By Sue Tiffin
Published Oct. 23 2018
It’s likely that most of the televisions in Wilberforce will be tuned in to CBC next week when the hamlet makes its nationwide debut on Still Standing.
The award-winning show features Canadian comedian Jonny Harris of Murdoch Mysteries fame as he visits small towns throughout Canada meeting local characters partaking in area food and activities and following up his visit with a stand-up comedy routine that pays tribute to his time spent in the community.
Harris visited Wilberforce last year in May exploring the town and meeting with residents including local business owner Corina Mansfield of Deep Roots Adventure teen entrepreneur Erik Morrison of Erikord Survival and sisters Cathy Agnew and Mary Barker of Agnew’s General Store.
According to its website Still Standing “features rural towns across Canada that have survived despite a setback – often fading industry natural disaster or population decline.”
The episode description for the Wilberforce show makes note of the recent loss of the sole bank in the hamlet and loss of industry of years gone by but also of the implementation and tourism success of geocaching a sort of outdoor scavenger hunt that the town has made its own.
“Wilberforce Ontario may have lost its industry and its only bank” it reads “But it still has its natural outdoor beauty and a community that refuses to give up. Now thanks to an outdoor game with a wide reach and international appeal Wilberforce is back on the map.”
The show can provide a tourism boost after being featured to a big audience. A map on the CBC Still Standing website offers fans the chance to route and plan a road trip based on towns featured in each of the four seasons. More than 65000 fans have liked the Still Standing Facebook page.
The community is hosting a town screening of the Wilberforce Still Standing episode on Tuesday Oct. 30 starting at 7 p.m. at the Lloyd Watson Centre at 2249 Loop Road in Wilberforce. Viewers at home can tune in to CBC the CBC TV streaming app or online at cbc.ca/watch on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m.