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It’s All About Regional Marketing…

In 2010, my mom and I traveled to Ireland. We rented a car and went from Cork-Kinsale-Killarney-Galway-Sligo-Belfast-Giant’s Causeway-Dublin-Kilkenny-Waterford-Wexford-London. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city (about the size of St. John’s, NL), however, just a short distance away is Kinsale, a small town that is known for its food culture. With 2,257 people it is about the size of St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. The regional marketing had us take the drive to the neighbouring community. It was an experience!

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The Provincial Government has cut its marketing budget by 25%. Despite winning 183 awards and being internationally recognized, the market for the International, out-of-province and local market is highly competitive and stakeholders will have to do more to market their business to maintain their bottom lines. I believe it’s all about regional marketing, let’s pool our resources and develop vacation guides, business directory, updates, mini-sites and more in a modern Viking Trail Tourism website.

Check out how Kinsale market’s itself: http://kinsale.ie/.

The Great Northern Peninsula has many reasons for which one must visit. Here is a short-list:

  • Gros Morne National Park, WORLD UNESCO Site – home to the Table Lands and 155,000 visitors annually.
  • L’Anse aux Meadows, WORLD UNESCO Site – more than 1,000 years ago, the Vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America. The only authenticated North American viking site. Nearby, Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade is home to the replica viking ship, the Snorri. Wonderful cuisine en route: The Daily Catch, Northern Delight, Snow’s Take-out and The Norseman Restaurant.
  • Community of 50 Centuries, Bird Cove – for more than 5,000 the Maritime Archaic Indians, Paleo-Eskimo, Gros-Water Eskimo and recent Indians. As well, a Basque presence and Captain James Cook cairn. Port au Choix National Historic Site has unique interpretation of archaeology and history.
  • The French Shore (Petit Nord) – Conche’s Interpretation Centre is home to a 222 ft tapestry depicting the French history, the Granchain Exhibit is found in St. Lunaire-Griquet
  • Grenfell Historic Properties - highlights the legendary Sir Doctor Wilfred Grenfell, his International Association, residence and his economic development through the co-operative process. Grenfell Historical Foundation and Handicrafts remain an integral part of the continuing story. Grenfell Memorial Co-op is the Newfoundland & Labrador’s oldest consumer co-op. Nearby are the Jordi Bonet Murals, Northland Discovery Boat Tours, Polar Bear Exhibit & Fishing Point Park.
  • Burnt Cape Ecological Reservehome to more than 300 plants, 30 of which are rare and one Burnt Cape cinquefoil, which the Great Northern Peninsula is the only place in the world where this species grows. Raleigh is also home to a fishing village and carving shop.
  • Leifsbudir – The Great Viking Feast is the only sod restaurant in North America, built into the rock of Fishing Point, St. Anthony
  • GNP Craft Producers – a unique gift shop that makes seal skin products and shares the history of seal skin boot making. In nearby Flower’s Cove one will find “Seal Skin” boot church. The community is also home to thrombolites (existing on just a few places on earth).
  • Deep Cove Winter Housing Site - a National Historic Site is an open air museum which highlights the way of life residents experienced in both summer and winter living. It is south of Anchor Point which is home to the peninsula’s oldest consecrated cemetery.
  • Torrent River Salmon Interpretation Centre - the Interpretation centre in Hawke’s Bay is a must for the salmon enthusiast. Beyond the mighty Torrent, many salmon rivers exist in Main Brook. Roddickton-Bide Arm is a great place to also participate in recreational hunting and fishing, it is home to the natural Underground Salmon Pool.

An array of walking trails, nature, wildlife, icebergs, whales, recreational hunting and fishing, picturesque outport communities, attractions, shops, restaurants,  crafts, festivals, events,  local culture and heritage and people who will make any visit a treasured experience on the Great Northern Peninsula. We make need to take a page out of Kinsale’s book, and work as a region to pool our marketing resources and create a more dynamic on-line presence that takes in our region’s unique offerings!

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula & start planning your vacation today!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

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

 

Killarney National Park – Killarney, Ireland

Serene Morning at Killarney National Park

 
After spending an enjoyable day visiting Blarney Castle, Rock Close, visiting Kinsale‘s Farmer’s Market and Charles Fort, we took a scenic drive to Killarney.
 
It rained that night, very heavily. It did not prevent us from going to the pubs. In fact, we did a pub crawl after eating a lovely meal we visited three other pubs and got to take in some music from five very talented people, playing a hodge-podge of instruments. My mother even had a pint of Murphy’s that night.

Two Baby Red Deer at Killarney National Park

 
An early morning arrival was a real treat to Killarney National Park. In the photo on the right, to the very far right one can make out two tiny Red deer as we pulled into the parking lot.
 
We spent some times walking the trails and exploring Ross Castle.

Ross Castle, Killarney National Park

 Ross Castle, according to a panel, is a tower house that was built sometime in the 15th century by the O’Donoghue family who ruled the Killarney area at the time. The castle is on a lake with wonderful views for those who wish to breathe in the beauty of this National Park.

My mother explores remains of Ross Castle

 The grounds have sufficient seating. Once can even feed the ducks or swans. The surrounding area has a good trail network. We were even able to see some early morning joggers and dog walkers.  For those coming to Newfoundland & Labrador, but for those in Ireland, a day at Killarney National Park is a must! 
 

One last view of Ross Castle

 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore

Charles Fort, Kinsale – Ireland

Mosaic of Charles Fort, Kinsale, Ireland

 
Tuesday afternoon took us to Summer Cove on outskirts of Kinsale. We passed the golf club and lighthouse to stop for a  visit at Charles Fort. The mosaic illustrates the fort’s star shape. The grass remains pretty green for November 15, 2010.

A view of the ruins

 
The fort was once a stronghold that protected Kinsale Harbour. Some of the remaining buildings have been converted to tell the story, displaying uniforms, artifacts and panels.
 
We walked around the property to get a view of the harbour. It was “blowing a gale”, definitely not a day to be on the water.

View of the Harbour

 The design reminded me of a family vacation of Fort Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

We must preserve our local sites, as we are quickly losing values of the past that make rural Newfoundland & Labrador unique. Deep Cove Winter Housing site and Flower’s Island are two examples within a 25km radius of my home. It is time to ensure History is preserved and the

More Ruins

story-told appropriately.

 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 
 
 

Transition Towns?…the future for Rural Newfoundland

Reasonables....it's all about the name.

Kinsale, the town of just over 2,200 people is the first Transition Town in Ireland. A community-based group, supported by Kinsale town council looks to manage local resources and find sustainable solutions to the challenges of peak oil and climate change. Public meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month. They take a number of guides from an energy plan, which has led to the creation of  Transition Towns worldwide, even as far-reaching as Canada.

I first heard of Transition Towns from my friend Emanuele, at the time a member of the Emerging Leaders Committee of cCEDnet. She had spoken of Guelph, Canada as one of the transition towns that is looking at environmental and social issues, and aims to limit the dependency on oil.

We can  transition to a future beyond fossil fuels, one that is more vibrant and resilient; ultimately one that is preferable to the present. Our current Provincial Government stresses that we must wean ourselves from our over dependency on oil. These revenues may be filling the public purse in the short-term; however, we need longer term strategies. The government wishes to create Hydro-electricity from the Muskrat Falls project and displace Bunker C oil burned to create electricity from the Holyrood Generating Station. The Town of St. Anthony is exploring wind energy as a means to become more competitive to attract industry and lower energy costs.

Community Garden

Community gardens have become an initiative of transition towns. Food security has always been an issue for residents of Newfoundland & Labrador. My grandparents generation practised sustainable living, by growing their own produce and raising farm animals. We are experiencing a trend in rural regions, where more people are exploring gardening. The concept of a community garden would help address food security issues. We should produce and grow more locally.

The community-groups are accomplishing their goals by inspiring, encouraging and supporting others to  transition the community.

Rural areas are no exception. Let’s ensure that 2011 is the year you garden, grow more local and work with others to create a community garden. This is a very reasonable suggestion to ensure brighter futures for the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

Where are our Local Farmer’s Markets?

 

Kinsale, Ireland

After a walk through the enchanted forest we took the Hyundai Getz to the coast. A one-hour drive on very narrow roads led us to Kinsale, Ireland.

This quaint little town of 2,200 people reminded me of St. Anthony, Newfoundland & Labrador for the many homes on the hillsides surrounding the harbour. It was relatively quiet in November, but during the summer the population greatly increases for sailing, angling and the gourmet cuisine.
 

Fishy Fishy Cafe

Most people dine at Fishy Fishy Cafe. It was ranked by our Frommer’s Travel guide as a place to eat. We opted to visit, however, the staff said they were not serving for another hour. We decided to walk the waterfront and visit Market Street. On our stroll we saw a sign that said “Farmer’s Market Tuesdays”. We were fortunate to be able to visit

Stone-baked pizza at the Kinsale Market

the vendors.

 
The market had about 8 or 9 vendors (two vegetable stands with differing varieties, baked goods, coffee, ice-cream, pet-related, pizza, preserves and vegetarian. We had some delicious coffee, giving us warmth as we walked around the market. We talked to a mother and child, while we waited for our stone-baked pizza. She recommended we visit Charles Fort. We stopped for a while longer to purchase some tarts.
 
The Great Northern Peninsula has a significant opportunity to create an outdoor Farmer’s Market. We certainly have producers, crafters and those who could sell food services. Why are we not availing of this community-based entrepreneurial activity. We need to work together to have a good venue, with a consistent schedule to ensure that customers know we will be available to sell our wares. This market could be sustained through local patrons and propped up by the in-flux of tourists during the summer season.
 
If local residents are interested in establishing a Farmer’s Market, send me an email at christopher.mitchelmore@cbdc.ca.
 
Let’s create something that can help our local communities become stronger and more sustainable.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
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