Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Shania Fans 'on their way'

Dozens of ardent supporters of Timmins’ best-known entertainer are making tracks back to this city. It’s all because the fifth annual worldwide Shania Twain Centre fan convention is about to kick off in Timmins.
Some fans are already in Timmins. Many more will be arriving today via the “Twain Train”, which departed Toronto this morning.
Tracy Hautanen, manager of the Shania Twain Centre, is aboard the Northlander train with more than two dozen fans. Hautanen told The Times that the fan convention has become a significant summer event in Timmins.
“We’re very excited, actually some of them have already arrived in town and we’ve had a few sneak through the centre, but we don’t let them see all the exhibits just yet,” she said.
Hautanen is referring to the fact that improvements and additions are made to the centre’s exhibits each year.
The “Twain Train” is a new twist on the fan convention, Hautanen explains.
“We’ve brought fans up twice now by bus. Shania talks often in her interviews about taking the train to Toronto to go to appear on the Tommy Hunter Show, so we thought we’d take them on that same route. So they’re all very excited about it.”
The train arrives in Matheson later this evening and the fans will be transferred by Ontario Northland highway-coach to Timmins.
Hautanen adds the fan convention makes a significant contribution to the tourism industry in Timmins and Northeastern Ontario.
She says it’s not just the fact they come back year after year, but also the fact some fans have come to enjoy the area and now stay longer.
“We have several fans who arrived early. These fans are making their visit a week-long thing, instead of a long weekend,” she said.
She adds the fans has spread the good news about the fresh air and wilderness setting by word of mouth and through the fan website.
She says some fans return to the event year after year.
“We do have several people coming back for their fifth time. We have a gentleman coming from Sweden for the third time. We have a couple coming from Hawaii for their third time,” said Hautanen.
Aside from visiting the centre and seeing the newest Shania displays, the fans usually enjoy local attractions, restaurants and shopping.
Another local benefit is the fact the fans have picked up on Twain’s preferred charity, which is to provide food for the hungry.
Since the Shania Twain fan conventions began five years ago, the fans have donated more than $35 hundred to the South Porcupine Food Bank.
The group says it intends to make another donation this year.

No comments: