Famed Canadian entertainer, Shaun Majumder, is from Burlington, Newfoundland, a rural community on the east side of the Baie Verte peninsula. Each year, Majumder returns home to host The Gathering, taking place this year Aug. 23-25. Not only does Majumder emcee the events, but he also performs on comedy night, and will be joined this by the likes of Steve Patterson and Newfoundland and Labrador’s own, Mike Lynch. Photos courtesy Adventure Central Newfoundland

Founded by Canadian Actor/Comedian Shaun Majumder, The Gathering is part of a larger not for profit social enterprise known as ‘OME.

Ome’s  purpose is clear: “To rewrite the rural story.”

How can we do this? By creating a sustainable micro economy through tourism by building small businesses and reinvesting the profits back into the communities of Burlington, Middle Arm and Smith’s Harbour.

 

At a recent Gathering festival, this shed was floated in the bay and lit with candles. Last year, the shed was attached to a dock, so those at the festival could take a look inside. What will happen this year? There’s only one way to find out.

The Gathering: Fire, Food, and Music is a festival focused on celebrating the unique culture and cuisine of Newfoundland and Labrador. Born as the inaugural event for a new non-profit organization, OME, headed by comedian and fellow Newfoundland native Majumder, this festival is a back to the elements experience, filled with culinary delights and intimate cooking and dining experiences, in celebration of all things Newfoundland. 

The festival was born  while shooting season one of  "Majumder Manor"  which aired on the W network in Canada for two seasons and followed Shaun and his wife, Shelby Fenner, as they laid the ground work to make Shaun’s dream a reality. Shaun and his team decided to throw a party in celebration of the opening of their first project under the Ome umbrella, a community green house business called Hummock View Greens.

Not knowing if anyone would show up, the team invited world class chefs, local musicians and had an incredible weekend. They knew they were onto something and in year two they decided to sell tickets and the rest as they say is history. The Gathering: a celebration of Fire-Food-Music was born.

The only problem was that, there was no where to put the musicians and chefs and other guests, so the Majumder purchased a handful of prospector tents and Shelby and her mom, Lorna, decorated them beautifully.  This led to the glamping in Burlington! Instead of trying to build the five-six room lodge, these leftover prospector tents would serve as the first phase of accommodations for the area. And now www.omesweetome.com is one of the most unique accommodations on the island of Newfoundland.

A long line of festival-goers get in line at a recent Gathering to enjoy the food after finishing a hike to the cabin of Shaun Majumder, who led this particular hike. Those that hiked had the option of hiking back to their camp site, or getting a ride back via boat.

"These luxury wilderness tents will allow us to ‘test’ the viability of the area as a tourism destination,"  Majumder said.  "If the last two years are any indication, the viability is there. In year one, we did $27,000 in sales and hired four staff. Year two, we did almost $80,000 and hired 11 people. This is clearly evidence that what we have in the area is worth building upon and we want you to keep coming back year after year to help us grow," he said. 

The current tents and pod are rich with amenity and allow great comfort to marry with an unfettered connection to nature. The Guest Pods are the smallest scale of new built permanent structures for the project and are one or two bedroom units that have been built in remote locations. Each of these aspire to distill the magic of the natural beauty of this remote pocket of rural Newfoundland and Labrador. 

"We are so thankful you chose to visit our amazing corner of the world," Majumder said.

In addition to many musical acts, chef hikes, comedy shows and a shed crawl are offered along with Newfoundland special 'Jigg's Supper."  

The festival takes place Aug. 23-25  at  13 Old Church Road, The Gathering Grounds, Burlington, Newfoundland, Canada. Tickets range from $650 for an all weekend pass to $75 for a one-day pass (US prices are approximately 25 percent less due to a favorable exchange rate) and all information may be found at http://thegatheringburlington.com

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