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. 

IMG_20140718_191251

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

 

Planting Potatoes & Roadside Gardens

IMG_20140711_183353

Maintaining a garden of root crops has always been practiced in my family for generations. I remember spending time there with my father and grandparents, tilling the soil, placing seed and typically digging. For some reason I seldom was around for the weeding process. It was my grandmother who did most of that, as she is the ultimate green thumb. Our family still continues to plant potatoes, as well as carrot, turnip, cabbage, beets, onion and lettuce. I’ve been experimenting with other seeds and spices, and hopefully soon will have a greenhouse to help expand what I am able to grow.

What was needed for subsistence years ago, is now unnecessary given easy access to vegetables at grocery stores. However, it is gratifying to know that so many are continuing this generational tradition. As I travel throughout the District, I see many roadside and backyard gardens that were likely started by their parents or grandparents. There is also renewed interest from younger people to grow different vegetables, establish community gardens, use various techniques and use the space they have available to them in the most productive form.

We have exceptional opportunity to expand farming on the Great Northern Peninsula, in both small and large-scale. We are also lacking a coordinated effort to establish a farmers or local market in many communities. There is opportunity to establish a weekly marketplace where locally grown produce, jams, preserves, crafts and handmade wares are for sale. Coffee and teas and other booths could be set-up, with picnic tables and even some local music.

There are some spaces in the District, where a local marketplace could thrive. Let’s move this idea forward.

Live Rural NL -

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

 

 

 

Golden Sunsets – Green Island Cove, NL

IMG_20140626_211958

The golden sun is setting over the Strait of Belle Isle and will disappear beyond the hills of the Big Land – Labrador. This was a magnificent view I experience from my backyard. A truly joy of rural living when you are at water’s edge.

This has been a summer where we’ve experienced the freshest seafood, either at one of our fine local restaurants or at home. Lobsters have been boiling in the shed and eaten outside. Food definitely tastes better when it’s prepared and eaten outside for some reason.

IMG_20140626_190816

The wonderful surroundings, the fresh air, green space, blue skies, sunshine and tranquility certainly provide the perfect atmosphere. The backyard fire pit and entertaining area is still a work in progress, but even the flames of a store purchased pit can provide just what you need for gatherings of friends and family to share song, stories and enjoy the warmth of the fire when the sun goes down.

IMG_20140626_204717

It’s always important in our busy lives that we stop to smell the roses and realize the value of rural living.

The Great Northern Peninsula offers backyards that have golden sunsets and everything you need to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.

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

 

The Fire Still Burns – Conche, NL

The fire still burns in the small town of Conche, Newfoundland on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula East. This community has embraced its storied past, which includes early visits from the French through the migratory fishery in the 17 and 18 hundreds to their shores. On a recent visit, the French Shore Interpretation Centre had their French oven lit, in preparation for a tour group to their Centre.

IMG_20140612_111246

The census may list the population of Conche at 181 people, but there is much more support than that for the survival of this small Town. The people of this community are hardworking, resourceful and full of hospitality.

An active fish plant, Conche Seafoods Ltd., employs dozens of people from across the Great Northern Peninsula and parts of Western Newfoundland. This fishing Town is bucking the trend and seeing increased activity and additional employment, not less. A recent tender was called by DFO for wharf expansion and improvements in the range of up to $1 million. All signs of a strong economy. Each year hundreds of commercial trucks travel over a 17.6 KM gravel road. It is long overdue the provincial Government live up to its commitment and pave Route 434.

The community is supported by a strong local business community and amenities for residents and visitors to engage.

Museums and Heritage Facilities include:

  • Casey House Artist Retreat, the French Shore Interpretation Centre
  • A traditional harbour lighthouse
  • Remains of a World War II Boston BZ277 plane crash
  • The Casey Store, a Registered Heritage Structure – one of the oldest fisheries buildings remaining on the French Shore, and Martinique Bay, the site of a 1707 confrontation between English warships and the trapped French fleet – a designated Site of Historic Significance
  • Chaloupe Exhibit
  • Crouse Beach – a half-buried flat pebble beach that was the site of a vast French codfish drying operation in the 19th century. The beach offers a view of picturesque wharves in Southwest Crouse
  • Boat tours can be arranged upon request

IMG_20140612_104825

Recreation Facilities:

  • Conche Ball Field
  • Conche Playground
  • RV and Camp site
  • Beach Volleyball area
  • Array of walking trails

IMG_20140612_105907

Religious Institutions:
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Parish Hall
Schools:
  • Sacred Heart All Grade
  • Northern Peninsula Family Resource Centre

Business:

  • Bits-n-Pieces Cafe
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Convenience Store
  • Lounge
  • Fish plant

Municipal:

  • Town Hall
  • Volunteer Fire Department

The community also has unique vernacular architecture you basically wont see in other communities on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. Traditional stick homes are still fashionable here and  full of colour!

IMG_20140612_110120

Artists and artisans can thrive in Conche. They have talented painters, authors, storytellers, dancers and folk signers that will gladly put on a performance. Summer is when Conche truly comes to life. In 2013, Conche celebrated a successful Come Home Year bringing hundreds of residents home. The committed volunteers truly make amazing things happen in small communities. The Annual Garden party is certainly a wonderful experience for anyone wanting an authentic rural experience.

IMG_20140612_095514

Only a few kilometres away in Roddickton-Bide Arm is a 24/7 health centre, banking, Government services and a suite of retail, manufacturing and other small businesses. Partnerships have also been established with the Mayflower Inn & Adventures to provide zodiac tours and cross-promote regional tourism.

IMG_20140612_110045

Conche benefits from strong organization (especially from their Town Council past and present), an ability to embrace their past and ability provide the services any small community would want and ensure their local businesses are supported. This is the only way in which our small communities will survive and thrive. It must be through local innovation and a strong will to give back to your friends and neighbours to ensure the services we want and expect can be provided. Small business is certainly a means to rural communities growing.

IMG_20140612_091617
Conche is one of those towns that has incredible potential to be further developed. More than 2,000 tourists go out of their way to trek down this gravel road on the Great Northern Peninsula East to visit this picturesque town. It has worked hard to establish itself as a destination. Conche is on the map for so many reasons.  The establishment of the French Shore Interpretation Centre has truly helped accelerate this growth.

A 222-foot tapestry on Jacobian linen depicts the history of the French Shore. It is proudly on display, designed by J.C. Roy and made by the women of Conche. This summer there centre spent close to a year developing 9 new exhibits that remember the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. This now has the potential to travel the province or other parts of the world as a touring exhibit to further promote the community of Conche. These initiatives are building blocks to growing a rural community.

 

Conche is truly a destination on the Great Northern Peninsula that must be visited an experienced by residents and visitors alike. There is potential for new business endeavors in town and more development. Their success can be replicated! Let’s keep working together to build stronger communities.

Rural success is occurring! The fire still burns…

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Serving up freshly steamed mussels

As a child, mom and dad would let me take my little bucket and go down to the beach and pick a few mussels close to shore. I remember one time going with my father near the head of Green Island Cove where ice was still in the harbour. I was on the ice pan with the bucket and my father would pass along the mussels he collected in the deep water wearing his long rubber boots and used a rake.

IMG_20140427_181637

There is nothing like collecting your own or buying locally grown in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Be sure to add mussels to your list when you visit the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

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

 

 

Duck a delicacy on the GNP

I love traditional foods, especially those that focus on local moose, caribou, rabbit, seal and other game animals. Earning a living from the sea for so many on the Great Northern Peninsula brought an abundance of seafood to our diets, which was supplemented by local farming of root crops, especially potatoes, carrot, turnip, cabbage and beets.

Growing up, duck was not served at the table. My father always hunted turr and we had the odd partridge. I believe in the Straits the presence of duck is less, making them more difficult to obtain than other parts of the Peninsula.

The more I travelled, the more opportunity I had to try duck on the menu of restaurants that served it. I love duck, and consider it a delicacy.

I’ve been quite fortunate to have an avid duck hunter from the tip of the Peninsula share with me. This meal will not be forgotten.

IMG_20140406_113601

Duck served with rice, potatoe, carrot, turnip and bread roll.
IMG_20140406_113949

 

If you have the opportunity to try local duck on your visit, I highly recommend.

Bon apetit! 

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Squashberry Jelly & Dark Tickle Tea for Breakfast

On a recent visit with my Grandmother Pearl, she gave me a bottle of her homemade squashberry jelly. I truly love this stuff! This morning, I’ve been able to enjoy it with a mug of Dark Tickle’s Crowberry Tea. The only thing missing, was a nice hearty slice of homemade bread.

IMG_20140406_082933

When you experience the Great Northern Peninsula, visit Dark Tickle Company in St. Lunaire-Griquet, en route to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site (Viking Settlement). If you are interested in tasting squashberry jellies, jams and spreads, you can buy them on-line at www.darktickle.com.

darktickle

One of the many wonders on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

“Fill Ya Boots” – Barry Penton Art

Barry Penton, is a realist artist that grew up on Fogo Island in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. His artwork illustrates brilliant colors and impeccable attention to detail. His art certainly appeals to me as a lover of all things rural.

My first encounter with this artist was via Facebook. A friend had posted the image, “Fill Ya Boots” below as part of a contest. I decided to “like” and “share” this image with hope of winning the original artwork. It was shared nearly 2,000 times. To my surprise, I got a message from the artist, that I had indeed won the contest and could pick up the piece of original artwork in Mount Pearl. After the passage of time, the artist was so kind to mail me this piece which currently hangs in my bedroom near another Outport piece of punts from Fogo Island. I plan to later place this piece at my office.

1002956_379182015515743_1714704411_n

The image reminds me of my own childhood, as we grew up wearing rubber boots. They were an essential item given the time we spent on the shoreline of Green Island Cove in search of sea life and adventure. Some days were filled with picking mussels, catching sea lice, searching for jellyfish, skipping rocks, building sand castles or hopping from exposed rock to rock. Sometimes however, we went over our boots and would have to do this traditional dumping of water. #greatmemories

The art brings a smile to my face. My upbringing is one that is very rural, despite spending a year of my university days in some of the largest cities in the world, travelling dozens of different countries and being immersed in many cultures, my heart is always in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. I am one of the lucky ones, able to continue to work and live rural.

“When you live in a place so long, you learn about the place, history and it’s people. Once you have been gone for long, you gain a new appreciation for home and how you love to remember it”. – Barry Penton

I want to thank Barry Penton for sharing your talents. I hope others will enjoy your art of rural Newfoundland & Labrador. If anyone is interested in learning more about the artist or purchase some of his artwork, you can visit: http://www.barrypentonart.bigcartel.com/.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

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

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

DSC_0189

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

DSC_0179

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

DSC_0172

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

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

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

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

“Do Unto Others” – Dower of Conche

This summer, I had the privilege of meeting Alice and Austin Dower of Conche, NL at their home. I had met Austin before playing music for us at the Tuckamore Lodge, Main Brook and again at the Ivy Durley Place in Flower’s Cove.  It is clearly evident he is a man of many talents, especially when it comes to song and stories. We had a great conversation about family, community, the upcoming Come Home Year and the wonderful history that exists surrounding the Town of Conche.

Little did I realize in conversation, that the man I was talking with had such a strong connection to the communities beginning. Austin, a retired teacher had recently penned a book, entitled “Do Unto Others: Dower of Conche”, which is a scripted version of his family history of James Herbert Dower and the settlement of the community.

IMG_00000640

It has taken me about six months to begin but only a couple of days to finish reading Dower’s work. The book was a pleasant short read that was filled with intrigue and also a reflection of life’s everyday challenges in community building in rural Newfoundland and Labrador in the early 1800’s. Dower also reinforces the importance of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” Photos at the end also give the reader an understanding and snapshot of the community past and present.

I am grateful the author has taken the time to document and also tell in his own words his family’s story. I hope that this is not the only book penned by Austin J. Dower and I encourage others to find a copy. Even take a visit to The French Shore. Served up nicely with a cup of tea :)

We all have stories to tell and our own family histories is a remarkable place to start.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

Ask Your Garden Questions to our local “Garden Lady”

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

Garden by Roadside

Garden by Roadside

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

DSC_0200 (2)

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

DSC_0166 (2)

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

DSC_0175 (2)

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

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

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

A Rural Newfoundland Christmas Tree – Salt Cod Drying on the Line

I’ve always loved trimming the Christmas tree. I remember around the 20th or 21st of December going with my father to cut it. He would have already been prospecting for that perfectly thick Christmas tree. After it was home, there would be the cutting and drilling to ensure that were no empty spaces. I miss the real Christmas tree and that whole process – it is how I remember my childhood and the excitement as we approached the holidays.

My current Christmas tree, although artificial it has many authentic rural connections. My most recent ornament is a Crafts of Character “Salt Fish on the Line” hooked using Anne’s own 100% salt water wool yarn. Anne Kirby, Rug Hooker is the owner of Anne’s Original Hooked Rugs, which are handmade and hand designed. You can visit her Facebook page by searching  Anne’s  Original  Hooked Rugs, email anne.kirby@gmail.com or telephone 709-857-2331 if you would like to get some of her amazing masterpieces. It’s my first hooked rug ornament, but I hope not my last. I will likely seek to add a collection of mummers next year :).

IMG_00000346

I remember my Grandfather Mitchelmore telling stories of how they would dry the salt fish on the flakes. I’ve seen photographs of this process, today you see fish in small quantities on a flake or even on the line. Only in Rural NL. Also in the picture is a pair of snowshoes made by past Ivy Durely resident Thomas Newcombe.

IMG_00000348

Local resident, Jeffrey Poole made these “Muffy” Christmas ornaments in which the parka hood is trimmed with rabbit fur and covered with seal skin. It is wonderful to see young people take on the task of making Christmas ornaments. It is a very good entrepreneurial activity. The snowshoes next to it were purchased at the Grenfell Heritage Shoppe.

IMG_00000349

This summer at the Roddickton Come Home Year I purchased these two mummers from a young entrepreneur and mom as well. They also see at the Grenfell Heritage Shoppe. I purchased the killick from Mr. Ellsworth of Main Brook nearly a decade ago.

IMG_00000379

A wonderful present from Mavis, also makes my Christmas tree more traditional given the snowman is made from sea urchins. How creative and what a wonderful use of natural product that washes ashore from the sea. It looks lovely and thank you.

My sister also made items from shells nearly 15 years ago. These are the angels made from scallop shells. My father was a scallop fisher.

IMG_00000350

The Mummer’s are plankin’ ‘er down on my Christmas tree. They even have the old squeeze box, which I bought from a Montreal Christmas shop near Notre Dame Cathedral. I love Betty and Bob from the Bight. Hope to see them come to my house over the Chrismas season.

IMG_00000354

There are many more snaps from the Christmas tree of traditional ornaments and some from my travels abroad.

The gift of something handmade or an ornament for the Christmas tree seems like the perfect present for those to enjoy the holiday season.

IMG_00000371

Merry Christmas everyone, from my family to yours!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Rural Roots, including Seal Hunt Proudly on Display at MHA Mitchelmore’s Office

 

 

 

1904f6f634fc5a404c69d4545895d22f

I’m a believer in all things rural, including the seal harvest. I wear my father’s seal skin boots that are more than 15 years old and last year purchased a seal skin coat. I could give it away a dozen times a day from all the people I meet that would also like to have one. More must be done to make these products more readily available to people of the province. The seal skin tie I have, which certainly has “heart” was purchased for $60 from GNP Craft Producers in my District. They have a website http://www.gnpcrafts.ca. They also make great belts for $40, bow ties, slippers, mittens and more. Let’s continue to show our support for the seal harvest, as it is humane, sustainable and environmentally friendly.

As the blog simply states, “Live Rural” and “Experience the Great Northern Peninsula” is all about learning, understanding and sharing my rural roots with the world.

For those who have dropped by our constituency office in St. Anthony, the public gallery has an array of local art from a French Shore Tapestry, photographed seal by Chris Patey, hooked rug, sweat lodge artwork, icebergs, Grenfell embroidery, painted purity products, dories, fish and many pieces that reflect our rural region. There is a collage of images from across the Great Northern Peninsula.

However, my office at the Confederation Building in St. John’s, NL is no different. It includes many handmade items and pieces of art that I have made myself or purchased from others. I am always searching for as much local stuff as possible.

There is a lovely Chris Patey piece of Iceberg Photography on the northern tip, with a magnifying glass and fish handle, La Mousses (The French Fisherman) that I’ve been told resembles me is from The Guardian Gift Shop at the French Shore Interpretation Centre in Conche, but was made by Loretta Decker of L’Anse aux Meadows. Outport NL by Candace Conchrane is next to a handmade glass plate made at the St. Anthony College of the North Atlantic. The fused glass polar bear comes from the Grenfell Heritage Shoppe in St. Anthony. There is a stuffed seal that was given to me as a Christmas present, as well as a fish and smaller seal.

IMG_00000008

Here is an explanation of the Gallery below:

I purchased art from Bruce Pilgrim, originally from Main Brook, the former Englee Plant which was framed by his wife Maureen, owner of Island Images Gallery and Framing Shop. It is very pleasing after all the lobbying, letter writing, petitions, telephone calls and more that Government issued a clean-up order which resulted in $1.7M to remove and re-mediate this site.

The iceberg was painted by myself in three hours when I took a class with George Bussey, originally of St. Lunaire-Griquet. I enjoyed this immensely and encourage others to take it up as a hobby.

The hooked rug, I did as well under the instruction of Sabrina Gaulton of Anchor Point. It took about 50 hours to make this tiny rug. I would like to do another, when time permits. Thus far, time has not permitted.

The “Lonely Harbour” is a piece I purchased at the Bits’n Pieces Cafe in Conche from local Natalie Byrne.

The splitting table imagery reminds me of Noddy Bay or Raleigh. It was done by William Bartlett of St. Lunaire-Griquet.

The polar bears were bought at Shoreline Flower’s N’ Crafts in Sandy Cove and the ax on the chopping block a gift from Port Hope Simpson.

The “Return of the Sealers” is my most recent purchase from the Savage Cove Come Home Year. It is a Linda Coles piece, who is originally from Savage Cove.

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador surrounds my work space every day. I am proud of my rural roots and continue to…

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Mitchelmore questions commitment to rural job creation

NDP critic for Innovation, Business and Rural Development Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) says government’s approach to job creation in rural Newfoundland and Labrador is sadly lacking in vision.

“Government is dropping the ‘rural’ from the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development with cuts to RED Boards, Employment Assistance Services, and no real plan for creating jobs from the ground up,” Mitchelmore said in the House of Assembly today. “Megaprojects create boom and bust economies and forced migration, and tear away at the social fabric of our economy.

“When will the minister of IBRD get serious about rural job creation and prevent further mass outmigration from decimating the rural landscape?”

Mitchelmore says encouraging job creation in rural Newfoundland is a vital part of ensuring economic health for the province. He pointed to wharf development as one possible option that has worked in parts of the province and could work in others.

“Government has invested $23 million since 2003 into aquaculture, including six biosecure wharves,” he said in the House. “Without this investment some 1000 jobs and $400 million dollars would have been lost.

“The forest industry on the Great Northern Peninsula impacts more than 150 workers and can prove to provide significant returns.

“When will the minister of Natural Resources commit to providing a needed wharf to Roddickton port to sustain an industry, jobs, and rural communities as well as putting needed money back in the provincial treasury?”

A Snow Covered L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland & Labrador

L’Anse aux Meadows located 41 KM from St. Anthony, is home to WORLD UNESCO heritage site. It was originally named  L’anse aux Meaduses (Jellyfish Bay) by French migratory fishermen; the latter presence of English settlers, would alter it to the current name.

DSC_0164

This community boasts panoramic view scapes and has been well-captured under the lens.  During summer tens of thousands of tourists flock here and even a number cruise ships pull up to the dock.

DSC_0159

Today, I visited the snow-covered community and was able to talk to local residents. One resident loved  how she was fortunate to be surrounded by water from the front and rear of her property. Another couple also liked the peacefulness of the community at this time of year. I was told the Mummer’s also made their presence known in during the holidays.

DSC_0148

L’Anse aux Meadows, like many Newfoundland & Labrador outports’ primary economy is maintained by fishing.

DSC_0150

It has also grown to be a burgeoning centre for tourists. Each year more than 30,000 visitors come to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site, several thousand visit the open-air museum “Norstead – Viking Village and Port of Trade”, while others frequent the Gaia Art Gallery and experience the fine dining of the Norseman Restaurant.

DSC_0162

To experience North America’s only authentic Norse site, you have to drive Route 430 ‘The Viking Trail” and turn at Route 436 to L’Anse aux Meadows. There are many lovely B&B’s, Cottages, Efficiency Units, Motels, RV Parks, and Heritage Rentals along this route.

It is another truly unique place to experience on the Great Northern Peninsula. Start planning your visit today for summer 2013!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

There’s Giant Cod Fish Out There…

We are moving into 21 years and a cod moratorium remains.  A decision that has forever altered the way of life in rural Newfoundland & Labrador, especially the smallest of communities.

The closure of the cod fishery in 1992 was to be temporary, yet remains today. It has led to mass out-migration. I was only 6 years old when the cod moratorium came into effect and can certainly recall many families leaving, businesses closing and loss of services. In 1991, the province’s population was 568,000, in 2011 the population dropped to 514,000 – a net loss of 54,000 people or more than 10% of current population, according to Statistics Canada.

The Great Northern Peninsula has been greatly impacted, as the fishery remains today the backbone of our local economy. The loss of population, especially youth and young families adversely impact the amount of tax base available and will push our smaller communities into greater decline. The lack of youth as part of our demographics means we must press our seniors to continue to be committed volunteers longer. These youth that would become community leaders, create new community programs and social offerings or start a business are lost to more urban centres and other provinces that offer high-paying jobs.

Since the first Mitchelmore came from England, they have been fishers. I am the first generation, like my cousins that did not have the option to continue a profession our family has engaged for centuries. Where will this lead rural Newfoundland & Labrador? There are cod in our waters, no question. I could see for myself this summer in communities such as Englee, St. Lunaire-Griquet and Sandy Cove as large cod-fish were landed via small commercial quota or caught in the recreational cod fishery.

CBC Reported: Cod comeback seen off Newfoundland – click for article

In September, I captured this photo at a fish market in Iceland.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see there are certainly giant cod out there.

We need to have a serious conversation about the future of the cod fishery and the role it will play in rural renewal…

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Man on the Ice: The Rex Saunders Story

This summer I met Rex Saunders at the St. Lunaire-Griquet & Gunner’s Cove Come Home Year as I circled the tables of crafts, baked goods, artwork and books. I was impressed by Mr. Saunder’s youthful manner as he started telling me about his story, which encompasses his life experience, from childhood in St. Leonard’s (today’s St. Lunaire) to a bout with near death on the ice flows. Along with many other registered guests, I was able to purchase a signed copy that day and chat with the author.

Good Luck. God Bless.  -Rex Saunders

I met Mr. Saunders again a week later at the Main Brook Come Home Year Celebration. I had still yet to read his book and certainly did not realize his strong connection to the community. His family had moved the family there for employment and Mr. Saunders attended school in Main Brook as a small boy. The Town was bustling of activity, as it was home to many lumber camps. I’ve heard my own grandfather recant stories of his days at Bowaters.

Later in summer on Nightline with guest host, Bill Rowe, Mr. Saunders spoke of his story and talked about the sealing expedition that ended up in a fight for survival. I was in the queue, noting I had a copy and commended Mr. Saunders for getting his story on paper and published for others to experience for themselves.

I have since completed his story and I have to say, I am impressed with the simple writing style, colourful language that at times certainly brought a smile. I could relate many of the stories Mr. Saunders was telling of growing up as a curious child to those of family life, to stories that of my recently passed grandfather would often tell. It is truly important to document oral history before it is too late. We must make greater efforts to write about of family history, heritage, culture and way of life in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. I won’t go into detail about his sealing expedition because you truly need to read it for yourself, but I will say, I do understand why Mr. Saunders signed my book, “Good Luck, God Bless”.

During trying times, having faith can go a very long way. I thank Mr. Saunders for also putting into his book many photos including those of his fishing boats, his homemade ice fishing shelter and living off the land and sea. You can order your own copy on-line or purchase an e-book at the following link: http://www.flankerpress.com/man_ice.shtml. This book is an excellent short read, just in time for the holidays!

Thank you Rex Saunders for sharing your rural life with us! We all have a story to tell, so grab your pens and paper or just click the keys on your laptop to share with the world.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Place of Provincial Significance – Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital

Live Rural NL blog sends congratulations to the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital, Norris Point, NL for being designated a Place of Provincial Significance in 2011.  Thank you Joan Cranston, Director, a committed  volunteer and community activist for taking the time to make this worthy nomination as the Center is truly worthy of this designation. To read more about the BBCH click the following link: http://www.seethesites.ca/designations/bonne-bay-cottage-hospital.aspx

Julia Ann Walsh Heritage Center

The Julia Ann Walsh Heritage Center is well-known for being the former Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital. After the construction of a new clinic in Norris Point, the fate of the building was unknown. However, community spirit and a group of dedicated volunteers worked together to ensure that this building of historical significance could continue to serve the community.

The BBCHHC is a not-for-profit community corporation whose mandate is the adaptive re-use of the center for the preservation of local culture and heritage (including arts, crafts, music and oral history), the promotion of health and wellness, and community economic and social development.” JuliaAnnWalshHeritageCenter

Today the Center is home to:

  1. Norris Point Public Library and CAP Site – 458-3368;
  2. Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation – 458-3072;
  3. Norris Point International Backpackers Hostel – 458-3072 OR 458-8880;
  4. VOBB (Voice of Bonne Bay) Community Radio Station;
  5. Trails, Tales and Tunes Festival Committee – 458-3399;
  6. Cottage Hospital Physiotherapy and Fitness – 458-2875;
  7. Norris Point Harbour Authority – 458-2647;
  8. Bonne Bay Ground Search and Rescue Team – 458-2222 (RCMP);
  9. Writers at Woody Point Festival

They have a studio space, which is available for rent to conduct meetings, classes for health, well-ness, art, crafts, music, storytelling and other economic and social development activities. The Center is working to build a community garden, greenhouses and a community kitchen. The importance of growing local is gaining momentum and garnering interest from locals and travellers to grow and buy local produce. This is a community space, a social commons. It is amazing the progress that can be achieved by working with others, fostering strong partnerships, establishing co-operatives and meeting the needs of the greater community. Is there room for a Place of Similar Social Significance in the Straits of Belle Isle region? St. Anthony & Greater Area? Northern Peninsula East Heritage Corridor? We must let the movers & shakers, the residents and stakeholders of these communities decide if this is something they feel is a good fit with their needs, wants and norms.

Also the Nomination Deadline of June 15, 2011 is quickly approaching. If you think a person, event, place or tradition is significant in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador then click the link below:

http://www.seethesites.ca/currently-at-commemorations/2011/6/9/next-nomination-deadline-approaching.aspx?altTemplate=CommDiaryPost

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

www.liveruralnl.com

Related articles

Anyone Can Paint! – Become a Local Artist on the GNP

Chef Gusteau‘s cookbook “Anyone Can Cook!” resonates as I enrolled in a local art class. I did not realize that “Anyone Can Paint!, but with an Instructor like George Bussey, it certainly feels like anyone can.

An email circulated by a colleague noted that George’s Art Studio was holding an painting class on Wednesday, June 8th from 6-9 PM. It noted that you would have the opportunity to paint a 18″X24″ painting with all supplies included for a mere cost of $30.00. I am interested in art, painting and continuous learning, thus, I did not hesitate to pick up the phone and dial 1-709-454-4070. I was greeted by a friendly voice at the other end, “George’s Art Studio”. I inquired about the class. Mr. Bussey noted they are kept to a minimum of 7 students to ensure that each student can get some one-on-one attention. I agreed to attend and circulated to my co-workers. I had one taker and we were able to carpool as St. Anthony is 150 km from Plum Point, NL.

George’s Art Studio is located at the Upper Level of the Viking Mall, St. Anthony, NL. He has quite the set up which displays his own art, a private studio/office for him to complete his own work, classroom and a small storefront for anyone needing art supplies.

On the wall was our painting – a harbour with iceberg and some trees. It certainly did not look like a beginners painting, but George assured us all that we could do it. The atmosphere for learning was warm and playful, with an opportunity to smile and joke with other students as we all hesitantly took some of our brush strokes.

 George taught us how to mix paint, accent, layer, use different brushes and let us know that we could not make a mistake as we could just paint over it. He reminded me of Bob Ross of PBS – as he made painting look easy. George was more than helpful and multi-talented.

Three hours of enjoyment flew by and at the end there was a completed painting. I was skeptical that it could be done, but with George maintaining a good pace and keeping us all on track we all did it! I am so happy with my first attempt at painting and can not wait to take my next class with Mr. Bussey.

George currently continues his night classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Drop by his Art Studio at the Viking Mall or call 709-454-4070 to reserve your seat and you too can frame your own artwork after one class!

I continue to be impressed with all the opportunity and talent that exists on the Great Northern Peninsula.

 Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

 

RADIO CONCHE 105.9 FM!!!!!

  Community Radio is coming to Conche May 9 – 10. Make sure to tune in to 105.9 FM.

 The French Shore Cultural Centre will be hosting this awesome event and they are asking everyone who has a connection to   Conche to call into the centre on those two days.
 
Email:frenchshoreshs@nf.aibn.com
Office:French Shore Interpretation Centre
 
Community radio stations broadcast content that is popular and relevant to a local audience with specific interests, which is often overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters as they really focus on mainstream and urban-oriented activities. They tend to rely on advertising funds, whereas community radio is non-profit, run typically from a group of volunteers.
 
Community radio stations are driven by the communities they serve. It is an enabler for those members to tell their own diverse stories, to share experiences, and be creators. Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has talent and we will continue to be players in the ever-changing world we live as we adapt to varying forms of media. I commend the French Shore Cultural Centre for undertaking this initiative and bringing temporary community radio to the French Shore.
 
As always, Live Rural NL -
Christopher 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
 

The Giant’s Causeway…part III

 

Pillers 12 meters high

In mid-November Live Rural NL author, Christopher Mitchelmore spent two weeks on vacation with some time in Ireland exploring Irish roots.  The Giant’s Causeway is a magnificent space to spend the day. I recommend to plan ahead and bring a snack to have a picnic by the sea.          
 

Posing on the trail with the hills and water in the background

 
Posing on the trail with the hills and water in the backgroundthe hillside green and beautiful orange glow, takes me back to a simpler time – a time when nature ruled and development was from human interference was far away.

A lonely walker on the trail at sunset

We stayed almost until sunset, climbing to the top to get a great aerial view of the 37,000 basalt columns.

 

The View from Above

Upon reaching our car, we decided to stop by a coffee shop in a small neighbouring village before driving to Dublin, Ireland to meet Marcel. The Giant’s Causeway has been a big highlight of my last European vacation.

Find your highlight here -

Live Rural NL 0 Christopher Mitchelmore 

 

Support Needed by Former Resident to Complete Missionary Work!

Valerie Genge, a native of Anchor Point, now resides in St. John’s, NL. She is attempting to participate in an initiative to improve the quality of lives of those suffering serious disease in Africa. This missionary work, shows dedication, commitment and compassion to humanity. She is to be commended on her undertaking, but like most volunteer work abroad, it can be costly and she is asking for your support.

Below is a letter received by Ms. Genge:

Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing to you to ask for your help in support of a wonderful cause.  I have been asked to participate in an organization called the Pan-African Acupuncture Project that is playing a significant role in helping to alleviate the pain and suffering of people in Africa with HIV, AIDS, malaria and TB. With your generous support, I can join a team of acupuncturists who will train medical providers in Africa how to use simple and effective acupuncture techniques to treat the devastating and debilitating symptoms associated with these illnesses. Acupuncture has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) to be effective in the treatment of many health disorders, and scientific research studies have shown that acupuncture significantly reduces many types of both acute and chronic pain.

Since March 2003, the PanAfrican Acupuncture Project has trained 200 health providers in 12 Ugandan Districts and in Kenya. These trainings have resulted in relief for thousands of patients with two-thirds of them reporting either significant relief or complete resolution of their symptoms. The effects of this project are far reaching because our role as acupuncturists is not to provide direct treatment, but to train health care providers in Africa who will in turn proceed to treat hundreds. It is estimated that every provider trained can treat between 416 and 572 patients per year. At the present time, this translates to providing acupuncture to between 68,000 and 94,000 individuals.

I am asking for your help in raising $5,500 to sponsor my trip in February to train more health care providers in these highly effective acupuncture techniques. The organization is an independent 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax-deductible. Any excess monies raised beyond this amount will go towards providing necessary supplies and expansion of the project into other areas.

I will need to raise these funds by February 28th. I know that these are challenging economic times, but it is also uplifting to know that we can make a tangible and important contribution to those who are very much in need of our help.

You can mail contributions by check made out to: The Pan-African Acupuncture Project at:

The PanAfrican Acupuncture Project                                                                                113 Summit Avenue                                                                                                      Brookline, MA 02446-2319

561 Nfld Dr
St John’s, Nl
a1a 5a2
 
or at the clinic:
 
Mount Pearl Wellness
835 Topsail Rd
Mount Pearl ,NL
709 364 7110

(If donating by cheque, please write my name, Valerie Genge, in the memo section at the bottom to ensure this money assists in paying specifically for my trip).

 Or you can make a secure credit card payment online indicating that you are donating on my behalf at:

http://www.panafricanacupuncture.org

I am very grateful for your support and appreciate your generosity in donating whatever you feel that you can part with at this time. I will be taking many pictures to share with you so that you can see the direct impact that you had in helping countless unknown people on the other side of the globe who are able to experience physical, mental, and emotional relief because of the help and support that you so selflessly gave.

In heartfelt gratitude,

Valerie Genge, D.Ac, R.Ac

You can follow her story on the FACEBOOK group entitled,  Pan African Acupuncture Project. Become a supporter or request additional information.

I admire those who take on challenges and aspire to help others. The importance of volunteerism and charity work is needed, internationally and close to home.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact a local non-profit in your area today! You can make a world of a difference just by sharing some of your time with others.

Live Rural NL – Christopher Mitchelmore

The Big Land of Labrador – An Angler’s Dream!

Pinware River, Labrador

 Labrador has more than 269,000 square kilometers of area, therefore there are no disputes as to why it was coined the “big land”. Although, it has a humble population of just over 26,000 people. This sparsely populated part of the province has immense beauty from landscapes, nature, wildlife and its people.  I have driven through parts of Labrador over the years and am astonished each time I visit. Labrador, Canada provides some of the best Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout, and Arctic Char fishing in the World! There is no doubt that if you want to have a memorable fishing experience that you may wish to consider planning a trip.  As you near the mighty Pinware River in season, you will see an abundance of anglers vying for the big one.

Youtube user, “biggericeberg” made this comment and uploaded the video below:
“Where on earth can you catch life at its wildest. Casting your line into the honest stillness, you silently dare the water and its inhabitants. Your line tightens. Feel the strength of a 20lb monster.”

Scenic Labrador

The opening of the Trans-Labrador Highway connects communities as mainland Canada can drive to Labrador City to Goose Bay and now coastal Labrador. A short ferry ride from Blanc Sablon to St. Barbe (1.5 hours) will bring you to the Great Northern Peninsula, where there are also prime fishing rivers, lakes and brooks for the angler. As well as being anchored between L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site, French Shore, Gros Morne National Park and many other attractions. 

Experience a Rural Newfoundland and Labrador vacation…start planning now for the 2011 season! It is never to early to experience something wonderful. 

Live Rural NL – CCM

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,848 other followers

%d bloggers like this: