Majumder’s dream

Brandon Anstey
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TV show putting Burlington on the map

Newfoundland-born actor Shaun Majumder aims to put his hometown on the map, and his efforts are being met with praise through the W Network’s, Majumder Manor.
The show’s second season is about to air, and it’s a big hit with audiences from all over the country, according to Peter Balckie, a writer and producer of Majumder Manor.

MajumderManor

“The first season had a good reaction,” said Blackie. “A lot of people seem to watch the show and identify with it. That was obviously very encouraging for us.

“After the first season aired, almost randomly, people would just show up in town asking if Shaun was around. They would explain to him that they were coming to Newfoundland anyway, but they decided they would add Burlington to the list after seeing the show. ”

The idea for the network series came about through Majumder’s efforts and dream of growing the identity of Burlington to the point where it’s on the radar of international travellers. That’s what makes the TV show unique, said Blackie.

“The show is interesting because it’s not a bunch of things we’re doing to make a show happen — it’s an actual project that has a life of its own, and it happens to have a TV show that’s following it. The show really helps to get the word out there about what the project is, and they work nicely together. “For us, it was a huge kind of relief that people did identify with it because we felt that was an encouraging sign for the project to get some traction and success in the long run.”

Majumder’s ultimate goal in putting Burlington on the map is to construct an eco-luxe hotel that will be known as Majumder Manor. It’s a goal inspired by Majumder’s love for the small town that’s located on the Baie Verte Peninsula, said Blackie.

“He loves going back and he loves to share that with other people,” he said. “That was sort of the inspiration for him to want to do this project, go home to do something to help the revitalize the community from a tourism standpoint.

“It started small, and then we got in touch with each other at a certain point. My background is in architecture but I also work in television, so we ended up kind of joining forces.”

The crew has been working its way up to tackling the hotel by building smaller pieces first.

“There are these prospector tents that are sort of entry level accommodations, and we just started to build the first of the permanent architecture, which is the first pod as we call it,” said Blackie. “It’s a kind of small cabin, and the idea is to grow those over time as the market demands with the idea that at a certain point we’ll have been able to raise money and interest to make the bigger build.”

The project, he said, is a social enterprise that’s meant to be not-for-profit and all for the community of Burlington.

“Any proceeds that come from any aspect of the projects are funneled back into the community.”

There are also efforts being made by the crew to help small businesses in the area.

The second season of Majumder Manor will air on July 21, and there’s lots going on, said Blackie.

“One of things that’s happening is Shaun and Shelby are going to have kind of a wedding celebration. They got married after season one, but they did it in a private way. They decided what they wanted to do was to have a real celebration with their friends and family at home.

“Throughout the season, we spend a lot of time focusing on starting the permanent architecture for the project, but also looking at all the things and activities you can do if you go to this beautiful place.”

Geographic location: Burlington, Newfoundland

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