Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Growing number going to nude beaches and campgrounds in the Maritimes

Kevin Bissett -
August 5, 2005

FREDERICTON (CP) - Atlantic Canada is a region known for chilly nights and foggy mornings but, despite the goose-bumps, it's becoming a popular destination for nudists.
Secluded beaches and a number of new, nude-only resorts make the area an ideal place for naturists to doff their duds on a summer day.

"The basic, fundamental reason people want to be naturists is because it feels great," said Stephane Deschenes, president of the Federation of Canadian Naturists.

"Most Canadians have gone skinny-dipping at some point, generally in the dark, maybe by themselves, and they'll report that it really feels great and they really enjoyed it."

Jim Woycke, author of the book Au Naturel: The History of Nudism in Canada, appeals to those looking for a simpler life.

"There's a lifestyle kind of appeal to naturism that looks away from hectic vacation activities to something that is more relaxing, is not terribly expensive, and feels good, especially on a hot day."

According to Woycke, a professor of history at the University of Western Ontario, naturism got its start in Europe in the 19th century when people would discard their tight, constrictive clothing and participate in sun and fresh-air therapy for their health.

"People got sick of the diets and exercise and the rules and regulations, but they appreciated the freedom of being out in the open and they found they lost all the fashion-conscious hang-ups when nobody was wearing any fashion," said Woycke.

"There came to be a social liberation that people liked, and that became the dominate characteristic of naturism."

While many parts of Canada have large naturist clubs and officially nude beaches, Deschane says people from Atlantic Canada have been underserviced.

"We did a survey in 1999, and that survey indicated that there are about three million Canadians have a naturist mentality, and if you go a little further to naturist leanings, you get up to six million people," he said.

"I believe the growth in naturism in the Maritimes is because of more places opening up."

A couple in Cavendish, P.E.I., is taking advantage of the growing market.

Gary and Linda Lowther opened the Oasis Resort in 2003, and this year, expanded with a 12-site nudist campground.

"So far this year, we've had visitors from across Canada, the eastern U.S. and Europe," said Gary Lowther.

"Weather is the biggest factor. It is very important in any business, but even more here."

The campground is like any other, with serviced sites, a pool and volleyball nets.

The only distinctive feature is the fence to keep peekers out.

"Our visitors here are as varied as anywhere else . . . There's young, old, middle-class, upper-class," said Lowther.

He said the suites are set-up for couples, while the campground attracts more families.


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5:22 AM  

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