At long last, the day has arrived. The Douglastown Detour app for Apple and Android phones is now available for download. This is a self-guided audio walking tour of the Douglastown village core (from the present-day community centre down to the tracks on the beach and all important sites and places between – e.g. the church, cemetery, holy name hall, etc.). All you have to do is download the app, launch it, then go for a walk in the Douglastown core; stories and audio about places in Douglastown’s past and present will be triggered based on your location. The app only works in the Douglastown village core.
This project sprung from an idea that Lorraine Blais of the Douglas Community Centre had to create a walking tour of Douglastown after returning from a community festival in Carleton in 2015 where one of the events was a guided walking tour featuring local stories. One of my professors at Memorial University, Chris Brookes, had been developing a series of self-guided audio walking tours for different communities across Newfoundland, and so I suggested we try to do something similar in Douglastown. And so the Douglastown Detour project was born. Canadian Heritage generously funded the project over two years through their Community Cultural Action Fund for official language minorities.
Douglastown-born and Montreal-based sound artist Kathy Kennedy helped me throughout with the coproduction of the mobile app. In addition to Kathy and I, our committee also included Lorraine Blais, Angelina Leggo, and Stella Kennedy. Throughout the project, we held several community events related to oral history, interviewing, and photographs; Tony Conoley and Linda Drody helped host two photo scanning workshops. We were also helped by many members of the community who either agreed to be interviewed, donated photographs, or offered their expertise. And so, thank you to everyone who pitched in and helped out or simply showed up to our events the past two years!
We hope you enjoy this app. Leave a comment and let us know what you think.