Thinking ahead to warmer temperatures and the outdoor activities that will be drawing visitors to the area, it is only 6 months to the 9th Annual Surf Classic at Point Michaud. Michelle Richards is already planning this year’s event and is in the process of looking for sponsors to help make the event a success. Ms. Richards, the Municipality of Richmond’s Recreation Department’s Surf Instructor at Point Michaud since the start of the surf program, has worked diligently making the surf program a success. Richards has managed the Surf Classic the last number of years, making the season ending event a reality for all the surfers who have taken the recreation department’s program, as well as those coming to the area to enjoy the competition. Last year was the first year that the Municipality of Richmond’s Tourism, Culture and Economic Department funded the Classic in hopes of expanding the one day event to a full weekend, with hopes of attracting more visitors into the area. It is unclear if the the event will be receiving funding from the Department of Tourism, Cultural and Economic Development this year, as they feel the Surf Classic may be more of a Department of Recreation rather than a Tourism event. Besides the Municipality’s support, the village of St. Peter’s stepped up to the plate as it showed its support for last year’s Surf Classic in many ways; from giving discounts on rooms, to donating venues, to holding events and donating prizes. The Village On the Canal Association, VOCA, lent its support to the Surf Classic as one of the Host Sponsors for this very popular event.
Outdoor Tourism is one of the most sought after and growing avenues of the industry in Nova Scotia. It is important to stay in tune with what the visitors are looking for, especially with all the excellent reviews that Cape Breton has been drawing as the number one island destination in North America. The Surf Classic takes place just as the tourism industry starts its shoulder season, as families with school aged children have already left for home. The Surf Classic, Paddlefest, as well as ATV events are drawing quite a bit of attention to Richmond County from visitors around the area and beyond. It is gratifying to see that the communities surrounding these events see the importance of outdoor tourism.