Blog Archives

Mussel Festival returning in St. Lunaire-Griquet this weekend!

Last year, residents in St. Lunaire-Griquet started a community development initiative to host a mussel festival, a fitting name given the Town is the only site of aquaculture on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. 

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I enjoy eating the locally grown mussels from our restaurants in St. Lunaire-Griquet & Gunner’s Cove. Northern Delight and the Daily Catch are two fabulous dining establishments. Mussels can also be purchased at Burden’s General Store or Hedderson’s Store (out of town mussels can be found at Grenfell Memorial Co-op, St. Anthony and through Gloria Barrett, Black Duck Cove). One gets great value from buying 10 lbs for $15.00. Buying mussels supports our local economy, it creates and maintains employment and leads to other economic opportunities that supports our small business and the non-for-profit community. St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI)’s initiative has positive impacts on the 16 communities of Cook’s Harbour to Goose Cove and even the greater region. 

One can see the schedule of events below of this year’s planned activities for the Mussel Festival in which I am delighted to attend the official opening. The volunteer committee has given many hours of their time and have worked with other groups such as the Firettes to help raise needed money for the volunteer fire department, as well drawing upon local talent and events for all ages. They deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to creating new opportunities in their small town.10606521_10152229744921835_3211486857501492555_n

I would encourage local residents of the Great Northern Peninsula and visitors to the region to enjoy a fun filled weekend at the Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet and of course, get a fine feed of mussels. 

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA                                                                                                    The Straits-White Bay North                                                                                                 @MitchelmoreMHA

 

Expanded Childcare on the Peninsula Helping Retain & Attract Youth

Accessible and affordable childcare is key to building a stronger community. Rural regions of the province also need these services for recruitment and retention of professionals and workers. In The Straits-White Bay North, the people have been getting it right for 20 years, as the Riddles & Rhymes Daycare in St. Anthony celebrated two decades of operations at the local College of the North Atlantic campus.

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Riddles and Rhymes Daycare offers childcare services for the general public and for College of the North Atlantic students. This is an ideal environment, especially for a parent wanting to pursuing further post-secondary, as they can drop their kids off at the daycare and check on them during break time.

This is a non-profit corporation established by a concerned group of working parents that worked hard fundraising and gained the attention of Government to ensure access to childcare was available to those of the St. Anthony Basin Area (Cook’s Harbour to Goose Cove and all places in between). At the celebration event in May, we heard the centre had some difficult years in the beginnings, but they were able to prevail and are a very successful model for other communities to follow. A timeline of events throughout the years clearly illustrate the impact this service has had on our children, employees, employers, students and the region as a whole. Affordable and accessible childcare helps build stronger communities.

In June 2013, a second daycare, “Little Folks” opened in the regional administrative centre of Flower’s Cove primarily serving a region of Castor River to Eddies Cove East

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The Little Folks Daycare is an initiative that shows how all things are possible when people, organizations and Government come together to fill a need and find rural solutions. This resounding group of parents, concerned citizens, Town of Flower’s Cove, Regional Economic Development Board and other partners never gave up – their work is to be commended.

I am especially proud to see a building re-purposed to provide a much larger contribution to the regional community. This former clubhouse was built with public funds to serve the softball field, which seldom saw the use to justify maintaining such a wonderful structure. We have many more buildings in our communities, either public buildings, former business, church owned property that could become a multi-use to expand the dynamic and help diversify our economy on the Great Northern Peninsula. It just takes a strong will from a small group of individuals to have a big impact.

Investing in this initiative with the support of Government also helps with recruitment and retention of workers for business, organizations and government. These are the type of investments in which we are proud, as they provide a safe, caring and structured environment that fosters strong education and advances social skills, giving our children an early start. 

I must commend all parents, volunteers and organizations that saw this need and encourage everyone to do what they can to support both Riddles & Rhymes and Little Folks Daycare, as they are two key entities for sustaining and growing our region.

This may also be an initiative for the residents of the Northern Peninsula East to consider working to establish a non-profit daycare in the regional centre of Roddickton-Bide Arm.

If you are considering starting a business or moving to the Great Northern Peninsula for employment or education there is exceptional childcare services available if you are thinking of starting or continuing to raise your family. You too, can enjoy everything this great place has to offer.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

 

Glacier Glass – An Incredible New Business

The Town of Englee located at the very end of Route 433 has faced challenging economic times since the closure of their fish plant and transfer of processing licensing in the early 2000’s. For the past decade, the Town has seen a decline in business, including their boat building operation and much out-migration from the community. The plant closure reflected the lost of more than a hundred direct jobs and impacted many more families. It is difficult for this historic fishing town which had one of first fresh fish processing plants in the province and industries focused on the fishery to transition and diversify their own economy.

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Englee is a beautiful Town and the fishery will always remain the most important thing. It is the reason for the existence of the community. Today fishing operations still continue, while the Town Council and Clerk work diligently to find new opportunities to enhance their region.

The fishery will be forever present, especially in their newly formed social enterprise an incredible brainchild of a true community developer depicted in Glacier Glass. Congratulations Doris!

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The image above is in the shape of a salted or dried cod-fish and has the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula created with a focus on the Northern Peninsula East, which comprises communities of Main Brook, Croque, Grandois-St. Julien’s, Conche, Roddickton-Bide Arm and Englee. Images of icebergs, whales, moose, lumber camps and nature are key features of the region.

Local people are making incredible products, that include whale tail necklaces, coasters with Newfoundland images, vases, candle holders, trays and so much more. This is all custom and handmade, created by local people.

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This is how we re-build our rural communities by creating unique products and new employment a few jobs at a time!

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The business has much promise from their unique birch forest depicted above or their unique iceberg designs below:

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Englee is known to attract the big berg or two. Here is one I took while walking one of their scenic trails.

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I would encourage you to visit their studio at the Englee Municipal Building or their Facebook Page by searching “Glacier Glass”. They can also make custom products for you to sell at your business. Supporting their business, supports local jobs in rural Newfoundland & Labrador and creates new opportunities for everyone!

There is so much potential from this project, it is worth celebrating – it has created a business. Englee has community-minded people who believe in the  future of their Town and these people are doing everything to turn the corner and ensure this Town of over 600 continues to be around for a very long time.

There are positive things happening on the Great Northern Peninsula and more great things will happen, because the people are passionate about this place. Experience the Great Northern Peninsula and add Glacier Glass to your places to visit and spend lots of money, because the product will be your memory of this great place for a lifetime.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Wi-fi Area Gratuito – A Must If You’re In The People Business

Wi-fi is certainly a must for today’s traveler. We are more connected than ever. If we are not providing such connectivity, not only are we impacting the experience of the current visitor, we are losing a valuable marketing tool to promote our region to gain new visitors and also encourage repeat visits.

This past summer, when I visited Olbia on the island of Sardinia, Italy I took the bus to the shopping centre on the outskirts of Town. This mall called “auchan” had designated “Wi-fi Area Gratuito” (free wifi hot spots) clearly designated to sit and connect. I was greatly impressed and stopped to use this added service.

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Additionally, the sign had a bar code to scan which notes the arrival of the app outlining the shops and service offering at the shopping centre. As society becomes more and more connected, we need to also move in that direction where we use technology.

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I departed from Deer Lake Regional Airport. It offers free wi-fi, which is very important to me as a traveller. I would like to see free (no log-in) wi-fi at all airports in Newfoundland & Labrador and more public spaces.

Some of our local businesses on the Great Northern Peninsula have implemented such an offering. I remember this summer in Conche, a community without cellular coverage,  provided me the opportunity to use free wi-fi at the Bits n’ Pieces Cafe or The French Shore Interpretation Centre as a means to stay connected and promote the region. As well, a  recent sign clearly marked that the Daily Catch Restaurant in St. Lunaire-Griquet also offers this free service. One of the early adopters of this free service was The Dark Tickle Company also in St. Lunaire-Griquet.

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Regions that lack cellular coverage and have access to Broadband Internet especially are driven to provide such a free service to customers. However, even in cellular regions visitors are quite happy to switch to free wi-fi to reduce their data roaming usage, which comes with a high fee. I encourage businesses, Municipalities to adapt and create more wi-fi around their place of business and in public space as a means to increase the local and visitor experience on the Great Northern Peninsula. This is a low-cost step to ensuring we build stronger, more vibrant economies.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White North
NDP Innovation, Business & Rural Development critic

L&E Restaurant Serving For 25 Years

25 years for many of us is a lifetime committed to serving the public. For my entrepreneurial aunt, well she’s been self-employed in the food service business for nearly 40 years. That is a milestone for any business owner.

Long before the L&E Restaurant moved to its new location in 1988, owner Linda Rose was serving up chicken and chips from her former business, Rose’s Snack Bar. The move was contemplated as a new high school was being built on Route 430 to replace the aging one in Flower’s Cove. The new location, adjacent to Consumer’s Pharmachoice, Brook’s Boutique & NL Liquor Express has driven traffic to this business over the years.

She is a fully licensed restaurant, with a broad menu offering that goes well beyond the original chicken and chips, burgers and hotdogs to include a variety of seafood dishes, soups, sandwiches, salads, turkey, beef, breakfast and other dishes. She also has soft serves, ice creams, sundaes and a variety of coffees.

I’ve been eating treats at L&E for as long as I can ever remember. This past Wednesday, I dropped by for a feed of chicken & poutine. It was more-ish! After the meal, I gave my Aunt a certificate recognizing her 25 year business milestone and wished I could have been there on the anniversary. She told me, it was quite a busy day, with an in-flux of customers as she had a giant cake and offered 25% off all purchases for the day.

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She recognizes the importance of giving back to her customers and community, from customer appreciation day to donating to a local event. Before I left, I was reminded about the 50-50 draw to support the Straits Regional Volunteer Fire Department.

The restaurant has changed a little over the years, from softer color tones, the addition of a fish tank to a gallery of folk art painted by her talented son, Danny Rose. His art work is not only displayed at L&E but in many homes throughout the region, province, country and beyond. It is great to see the passion of entrepreneurship and love for rural Newfoundland & Labrador that exists within our family. However, some things will never change – like the red chairs, the nostalgic jukebox or the atmosphere created by local people loving the food and joining the conversations in one of our social spaces on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Congratulations on 25 years L&E Restaurant! Let’s hope to see many more, as this place has been a local fixture in the region.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Billion+ Reasons to Visit the Town of Flower’s Cove

The Town of Flower’s Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula, is formerly known as French Island Harbour, as it too is steeped in French history and part of the French Shore. Flower’s Cove as it is known today, is the administrative hub of the Straits region with a regional hospital, regional K-12 school, regional community youth centre, community-based daycare centre, non-profit 33 bed personal care facility, retail co-operative, pharmacy, restaurant, B&B, gas station, retail outlets,  construction companies, RCMP detachment, banking & financial services, tax services, recreation opportunities, churches, Lion’s club, seniors, youth groups and other organizational clubs.

The Town of Flower’s Cove, working in consultation with the now defunct Nordic Regional Economic Development Board (due to Federal & Provincial budget cuts) had worked on helping Flower’s Cove grow its tourism assets by adding two informational pull-offs that promote the Town’s business community and tourism attractions, as well as a mural and good signage throughout the community. Many of which are depicted below in key chains that are available for sale at the L&E Restaurant:

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Flower’s Cove was the home base of Rev’d Canon John Thomas Richards, who was an Anglican minister in the early 1900’s. He operated without a church, but by encourage the women of the community to establish a building fund by making and selling sealskin boots. St. Barnabas Church was built circa 1920 and is known locally as “Sealskin Boot” Church.

Flower’s Island Lighthouse, first lighthouse keeper was Peter Flower, shortly thereafter it was operated by the Lavallee family for decades until automation. The Straits Development Association has developed an interpretation and viewing area, as well as continues to pursue opportunities to develop the area into a working site to add to the Town’s tourism assets. Icebergs are often spotted in the harbour, so have your cameras ready!

Marjorie Burke’s Bridge has been restored and leads to 600 million to 1.2 billion year old thrombolites. These micro-organisms form a clotted bun-like structure that area  special find, only in a few places around the world. The calcium carbonate from the limestone rocks create an environment for these unique formations.

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The White Rocks Walking Trail is an easy stroll that gives nice views of limestone plains, forested and water areas at a pace for the walker of any age. There are certainly great photo opportunities and resting areas as well. A perfect place for a picnic.

Flower’s Cove may be a tiny town, but there is plenty to see, do and experience! A billion+ reasons to visit on a trek up the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Support the Breath of Fresh Air With LTBK Playground Project on GNP

A Breath of Fresh Air With Let Them Be Kids Playground Project
Dedicated to Fallen Soldier Corporal Chad O’Quinn
Build Day & Dedication Ceremony: June 22nd, 2013

THE BIG NEWS…On January 18th, 2013, Cook’s Harbour, Boat Harbour and Wild Bight were granted a National Let Them Be Kids Helping Hands Award!!! A Public announcement followed on February 15, 2013.  You can imagine the excitement of the kids and anticipation at our Announcement Eventhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWTClIgwIOM.

The award provides a 50/50 matching grant towards the purchase of playground equipment, as well as support, training and resources to help make our community’s project successful. Every 50¢ we raise will result in $1 in buying power!

Think about it, for years now, the children of James Cook Memorial have dreamed of a playground filled with fun! We are located 53kms from the nearest playground or any recreational facility.  The children and youth of our three communities face numerous barriers that limit their access to and participation in recreation, sport, and physical activity.

Children who grow up with a safe accessible playground gather with friends and come up with creative games. They run around, building relationships. They pretend they can do and be anything. They are astronauts, pilots, teachers, superheroes, gymnasts, world famous ballerinas, police men or firefighters. They believe in the beauty of their dreams! Playgrounds are magical in that way, they transform your thinking.

The people of Cook’s Harbour, Boat Harbour & Wild Bight have been given an amazing opportunity to provide this dream for our children.  The greater impact of this project will carry forward to reach well beyond constructing a new playground. It will provide our youth with opportunities that will foster self growth, independence and leadership skills, encouraging them to take an active role in their community and create future community leaders. It will also restore pride and ownership in our area by bringing together the three communities of Cook’s Harbour, Wild Bight and Boat Harbour.  It will encourage our neighbouring communities and visitors from away to stay longer in our area and promote tourism and business growth.

This project will certainly have long-term benefits to everyone involved! Various people will be present on Build Day including representatives from our equipment supplier, our coach, Let Them be Kids representative and members of our Legion as well as friends and family of Corporal O’Quinn and Military personal. There will be extensive news coverage through newspapers, CBC and NTV television, and our live web cast on the National Let Them Be Kids Website. In other words it will be widely covered!

Further Information about Build Day or donations can be found on our website below.

http://ltbkcooksharbour.blogspot.ca/

Glenda Pittman
Chairperson of Committee
email: glenda.pittman@wnlsd.ca

Marketing Outport Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland & Labrador has marketed ‘outport’ or rural parts of the province in its award-winning tourism ad campaigns.

Innovative rural companies like Auk Island Winery in Twillingate are continuing to add flavour to the tourism experience. Newfoundland & Labrador takes pride in its unique local berries, such as patridgeberry, bakeapples, squashberries, as well as our very own Screech Rum. This company typically makes berry wines and sells quintessentially on Newfoundlandia.

I have tried bottles that are called, “Moose Juice”, “Krooked Cod”, “Jellybean Row” and “Funky Puffin”. I believe part of my purchasing of this product is curiosity, but primarily to support a local business that prides itself in all things Newfoundland & Labrador.

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The imagery on Outport Wine, which includes an iceberg, outport boats and fishing rooms. The splash of Screech just adds to the authenticity and certainly begins the storytelling process.

This season I hope to tour Auk Island Winery and taste many other wines they have produced in various shapes and sizes. Let’s keep being creative and expand the rural economy and our visitor experiences as we celebrate traditional and modern-day outports.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Why We Need Rural Integrity For a Healthy World

–Philip J Reed on behalf of Exede, a rural internet provider.

In the natural world, diversity matters.  An ecosystem needs a variety of both plant and animal species in order to thrive.  On a larger scale, a healthy planet is home to a variety of landscapes, from rain forest to tundra, that contribute to a balanced earth.

In the human world created by civilization, another kind of diversity is important to our overall health in the present and to our future as a species. That diversity is found in the variety of settings in which we live, from the most densely populated cities to the most isolated rural outposts.

We tend to think of cities as the most important of those settings, and that tendency is reinforced by the growing cultural influence and political clout of urban areas, qualities that are themselves functions of vast demographic change. In 1800, some three percent of the world’s people lived in urban areas. According to a 2011 estimate by the United Nations, in 2008 the number of people living in cities reached 3.3 billion, for the first time amounting to more than half of the total world population.

That trend is likely to continue. Between 2011 and 2050, the United Nations expects world population to grow by 2.3 billion and the urban population to grow by 2.6 billion. This projection can mean only one thing: Cities will grow while rural population shrinks.

Perhaps it’s natural, then to focus our attention on cities, but rural areas and the small towns and villages they encompass are absolutely necessary to a healthy world. We neglect them at our peril. The fact is that the very existence of cities depends on the integrity of the rural areas on which we all depend.

Agriculture is obviously essential to our survival, and farming is of course a rural enterprise. Fisheries occupy a similar position. Natural resources are another product of the rural environment. Some are renewable, such as forest products and wind- and water-powered energy. Others are non-renewable, including sources of energy like oil and natural gas, and sources of industrial materials generated by mining. Regardless of category, all are critical to our survival and all originate in rural areas.

A healthy ecosystem also depends on the non-urban environment. Clean air and water are hardly urban contributions to the human condition. For those necessities, we need rural areas.

However, the rural contribution is not limited to practical matters, important as those are. We derive physical and psychological benefit from the countryside in ways that are quite real, though hard to quantify.  We get pleasure from sports and outdoor activities, and from visiting an area where we can enjoy natural beauty and abundant wildlife.  If nothing else, our psyches often need the refreshment of the rural perspective.

Beyond the vision of rolling green hills and amber waves of grain that symbolize “the country,” the small towns that punctuate rural areas also fill critical needs. First, they provide a nexus for distribution of those vital rural products, including food, lumber and minerals. Second, they perform important functions for the rural population, providing small-scale government, along with commercial and personal services, that would not be available in a truly isolated area. Third, they offer community, a necessity for the inherently social beings that we are. Without small towns, the rural population’s decline would likely be even more precipitous than is now predicted.

Our tendency to discount rural value is nothing new. It found a notably clear expression in the debate over the original terms of the U.S. Constitution, when less populous states feared that they would have no say in a legislature apportioned according to population. The convention stalled over the question, and it took the “Great Compromise” to move things forward. That compromise added a legislative body, the Senate, in which each state had equal power regardless of population.

The Great Compromise recognized the importance of rural America. The need to respect the value and integrity of all non-urban areas around the world is certainly no less important today than it was in the 18th century. If anything, the need becomes more urgent as the cities grow in the foreseeable future.

My Newfoundland & Labrador themed Christmas Tree

Every decorated Christmas tree is like a snowflake in design, as each one is truly unique. I like to add a flavour of Newfoundland & Labrador to my tree. it seems each year, I manage to add something handmade that relates to local lore and culture.

There are specialty stores that pop-up during the holidays and there are those that are open year round selling Christmas items. Imagine the opportunity we have on the Great Northern Peninsula to put our talents to use and make a variety of Christmas ornaments. An informal group, development organization or craft co-op can be formed to get this moving.

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I got the seal skin boots depicted above as a gift from the late Aunt Stella Hoddinott. They hung from the mirror of my car for years. It certainly makes them easy to find in a parking lot.

My sister has been a modest entrepreneur throughout the years and made several handmade Christmas ornaments. I am pretty sure my mom and I helped her some 13 years ago and I proudly display the scallop shell angel on the tree.

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I have a passion for the mummer’s and look forward to going around visiting before Old Christmas day. I’ve participated in all three Mummer’s Walks and there is a Mummer’s Dance on Saturday! I picked up the accordion ornament at a Christmas store on my first visit to Montreal in 2011. There is another pair of seal skin boots (came from Iqaluit), an Inukshuk (purchased at Grenfell Heritage Shoppe) and a set of snowshoes made by the late Tom Newcombe. I remember giving him a number of wire hangers to make several pairs.DSC_0068

The Newfoundland Boil-up is a tradition that many practise, especially at this time of year. A good ol’ cup of tea in the woods and a small scoff of roasted Newfie Steak (balogna) on a stick or sausages, canned beans and a slice of homemade bread- nothing like it! Also in the picture is “Little Sheila” an Inuk, I made in 2010, while on a cultural exchange in Labrador.

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The gallery below depicts a few others: I’ve bought a lobster claw at the Craft Council’s Fall Fair, I have a matching capelin from Grenfell Heritage Shoppe. The amigurumi grey fish came from the Guardian gift shop at the French Shore Interpretation Centre in Conche, the Puffin was a gift from Amanda. The homemade ball with candy canes were made by the group from Community Readiness for People with Disabilities. The wooden ornament came from the Wind & Waves Artisan Shop in Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo Island as part of the Shorefast Foundation. The killick is an old-fashioned anchor made by Frank Elliott of Main Brook, I purchased from him when I owned and operated Flower’s Island Museum & Mini-golf; in that same picture is my most recent addition of a hand painted ornament of Prague, Czech Republic (where I studied in Europe) and a pair of knitted mittens, made by the late Aunt Dora White. Also, a photo depicts hockey skates, which reminded me of the ones my Dad always wore when he played hockey and another pair of Uncle Tom’s snowshoes are on display next to the reindeer.

I enjoy adding more traditional ornaments to my Christmas tree. There is a real opportunity for hobbyists, crafters and those with an interest to start-up a home-based business, craft co-op or other enterprise to learn new skills and make an income. Let’s not let your talents pass up such an opportunity that can serve as a year-round business.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

 

Jelly Bean Row – Denmark

Our rural communities on the Great Northern Peninsula have been known for their bright vibrant colours. It would not be uncommon to see an array of red, blue, orange, green and yellow painted wooden homes scattered along the shoreline. Today only a few of the older salt-box houses remain, as they are now replaced with vinyl siding and other modern designs. I would love to see a revival of our heritage colours and even home design in our rural communities.

The tiny town of Conche on the Northern Peninsula East is travelled by many over a 17.4 KM gravel road. Despite a gravel road, thousands of tourists and travellers visit each summer, the “Beauty Spot of the North” to take in its rich local culture, folklore and heritage. Conche, even today has vibrant colour that brings a smile. Back in April 2011 I wrote, “Vernacular Architecture Thrives in Conche, NL” (http://liveruralnl.com/2011/04/05/vernacular-architecture-thrives-in-conche-nl/).

When travelling to Denmark this past year, I walked along a small business and could not resist taking the photo shown below:

The coloured wooden houses instantly reminded me of “Jellybean Row”, which is iconic in the downtown heritage corridor of St. John’s, NL.  If you would like to add some colour in your life you can visit www.jellybeanrow.com/ and buy a mailbox, wall art and even get decorating tips from a local company in Conception Bay South.

A simple idea can translate into a viable business. The existence of the Internet means a talent you have or product you make can be sold around the world. Live Rural NL blog has been viewed  more than 137,000 times across 154 countries! Our communities on the Great Northern Peninsula may be small, but technology can allow us to develop cottage industries and sell our products, services and experiences all over the globe. Let’s do this together!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Beauty by the Sea – Deep Cove, NL

Scenic Deep Cove – could there be a place that grabs ones attention? This photo earned its place as the header for the Live Rural NL blog banner and is my current screen saver. Deep Cove may be one of the areas well-kept secrets, as it has so much unrealized potential. The local development association continues to pursue funding to bring the site up to par so one can be educated about “Winter Housing” and also experience what life was like having to move from the summer home to a winter site.

Along the trail I have capture the broken ice pans that have filled the mouth of the cove. The wooden structure in the bottom of the photo above was used by two men and a long pit saw to produce lumber to build homes, boats and other necessities. People worked with what they had, and certainly used common sense, building on a hill to reduce the workload.

A boardwalk takes you along the valley nestled between the trees, which provided the protection from the elements. Along the way are panels explaining the people who lived here and what their life was like. All that remains are a couple of fallen houses. They should be erected and the winter housing site developed as a working village.

Imagine in summer the rein-actors could be planting a garden, drying fish on flakes and maintaining the homestead as they would throughout the years. The opportunity for winter tourism is even greater with dog sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, ice-fishing and more. There could be lessons provided, accommodations and food in an experiential package. Location is ideal, as there is an adjacent ski hut and trail system. During summer, why not have campsites and offer a nature park?

In the meantime, I will enjoy some childhood fun and slide down the hill! Be sure to visit Deep Cove, just a few kilometres from the Town of Anchor Point.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Offer More Grants to Towns – Less Grants to Big Business

The Northern Pen newspaper reports, “$4 Million Earmarked for Northern Peninsula” in today’s edition.

 In recent weeks the Government has made several spending announcements across the province in the weeks leading up to the upcoming Fall election.  

Timing is certainly everything….and Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is overdue payment. The $4 Million is certainly appreciated as it helps Town address some local concerns. However, the dollar value announced for the Great Northern Peninsula does not go far enough – further investments are needed.

Many Towns and communities on the Great Northern Peninsula are challenged with smaller populations and fewer businesses, resulting in a smaller tax base to draw upon revenues. This makes it even more challenging for small rural municipalities to provide basic services, such as chlorinated water and snow clearing, as well as being able to maintain eroding infrastructure.  Even coming up with a 10% share can be a constant battle.  A one-time increase to municipal operating grants needs a review, especially for small rural Towns.  

I’ve driven through many Towns on the Great Northern Peninsula and it is evident their roads are not of comparable standards to those of Local Service Districts and other unincorporated communities. Organized Towns  have property taxpayers; they should not see a reduction of services and have to drive over less superior roads.

It is fortunate through an Amalgamation MOU between the Town of Roddickton and the Town of Bide-Arm that they would see road improvements. On June 19, 2011 I was one of first to drive through Bide-Arm  passing by James Randell & Sons and not feel the washboard effect from the potholes. I slowly crawled over freshly laid pavement. This pavement is long overdue, a sign of progress. It may lead to new business developments, enhanced visitation to current businesses/attractions and increased housing starts.

Small  to medium-sized businesses are the drivers in the rural economies. We should give further consideration to providing them with more incentives to set-up in Towns of rural regions, adding to the local economy and creating jobs. Our tax dollars should be strategically invested and not just handed to large consortiums, oil giants and other large-scale companies. Small Towns need additional operating grants.

The Great Northern Peninsula will see further progress by working together. We may have a small population, but we are big on ideas with a tonne of heart. If we work together we will be heard, make good decisions and prosper as a region.

Christopher Mitchelmore, NDP Candidate for the Straits- White Bay North would like to meet with Municipalities, Local Service Disctricts, Local Commitees, Non-Profits, Local Business and Residents. We as the NDP are here to listen and work with the people of the district to find answers to your issues and concerns.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore
E: christophermitchelmore@nl.ndp.ca
Twitter/LiveRuralNL

Announcement – Regional Craft Survey 2011

 
If you and/or someone you know is a crafter, please take five minutes and fill out the attached survey.  It will help us identify new opportunities and jobs in our region.  I have attached the Crafters Survey (Click – Regional Crafters Survey 2011) for those wishing to print and fax back to me or there is also the option of filling out the same survey online via Survey Monkey. (See the link below).http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/F5VXY7QPlease send to any of your craft contacts.  If there are any questions/concerns, please let me know.

Thanks,Andre Myers
Economic Development Officer
Nordic Economic Development Corporation
Flower’s Cove, NL
P.O. Box 160, A0K 2N0

Craft Industry Development Workshop – Take 2

Many local people have ideas and skills to provide unique products and services to be offered and sold on the Great Northern Peninsula and the world. Often what is lacking is knowledge and information about running a successful business. It is essential to provide entrepreneurs, local businesses and hobbyists with opportunities to learn. Government agencies, colleges, non-profits and for-profit businesses all offer courses and seminars. CBDC Nortip has arranged to have seminars run in local communities on a regular basis on topics of customer service, marketing, bookkeeping, business planning, social media and accounting. 

There is an additional opportunity to attend a Craft Industry Development Workshop – Part II. Please see below:

Nordic Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with CBDC Nortip & INTRD, will be hosting a one day Pricing & Etsy Workshop from 10am-3pm on Wednesday, June 15th at the GNP Crafts in Shoal Cove East!

There is an Invitation and Agenda by clicking the following: Pricing Etsy Workshop Invitation 2011 & Pricing Etsy Workshop Agenda

Everyone is welcome, but space is limited, so please confirm attendance by June 13th to confirm a space for you and/or anyone else you may know that is interested in learning
more about selling their unique craftwork.

Please forward to anyone who may be interested!  Have a great day!

 Take care,

Andre Myers
Economic Development Officer
Nordic Economic Development Corporation
Flower’s Cove, NL
P.O. Box 160, A0K 2N0
Ph:(709) 456-2840
Fax: (709) 456-2846
amyers@nf.aibn.com
amyers@nedc.nf.ca

If you are a crafter, hobbyist or interested individual come out and participate in this one day workshop.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

Looking for local photos of Families enjoying Outdoor Activities & Everyday Lifestyle……

Live Rural NL Blog has received the following email, please assist if you are able:

We are looking for photos of families enjoying outdoor activities on the Great Northern Peninsula. If you are interested in sharing your family photos for use in a website that is being developed by the Nordic Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the Red Ochre Regional Board for newcomers to the Northern Peninsula region, please send them along to: jcoles@nf.aibn.com by June 17th, 2011.

Please include in the email with your photos, the following line: (cut and paste) “By virtue of this email I am providing permission for use of the attached photos in the Northern Peninsula Website” and Provide the name of the person you want noted for the photo credits or return the following document by clicking Photo Release Form – GNP Portal

Thank-You for all your help!!

If you have further questions, please contact:

Jessica Coles, Project Coordinator                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          GNP Website Portal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nordic Economic Development Corporation

Phone: (709)
456-2840

Fax: (709)
456-2846

Email: jcoles@nf.aibn.com

A partnership of:

&

 

Home-Based Business Opportunity – Make Soap Jellies

Encourage Youth to Make Their Own Money…

I remember one of my first endeavours into business. We were roadside retailers/re-sellers of items we purchased at a local convenience store. Two friends a couple of houses away and I purchased candy, potato chips, gum and Neilson Chunk chocolates and re-packaged the items into brown paper bags. We creatively called our product goodie bags, as the “surprise bag” was already taken. We sold them for $0.50/per bag. I am unsure if we made money on this product or if the customers felt they received good value for their money. We also sold some chalk painted rocks and other handmade crafts. I remember they were not big sellers though. Local residents from our rural community supported our first venture into the world of business. In the early 1990’s, there appeared to be more value placed on being creative, taking initiative and  incentive to earn a few dollars to buy things we wanted. I know at the youthful age, we most likely re-invested it on more sugary good stuff :).

As I grew older,  my progression in business included packing up firewood, painting fences, mowing lawns, doing chores or odd jobs, washing cars, tutoring to selling homemade crafts. My parents encouraged me to work hard, realize there is a cost of material goods and to understand the value of money.

At 16 years of age, I founded Flower’s Island Museum. The business expanded to include a 9-hole miniature golf course and later a summer festival, which operated for two years in partnership with another youth entrepreneur. During 2002, I contacted Nortip Development Corporation seeking information on heritage grants and spoke with the Youth Development Officer. Although, I did not apply or receive grant funding, I was introduced to a program they offered called Youth Ventures.

Youth Ventures empowers students age 12-29 start and operate their own businesses in Newfoundland & Labrador. There are 23 Youth Ventures Coordinators throughout the province to provide free assistance to interested youth. You can visit www.youthventuresnl.com. They have a list of ideas, information and contact information for a local coordinator.

Youth Ventures helped raise the profile of my business. I was profiled by the Getting the Message Out (GMO) program with the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. During my Bachelor of Commerce studies at Memorial University, I became employed as an intern with GMO. As well, received a number of local and provincial honors, which included the Provincial High Achievement of Financial Management Award sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada. Operating my own business provided a wealth of experiences, included customer service, marketing, financial management, human resources and operations. I enjoyed adapting to new situations and engaging in constant improvement. This experience aided in landing a position with an International Marine & Engineering Consultancy Headquartered in London, England.

There is satisfaction in creating, assisting and meeting the needs of the consumer. Youth in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador have opportunities to make their own money and put their talents to good use by venturing into the wonderful world of business. However, without incentive to do so, we may lose a future generation of innovators and economic drivers. In some rural communities it appears adherent today that youth no longer need to work to earn an allowance. Additionally, many are given mobile phones starting at elementary school, not to mention parents purchasing all sorts of electronics, brand name clothing, lavish recreational vehicles and cars as presents.

Youth need to be encouraged, understand the importance of the almighty dollar and to make decisions with their own money.  The future can be bright for rural Newfoundland & Labrador for young leaders today and tomorrow, if we provide the necessary supports.

Encourage youth to make their own money…create their own dream job, be their own boss and masters of their own destiny.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Revitalizing Rural Communities by Being Reasonable

Rural Communities are in dire need of revitalization. It may come in the form of many activities that once fueled the local economy and enabled the household to function.

Reasonables, Kinsale, Ireland

There is an abundance of small business opportunity in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador, including the Great Northern Peninsula. We just have to be Reasonable as the small business from Kinsale suggests.

The Town of Kinsale has 5,000 people, yet has an abundance of small business. Beyond the influx of tourists, the residents support their local entrepreneur. Today on CBC Radio‘s Morning Show restaurant owners were discussing the difficulty of obtaining quality product locally. They discussed the importance of buying local and trying to establish a network to bulk purchase the goods they need, so that each business can benefit. Although, they offer food services, they are not competitors when it comes to obtaining the basic need, as all have the same request for high quality product. Without it, they may all fail.

There are benefits to establishing stronger networks with current businesses. Co-operation can help reduce ever rising transportation costs and increase the quality of the product. As well, current business can extend services themselves or work with upcoming entrepreneurs. They may wish to lease space at their storefront that could be better utilized to create more in-store traffic.  This reduces the operating and start-up costs of both. There are creative ways to increase sales and new technologies to help facilitate this process. It would be wonderful for more communities of the Great Northern Peninsula to get access to Broadband Internet.

Some of these opportunities would be ideal for part-time workers, even those semi-/retired or a senior wishing to earn a subsistence income to combat rising living costs on a fixed income. They may include facilitating workshops by passing on traditional skills to locals and tourists, training a team to create unique products. The creation of bulk products could establish small cottage industries that can sell enough volume into a global niche marketplace, gaining higher yeild for product.

We are surrounded by a pool of entrepreneurs, from fishers, farmers, foresters, crafters and hobbyists. There is a vast skill set that exists with those who live on the Great Northern Peninsula and those who are not residents. We are able to create new businesses based on these opportunities, thus in turn, would be able to support others and buy local – because the opportunity now exists.

A Reasonable idea has the potential to start Rural Revitalization. Let us consider our current offering, evaluate the opportunity and take action today!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

A Seal Flipper Foodstand?

Why are we not serving up Seal Flippers throughout the summer season?

Moose Burgers, Moose Stew and Caribou Steak have made the menus of some local restaurants and have made appearances at various festivals and special events throughout the summer. They sell like hot cakes. But seal meat does not make the cut? I have been hearing that seal flippers have been for sale recently at the waterfront at St. Johns, NL in a large supply over the local radio network. However, that is not Rural NL.

Crepe Stand, Paris, France

After travelling to many countries, there always seems to be a mobile food service stand that sells something significant to the culture. In Paris there are crepes made at street vendors. They are incredibly delicious. In Switzerland and the Czech Republic at Christmas, roasted nuts appeared to be a staple. New York has their famous hot dogs and Belgium – waffles, of course.

 
There may be room for an outlet that sells seal, wild game and other traditional cuisine of Rural Newfoundland & Labrador for those on the run.
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
 
 

 

Tilting is a Representative of Rural Outport NL

During Fall 2006, I had taken a Retail Management course at Memorial University and we focused on the Rooms, which is the province’s cultural facility – housing the Provincial Museum, Art Gallery and Archives.

Myself and fellow group member Doug G. were tasked with establishing an event at this facility and we decided to have a “Tilting Time” at Christmas.

Christmas in July: A Time in Tilting

Christmas has strong brand equity for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, especially the traditions and cultural activities in rural NL. It provides the Rooms the opportunity to market to locals, as well as give tourist an opportunity to experience the cultural significance of Christmas to outport Newfoundland in peak tourist season.

Christmas themed displays are attractive and encourage visits by people who may otherwise perceive The Rooms as a stuffy art gallery (D. Hayward, presentation to class, November, 28, 2006). The Christmas in July event will also expose summer tourists to aspects of Newfoundland culture that they would not normally have the opportunity to experience.

Décor: Freshly Cut Pine Trees stationed in Salt Beef Pails (3KGs), with old-fashioned, glass Christmas Balls with an array of colours. Glass Displays of Traditional Christmas Toys, Hand Carved Boats and Trains……….The event will feature live displays of mummering and static displays (mannequins) of mummers in the social epicenter of an outport home… the kitchen. The mummers will engage the visitors and encourage them to take part in their playful antics and dancing.

Music: Simini, CD signing at the Gift shop; translate into sales Traditional Newfoundland entertainer, Bud Davidge of Simani will be invited to perform songs including the Christmas favourite The Mummer’s Song A CD signing will take place in the gift shop following the performance.

Theatre: Mummers Re-enactment; Stage set in the kitchen; linked to Simini. (Displays about Mummering; disguises; Mummer’s Troupe (Chris Brooks), David Blackwood and tie in the English and Irish History.

Old-Fashion Time: Fogo Accordion Group and Square Dancers; Ugly Stick

Taste of Tilting: Traditional Food of from the shore (possibly some seafood appetizers and land (agricultural aspect) finger foods; vegetable trays from fresh garden vegetables. Rooms Restaurant have a special events menu during the day for Christmas Dinner, peas soup, jigs dinner, baked beans and fish cakes…….

Weeks leading up to the event have all visitors at the museum or gift shop fill out an entry form (optional) requesting name, telephone and email.  All visitors can be added to an email list and informed about the event and that the draw will be taking place at the Christmas in July; Tilting Time.  A local artist could also donate a portrait of Tilting from the 1950’s at the event to attract a large crowd and have works and prints on display at the gift shop. A way to tie in the product and artist selection and solicitation for traveling exhibits.

Sales Promotion: A trip for two to tilting to enjoy the Beach Festival; Accommodations at Foley’s B&B, Boat Tour, Lane’s Museum, Historical Tour, Ferry/Travel(Rental Car).

Purity as a corporate sponsor……offer purity syrup to guests… care packages in the gift shop. Advertise by handing out peppermint candy in a Rooms Exclusive brown paper plastic wrapping with a gift tag attached inviting patrons to the Christmas in July Party. Appeal to the clientele…..try to create buzz in the community….word of mouth.

Sending Christmas cards to valued customers (and those you hope to attract) can be an effective marketing tactic. Also, donate a Product to your local area Radio Station, they have numerous contests and they are always looking for sponsors! Christmas in July Special. Written off as a tax deduction. Plus free advertising and exposure for your business donation.

The concept of a Tilting Time is applicable to opportunities on the Great Northern Peninsula for organizations and businesses to reach a broad audience and promote our unique culture and heritage.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

 

 

 

 

Need help selling your creative craftwork?

Craft Development Workshop Invitation 2011 

Nordic Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with CBDC Nortip, would like to invite you to a Craft Industry Development Workshop showcasing new opportunities in the craft, gifts & apparel industry for the region.

 Craft Industry Development Workshop                                                                                                                               Plum Point Motel, Plum Point, NL                                                                                                                                            10:00am – 4:00pm                                                                                                  Thursday, May 19th, 2011

This all day workshop will begin with a presentation on Pricing and Promoting your Craftwork with provincial craft development consultant Brenda Stratton. Pricing is one of the most important steps in making any business a success and developing great promotional materials is part of adding value to your work. The workshop will also provide insight into funding programs offered by CBDC Nortip around a new social enterprise idea. We will also look at online tools for Craftspeople to sell their craftwork worldwide. The workshop will conclude with discussion on a new Regional Craft Guild to look at training and selling goods as a collective group.

Everyone is Welcome!

Please register by May 10th, 2011.

Space is limited!

Registration is free and lunch is provided!

For more information and/or to register, please contact:

Andre Myers                                                                                                                      Economic Development Officer                                                                                Nordic Economic DevelopmentCorp.                                                                                                                                                (709) 456-2840                                                                amyers@nedc.nf.ca                            

or

 Christopher Mitchelmore                                                                                                     Client Services Officer, CBDC Nortip                                                                          (709) 247-CBDC (2232)                                             christopher.mitchelmore@cbdc.ca

Register – Registration Form – Craft Workshop.2011(1)

Live Rural NL-

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

The Loss of the General Store

 

John Reeves Ltd., a family run enterprise may have closed its post in the Town of Conche many years ago, but there is still a place for the General Store in many of our Rural  communities. These businesses thrive to supply the local consumer with all their essential wares from dry goods, hardware, fresh produce to rubber boots. Without their presence, many goods would be more difficult to obtain.

 

John Reeves Ltd., Conche

My community like many others see the loss of the general store.  There were five small businesses that aimed to fill that  market, pre-1992 cod moratorium. Green Island Cove at that time only boasted  a population of 209 people (according to Stats Canada, 1991 census) today we have only one General Store with a population of 164 people. It currently is all that the community can support.

 
Today the General Store faces many more challenges than just concern for the local competitor. Transportation networks have made local consumer’s more mobile. Currently consumer’s demand lower prices and greater variety which places pressure on the local small business. Additionally, the small business is faced with the added cost of transportation for shipping goods (fuel surcharges), credit card/debit fees, minimum wage of $10.00 per hour, increasing electricity rates and high-levels of taxation. Beyond these factors, the local General Store now competes with on-line retailers, sometimes in an unfair climate – as they do not have access to Broadband Internet. Investment in Tele-communications and Broadband Internet is required to enable communities to advance the current business community and serve the people.
 
I commend those who endeavor to operate a General Store in a rural setting. One of the reasons the General Store has been successful, is their ability to provide a high-level of customer service. They listen to their customers and bring items in upon their request. Another service offered is grocery delivery to local customers. This simple idea is a benefit of shopping local, as you would never get this from a Big Box Store. There are innovative ways to continue to sell in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador.
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
 

Higher Gas Prices Creates a Need For Better Public Transit in Rural NL

Reading an article on CBC.ca found here makes the following statement:

CIBC Economics, the economics arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said higher pump prices for all of 2011 would translate into $950 getting sucked out of each Canadian household to feed their cars and trucks.

Escalating gas prices appear to be commonplace even in a country such as Canada that is rich with oil. I remember maybe 15 years ago when gasoline was 56.9 cents per litre with full-service on the Great Northern Peninsula in Northern Newfoundland. The price of gasoline has been constantly increasing during this winter, currently at $1.40 per litre self-service. 

I live in a rural area, commuting 50 km each way to work or some 500 km each week. There are limited options for me, but to absorb this additional cost and pay the projected $950 per year. However, the high price at the pumps have a domino effect on all other goods as they need to be transported to the rural area. The small business owner will face increased costs and ultimately have to pass these on to the end-consumer. It will not be much longer that this $950 becomes a much larger cost to my wallet.

The Provincial Government greatly benefits from increases gasoline prices, since consumer’s have limited alternatives when it comes to public transit and continue to pay at the pumps. The Capital City and Corner Brook does have some bus service, but rural regions have limited long-distance busing to connect us to larger centers. Most communities on the Great Northern Peninsula are so geographically distanced that bicycle use would only be feasible for very short distances and only during ideal weather conditions.

Consumer’s pay a $0.10 Federal Gas Tax Levy plus Provincially we pay some of the highest rates in the country with a $0.165 Provincial Gas Tax Levy + a 13% Harmonized Sales Tax. We are constantly being gauged, with little relief. The Provincial Government should reduce their levy or at least re-invest a portion of this money spent at the pump to implementing better local public transit.

When I lived in Europe, during 2007 I did not rent a car once. I often opted to walk or take a bus, tram, underground rail car or train. There were so many low costs alternatives. Even when I lived in Edmonton, Alberta, I always used a combination of walking and bus route to work each day. Canada needs to place greater emphasis on high-speed trains in concentrated urban centres, such as connections between Edmonton and Calgary, as well as Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Rural regions need solutions as well, such as RIDE SHARE – Drivers & passengers sharing rides to work, school and events  – saving money, time, gas, and the environment. The Provincial Government needs to work with smaller Municipalities to create an interface that will help solve continued transportation woes.

 If there are readers out there that would like to consider a RIDE SHARE, I would be happy to commute. Whether to work or longer distance drives.

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

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