More Than 500,000 Votes Cast as Chapleau Succeeds Port Alberni, BC as 2011 WFN's Ultimate Fishing Town Canada
After casting more than 500,000 online votes at www.wfnfishingtown.com
, Canadian anglers have selected Chapleau, Ontario as the 2011 WFN: World Fishing Network's Ultimate Fishing Town Canada. The small village of nearly 2,500 residents succeeds Port Alberni, BC which earned the title last year. The announcement was made by Mark Rubinstein, President and CEO of World Fishing Network, North America's only 24/7 fishing channel.
Representatives of Chapleau, ON will receive a $25,000 community donation to be used towards a fishing-related cause(s) and 10 WaveSpin Reels at a local ceremony emceed by Mariko Izumi, host of WFN's popular fishing and travel show Hookin' Up. The town will also receive national recognition from the honour and have a feature produced about fishing in Chapleau to air on WFN.
"The drive and determination of the community and its supporters across the country won the fishing crown for Chapleau. I am overwhelmed with excitement and pride that our community has been named WFN's Ultimate Fishing Town Canada," said Charley Plourde of the Chapleau Fishing Advisory Committee. "Chapleau has been hard hit by the downturn in the forestry industry and is working hard to rebuild itself through economic diversification. Being named WFN's Ultimate Fishing Town puts Chapleau on the map as a fishing destination for anglers around the world and creates an opportunity for Chapleau's tourism industry to thrive."
Chapleau, ON, is home to the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve one of the world's largest wildlife preserves. Located in central northeastern Ontario, Chapleau is geographically isolated with the nearest cities, Sault Ste Marie, Timmins and Sudbury nearly two hours away. It is best known for walleye, smallmouth bass, lake trout and northern pike fishing.
After more than 240 towns throughout Canada were nominated in March, a preliminary round of voting in April narrowed the field to 20 finalists. The competition quickly became a two-town race between a pair of Ontario towns more than 11 hours apart. Chapleau and Port Colborne traded places atop the leader board on a daily basis, but in the end Chapleau earned the title by the slimmest of margins.
"We commend all of the towns for their enthusiasm, passion and pride and wanting to invite anglers all across Canada to experience everything their town has to offer," said Mr. Rubinstein. "WFN's search for Ultimate Fishing Town was not just about finding the place to catch the most fish. As any angler will tell you and as Chapleau proved, the people are just as important a factor. Chapleau's passionate angling community stepped-up to prove that their pride and passion is second to none."
As the runner-up, Port Colborne, ON will be awarded $5,000 while the third place finisher, Port Hardy, BC will receive $2,500. WFN also partnered with four cable affiliates to award a cash prize to the town receiving the most votes in the areas they service. These include: Miramachi, NB receiving $2500 from Rogers Cable; Campbell River, BC being awarded $2,000 from Shaw Cable; Hastings, ON earning $1,000 from EastLink; and St. Catharine's receiving $1,000 from Cogeco Cable. WFN also awarded $1,000 to Port Renfrew, ON, who is serviced by Bell, as the town receiving the most votes that is not serviced by any of these affiliates.
The 2011 WFN Ultimate Fishing Town Canada contest was supported by a trio of sponsors including: Oak Bay Marine Group, owners and operators of several world-class BC fishing resorts; Spectacular Northwest Territories, offering vacation ideas in magnificent wilderness surroundings in the Northwest Territories; and Prizing Sponsor WaveSpin Reels, the only reel with a tangle-free guarantee.