Category Archives: Community Economic Development

QUIRPON RADIO LAUNCHED!

I woke up this morning to find out about this exciting new community development endeavour of Radio Quirpon. Wayne Bartlett and Cheryl McCarron  are the creators of something wonderful for Newfoundlanders & Labradorians everywhere to enjoy a little piece of “the Rock”. Radio Quirpon is available at www.radioquirpon.com.

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And ofcourse, others too can enjoy our  unique culture and our music. I especially love the local tunes from the creator, Wayne Bartlett and Straitsview’s own Skipper Hot’s Band.  Little Bo Peep was one I’m looking forward to hearing again :). It is also nice to hear the personal commentary, it gives each song a special meaning when one listens.

Radio Quirpon has a selection of local photos from the the Great Northern Peninsula, as well as videos and a blog. I encourage you all to visit their site and share your thoughts.

Picture2I would like to thank the creators for sharing their talents with the world. It is these types of initiatives that will build a much stronger community, one that reaches well beyond our small populations. I look forward to spreading the word! Let’s keep historic Quirpon with a population of 75 people on the map!

Cheryl operates “Coffee in the Cove”, located in Hay Cove (population 32)  which is just minutes from L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site. Experience where the Vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America more than 1,000 years ago. Coffee in the Cove offers a selection of freshly brewed coffees, espressos, lattes and has a singing kitchen. On Facebook, visit their page called Coffee in the Cove.

The Great Northern Peninsula, where big things are happening in very small communities. Help spread the word!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Related Stories:

Scenic Hay Cove – Your Northern Coffee Experience

 

 

 

Canada appealing WTO ban on seal products

The Environment and Minister responsible for Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Leona Aglukkaq is in Geneva appealing the World Trade Organization (WTO) ban of Canadian Seal Products in the European Union today, which was upheld on the basis of moral grounds.

I support the Minister in our appeal. The Canadian seal hunt is well-regulated, humane and sustainable. It has been a way of life and a significant part of our culture and heritage on the Great Northern Peninsula for centuries.

In fact, St. Barnabas in Flower’s Cove was built under the leadership of Rev. Canon J. T. Richards in the 1920′s. The men and women made seal skin boots, which when sold went into a building fund. The church has been known locally as “seal skin boot” church.

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Local harvesters each year prepare to take to the ice. These are brave and courageous sealers, who risk their lives to provide for their families. My father was a sealer. He knew the art of bark tanning and preparing the skin to make leather products. Depicted below are seals tanning in Savage Cove, by the very talented Mr. Stevens.

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There are more modern products beyond seal skin boots that have been used to keep us warm in some of the harshest weather conditions, as winter can be difficult for those of us in the North.

Below is a patchwork sealskin purse. They are handmade creations by local craftspeople. With pride I promote our very own GNP Craft Producers in Shoal Cove East on the Great Northern Peninsula. If you would like your very own, they can custom-make them. Visit www.gnpcrafts.ca or call 709-456-2123.

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I am a strong supporter of the Canadian seal hunt and will continue to press for more products and new business developments for all involved in the industry.

Supporting the Seal Hunt -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

(Seal skin purse photo credit – Donna Whalen-Grimes)

 

Local Culture Depicted at Pebble Beach Studio

Marjorie Dempster is the artist behind the Pebble Beach Studio at Plum Point, NL on Great Northern Peninsula. We are lucky to have such talent that is one of our own, that truly depicts rural living. She should inspire us all to follow our interests.

Majorie was one of many families in rural Newfoundland & Labrador to experience re-settlement. Her move was in 1972 when her family left the Fishot island, which is just a few kilometers from the scenic Town of Conche to settle in Port au Choix. Marjorie grew up around the fishery and outport Newfoundland. After raising her family, she opted to change her focus from painting walls to painting on canvas.

Who would have thought that an acrylic Christmas present from her husband, would create an opportunity to depict our culture on canvas?

I purchased one of her tree liver designs (depicted below) in Red Bay, Labrador during the summer of 2012 from the Women’s Institute Gift Shop. I loved the way the lighthouse was shaped on the craggy coastline from the natural product. This has value! In 2002, in starting Flower’s Island Museum, I felt a much closer connection to lighthouses and the important role they played for our fishers. Those who earned their living from the sea.

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This past Monday, I again saw more of Marjorie’s brilliant work. This piece was donated in aid of Breast Cancer Research. The color and shape of the flowers in bloom, along with a unique sky background reminds me of impressionism.

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Both pictures have seal products next to her art. This is also a very important part of our living culture on the Great Northern Peninsula.

 I really enjoy  my new hobby, I  do hope to continue as long as…..God Guides My Hand. – Marjorie Dempster

I am impressed by Marjorie for finding her talent and pursuing it with entrepreneurial action. We all have talents to share. If you like her work, visit www.pebblebeachstudio.com.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Trails, Tales & Tunes Festival happening May 2014 – Mark your calendars

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The 8th annual Trails, Tales and Tunes Festival takes place from May 16-25, 2014 in Norris Point, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador. I’ve been attending the festival, since the 5th Annual and it always has me coming back for more. I recommend you visit their website and use the schedule to plan a week, weekend or enjoy the entire festival in the heart of Gros Morne National Park www.trailstalestunes.ca.

In 2012, I pitched my tent and enjoyed the amenities of Norris Point’s own KOA campground. While last year, I made it a personal weekend away and spent it at the magnificent Neddie’s Harbour Inn (www.theinn.ca), which is the perfect get-a-way as it is a waterfront property nestled between the Long Range mountains and the tablelands. There are many options from tenting, RV parks, hostels, cabins, cottages, bed and breakfasts, lodges, inns and motels in and around beautiful Norris Point to fit any budget.

The festival hosts an ideal opportunity to visit Gros Morne early, hear the many wonderful storytellers and musicians at various venues, as well as enjoy the vast walking trails. There is also a long list of food options and various activities and entertainment throughout the week. It is likely one of the best weekend’s you’ll experience in the park.

I encourage you to participate and then work your way up the northern tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

I Went to One of the Four Corners of the Earth in 2012!

According to the Flat Earth Society, Brimstone Head on Fogo Island is one of the Four Corners of the World.

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A friend and I took a small tent and camped out at Brimstone Head back in June of 2012. In fact, we went right to the beach.

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A magical place, where the waves crashed gently and the sunrise and sunset was breath-taking. I’m not sure if anyone around us could hear our karaoke tunes from an iPhone as we belted out songs to a small fire on that pebble beach. Technology, isn’t it amazing!

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We climbed Brimstone Head. What an amazing view as we walk all around at the top. We could see birds and fishing boats off on a distance. It certainly is a destination!

I loved all aspects of our Fogo Island vacation, which included the fish at Nicole’s Restaurant, the homemade ice-cream at Growlers, the Heritage Quarter of Tilting, the crafts I purchased at the Wind and the Waves Artisan Guild, meeting Zita Cobb of the Shorefast Foundation as she launched the magic viewing boxes as marketing material, walking to the artist studios,museum tours, seeing the local sights, sounds and vernacular architecture and also dancing up a storm at Stag Harbour. We also did some local shopping at Riff’s, picked up food for cooking over our propane stove, met up with a friend from high school, attended a BBQ and chatted with lots of local residents. I also met with the Mayor and Councillors, to hear their concerns and get their view-point on the amalgamation of all the communities on the island to form the Municipality of Fogo Island.

We certainly did a lot in just a couple of days. It is amazing the fun you can have too! When I lived in Edmonton, Alberta, I was always a fan of weekend get-a-ways and random road trips, whether a drive to a neighbouring Town, province or state. I encourage all residents of Newfoundland & Labrador to explore a new outport this summer. Places like McCallum, Ramea, Burgeo, Grey River, St. Brendan’s and Hermitage are on my “To Visit” list. However, iceberg season is approaching and there is no better place than the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

The Straits-White Bay North Newsletter #7 – Winter 2014

As the Member of the House of Assembly for the District of The Straits-White Bay North, I’ve been actively engaged in representing my constituents and keeping them informed of the work I’ve been doing on their behalf. A regular newsletter has gone out to households in the District three times a year. Past newsletters can be found at www.christophermitchelmore.com/newsletters as well as a printable copy for download.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Add Raleigh to Your Summer Trip Plan

Raleigh Historic Village is a family adventure, where you can experience cultural tourism and live like a fisherman for a day, two or a week. They have bunkhouses where you can book accommodations, boat tours and various classes around rug hooking, oar making and net mending.

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Their website is: http://www.raleighhistoricvillage.com/

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The historic fishing rooms are being maintained in Raleigh.

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This  attraction is located on Route 437. In the community there is a restaurant, cottages, carving shop, Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve, walking trails and panoramic scenery. Also it is just a short drive from L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Viking Settlement and the commercial centre of St. Anthony, which is also home of the Legendary Sir Dr. Wilfred Grenfell and his historic properties.

The Great Northern Peninsula has an experience in every outport. Add Raleigh to your list of places to see.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Comedy Night in St. Anthony

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The Town will be hosting Comedy Night with Amy House on Friday, February 7th, 7pm at the Haven Inn.

Tickets are $25 each and available at the St. Anthony Town office or at the door on Comedy Night. Seating is limited.

Thanks,

Thresa Burden
Tourism & Development Officer | Town of St. Anthony
Phone: (709) 454-3454 | Fax: (709) 454-4154
www.town.stanthony.nf.ca

Ask Your Garden Questions to our local “Garden Lady”

Rural Newfoundlanders & Labradorians have been growing their own crops for centuries. Many tourist often stop to take photographs of our roadside gardens. My grandmother maintains two large gardens that sits between both of our properties.

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Garden by Roadside

Most of our gardens were more traditional root crops of potato, turnip, carrot and beets. However, in recent years there has been much growth in local vegetable production as we see more grow tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, zucchini and many more. We have seen more herbs, spices and nurseries for growing flowers.

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Local Roddickton resident, Elsie Reid has taken to local production, by establishing a green house, flower garden, bird sanctuary and a “Blast from the Past” walking trail.

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I had  the pleasure during the Roddickton Come Home Year of 2013 to tour this walking trail and speak with Elsie. She even introduced me to her “Mummers”. At the end of the tour, I was able to purchase some nettle tea, parsley, spearmint and peppermint.

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In speaking recently with Elsie, she plans to re-establish her “Blast from the Past” walking trail again this year. It is certainly worth stopping by to get a glimpse of local history and heritage, but also learn about local gardening and  an opportunity to enjoy her homemade products. Elsie has a wealth of information, she is willing to share with you.

If you have any garden related questions, you can visit her Facebook Group: Ask Your Garden Questions, found at www.facebook.com/groups/gardenlady59/

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
 
Related Posts:
Blast from the Past Walking Trail
How Does Your Garden Grow
Grandmother Mitchelmore, How Does Your Garden Grow? 
I found “Love” in St. Lewis
A Marketable Farmer’s Market, Let’s Get Growing
Needing Grandma’s Green Thumb to Grow Tomatoes 
Transition Towns…the future for Rural NL?
Harvest Time – Big Spuds 
 
 
 

Skyping with a Viking

L’Anse aux Meadows on the Great Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland & Labrador was the first point of re-discovery by the Europeans to North America more than 1,000 years ago. At L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site and/or Norstead Viking Village and Port of Trade we have an incredible opportunity to use technology to continue the unique cultural connection by offering new programming such as “Skyping with a Viking”.

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Skype is a free voice over Internet protocol and instant messaging service that also allows for video with a peer or in multiples.

These attractions mentioned above, have Viking reinactors that practice a Norse way of living a millennium ago. There are also Viking sites across countries in Europe. There is an ability to cross promote, share knowledge, culture and experiences with the world by using such an application. I think the concept of “Skyping with a Viking” could be popular.

However, rural Newfoundland & Labrador needs more advanced telecommunications, such as improved broadband and cellular coverage. These applications require a certain bandwidth to be effective. L’anse aux Meadows lacks the needed coverage. I’m advocating on a regular basis for these investments as they are key to developing our economy.

We are big on ideas! Rural Newfoundland & Labrador on the Great Northern Peninsula can be sustainable and grow, if we invest in advance telecommunication and transportation initiatives.

I for one, would love to have the opportunity to go Skyping with a Viking!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Mitchelmore recognizes Barbara Genge Induction into Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame

I made the following statement in today’s House of Assembly:

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Christopher Mitchelmore
MHA, The Straits-White Bay North
Private Member’s Statement
Barbara Genge – Tourism Hall of Fame 

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Barb Genge, a successful entrepreneur, engaged community leader and champion for sustainable development for being inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame.

Barb is President of Tuckamore Lodge Ltd., an award-winning hunting, fishing and adventure tourism lodge located in Main Brook, which is considered one of the best outfitting lodges in all of Canada. She believes in full economic utilization, without abuse, of nature’s resources and operates her lodge by these principles.

Barb is an inspirational entrepreneur and true leader of the north, exhibited through a lifetime of advancing the profile of tourism on the Great Northern Peninsula. She was a founding member of Viking Trail Tourism Association and its predecessor which levered millions in funding for Viking Millennial Celebrations at L’Anse Aux Meadows. She served 15 years as an Economic Development Officer at White Bay Central Development Association establishing community partnerships and investing millions into environmental and tourism related-projects.

In addition, she is a recipient of the Sustainable Tourism Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, and PRIDE award for excellence in tourism.

I ask all hon. Members to join me in congratulating Barb Genge on her business and community success.

Thank you.

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Savage Cove Come Home Year a Shining Example of Community Spirit

Savage Cove has about 150 current residents, but that certainly didn’t hold them back for organizing a Come Home Year Celebration that would see hundreds return to their roots and enjoy a week-long celebration from August 12-18th. When a community has a belief and goal, they tend to set the bar high and in many cases exceed expectations.

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Despite a windy day at the start, no one’s spirit was dampened. This was a first for the community and the waves likely reflected the energy of having everyone home again. In the weeks leading up to the event, people volunteered many hours building a structure to add to the Harbour Authority Building to ensure they could handle capacity.

The committee dedicated many hours and was heavily supported by the community and those expats away to ensure monies would be available for materials, bands, bags and other events through their fundraising efforts.

I enjoyed marching with the crowds, as family banners were held high. There were so many, I may not have captured them all. Last Christmas we held the 3rd Annual Mummer’s Walk in Savage Cove, with about 40 mummers walking the same path as those registered for Come Home Year. It was incredible to see hundreds march proudly from St. Mark’s Church through the community to end up near the point.

The week of activities was impressive and added something for the whole family, such as a bon fire with fireworks, kids activities, play day at the playground and recreation cages in Flower’s Cove, seniors card game, bingo, Newlywed Game and nightly entertainment. There were craft producers, daily breakfasts and most importantly lots of new memories being made.

Savage Cove is another small community that shows, even small communities can do big things. Next year, Eddies Cove East will be holding its first Come Home Year Celebration. I want to thank everyone involved, from the committee, other volunteers, residents, those who came back and others from the region who supported this Celebration. I’m proud we can celebrate our communities in a big way, it builds a stronger rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

Thank you for doing your part.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Felting a Family…

Today, I was looking back through some photos I had recently taken and this one happened to get my attention..a loving family that sits on my constituency office desk in St. Anthony.

Division No. 9, Subd. D-20130906-02738Carol Roberts of St. Anthony is a fiber artist. She works with wool product and other textiles to create. Thank you Carol for sharing your talent with me. The concept of spinning wool on the Great Northern Peninsula has only been lost by a few recent generations. The spinning wheel would be found in some early settler homes as they would create their own home spun sheep’s wool to make knitted stockings and other articles of clothing.

This summer Ms. Roberts along with a friend had taken a spinning wheel and started introducing new people to the process at Grenfell Heritage Days this past July. This is an exciting step because we have incredibly talented people in the region that are interested in small-scale craft production. There is opportunity to network, take workshops and make and sell product. I personally would like to see a craft co-operative established.

Rural sustainability is built on our ability to utilize the resources and enhance our skill set to get best value from them. There is opportunity for more raising of sheep in the District, selling and carding of wool and the creation of unique wool products that are of high-value, such as the items depicted above. If you like Ms. Roberts’ felted family or other products, many are available at Grenfell Heritage Shoppe at the Grenfell Interpretation Centre in St. Anthony.

Is a fiber arts or textile festival something to consider for the future on the Great Northern Peninsula?

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

MHA Christmas Card Deadline Nearing for K-6 Students of Straits-White Bay North

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Preparing the Seal Skin

The tradition of making sealskin boots has been around since seals inhabited the waters along the Strait of Belle Isle. For generations those who came before us participated in the hunt and the several week process of bark-tanning the skin to turn into a product.

Each summer, these laced in seal skins are commonplace at the Steven’s homestead. I am quite pleased to see this tradition continue. My father knew this process and the techniques used to soak, stretch and tan. I still have a pair of his sealskin boots, in which I wear in winter. I too would like to learn the seal skin boot making process.

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There is a book about seal skin boot making on the Great Northern Peninsula. It is entitled out of necessity. It is available at GNP Craft Producers in Shoal Cove East (www.gnpcrafts.ca).

Sabrina Lisa Fashion Design also believes in environmentally sustainable and all natural products. The sealskin wallet depicted below is one I use every day. It does not contain dyes, chemicals and was handmade.

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We should keep our traditions of the Great Northern Peninsula alive. More people should learn the process and also support entrepreneurs, craftspeople and the rural economy. We have a wealth of talented people and experiences.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Gateway to Market Great Northern Peninsula at Deer Lake Airport

Deer Lake Regional Airport is the gateway for visitors travelling the Great Northern Peninsula. This summer was record-breaking registering more than 40,000 passengers in both July and August. Last year more than 300,000 passengers passed through Deer Lake Airport earning it the record of the 4th busiest airport in Atlantic Canada.

While waiting for my bags at the carousel, I peered up at the wall and was pleased to see Parks Canada advertising L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. It got me thinking about how airports are gateways to promote local business and the tourism industry. We need to move past static signage and use more dynamic means of promotion – interactive screens.

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In the 21st century we have the ability to utilize technology and what better place than when waiting for baggage to come, sometimes 15-30 minutes of a captured market. Deer Lake Airport could have five large screens promoting distinctly the five economic regions: Tip of Great Northern Peninsula, Gros Morne National Park area, Corner Brook/HV, Stephenville & Port au Port, and the Southwest Coast. This was a message I relayed to Jamie Schwartz, CEO of Deer Lake Airport.

This is an opportunity to promote business, local attractions, events and images of landscapes and natural areas via short clips or imagery. This is what visitors really want. A partnership should be struck with Department of Tourism, Culture & Recreation; Department of Innovation, Business & Rural Development; Airport Authority; Western DMO and local industry stakeholders to add technology and pilot a project.

The screens and other static displays should have bar codes to provide further information by using tablet or mobile devices. This is being pursued by many countries in Europe. If we want to grow the tourism industry, we as well need to get with the technological times.

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We have so much potential to use our best assets to drive tourism, extend the stay of visitors and wanting them to come back for another stay before they even leave the airport on their current visit. These are simple matters that does not have a huge cost attached and the reward – significant.

Let’s reach Vision 2020 by 2018! It can be done if we put our creative ideas into actions.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
NDP Tourism, Culture & Recreation critic
 

The Straits-White Bay North Newsletter #6 – Fall 2013

Constituents of the District have been mailed a 12-page black and white copy on yellow paper. Residents who do not wish to receive bulk mail, from CanadaPost will not receive a copy through direct mail. If you did not receive a copy and would like one, please contact my office and we will mail you a newsletter.

Please click thumbnail image for full-size view:

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Great Viking Feast for St. Anthony & Area Boys & Girls Club

Saturday, September 28th – Leifsburdir becomes the gathering place for the St. Anthony & area Boys and Girls Club for a Great Viking Feast and annual fundraiser.

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I attended my first fundraiser in September 2011 and missed 2012 as I was in Liverpool, England touring the hometown of the Beatles. However, I was very pleased to come out and support this worthy cause in 2013 and hopefully for many more years to come.

First of all, Leifsburdir, is the only sod hut restaurant in North America. They offer a viking performance of sagas by rein-actors over dinner throughout the summer season. I encourage you to take this experience in while visiting St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. For more information visit: http://www.fishingpoint.ca/feast.html

The owner gives back each year, by donating their space and providing the meal to all patrons who take in the evenings event. The viking staff also give back by volunteering their talents and providing entertainment. The business community is involved by contributing prizes, including Provincial Airlines providing return airfare to St. Johns for two. The Boys and Girls Club had staff involved and youth helping to serve at each table – coffee, tea and desserts. It is a great sense of coming together for a cause everyone believes in – that is, providing much needed funds to ensure programming can continue and expanded for St. Anthony and area youth.

The club is now in its 13th year and has more than 200 youth registered at its centre. The success of the club, also demands increased supports whether from Government, grants or funds raised from outside sources. The Boys & Girls Club is a charity and can issue a tax receipt if anyone would like to support a local cause. Please contact 709-454-2582 or colleen@stanthonybgclub.com for any further information.

I had a wonderful time and ended up winning a prize. It is great to gather in our unique social spaces, enjoy the talents of those around us and help organizations thrive. If you were not able to take in this year’s event be sure to mark your calendar for the last Saturday in September. It will be a fun-filled evening.

Live Rural NL -
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Tourism Season Extended with Gros Morne Fall Fest & Craft Fair

Gros Morne National Park is a crown jewel of the province, attracting nearly 200,000 visitors annually. This region of the Peninsula has been expanding its products and experiences for the tourism market by extending the season. I had the pleasure to join the beginning with the Trails, Tales and Tunes Festival this past May. It was my second time attending the festival and hear the local talents of Jeff Quilty, Amelia Curran, Sherman Downey, Daniel Payne and many others who came from away, especially the Blue Grass music of the Spinney Brothers. Next year’s schedule will be posted in February at http://www.trailstalestunes.ca/schedule.html. It certainly is the place to be to get an early start on summer fun in Newfoundland & Labrador.

And the season extends into October…

Cow Head is a vibrant community, home to the Gros Morne Theatre Festival and the Dr. Henry Payne Museum. This tiny town has a group of dedicated volunteers that work tirelessly to ensure their Town is a place to visit on the Great Northern Peninsula. The creation of a four-day “Gros Morne Fall Fest and Craft Fair“, stems from the success of a one day craft fair. The festival focuses on traditional skills, craft, music and local culture does exactly that. It attracts people to the region, well beyond the peak of July and August tourism season. It is also an opportunity for locals to get involved, as the busy fishing season winds down.

I attended the official opening on Thursday night with a room of 100 people or more as we celebrated the efforts of all those who made this possible, especially organizer Ms. Glenda Reid-Bavis. This followed a Kitchen Party hosted by local talents, Stephanie Payne and Rob Thorne at the Shallow Bay Motel. The accordions, fiddles and song had everyone enjoying their evening.

On Friday, I also got to talk with the instructors and participants of the Moose Tufting and Basket Weaving Workshops. Maybe next year, I’ll get to participate.

Festivals and community events can be built around local instructors sharing their knowledge and teaching others, as we have such incredible talents and those who want to learn. I encourage other communities to reach out and create unique Fall experiences.

The printed schedule is available at the Shallow Bay Motel and there is still time to take in Traditional NL music, kit making, fiddle workshop, fine dining, silent auction, musical soiree, karaoke, craft fair and gospel concert over today and tomorrow. 

This festival is professionally put together by community partners. It is impressive to see what happens when the business, non-profit, non-government agencies, government and volunteers work together to make big things possible in small towns.

The Gros Morne Fall Fest and Craft Fair is just the beginning of many more. So mark your calendars, find out the dates next year when Cow Head will be host again to a flurry of Fall activity.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

CNA, St. Anthony offers Community Courses for General Public

The College of the North Atlantic St. Anthony Campus offers a variety of community and general interest programs that are available during Fall, Winter and Spring. I have personally completed Introduction to Basic Digital Photography and Rug Hooking. I would love to take a class on seal skin boot making or snowshoe making. It is important we continue traditional ways of our parents and grandparents. Why not consider learning a rural or new life skill?

MHA Dale Kirby (St. John's North) & I at College of North Atlantic Glass Art Studio

MHA Dale Kirby (St. John’s North) & I at College of North Atlantic Glass Art Studio

MHA Dale Kirby (St. John’s North) & I visited the College of the North Atlantic St. Anthony Campus’ Glass Art Studio. Below is information on the program from the CNA website:

Glass Art
Dates:  Fall, Winter, Spring
Cost:    Please contact campus
Duration: 18 hours

 

This course teaches participants the techniques of creating glass works that can be displayed as works of art or for everyday use.  Participants will learn the basics of glass cutting, designing and kiln firing to create plates, platters, wall hangings, mugs, glass panels, and other similar items limited only by the artist’s imagination. http://www.cna.nl.ca/campus/sa/programs.asp#evening

The College also offers acrylic painting, sewing, cake decorating, hunter and fisher program and many other courses. If you have an interest, give the college a call today at 709 454 3559!

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Scenic Hay Cove – Your Northern Coffee Experience

Hay Cove is a tiny fishing village on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, located just minutes from L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO site, where the vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America.

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The population is not large, the census notes just 32 residents. However, these are likely not year-round livyers. Yet for a tiny community, there are three Bed & Breakfasts (Marilyn’s Hospitality Home. Viking Nest B&B and Viking Village B&B), walking trails, icebergs and a newly opened coffee-house that offers freshly brewed coffee, espresso and other drinks from flavored beans and at times entertainment. I look forward to getting a fresh cup of coffee when next in Hay Cove.

During my last visit, I was pleasantly surprised by freshly baked cinnamon roles at Mrs. Hedderson’s house when visiting residents. They were delicious.

It is great to see local residents of Hay Cove create small business and expand local opportunities. This region is supported by a strong local independent business community. Let’s build stronger communities and create new opportunities.

Plan you trip to the Great Northern Peninsula today!

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Community Economic Development Forum – October 3rd

The future of our communities will depend on actions we as citizens take to shape them. We have seen recent developments that have been citizen driven such as the Little Folk’s Daycare, a non-profit daycare operated by a volunteer board in Flower’s Cove serving the 26 communities of the Straits. Similarly the Ivy Durley Place is expanding to meet the aging needs of our citizens primarily from Castor River to Eddies Cove East. Successful Come Home Year Celebrations were held in Savage Cove, Roddickton and Conche this summer. Cook’s Harbour-Wild Bight-North Boat Harbour raised $100,000 to build a Let Them Be Kids Playground and St. Anthony Lions are working with Habitat for Humanity to enable four families to be homeowners. We have much to be proud of when we are community building.

I’d encourage anyone to attend the following Community Economic Development Forum:

CED

Let’s Keep Building – Together!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Sailing the Mediterranean with my European Amigos!

On August 15th, I departed the rock on an adventure planned many months in advance. One has to do that if you want to use these things called Aeroplan points to travel on the cheap to far away lands. Over the course of these months, I have been quite excited to travel back to Italy, this time the small island of Sardinia and experience a week of sailing for the first time – with the most wonderful friends in the world.

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The Milk Run meant flying from Deer Lake to St. Johns to London to Munich to Olbia. I know when I arrived more than a day and many time zones later I was ready for sleep. The Grand President Hotel would be my resting place for the night, but I would not immediately sleep as they placed me on the top floor on the corner with an amazing view of the port, cruise ships, ferries and the aqua park. Below me, people were playing a friendly game of beach volleyball, the cheers were coming from an amusement ride and for the Canadian traveler, imagine hearing the sounds of Celine Dion from the stage. There was much vigor and life in this small town of Olbia. After soaking in the sights and sounds, I would peacefully drift off to sleep and would be greeted by my friends the next day.

After an amazing hotel breakfast my German friend and I played a friendly game of chess in the hotel lobby. He planned to continue his winning streak from the giant chess match-up in Cuba; however, it was not meant to be in Italy. During this game and others, I was able to come out victorious. Next time Old Sport, next time. We went grocery shopping, along the way we passed a small market and even an Esso gas station. We picked up a lot of groceries :) and made our way to pick up our sailboat. I was very happy with the name of our boat - RELAX. It is so important to just step away from the world sometimes and relax – it is good for the body and good for the soul. It was my first time sailing – I highly recommend. We left Portisco to various places including entering French waters near the island of Corsica.

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Re-united again! We all first met in the Czech Republic in 2007 on an exchange at the University of Economics. We’ve all remained friends ever since and have travelled to places like Switzerland, Denmark, Cuba, Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland), Ireland, Italy, France & Czech Republic having many random adventures.

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Although it took me awhile to recover from jet leg and feeling very congested, I had a wonderful week on the water seeing hundreds of sailboats, yachts, fishing vessels, cruise ships, sailing school and other pleasure crafts. The feel of just moving with the wind is amazing. The view scapes of the Italian coastline and houses built on cliffs is just leaves you in wonder. Each marina has something unique to offer. Each time we stopped at port, I had to ensure I ate “gelato” or Italian ice-cream or a double espresso.

The goggle photo will always have me think of the Minions, every time a second anchor drops and the humor they can bring to any situation. This is only the snapshot of more than 1,000 photos taken throughout the week.

From rowing the rubber dingy, making giant sand castles, swimming (albeit miserably at sea), playing cards, chess and other games, catching a few laughs and reminiscing about the good ol’ days made me realize how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends and how we were able to each share the tasks of cooking, dishes, weather, anchor drinks, safety, mechanical, supply and treasury in such close quarters and not kill one another. As well, Marcel certainly knows how to crack a coconut and make a feast that fits with the climate. It was also a great experience to sleep under the stars, while anchored in the bay.

One can only imagine how quickly a week can fly by when with a great group of friends having an adventure on a sail boat in the Mediterranean. Far too fast!  I ended up staying after my friends left almost another week before returning to the rock, enjoying Italian food, sun and surroundings. I do look forward to sailing again with Skipper Reto and sailors Tobias, David and Marcel. I waited a year for the vacation that truly was – like all the others it’s been a slice!

Take time to plan adventures with your friends. And always, live rural!

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Town Infrastructure Vital to Rural Economic Growth – Conche Roads Dire

Conche, NL just hosted a successful week of Come Home Year events, where hundreds of Die Hard Conchers’ came back to celebrate the place they call home.

As visitors turned off to Route 434 (Conche Road) they hit a very dusty gravel road that is wearing away to the bedrock. It has been a complete failure of current and past Governments to address the need to remove this gravel road from Provincial inventory. Despite rebuilding and realignment of this road in the mid-2000′s, the current Government has not committed to completing the job of paving the highway. This is coupled with the decision-making of cutting the calcium chloride program means more dust will leave the highway, creating unsafe driving conditions. Each passing day without paving Government is not getting best value for our tax dollars. This 17.6 KM of gravel needs pavement and we’ll continue to press Government to make this a priority.

The unpaved and dusty Route 434 to Conche:

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The pavement before Town that was not re-surfaced:

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Last year, Government re-surfaced 5 kilometers of road through Town which is of Provincial responsibility that was announced in July 2011 that did not get complete in that fiscal year. The Great Northern Peninsula continues to see late tender announcements and work happening very late in the year or carried over. Government voted against our caucus Private Member’s Motion regarding transportation strategy http://www.nlndpcaucus.ca/nr042413VoteAgainstStrategy.

This 5 KM of Provincial road should not have required repaving, at least not in less than 4 years since it was first paved. It was actually part of a pilot project announced in June 2007 cost shared between the Town and the Department of Municipal Affairs. At the time it was a 75-25 ratio meaning the Town chipped in nearly $125,000 to see this and it’s Town roads paved using this bituminous surface treatment (BST). It was supposed to be cost-effective and prolong the life of a highway. It failed and it left the Town in crisis because it had invested 25% and was left in just a couple of years with paved roads in worse condition than a gravel road, that the Town could not maintain. To make matters worse, shortly after this investment by the Town, the Government changed it’s municipal cost-sharing agreement to a 90-10. This small Town expended a large sum of money and is left with crumbling infrastructure.

I took a some photos of a few kilometers into Town, coupled with some scenic shots. The stops were quite frequent as the lower roads are deplorable condition and it would take more time to fully document condition of all Town roads.

Brush clearing and completion of line painting must occur and be completed earlier in the year, not still pending in mid-August.

Town infrastructure is vital to rural economic growth. The re-surfacing on Conche road was needed and Government at that time should have also re-surfaced the failed pilot project for Town roads.

The Town of Conche sees thousands of tourists annually and could easily be branded as a “tourism destination” with unique scenery, the French Shore, cruise ship visits, vernacular architecture and numerous attractions. It also has an active fish plant that sees product and workers commuting over this route. Development of Conche is being stagnated due to poor road infrastructure – it’s time for change.

I welcome any investment Government will make into our Municipal and Provincial road infrastructure in the District, as there are significant needs.

We need multi-year planning and create an economic master plan. I look forward to continuing these conversations with my constituents to redefine rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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