falls is the setting for the young adult mystery novel You Were Never Here by Kathleen Peacock. Peacock was born in Campbellton and continues to live in New Brunswick. Her surroundings must have formed the basis for Montgomery Falls. Peacock also authored the Hemlock trilogy of teen supernatural books.
Actor/Actress: Donald Sutherland, star of movies such as The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, Animal House and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, was born in Saint John in 1935. For younger audiences, Sutherland is probably best recognized for his role as the main baddie, President Coriolanus Snow, in The Hunger Games franchise of movies. Sutherland is recognized as one of the best actors to never win an Academy Award.
Song: New Brunswick and Mary by Stompin’ Tom Connors tells the tale of a man missing the province and the girl he left behind to go to work out west. The tune drops a number of New Brunswick town names, as well as images and items the province can be associated with, such as the Miramichi salmon run and potatoes being grown in Woodstock.
Band/Musician: Speaking of Stompin’ Tom, he was born in Saint John in 1936. Connors is a Canadian institution, perhaps best known for The Hockey Song, which is played at hockey games across Canada and beyond. Connors wrote more than 300 songs, with other popular releases including Sudbury Saturday Night and Bud the Spud. In 1996, Connors received the Order of Canada.
People: Louis B. Mayer was born in Russia, but raised in Saint John. Coming from a poor background, Mayer worked his way up to being a successful film producer and co-founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, better known as the iconic MGM Studios. Today, Mayer is a controversial figure, with accusations of sexual abuse and controlling the private lives of stars attached to his legacy.
Animal: While I couldn’t find any notable live animals for New Brunswick, it should be noted the world’s largest lobster sculpture can be found in Shediac, known as the Lobster Capital of the World. The sculpture was erected in 1989 by the town’s Rotary Club. The work is 35-feet long and weighs 90 tonnes. A staircase allows visitors to have their picture taken with the carved crustacean.
Invention: As a fan of word games, I have to give some appreciation to Edward R. McDonald, who invented a crossword puzzle game with patents that predate Scrabble by 12 years. McDonald is a fascinating character, who was one of the first people to inhabit New Brunswick. Shediac, where McDonald lived, has taken up the moniker Scrabble Capital of Canada.
Crime: Allan Legere was dubbed the Monster of the Miramichi, following the murders of four people he committed in the area over a seven-month span, while having escaped custody for a previous robbery, sexual assault and murder. Legere’s 1991 trial featured the first use of DNA profiling in Canada, with the intent to convict, rather than exonerate. Legere is still in prison today, last denied parole in January 2021.
Sports Team: New Brunswick has no professional sports teams, but does have three entries in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Moncton Wildcats, Saint John Sea Dogs). It should also be noted, the World Pond Hockey Championships took place annually in the province from 2002 to 2019, on Roulston Lake, in the village of Plaster Rock.
Athlete: Fredricton’s Willie O’Ree did for hockey what Jackie Robinson did for baseball, breaking the colour barrier by becoming the first black NHL player on January 18, 1958. O’Ree accomplish the feat all while being blinded in his right eye by a puck two years prior, which he managed to keep a secret. Fredricton’s arena was renamed Willie O’Ree Place in 2008, the same year O’Ree received the Order of Canada.
Famous Home: Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island, was home to the summer cottage of former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. It was here where Roosevelt was stricken with the illness that resulted in the paralysis of his legs. The movie Sunrise at Campobello documents Roosevelt’s struggle and was nominated for four Academy Awards.
Urban Legend: The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews has been called the Canadian version of The Overlook Hotel, from the Stephen King novel The Shining. In typically Canadian fashion, many of the ghosts said to inhabit the hotel are there because they love the place so much, rather than something tragic occurring to them there. Paranormal activity includes ghostly figures, such as a bellboy and night watchman.
Museum: Potato World highlights the potato’s impact on New Brunswick. Found in Florenceville-Bristol, dubbed the French Fry Capital of the World, the museum offers interactive displays and antique machinery. There’s also a Hall of Recognition, dedicated to people and groups who have made an impact on the potato industry. Lastly, the place has a restaurant that offers a French Fry Charcuterie Board.
Firsts: Mount Allison University in Sackville, was the first university of the British Empire to award a woman a Bachelor’s degree, when Grace Annie Lockhart graduated in 1875, with a Bachelor of Science and English Literature degree. Lockhart graduated with the man who would become her husband, J.L. Dawson, and the couple had three sons, while Lockhart remained a women’s rights activist.
Company: McCain Foods, the world’s largest makers of frozen potato products, was founded in Florenceville in 1957. The company’s headquarters still exist there today. McCain also sells frozen pizzas, other vegetables and desserts, as part of its portfolio, but potatoes are its main game, with the business producing a quarter of the world’s frozen fries.
Events: The Great Fire of Saint John occurred in 1877, resulting in the destruction of close to half of the city. It all began with an errant spark falling into some hay in Henry Fairweather’s storehouse. 19 people were killed and many others injured in the blaze, which also destroyed a number of hotels, churches, banks and watercrafts. The whole ordeal only lasted nine hours.
Miscellaneous: New Brunswick has a fascinating professional wrestling history, thanks to Emile Duprée and his Grand Prix Wrestling promotion, as well as the Cormier wrestling family, comprised of grapplers Yvon ‘The Beast’ Cormier, Rudy Kay, Leo Burke and Bobby Kay. Emile Duprée has said the Cormier family was as important to New Brunswick as the famous Hart family was to Calgary.
New Brunswick: The Donald Sutherland
- 2.25 oz Canadian Whiskey
- 0.75 oz Drambuie
This drink is a variation of the classic Rusty Nail cocktail, subbing Whiskey in for Scotch. It should be enjoyed while watching any Donald Sutherland film or if you’re enjoying a beautiful coastal view, with fresh air filling your lungs!