Majumder Manor follows comic's plan to revive hometown
Shaun Majumder plans to build eco resort in Burlington, N.L.
Posted: Jan 7, 2013 4:17 PM ET
Last Updated: Jan 8, 2013 10:34 AM ET
Shaun Majumder is a standup comedian and regular on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, but his newest TV project is no funny business.
Majumder Manor, debuting Monday on the W Network, is a documentary series about his attempt to create a market for tourism in his hometown of Burlington, N.L.
Majumder has nothing but good things to say about his hometown in northwestern Newfoundland, where he loves to spend time when he’s not in L.A. starring in TV shows such as The Firm. But he says very few people get to experience the town’s hospitality, because there is nowhere to stay and no restaurants.Shelby Fenner, fiance and later wife of Shaun Majumder. Their story is also told in Majumder Manor. (W Network)
“Burlington N.L. is like travelling to another planet,” he said in an interview with CBC’s Q cultural affairs show.
“It’s one road in, one road out — there’s two communities on either side of it. It’s nestled in this harbour, beautiful harbour community, rolling hills, wooded areas. It’s in Iceberg Alley. There’s icebergs and whales."
Majumder turns architect and town planner in his effort to build a five-star eco resort in the town, population 350.
“It didn’t start out as a rejuvenation project — I want to share this place with as many people as I can. I love it," he said.
Majumder Manor is not reality TV, he says – it shows his efforts to get his former neighbours on board with the project and the pushback as the project drags on, but there's no attempt to manufacture a storyline.
“Nothing is contrived or made up – it’s all real and I’m putting so much out there. My family’s involved, we meet real people in the community. This project will have an impact on people’s lives in that region,” he said.
As he thinks through how to attract tourists, Majumder puts forward the idea of creating an off-the-grid green project, then a bed and breakfast, before settling on a five-room boutique "eco-luxe" inn with guest cabins, which will generate jobs in the community.
Then there’s the problem of stocking the restaurant – with a menu that carries something aside from codfish cheek and fried bologna. That hatches a new idea of building a local greenhouse, so there can be fresh vegetables.
And the project is far from finished as the series begins – but the TV program, which also follows Majumder and his fiancé Shelby Fenner, is part of his tourism strategy.
“Will it be successful. I don’t know,” Majumder admits.
Majumder Manor premieres Monday at 7 p.m.
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