Port Alberni Named WFN Ultimate Fishing Town
More than 600,000 votes were cast as Port Alberni edges Nestor Falls, ON, by 30,000 votes
For the past month, anglers all across Canada have traded casting rods for casting votes as WFN: World Fishing Network, North America's only 24/7 fishing channel, searched for Canada's Ultimate Fishing Town. After nearly 630,000 votes were cast online at www.wfn.tv/fishingtown, Port Alberni, BC, was named WFN's Ultimate Fishing Town for 2010. The announcement was made by Mark Rubinstein, President and CEO of World Fishing Network.
Representatives from Port Alberni, BC, will receive $25,000 to be used to fund local fishing projects as directed by the Sport Fishing Advice Council and active members of the community. "As far as Port Alberni winning the Ultimate Fishing Town title, I am very pleased that we can be recognized for one of our greatest assets," said Bob Cole, Director of the Chamber of Commerce and passionate angler. "As a town in transition from the declining forest-based industries and very much in need of a boost, highlighting our fantastic year-round fishing and recreational tourism will surely help fill the void". WFN will also produce a 30-minute television special featuring Port Alberni to air on WFN in the Spring. As the runner-up, representatives from Nestor Falls, ON, will receive a $5,000 award from WFN to their township to help fund local fishing projects.
"We commend the representatives from all of our participating towns, but especially those from Port Alberni and Nestor Falls, for the pride and passion they demonstrated supporting their communities," said Rubinstein. "WFN's search for the Ultimate Fishing Town was not just about identifying the best place to catch the most fish. It was also about finding a passionate angling community and clearly Port Alberni demonstrated just that."
Top 10 finalists were:
- Port Alberni, British Columbia
- Nestor Falls, Ontario
- Dauphin, Manitoba
- Seeley's Bay, Ontario
- Nipawin, Saskatchewan
- Port Rowan, Ontario
- Miramichi, New Brunswick
- O'Leary, Prince Edward Island
- Thunder Bay, Ontario
- Chilliwack, British Columbia
The battle between the top 10 finalists quickly became a two town race as supporters in both Port Alberni and Nestor Falls spread the word amongst their residents. During the three weeks of voting, the two towns traded places atop the leader board and their vote totals were rarely separated by more than one percent.
Port Alberni, BC, with a population of less than 18,000, lies within the Alberni Valley at the head of the Alberni Inlet, Vancouver Island's longest inlet. It has been dubbed the "Salmon Capital of the World." It is frequented by anglers for five different species of salmon, plus yearly runs of steelhead and halibut.
In addition to the grand prize, WFN partnered with several local cable operators to award a cash prize to the top town in their footprint. These prizes included: Thunder Bay, ON ( $2,000 on behalf of WFN and Shaw Cable), Miramichi, NB ($2,500 on behalf of WFN and Rogers Cable), O'Leary, PEI ($1,500 on behalf of WFN and EastLink Cable), Niagara Falls, ON ($1,000 on behalf of WFN and Cogeco Cable) and Dauphin, MB ($1,000 on behalf of WFN).
Beginning in July, WFN asked Canadians to nominate their Ultimate Fishing Town. More than 160 different communities nationwide stepped up to tell WFN why their town fits the bill. After more than a month of nominations and 220,000 votes, 10 of the towns earned a spot as a finalist. This included the top two vote-getters in each of the three geographic regions (Ontario, West and Atlantic) and four finalists selected by WFN based on originality, persuasiveness, energy, the nature of the community organization or cause and the number of on-line votes received. Only votes accumulated during the final round of voting were used to determine WFN's Ultimate Fishing Town.
WFN is available nationwide. Check www.wfn.tv/subscribe for a complete list of TV providers and channel numbers.