Nfld. & Labrador

Shaun Majumder hosts hundreds at Burlington festival

A small community on the Baie Verte Peninsula more than doubled in population over the weekend.
The Gathering is the brain child of comedian Shaun Majumder. (CBC)

A small community on the Baie Verte Peninsula more than doubled in population over the weekend.

Nearly 800 people flocked to Burlington for the Gathering — a three-day festival full of food and music — created by home town hero Shaun Majumder.

"I've always been shocked that more people didn't come down, so I decided I was going to throw a party and get people here — and now people are coming," Majumder said.

"We have people here from Virginia, we got people here from Kentucky, we got people here from all over Canada, and it's really amazing to see this all come together."

Over the course of the weekend, vistors were treated to a comedy show, fine dining cooked over a fire by chefs Rory MacPherson and Mark McCrowe, and musical performances by Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy.

Majumder said he wanted to give tourists a taste of what rural Newfoundland culture is like, and he believes he's done that.

"I wanted this festival to a be a back-to-the-elements festival where the chefs are all cooking over the open flames as you can hear the crackle in the background," Majumder told CBC News.

"Everything is outdoors. It's back to the elements — it's not about glitz and glam."

Giving back

All proceeds from the festival will go back into the community for development projects.

"So all the money goes back into the BSM Manor fund, and then what we are doing is trying to start something that's called the Burlington Community Business Initiative, which is seed money to help small business start up their small business," Majumder said.

With hundreds of visitors descending on the town, Majumder is urging locals to try and cash in.

"I want to encourage people here in the area to be entrepreneurial, start your own business, make it happen yourself. [Because] people are coming — you got a great opportunity to make a lot of cash. Don't be silly," Majumder said.

With the second version of the Gathering a lot larger than the first, hopes are high for next year's event.

With files from Jeremy Eaton