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Scenic Winter Beauty

The Great Northern Peninsula is incredibly scenic, especially after a blanket of snow. We have beautiful forests, mountains in the backdrop and the sea is all around us. The wonder of living rural!


These photos were taken on Route 434 (Conche Road) on a visit to the Northern Peninsula East. A friend and I took a number of photos in Bide Arm, Roddickton and Conche during the winter of 2011. We captured snowmobiles, sheds, boats, mountains of snow, wharves, ice pans and of course shared many moments of laughter. It is nice to explore what is in your own backyard, one never knows where that turn in the road will take you.


Today, I will be travelling to Main Brook and Conche, as part of my duties as the Member of the House of Assembly. It is only a matter of time and winter beauty will surround the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

Enjoy the great outdoors and experience the Great Northern Peninsula!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North



Forest Industry on Great Northern Peninsula Forgotten by Government: Mitchelmore

For Immediate Release:

November 7, 2013

Forest Industry on Great Northern Peninsula Forgotten by Government: Mitchelmore

Independent Member Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) says Government inaction has led to the loss of forestry jobs and economic opportunity on the Great Northern Peninsula.

For years the forest industry has been on life support with the downturn in demand for newsprint, shedding hundreds of jobs on the Peninsula. The current shutdown of Holson Forest Products has made matters worse, as local workers, business and Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm and surrounding communities suffer from economic instability.

“Millions of public dollars was invested under the Forestry Diversification Program to re-build the sawmill, establish a kiln and a 60,000 MT pellet plant in Roddickton’, says Mitchelmore. ‘It is evident from months of unproductivity; there are barriers that must be overcome to provide a product that is in demand to market. It’s time for Government to ensure that public money is protected and work with the company to become fully-operational.”

“This business model is ideal to maintain rural jobs and build sustainable rural economies. Government should not forget the value of the forest industry on the Great Northern Peninsula. It is time to get serious about developing this important industry.”

During a meeting of the Public Accounts in October, Department of Forestry and Agrifood officials stated they were committed on having a fully-functioning pellet plant in Roddickton-Bide Arm. The Minister should re-affirm the words of his officials with an action plan to have pellet production begin at Holson Forest Products within six months.


Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
Tel: 1-888-729-6091

Have you been to Bide Arm?

Bide Arm was the only new community created under the Resettlement Act in 1969. Residents from Hooping Harbour, Williamsport, Little Harbour Deep, Englee, and Fox Harbour relocated to the new community (Source:

My former co-worker during 2008, Tony was a resident of Bide Arm. He would talk about his beautiful community with much pride and one could hear the excitement 2009 would bring with Come Home Year. I felt the same sense of excitement as my hometown, Green Island Cove would also be celebrating Come Home Year in 2009.

The Come Home Year would ensure resettlement was a focal point, with a replica of Ashton House being towed and many other homes depicting a sign, saying “The Family Name and I was towed…”


This summer, I visited the community on the day LG Health sent an advisory concerning air quality as forest fires raged in Labrador. One could certainly see the haze, but the beauty of this magical place remained.


I would encourage residents and visitors to the Great Northern Peninsula to add this place to your experience – there is the Armistice Park (which highlights the rich history of boat building (, walking trails, Ashton House, Scenic Pursuit Boat Tour (, playground, family owned small businesses, Apostolic Faith Church and a photo waiting to be snapped around every corner.

There is a scenic view from the doorstep of serene water, groves of trees and hills surrounding the arm. In July 2011, I drove with my friend, Riley from British Columbia as the Municipal roads were being paved for the very first time (See photos in post: However, there is still needed infrastructure when it comes to road repairs to Route 432 and Route 433 to help drive passenger traffic to this community, as well as addition of high-speed Internet. I encourage you to sign petitions by clicking here. Let’s do this together!

Bide Arm is certainly beautiful beyond the summer months. As recent as this past week one could see the bright leaves as they have changed colour and the peaceful surroundings of a small Town that has so much to offer. If you have been to Bide Arm, share your experience. If not, please add it to your places to go…

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
Recommended Reads:
Scenic Pursuit Boat Tours- Tourism at its Finest.

Underground Salmon Pool, Roddickton-Bide Arm, NL

Winter road to Roddickton-Bide Arm

Roddickton Come Home Year Exudes Community Spirit

It’s All About Regional Marketing


Roddickton Come Home Year Exudes Community Spirit

Come Home Year is about bringing together a community, instilling pride in one’s roots, as well as meeting old friends and making new ones in a place that is familiar, a place we call “home”.

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Over the past few weeks, it was quite evident to see the beautiful Town of Roddickton come to life in preparation for the festivities with banners, flags, flower bins and static displays on lawns as the big day drew nearing. The committee, comprised of dedicated volunteers worked diligently over the last year to make this unforgettable week possible. Laura Rowsell, Committee Chair and her team are true organizers and community leaders. They deserve the utmost praise for their commitment to the community and showing when a few people come together for the common good – all things are possible.

Roddickton Come Home Year had registered more than 1,700 people for the occasion,  which more than doubled the Town’s population of 800 plus permanent residents.

It all started this past Monday with a parade. How time certainly flies when you are having fun! I had the pleasure of watching the floats as they crossed roadways in Town for more than hour with the RCMP leading the charge. This massive parade included the Shriners and their mini vehicles, clowns and impressive floats. The parade began with “The Hancocks” and their step back in time display with an old stove baking bread, washing clothes and hanging it out to dry and enjoying a cup of tea in traditional attire. They would later go on to win the $500 prize for best float. The parade also had a uniquely crafted “Lukey’s Boat”, Charlie’s Chili was being served to those watching at roadside, the giant moose with no hunting sign (given Roddickton is known as, “moose capital of the world”) also made an appearance, the recreation committee, local business like Liberty Tax Service and Mayflower Outfitters and many others joined the festivities.

This was followed by the official opening, that had a big crowd piled into the arena for Opening Ceremonies. I brought greetings on behalf of the people in the District and looked forward to the week ahead. It certainly did not disappoint. After a feed of fish cakes at AJs Diner, that evening, I took in the Memorial Tree Lighting Service.

On Tuesday, I arrived for some of the children’s day activities. The arena was a kid’s oasis, with bouncy castles, mascots, painting, cotton candy, games and lots of fun. I enjoyed the afternoon chatting with constituents and had a lovely traditional meal of baked beans, stuffed squid, pea soup, fish n’ brewis and pie with some 500 people at the arena. This was followed by a talent show to my estimation likely drew 1,500 people – filling chairs, bleachers and standing areas. It clearly showed the diverse vocal and musical talents of the local people. The roars and cheers were tremendous.

Wednesday boasted a craft fair, which I purchased a lovely handmade Christmas mummer ornament for my tree with “Roddickton, NL” written on it and a tall mummer with a harmonica. Fitting the day before, I bought a tartan scarf with the whale tail and words Newfoundland & Labrador embroidered. I also spent some time watching the ball hockey tournament at Cloud River Academy before heading into Englee to visit constituents.

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Thursday was a Teddy Bear Picnic at the Farm. Weather completely co-operated on this day and I took some time to relax and enjoy the view near the World War II Radar Site on the Farm. If you have not been, I highly recommend the picnic area and day park. It is a great piece of community infrastructure to enjoy. Next there was the duck race at Eastern Brook. It was exiting to see people gather in crowds near the old swimming spot! I then took a tour at Elsie Reid’s, Blast from the Past Walking Trail, which I wrote about previously. I highly recommend seeing it and also purchasing some herbs or other all-natural products. I then toured the White Bay Central Health Centre, Roddickton Fire Department, Cloud River Academy and Green Moose Interpretation Centre.

Friday, proved to be another fabulous day as I visited residents in Bide Arm and watched some of the large-scale 11 team volleyball tournament. This was followed by a grand Christmas Dinner. I attended Gospel Fest that evening and was blown away once again by the local talent, especially Benjamin on the keyboard and the singing of Karla. We even have some very promising youth in the single digits doing solos and performing as a team. The future of music looks quite bright in the Roddickton area.

Today is Lumberjack Day, to recognize the town was built around its rich forestry resources. It is certainly overdue for Government of NL to announce its intentions of the Central Timber allocation to create an opportunity for the Roddickton Pellet Plant to ship in conjunction with an outfit in Central, retain and grow regional employment. We have a rich resource, that can add significant value to the local and international economy. Anything less, is a clear indication the current Governing party has abandoned the Town of Roddickton and surrounding communities, including the businesses that are directly or indirectly linked to the forest industry.

I’m looking forward to the events tomorrow, it should be another fabulous day to clue up a true community success for 2013. There will be memories made that will last a lifetime. I’ve only heard positive remarks from those I have spoken too about their Come Home Year experience. Like your theme, I believe you have “Awaken (Awoke) the Giant”. I commend the volunteers for making this possible and hope they consider hosting another in the next five years. Conche has just hosted their very impressive week of Come Home Year activities and this Monday is also the beginning of Savage Cove Come Home Year!

I encourage other communities to do the same. It brings tremendous benefits to a region and builds community spirit.

Remember those who can – do. Those who do more – volunteer!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North


Conche, Newfoundland & Labrador on a Winter’s Day

Conche, Newfoundland & Labrador is a Town of the Great Northern Peninsula that is tagged as “The Beauty Spot of the North”. It like Fogo Island, should be one of the Top 10 Destinations to visit in the World – rich in culture, vernacular architecture, French history and overflowing with local knowledge. This place does exist, so add it to your vacation in 2013!


The view from the cove on a winter’s day can be enchanting…


Conche is also a vibrant fishing community, with a number of small boat fishers and those harvesting shellfish. An active fish plant still is seeking employees based on advertisements in the local paper. What a wonderful community to be able to earn a living. Why not consider putting in an application at Conche Seafoods Ltd?

What a great view of Lar’s Place in the photo below:


This wharf depicted below is a pleasure to view. It has since been updated with new lines as it continued to survive elements. The Newfoundland Flag has nearly been weathered away. Don’t despair though, from walking trails, snowmobiling and interactions with local Conchers will make the visit in winter well-worth the trip.


If you cannot make a winter’s visit to Conche, NL, then drop by in summer. This Town is at the Heart of the French Shore ( and 2013 is 300 years after the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht. It has North America’s only 222 ft tapestry on Jacobian-linen, make by local women depicting the culture, heritage and history on the French Shore and was designed by artist J.C. Roy. As well, July 25 -August 1, 2013 is Conche Come Home Year Celebration. It is not to be missed!

Newfoundland & Labrador Government must commit, develop a plan to pave Route 434 to Conche. It is a 17.6 KM gravel road that has received millions in realignment a few years ago. Without the hardtop, that invest is eroding down to the bedrock.


Despite a gravel road, this Town is a destination – a must visit! While on the Great Northern Peninsula East, check out communities of Englee, Roddickton, Bide Arm, Main Brook, Croque & St. Julien’s-Grandois – you simply could not be disappointed. Experience the many wonders the Great Northern Peninsula has to offer.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Underground Salmon Pool, Roddickton-Bide Arm, NL

The Underground Salmon Pool just minutes from the Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm is a natural attraction. A boardwalk will allow you to circle the trails to the underground salmon pool.

There are panels with information and signs directing you to the underground hole.

It is amazing the natural beauty we have around us on the Great Northern Peninsula.

If you like the natural beauty of what the countryside has to offer than en route to Roddickton-Bide Arm, take a stroll to the underground salmon hole.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore


Black Bear spotted driving ‘Cross Country Road’

Jenn of Wildwoods Farm was driving ‘cross country road’ – the road between Roddickton where one crosses the top of the peninsula to get to the Straits side via Grenfell Drive, Route 432, when she saw a Mama Black Bear crossing the road.

“She was very casual in her stroll. Once I got closer I saw in the woods she had single youngin’ in there, but they disappeared fast into the woods by then.”

Her photo was taken  about 9 in the morning during the first week of June. It is incredible the amount of wildlife one has the opportunity to see when driving our highways in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. I had travelled over this past weekend to St. Anthony, L’Anse Aux Meadows, Quirpon, Main Brook, Conche, Roddickton-Bide Arm and Englee and saw quite a few moose and other smaller critters. However, I have yet to see a bear this year. One trip to Conche last summer with a friend from Montreal, we did get a view of a young cub at roadside. It was my first black bear sighting in nearly 25 years on the rock. A few days later I would spot another black bear on the Trans-Canada Highway en route to Paradise to visit my sister.

I re-call when Winnie the Pooh was trapped in Rabbit’s burrow and Rabbit  placed a sign, “Don’t Feed the Bear!” Remember, that is good practise as they are wild animals.

Thank you Jenn for providing Live Rural NL readers the opportunity to see your supplied photo. I encourage you and others to send images of Great Northern Peninsula and I will do my best to make them available. Email

Discover the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore



Live Rural NL Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

One year ago today, I introduced myself to the wonderful world of blogging under the name Live Rural NL. Over the past year I have scribed nearly 200 posts and have shared with you my rural life from heritage, cuisine, politics to vacations. I extend a big thank you for all my loyal readers for continuing to show interest in the potluck of articles I post daily as time permits.

The journey over the past 365 days was a learning experience as I became much more aware of the significant aspects of rural culture that surrounded my daily life. For instance:

  1. the tradition of soup Saturday with my grandmother, my love for fisherman’s brewis, figgy duff and Sunday’s Dinner.
  2. the significance of my grandfather’s folklore, his incredible riddles, quotes and jokes – sadly only the memories remain with his passing on June 6, 2010.
  3. I continued to realize how much I value the water and the importance of the fishery to our rural economy.
  4. I took a strong stance against Ellen DeGeneres’ views on the Canadian seal hunt, lobbied Governments for Broadband Internet access and asked for decision-making at a more localized level.
  5. I realized the nuisance a Moose can be on our roadways, but how delicious they are in a pot of stew.
  6.  I learned how to traditionally hook rugs, paint using acrylics and also improve my photography skills.
  7. I spent time with family, playing games, telling stories, enjoying laughter.
  8. Locally, I visited most places on the Great Northern Peninsula, being a tourist at home. |This past weekend, I’ve re-visited again Conche, Englee, Roddickton- Bide-Arm, Main Brook, St. Anthony, L’Anse aux Meadows and Quirpon to tour with a friend. I’ve returned to St. Pierre-Miquelon-Langlade, Grand Bank, Marystown, Burin, Brigus, Cupids, the Irish Loop, St, Johns, Port Home Simpson, Mary’s Harbour, Lodge Bay, Battle Harbour and the Labrador Straits. Evident from the nearly 50,000 kms I have placed on my car in the past year.
  9. Nationally, I visited Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg
  10. Internationally, Mom and I visited France, England, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland last November to experience the Newfoundland-Ireland connection. I also travelled to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Cuba.
  11. I joined Couch Surfing
  12. I met up with old friends and made new friendships
  13. I realized the importance of community and how everyone has a role to play and that we should do our best to contribute.
  14. I plan to visit Raleigh, Cook’s Harbour and Cape Onion this summer season. As well as return to many other places. As well, I would love to spend a weekend in Fogo, Ramea and St. Brendan’s. There must be something about island culture.
  15. Culture evolves and does not remain stagnant
  16. We have some of the best cultural assets in the world!
  17. There is immense opportunities on the Great Northern Peninsula, for those young and old alike.
  18. Include the community in the decision-making process. Local people have valuable ideas and contributions.
  19. The Great Northern Peninsula is an experience
  20. Live Rural NL!

To reiterate lines of my first post, “I have changed many times as a person as I progress through my twenties, but I realize that with the right attitude and efforts we can accomplish the unthinkable. Today my friends, I just want to share with you what it means for me to continue to Live Rural Newfoundland.”


Christopher C. Mitchelmore


Coca Cola Much Covers – Profiles Rural Newfoundland’s Travis Sheppard

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has talent. I stand by this statement, which I had written in July 2010 after attending the Big Droke Idol as part of the annual Big Droke Heritage Festival. There was a diverse range of talent – with some very young vocalists singing to background music, to more veteran singers using the squeezebox and those that needed no music but their own. It was quite the night and array of talent.

Just moments ago, my friend messages me on Facebook with the following message:
Watch my Much Music video by following the above link. Copy the link to your facebook page so all your friends can watch too…..
This truly is a great way to self-market. Have your friends be Champions for you and promote the product or service you are selling. Any small business person or self-employed individual could learn something from this artist that has talent.
In 2005, I was able to first meet Travis Sheppard. He already had a Demo CD produced. I purchased a copy and was greatly impressed. The lyrics of his songs, that were self-written, were very powerful. You could tell that they were fueled by emotion. Travis is entrepreneurial and played several gigs throughout the summer locally. He has been pursuing a post-secondary education at Memorial University and has been performing and can be found signing a number of covers at

Make sure you rate the video and share on the social networks.

If you have talent, join the competition. Release Your Inner Superstar!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore

Ski-dooing in Rural Newfoundland…

Da' Yammie, Conche, NL

Buddy Wasisname, a Canadian Comedian born in Newfoundland & Labrador has been known to tell jokes, especially about “Da Yammie”.  
Buddy Wasisname: You knows what a Yammie is? Ah? What? You don’t what a Yammie is? A Ski-doo with a Yahama sticker on ‘er.
To many rural Newfoundlanders & Labradorians they love the winter activity of ski-dooing. It is one of those brands that super-cedes the term of being referred to as snowmobiling. It is up there with brands like “Scotch Tape“, “Kleenex” and “Windex“.  
When visiting Conche, I saw this Yahama Bravo taking in the view of the harbour as the owner had last left it there. My father always loved his Bravo. He used it to haul wood and take him for many rides in the woods.  My sister can certainly remember going around the house on Da Yammie. I was much younger, but certainly remember my father taking me with him at times for rides in the woods, sometimes where he was rabbit snaring. He would even show me how to tail a slip. Those are good memories.

Ski-dooing in Bide-Arm

A visit to Bide-Arm also demonstrated that many people use their ski-doos, as the tracks were well-marked. As I write this, there are children outside on ski-doo, towing others on GTs. We had fun buzzing around the houses in the community. Sometimes we would even do the same,  throw snowballs or take a ride in the woods. There is nothing like ice-fishing on the pond or having a boil-up using pond water to make a cup of Tea. To date I have not found a better place to enjoy a cup of tea than at the cabin.
Although we are into the Spring season, there is lots of snow in Northern Newfoundland. For those who enjoy ski-dooing, there is still an opportunity to enjoy the countryside.
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore

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