Transcript: Saving Temagami's Century-Old Soda | Aug 14, 2020

Jeyan sits in the studio. He's is in his thirties, with short black hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and striped beige tie.

A caption on screen reads "Saving Temagami's century-old soda. Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO. @theagenda."

Jeyan says BEFORE CERTAIN BIG-NAME BRANDS OF SODA POP CAME TO ONTARIO, SMALL LOCAL BRANDS SERVED UP SUMMER REFRESHMENT ACROSS THE PROVINCE. NICK DUNNE IS OUR ONTARIO HUB JOURNALIST COVERING THE NORTHEAST, AND HE JOINS US NOW FROM SUDBURY ON WHY THE TOWN OF TEMAGAMI JUST BOUGHT THE TRADEMARK FOR A ONCE POPULAR GINGER ALE THAT CARRIES ITS NAME. WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

Nick is in his twenties, clean-shaven, with short curly blond hair. He's wearing a black suit, white shirt and spotted yellow tie.

He says THANKS FOR HAVING ME, JEYAN.

Jeyan says NOW, FOR YOUR LATEST PIECE FOR TVO.org YOU GOT TO DELVE INTO THE HISTORY OF SODA POP HERE IN ONTARIO. TELL US ABOUT THAT.

The caption changes to "Nick Dunne. Northeastern Ontario Hub Journalist."

A screenshot from the TVO website pops up showing an article. It reads "tvo.org/OntarioHubs. Northeastern. Why this
Ontario town is taking a pop at ginger ale. By Nick Dunne."

Nick says YEAH. IT'S SURPRISING THAT SUCH A FRIVOLOUS TYPE OF PRODUCT LIKE SODA CARRIES THIS ACTUAL HISTORY WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOWNS IN THE PROVINCE AND EVEN THE COUNTRY. BUT IT REALLY GOES BACK TO THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF CANADA AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, OF THE 20TH CENTURY, BETWEEN THE LATE 1800s AND THE EARLY 1900s. CANADA WAS REALLY INDUSTRIALIZING AND A LOT OF THE TOWNS LACKED POTABLE WATER. SO LOCAL BUSINESSMEN WHO OWNED THE TOWN WELLS, THE LOCAL SPRING BEGAN BOTTLING WATER, BUT AS THESE TOWNS CONTINUED TO DEVELOP, AS MORE PEOPLE WERE ABLE TO SET UP THEIR OWN WELL WATER, AS MUNICIPAL TAP WATER BECAME A THING, THEY HAD TO PIVOT. SO THEY PIVOTED TO SODA. THERE ARE COMPANIES ALL ACROSS THE PROVINCE, YOU KNOW, THAT HAVE THEIR LOCAL SODA. THERE IS TECH DRY, THERE IS MUSKOKA SPRING, THERE IS PURE SPRING IN OTTAWA THAT BECAME A COMPANY SELLING OVER 50 MILLION dollars OF POP BY THE MID 20TH CENTURY.

Jeyan says WHEN WE TALK ABOUT SOFT DRINKS, WE OBVIOUSLY HAVE TO TALK ABOUT COKE AND PEPSI. HOW DID THAT SHIFT WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVED IN THE PROVINCE?

The caption changes to "Nick Dunne, @NickFDunne."

Nick says YEAH, ABSOLUTELY. BETWEEN THE '20s AND THE '50s, DEPENDING ON THE MARKET, COCA-COLA APPROACHED THESE SMALL TOWN SODA PRODUCERS AND SAID, LOOK, YOU'VE GOT THE EQUIPMENT. YOU KNOW WE WANT YOU GUYS TO PRODUCE A LITTLE BIT OF OUR COCA-COLA, DISTRIBUTE IT WITH YOUR ESTABLISHED NETWORKS, AND IT WAS A MUTUAL GAIN AT THE TIME. BUT QUICKLY COKE COLA OVERPOWERED THESE COMPANIES. THEY HAD THE MARKETING AND THE CAPITAL BEHIND THEM. PRETTY SOON THE DEMAND FOR COCA COLA OUTROSE THAT OF THE LOCAL SODAS. WE'RE SEEING THIS CLASSIC CASE OF SMALL BUSINESS IN THE 20TH CENTURY BEING KIND OF CRUSHED BY LARGER CORPORATIONS, RIGHT? AND WE SAW COMPANIES LIKE PURE SPRING, THEY WENT OUT OF BUSINESS BY THE '90s, AND A LOT OF THESE SODAS EITHER, YOU KNOW, THEY BENT THE KNEE TO COCA COLA TO DISTRIBUTE COCA COLA OR THEY WENT OUT OF BUSINESS.

Jeyan says I WANT TO TALK ABOUT TOWN COUNCIL, TEMAGAMI'S TOWN COUNCIL. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO PRESERVE TEMAGAMI DRY?

Nick says MUCH LIKE SMALL SODA, IT'S REALLY HARD RUNNING A SMALL MUNICIPALITY, ESPECIALLY A RURAL MUNICIPALITY, ESPECIALLY A NORTHERN RURAL MUNICIPALITY. THEY'RE TRYING TO DO OTHER THINGS TO BOOST BUSINESS IN THE AREA BY IMPROVING THINGS LIKE BROADBAND. THIS IS THIS QUIRKY LITTLE STORY HERE WHERE THEY'RE TRYING TO KIND OF CAPITALIZE ON THE BRAND AND THE REGION. I'VE GOT A BOTTLE HERE OF TEMAGAMI.

He picks up a green glass bottle with a white and red label.

Nick continues YOU CAN SEE IT FEATURES PINES. SO TEMAGAMI HAS SOME OF THE WORLD'S LAST OLD GROWTH PINES. IT HAS... YOU KNOW, IT EVOKES CLEAR WATER. AND TEMAGAMI IS A DERIVATIVE OF THE ANISHINAABE WORD FOR "DEEP WATER." THAT AREA HAS WORLD CLASS RIVERS AND LAKES. SO THEY'RE LOOKING FOR SOME KIND OF BUSINESS SPARK AND TRYING TO RALLY THE COMMUNITY AROUND IT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Carla Lucchetta, @carrletta."

Nick says I LOOK FORWARD TO THAT AND OF COURSE HOPEFULLY WHEN THIS PANDEMIC IS OVER, MAYBE WE CAN HAVE A DRINK WHEN THIS DEAL GOES THROUGH AND HOPEFULLY MORE THINGS HAPPEN. NICK DUNNE, APPRECIATE YOU ON THE SHOW. THANK YOU SO MUCH. THAT'S NICK DUNNE, OUR NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO HUB JOURNALIST.

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs. Ontario Hubs are made possible by The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Saving Temagami's Century-Old Soda