Fundy museum offers experiential tourism at Partridge Island
An island, that sometimes isn’t an island, is at the centre of an experiential tourism experience being touted by a Cumberland County museum.
Known as Wa’so’q, or Heaven, by the Mi’kmaw, Partridge Island was a traditional place for gathering the sacred stone amethyst as well as the mythic home of legendary Mi’kmaw God and giant Glooscap.
It’s place in history is being celebrated by the Fundy Geological Museum in a series of experiences that will feature local sights and tastes.
“We are bringing people into the area, Partridge Island, so they can experience in a whole different way than they would going through the museum. This takes them right out to the attraction,” Fundy Geological Museum outreach and development officer Genna Varner said.
In this instance it will be a relaxing experience where geology meets gastronomy with participants in groups (maximum of 10, minimum of four) exploring the island with all their senses, savouring local tastes from Advocate Harbour’s Wild Caraway Restaurant at Ottawa House and travelling with an expert from the Fundy Geological Museum.
“Our goal with this program is to first and foremost give people an educational experience that resonates with them on a personal level,” Varner said. “We want people to be in a place and have place-based stories. Not just coming to the museum, but having an opportunity to go a place where all these things happened and get a feel for the land and the smells and the sounds. Everything that goes with that.”
When they leave, she hopes people will learn about the island’s history and its place in geology while also having an appreciation for nature and preserving the planet – taking care of it for future generations.
Participants will experience the tide and be able to immerse themselves in the sounds and other senses at the heart of the Bay of Fundy. They’ll discover the island’s secrets alongside expert geoscientists while combing the beach for mineral treasures, explore the ever-changing shoreline, learn more about the history of Wa’so’q, named to reflect heaven on Earth and experience the bubbling tide that’s unique to the island.
The experience will be supported with the help of award-winning sound-designer Aaron Collier.
The first of these experiences is set for Sept. 4 with additional opportunities on Sept. 17 and Oct. 3 and 16
“Each of the sessions is two to three hours long, but it will depend on the participants and what they want to do,” Fundy Geological Museum curator Danielle Serratos said.“We want people to form lasting memories from going through these experiences. That’s why there’s a limited number of people and a limited number of dates.”
Serratos said it can’t be forgotten that the island remains an important part of the Mi’kmaw culture and the museum has enjoyed its long relationship with the Indigenous community.
The island is also part of Canada’s colonial history with its close proximity to Ottawa House and its own part in Canadian history.
“Wa’so’q is a place that brings people together for very important reasons,” Serratos said. “From a geological point of view you’re talking about world-changing events, the break up of super continents and the major diversification period. There was a lot going on there.”
To book a Shoreline Sensations at Wa’so’q experience, visit fundygeomuseum.ca or call toll 1 (866) 856 DINO (3466).