CANSO – Last week Canso and surrounding communities got their 15 minutes of fame when the cast and crew of the CBC television show Still Standing came to town. The show, led by comedian and actor Johnny Harris, highlights the potential of Canadian towns and villages that have weathered rough times but are now looking forward to the future and opportunities on the horizon. After five days in the community and heading out for another taping session, Harris answered some questions about his experience in Canso in an email interview with The Journal.
Every town is unique and Harris found Canso’s embrace of technology of particular interest. “The fact that it’s always had an interesting relationship with cutting-edge technology, from transatlantic cable to cold storage to revolutionizing the inshore shrimp fishery,” he said, set the community apart from all others.
Canso residents made sure that Harris experienced all that Canso could offer, including seafood. He accompanied a crew to pull shrimp traps and ate them raw, fresh from the sea. That’s one incident, he said, that stood out in his mind about his time in Canso.
When asked about Canso’s biggest asset, he replied, “The strength of the inshore fishery and the tenacity of its people.”
When Harris came to Canso, he said it felt a bit like coming home. “It was nice to be back on the East Coast in a place not unlike the town I grew up in, surrounded by water.” He’s hopeful for the future of the community and excited at the prospect of rockets taking to the skies in the near future.
Travel, it has been said, is the best form of education and Harris has learned a thing or two on the road. In Canso he learned, “That all shrimp are born male and then turn female when they reach maturity. So all males are juvenile? Well, I already knew that.”
He also took in a lengthy and earnest conversation about how not to catch crabs; a lifetime first for Harris.
While there are many beautiful vistas in the Canso area, Harris, like many visitors, was taken by the view from cemetery hill as well as the view from the Whitman House Widow’s Walk, “just as the sun was setting.”
The people of Canso enjoyed showcasing their community to Harris and the Still Standing crew and although the CBC folks are constantly on the move; another day another town, they’ll not soon forget this place and the apt motto that fuels the local spirit: Can-So!