On February 1st, 2013, the town of Timmins, Ontario, Canada, officially closed it’s doors to the Shania Twain Centre. It was the biggest tourist attraction this mining town had ever seen, which exhibited memorabilia, awards, and other personal items loaned to the Centre by singer Shania Twain herself. Besides Shania’s personal ego hit when the doors shuttered for its last time, the town of Timmins has been hit with a collective depression that is still running deep almost five years later.
Timmins is part of a prolific mining belt, and it’s all it’s ever been known for until the population of roughly 42,000 people had one of their own become a mega super singing star around the world. The townspeople were elated and proud of the centre in her name. They finally made it on the world scene as Timmins became the mecca for country music pop in 1997.
“Oh, when I heard ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ on the radio for the first time, I about lost it, eh. Everyone knew Timmins, you know? Those were good times, but when everything closed down, and the fans stopped coming, those were dark times, eh. Still are. We just feel inferior to others you know? A lot of negativity around here. Self-negating. Hopelessness too. We really need Shania to make a comeback, or the town will need another huge gold find. But nobody cares much about gold these days either. It’s all about the Bitcoin, you know?” said longtime Timmins resident and former down the street neighbour of Shania Twain, Doris Michaud.
Doris Michaud isn’t the only resident of Timmins feeling depressed these days, as resident and therapist Alan Schipper can attest to. “This is a male-dominated mining town, so there was already a high rate of depression around here with many of the males lacking companionship, then you throw the whole Shania Twain fiasco on top of that, and now depression cases have doubled. I mean, the men here loved Shania. She was like their little sister, and then the women, well, they were like proud hockey moms. When that centre was bulldozed, it was like ‘You’re Still The One’ never happened. The townspeople did break out of their depression briefly, when Shania was mentioned continuously and appeared in the David O. Russell film, I Heart Huckabees, but everyone who saw it didn’t really understand what the movie was actually about and they slipped back into the darkness pretty quickly.”
Not everyone in Timmins is upset about the loss of the Shania Twain Centre though, as there are a select group of males who once had unreciprocated crushes on Shania Twain in high school, and their moods have vastly improved.
“Me, Randy, Doug, Steve, and Dean, we started a motorbike gang called the Shaniaint’s, and we ride through the downtown all the time laughing cause we can see how sad everyone is. People were such hosers to us when she was all big and famous and making fun of us for liking her and not getting any, so we think it’s pretty fair to get’em back. And then in the winter, we’re a snowmobile club. And we’re also a hockey team, but we’re looking for a goalie, so for right now we just tie a jersey from each corner of the net, eh.” said former grade nine admirer, Ed Mcfarlane.
The town of Timmins needs Shania Twain more than ever. They need her to lift them out of their state of depression and to put Timmins back on the world scene once again, but this time for good.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.