Jimmy's +20 year dream of throwing the worlds biggest lobster party
Atlantic Canadian Legend, Jimmy Flynn, and Lobster.ca Envision the World’s Biggest Lobster Party (Click her to watch Global News)
If Jimmy Flynn knows something about something, it’s how to have a good laugh and a good time. In fact, it’s his specialty. The Atlantic Canadian musical comedy legend has been helping audiences far and wide have a good laugh and a good time for almost 40 years. Now after countless concerts, performances, and festivals world-wide, including a performance at the North Pole, Jimmy has his eye set on a party of an entirely other scale: The World’s Biggest Lobster Party. Lobster is also his specialty.
WorldsBiggestKitchenParty.ca will be in the Guinness Book of World Records. There’s never been anything this big before,” says Jimmy Flynn, Atlantic Canadian, Ambassador to Good Cheer, and lobster lover. Jimmy’s vision is for the event to be a lobster feast and Atlantic fisheries and tourism trade show to bring Atlantic Canada to the world.
Jimmy Flynn’s love for lobster is life-long. “My father was a lobster fisherman, his father was a lobster fisherman, my people go back in Newfoundland to 1824…. So my passion has always been Atlantic Canada,” says Jimmy. “People have written songs about me eating lobster,” he laughs. So when Jimmy first saw the Rogers Centre (SkyDome) in Toronto, Ontario, two decades ago, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. “I thought to myself: Wow. Wouldn’t it be something to have the biggest lobster party in the world right here? And it’s been 20 years in my head.” The WorldsBiggestLobsterParty.com remains a vision and monumental undertaking, but something achievable if just the right mix of people come together to open up the possibilities for bringing this shared vision to life.
In fall 2014 Jimmy and Patrick Swim (Canadian Atlantic Lobster, Inc. and Lobster.ca) first met by a phone call introduction from the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Keith Colwell, in what would result in the perfect storm of lobster-loving Maritimers. Jimmy and Swim both describe the meeting as the initial catalyst to “getting the party started” and as the opening to finding all the right people that will come together to make Jimmy’s dream a reality.
The vision is for the WorldsBiggestKitchenParty.ca to be a two to three-day event at the Rogers Centre, a world class stadium in the downtown core that can accommodate events with 50,000 people. At each of three seatings, thousands of people will enjoy entertainment while being served lobster in the stands and Sky Boxes. Jimmy believes that “We could be talking numbers of over 100,000 people over the weekend and an opportunity to serve in excess of 150,000 lbs of lobster in three days.” His voice is full of enthusiasm. “Use your wildest imagination and convert 150,000 lbs of lobster into 100,000 tourists to Atlantic Canada. “In Lobster.ca's Banding Together initiative,” says Swim, “the traceability bands on each lobster essentially act as business cards for the Fishers.” where people will use their mobile devices to see a profile and find out who actually caught their lobster dinner and add him or her to Facebook or Twitter.
They will be able to connect the Fisher's micro site within the Lobster.ca and even purchase products (such as a T-shirt with a picture of that Fisher's boat!) with the branded, no smell, no taste, traceable bands all double to WIN a trip for two to Atlantic Canada to meet that Fisher! Jimmy and Swim in turn believe that with united coastal communities harnessing technology and social media there is unlimited potential. They are currently assembling sponsors, partnerships, and alliances for theWorldsBiggestKitchenParty.ca and for the world class (stick in your head) Lobster.ca brand for marketing Canadian Atlantic Lobster. The goal, says Jimmy, is “to take Atlantic Canada to the world stage and cordially invite one and all with some Maritime flair and hospitality”.
Swim and Jimmy see the incorporation of the Worlds Biggest Kitchen Party... with Jimmy hosting at the centre open stage -making sure everyone is laughing and having a time- during an exclusive yet casual “jam session” style show featuring the best of East Coast musical talent while Fishers network, meet, shake hands, and laugh and all the while attendees enjoy a variety of East Coast seafoods and delights: mussels, oysters, smoked salmon, Solomon Gundy, and many others including our “lobster potato chips” made by Cover Bridge Potato Chips in New Brunswick. The event will also include a weekend-long trade show for those involved in the fishery and tourism industries. “This is the king of seafood – our ambassador and calling card and every lobster could be converted into a family vacationing in Atlantic Canada”. “The sky's the limit!” Jimmy and Swim both exclaim.
Jimmy says that it is amazing with the gift of technology today and how it's giving us the tools to be efficient, effective, and to create a swell that lifts all boats, the same as a rising tide. The future spin-offs from the WorldsBiggestKitchenParty.ca would be record breaking in themselves. “We have plenty of time but it's in the doin's and we need to get the businesses, organizations, event planners, entertainers, government, and most important of all Fishers to be contacting us and getting in on the planning,” adds Jimmy.
Lastly, a Jimmy Flynn show wouldn’t be the real deal without a fundraising goal towards a good cause. Jimmy has raised millions of dollars for charitable and community organizations over the past four decades, giving back is something very near to his heart. Both Jimmy and Swim are excited about the World’sBiggestLobsterParty.ca contributing to a good cause. “Just imagine what we could do and how we could help,” says Swim sharing in Jimmy’s excitement. Jimmy has raised millions of dollars for Canadian charities and community groups. The charitable groups will be announced closer to the time of the party.
Jimmy Flynn has a longer resume than he can remember after almost 40 years of entertainment. He has performed with The Dixie Chicks at Massey Hall in Toronto. Jimmy has toured with The Man in Black - Johnny Cash, the Shondells, Charlie Pride, and The Everley Brothers to name a few. He has performed all over the world, including the North Pole, and has produced over 400 radio shows, 49 television episodes, 4 best-selling comedy videos, 6 best-selling comedy CD's, and 2 joke books.
Putting on the WorldsBiggestKitchenParty.ca will indeed be a monumental undertaking, but that’s not deterring Jimmy and Swim. Planning and organizing has begun, but the timeline will depend on all the right pieces and people coming together to make Jimmy’s dream a reality. The hope is to hold the party in June or July of 2016 while they don’t want to over promise so it could even happen in 2017. Jimmy has let slide that they are planning to give away a number of tickets and Grand Prizes in the near future. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for this opportunity to be part of a party fit for the Guinness Book of World Records.
By: Ania Swiatoniowski
For: LobsterLand Magazine 2015