Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Changing of the (Tourism) Guard

A spectator alerted me to this job posting on Career Beacon:

DCBA CEO job posting

Source: Career Beacon

It appears longtime Destination Cape Breton Association (DCBA) CEO Mary Tulle will be leaving as of 1 February 2019.

Destination Cape Breton is the “official Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for Cape Breton Island,” according to the job posting. It is also a murky, quasi-public body that is largely publicly funded (it refers to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency as its “primary funding partners,” but also receives provincial grants and revenue from an accommodations levy collected in Inverness, Richmond and Victoria Counties and the CBRM). Despite this generous public funding, the organization remains stubbornly non-transparent and unaccountable to the public (that’s not part of the job posting, that’s from the Cape Breton Spectator).

The job description lists no fewer than 22 “key” duties and responsibilities, making it, apparently, a far more onerous occupation than that of, say President and CEO of Marine Atlantic (a job that opened up in June when former CEO Paul Griffin joined the St. John’s-based research and development firm C-Core) which is described this way:

The President and Chief Executive Officer is accountable to the Corporation’s Board of Directors for the overall performance of the business enterprise. Marine Atlantic Inc.’s performance depends on the advancement of the Corporation’s mission statement throughout the organization. The President and Chief Executive Officer develops, in consultation with the Board and senior management, the corporate strategy and operating plans to achieve the Corporation’s mission; and oversees the general operations of the Corporation, including the development of its management, the allocation of its resources, and the establishment of appropriate internal controls. The President and Chief Executive Officer works with the Board to develop policy and to maintain oversight, and also acts as the Corporation’s chief spokesperson.

It’s also apparently a more daunting undertaking than becoming CEO of Via Rail, a job posted in September 2018 with an equally compact description:

The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is accountable to the Corporation’s Board of Directors for the overall performance of the business enterprise. VIA Rail’s performance depends on the advancement of the Corporation’s mission statement throughout the organization. The President and CEO develops, in consultation with the Board and senior management, the corporate strategy and operating plans to achieve the mission, and oversees the general operations of the Corporation, including the development of its management, the allocation of its resources, and the establishment of appropriate internal controls. The President and CEO works with the Board to develop policy and to maintain oversight, and also acts as the Corporation’s chief spokesperson.

On the other hand, it is about on a par with heading the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities (NSFM), an organization that is also on the hunt for a CEO. (The job was posted on Career Beacon on October 15 with a description as long as my arm.)

Where with the Marine Atlantic and Via Rail jobs applicants have a sense of the salary range ($188,500 to $221,700 a year for the former, $271,000 to $318,000 for the latter), those applying for the DCBA job are told only the salary will be “commensurate with qualifications and experience” (and those applying for the job of CEO of the FNSM are told nothing at all).

If the list of responsibilities (and the lack of salary information) hasn’t daunted you and you are ready to take the helm at Destination Cape Breton, you have until 4:00 pm (Atlantic) on 23 November 2018 to send your cover letter and resume (with FOUR references) to the organization.

 

Paying (Again?) for the CBC

Source: CBC https://www.cbc.ca/mediacentre/program/vanity-fair

Source: CBC https://www.cbc.ca/mediacentre/program/vanity-fair

I’ve been enjoying Vanity Fair, the ITV adaptation of the William Makepeace Thackery novel which the CBC has been airing on Wednesday nights this fall.

I’ve been watching the episodes on the CBC website on Thursdays because I don’t have cable television. I’m not one of those people who “cut the cord,” I’m one of those even weirder people who never plugged the cord in in the first place. (I know, total freak.)

Last Wednesday, curious to know what Becky Sharpe was up to (and pretending I’d never read the book and didn’t already know how things were going to end), I decided to see if it were possible to stream the program in real-time rather than waiting for it to appear on the website the next day. As it turns out, there IS a way to stream it online — all you have to do is pay the CBC $6.95 a month to get “around-the-clock access to Canada’s No. 1 news network.”

“But,” I thought, “Don’t I already pay for the CBC through my taxes? Can I really be double-billed just because I don’t have cable television and need my fix of British literary historical costume drama?”

Apparently, I can be — just as I have to sit through the obnoxious, repetitive advertisements that pepper the online broadcast of the show. (The advertisements are especially jolting when you’re watching a period piece like Vanity Fair. One minute, you’re in a drawing room in Regency England, the next, you’re in an airport where a man with a cell phone is considering buying a Florida vacation property.)

This just isn’t fair.

I want my CBC.

UPDATE:

I got my CBC.

I did a little more exploring and realized the $6.95 per month is for a premium subscription — as in, ad-free — but that I can, in fact, stream my local CBC channel free of charge on my device.

Now I just have to figure out how to cast from an android phone to a Roku stick (which used to be easy and suddenly isn’t anymore):

 

 

Media milestone

Robert Devet’s Nova Scotia Advocate (“The Tyrant’s Foe. The People’s Friend.”) marked a nice milestone this past week, as he noted in an email:

Eleven stories, and your editor didn’t write a single one! More and more people want to write for us, and I spend increasingly more time just keeping things moving along, doing edits, finding money, etc. I miss writing, but it is wonderful to see the NS Advocate change and grow!

I enjoy Devet’s writing, so hope he won’t give it up entirely, but I applaud him for giving so many other voices a platform — and paying them for it.

The Spectator has a different funding model than the Advocate, which does not use a paywall, but I would love one day to be able to write a similar message to readers (must get to work on that Christmas subscription drive.)

In the meantime, congratulations, Robert. Well done.

 

Maritime mystery

In 1872, the British brigantine Dei Gratia spotted a vessel adrift in the waters of the North Atlantic, about 400 miles east of the Azores. The vessel was identified as the Mary Celeste, an American merchant brig that had left New York eight days before and should have been in Genoa, Italy by then.

A boarding party from the Dei Gratia found a cargo of 1,701 barrels of alcohol “largely intact,” the crew’s belongings in their quarters and a six-month supply of food and water untouched. No trace has ever been found of the Mary Celeste‘s 10-man crew or the ship’s only lifeboat.

Mary Celeste (Cumberland County Museum and Archives, Amherst, NS)

Mary Celeste (Cumberland County Museum and Archives, Amherst, NS)

 

That, to my mind, is a “Maritime mystery.”

What’s been playing out on the front page of the Cape Breton Post for three (!) days is something else entirely — the “mystery” was basically solved by the end of the first story (which included the name of the skipper, the name — and breed — of his dog, and the details of his September difficulties at sea).

Granted, had there been social media back in 1872, we might have used the Captain’s twitter account to solve the mystery just as quickly (#lifeboatselfie).

Featured photo includes an An 1861 painting of Mary Celeste (named Amazon at the time), by an unknown artist.

 

 

 

The Cape Breton Spectator is entirely reader supported. Please consider subscribing today!