Meet the former Frederictonian behind a gem of Canada’s Instagram feed | Tech Reddy


A man in a shirt and a light baseball cap has his hands in the pockets of a denim jean jacket.  There are bright autumn leaves on the trees behind him.
John Batt, creator of the popular Instagram page Canada.gov.ca, says it’s like sitting next to him at the bar as he tries to explain his fascination with Sussex Ginger Ale. . (Contributed by John Batt)

Have you ever wondered what’s wrong? Anne of Green Gables theme park in Ashibetsu, Japan? How many lighthouse keepers were there in Cape Breton in the early 1960s? Or who designed the World’s Greatest Valley in Shediac, NB?

If you have, John Batt has the answers: The book was sent by a Canadian missionary in the late 1930s, secretly translated by a Japanese student, and then distributed by the US State Department in occupied Japan. Soldiers. More than 10,000 players. And Winston Bronnum.

Batt, a Frederictonian living in Montreal who previously described himself on Instagram as “mid-30s but could be about 25,” might be better known as “admin.”

That’s the name tens of thousands of Canadians know him as the creator and manager of the Canada.gov.ca Instagram account. At face value, that equates to a federal government presence on social media. A few moments in the quirky feed, however, can prove to be anything but.

I’m talking. This is me sitting next to you at a bar trying to explain to you how delicious Sussex Ginger Ale is.– John Batt

The account, created by Batt in 2017, is a rabbit hole of Canadian nostalgia that is popular among Laurentien pencil-wielding, Jos Louis-munching Canadians born in the late 1980s and early 1980s. of the 1990s.

“I think because I write about things that are important to me, it’s personal, and people around my age really relate to it,” said Batt, who was born in the year 1986.

Although Instagram’s metrics tell her that most of her followers are 25 to 34-year-olds, she spans a wide range of ages, from members of Gen Z to Nova Scotia singer Anne Murray.

‘Hey, we’re here’

While his account tells the dynamic, inspiring and thought-provoking history from sea to sea, many columns focus on the place where he was raised: New Brunswick.

Batt has lived in Montreal since the early 2000s, but, he said, “nothing stirs a Maritimer’s love for the Maritimes like leaving.”

News focused on New Brunswick was based on the idea that the province would get the short end of the stick.

“I think from New Brunswick, it’s a neglected, neglected state,” Batt said.

Now, he’s sharing his love with his 46,000 followers.

“I think a fire has been lit under me. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think a lot of the accounts I’m talking about in New Brunswick are like, ‘Hey, we’re here. This is happening. And we’re a smart bunch.'”

It is increasing

The account started out as a rock.

“Mostly, I thought, the idea of ​​the handle is available [was] funny,” said Batt.

In the end, it becomes more focused. Batt — who studied English at university — was working in an office with no opportunity to write.

“So, I kind of had this little space. And I thought, why don’t I just create this little space for myself?”

As with many of his posts, his captions are almost literal, telling stories that people wondered about but didn’t think to dig into.

“That’s me talking. This is me sitting next to you at the bar and trying to explain to you how delicious Sussex Ginger Ale is,” he said.

In his post on the golden drink, he describes various medicinals, amber color and spices.

“When Barq’s ran the ‘Barq’s has Bite’ campaign – the Maritimers just smiled to themselves: ‘the hosts,'” he wrote.

While extolling the powers of Deluxe French Fries, he analyzes the evolution of his mascot.

“The original fryer has a real 3D growing crown, part of their unique slogan: ‘Deluxe: Crown for good taste,'” he wrote.

“The new guy has a cheeky smile and points his crown at you, even though the crown and drawing is easier this time, he’s still very beautiful.”

Canadians are a nostalgic community

As the account grew in popularity, fans became more active, Batt said.

“The fans are more important than the person in charge. You know, the way they contribute is amazing.”

He likes to use the example of a magazine or newspaper article. In print, he said, it’s hard for people to add to the story.

With a platform like Instagram, stories make him realize he’s not telling half the story.

A post from April focuses on Andy’s Dummy Farm, the famous New Brunswick attraction found on the way to the Confederation Bridge.

“I’ve had 150 or 200 people tell me about their memories of standing at Andy’s Dummy.

Many posts are based on ideas.

When doing her own research, she turns to local history Facebook groups, one of her favorites being New Brunswick Upon Days Faded.

“I’m not going to spend time in the provincial archives, per se,” he said. “I’m in boomer news.”

As the page continues to grow, Batt plans to continue doing things that are truly unique, “writing about things that interest me and making something funny if I have to.” let’s laugh.”





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