#ImmigrationMatters in
St. Andrews, New Brunswick

A Swiss chef, inspired by the abundance of local ingredients in St. Andrews, has brought the world to a historic inn while helping the aquaculture industry.

Bringing the community together, one dish at a time

Bringing the community together, one dish at a time.

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Transcript: “Immigration Matters in St. Andrews, New Brunswick”

Video length: 3 minutes

Inspiring music, composed of piano and strings, plays throughout.

A view from the air of the Bay of Fundy is shown. This transitions to snow-covered flowers and the shoreline at low tide.

Text displays: “Immigration Matters in St. Andrews, New Brunswick”

Chris and Graziella Aerni are at the front desk looking at the daily menu.

The Rossmount Inn exterior facade is shown.

Chris: My name is Chris Aerni. My wife and I came to Canada in 1997, originally from Switzerland. We settled in St. Andrews by-the-Sea in the year 2001 and are operating the Rossmount Inn since then.

A crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling. A decorated Christmas tree is lit up in the hallway.

The front exterior facade of the Rossmount Inn is shown. This transitions to the empty dining room of the inn, then to an archive photo of 2 men on the front porch of the inn.

A room with an antique desk and light coming through the drapes and a bed with antique design and white sheets are shown.

Chris: The Rossmount Inn had a history. It was originally built in 1889. It was always a place known where people could get dinners for their special events. It had lots of owners, and 10 years prior to us coming here, it was really in a downward spiral.

Chris works in the kitchen, shown through a circular window in a door to the kitchen. Chris opens an oyster on the kitchen counter. Chris shakes a sauce and pours it over a platter. Another cook places vegetables on top of a salmon platter. Chris shakes a bowl with battered fish, then places the fish in a hot pan. A waiter takes 2 finished plates from the counter.

Chris: In my opinion it was always the products, so we decided in our kitchen we were going to cook from scratch. We have all of our own recipes, we bake our own bread, we want to be as seasonal as possible and of course as local as possible.

The scene fades to black.

In the Rossmount kitchen, Kristin Moen is cooking on the stove.

Text displays: “Kristin Moen, Sous-chef, Rossmount Inn”

Kristin pours some salt onto fresh scallops. Kristin turns the scallops in the pan. A finished plate of a seafood tartar is shown.

Kristin: Cooking from scratch, especially when you have such a bounty of local products, for us it really means, if you can make it in-house, make it in-house.

Chris cooks among other cooks in the kitchen. He makes a gesture for someone to come over to his station. Chris flips the potato rosti in the pan.

Kristin is watching attentively. Kristin pours sauce onto a platter to create an elaborate design.

Kristin: Chris teaches a lot of students as they come in, just by being an active chef. As soon as you ask for help, he'll come right over and show you exactly how something needs to be done and leaves a lot of room for creative input.

In the kitchen, Chris looks over and smiles. A large piece of meat is slowly cooking on the fiery grill. A plate of 2 fresh oysters is shown. Chris adds sauce to a dish. A ready plate of food is passed out of the kitchen. Chris coats meat in flour.

Kristin: Chris is kind of a gem of the community. When he got here there were certain things you just couldn’t buy in the stores. There were a few things that he influenced people to start growing just by being here and asking for it.

The scene fades to black.

The exterior facade of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre is shown.

Inside the centre, William Smith turns to Chris and smiles.

Text displays: “William Smith, Advisory board director, Huntsman Marine Science Centre”

William and Chris are looking down and pointing at the touch-aquarium. Chris reaches his arm down the aquarium and retrieves a large lobster to examine it.

Chris and William discuss together.

A poster with the hashtag “#DebrisFreeFundy” is shown.

The Bay of Fundy at low tide is shown.

William: We were lucky to get him on our advisory board. He's helped us greatly with commercial research for the aquaculture industry, so we do a lot of that now, it's a big revenue generator for the organization, and we also teach a lot of children about cleaning up the Bay of Fundy.

At the aquarium, Chris picks up a clam and shows it to William. Two seals are swimming in the water.

William: Chris is very community-minded and he’s concerned about the growth of the community and its survival and its sustainability, so he joins in.

A downtown street of St. Andrews is shown. Waves break on the shoreline. An open clam sits on seaweed. The view from a car shows houses and skyline as they pass by.

William is seated at the Rossmount Inn restaurant with friends. One of the friends receives a steak dish. They clink glasses together.

William: Among other things, the Tourism Department in New Brunswick, they always include him if they're having a seafood festival or something like that, and everybody wants to go to his restaurant, you know. I tell everybody it's the best restaurant outside of Paris.

The scene fades to black.

The front hall of the Rossmount Inn is shown, and Graziella hangs up decorations in the dining room.

Graziella and Chris look at the menu. Graziella sets the dining tables. The kitchen staff are cooking and walking around the kitchen.

Chris: We wanted to have local people in our restaurant throughout the year. We were able to grow a business here from 7 employees to 25 employees.

The flags of Canada, the United States and New Brunswick are flying next to each other in the wind.

A couple checks into the inn, walks down the hallway and into their room.

Graziella and Chris look at each other and smile. Graziella and Chris share a quick kiss.

Chris: Two prominent families who’ve come here and became regular customers, they stopped in the corridors and they turned around, they looked at Graziella and myself, and said, “The 2 of you, you’re a wonderful addition to this community”.

Chris and William are laughing at the aquarium. Chris and William are smiling and talking at the Rossmount restaurant.

Chris laughs in the kitchen with his staff.

Chris: And I think still today, I think that was one of the nicest things you can achieve, when people think you're part of the community.

A city sign is shown that reads, “St. Andrews by-the-Sea, Est. 1783, National Historic District, Passamaquoddy Bay Recreational Area”.

A view from the air shows the Rossmount Inn, the forest and the Bay of Fundy.

A view from the air of the Bay of Fundy shows the pier, the houses and the low tide revealing the shore.

A distant view from the air shows the Rossmount Inn, surrounded by a large forest.

Chris: I was asked, “Why did you come here?” It's the beauty of the land, it's the incredible products and seafood, that's all brought us here. But it's the people who kept us here.

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Immigrants enrich our communities.”

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Share your story #ImmigrationMatters Facebook: @CitCanada; Twitter: @CitImmCanada; Instagram: @CitImmCanada”

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Canada.ca/immigration-matters”

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada corporate signature is shown, along with the copyright message, “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2019”, followed by the Canada wordmark.

Immigration profile: St. Andrews, New Brunswick

Quick facts:

  • Immigrants in St. Andrews represent some 8% of the population.
  • The United Kingdom is the biggest source country of immigrants to St. Andrews, followed by the United States and Germany.
  • Almost three-quarters (70%) of immigrants who came to St. Andrews between 1980 and 2016 were economic immigrants and almost a third (30%) were sponsored by family.

Did you know?

  • First settled in the 1760s, the St. Andrews area had a major influx of British loyalist civilian refugees during the closing months of the American Revolution.

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