Blog Archives

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

“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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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 :).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

Transportation Forum Outlines the Infrastructure Challenge

“Some of the challenges undermining the strength of our rural communities flow from deliberate interventions in the economy over the years by governments at all levels. If governments have created many of the conditions that damage rural sustainability and viability, they also have the power and the obligation to intervene in ways that strengthen these communities and enable them to survive and thrive in the modern world. This article argues that rural communities have an indispensable role to play in the economy, and there is nothing natural about letting them die” (Roger Fitzgerald, MHA, Autumn 2005/ Canadian Parliamentary Review).  
 
With the Ferry terminal situated in the backdrop, the venue was the upper room of the Straits Arena, St. Barbe. Approximately 70 people from across the peninsula, the province and beyond came together to discuss and identify new business opportunities  that correlate with the opening of the Trans Labrador Highway in December 2009. This event hosted by the Nordic Economic Development Board and Red Ochre Regional Board brought politicians from all stripes and levels, business owners, organizations, community groups and the public at large.
 
Mr. Wallace Young, MHA for the District of St. Barbe called this transportation link a “milestone” which will bring opportunities. 
 
Mr. Marshall Dean, MHA for the District of Straits-White Bay North projected the importance of transportation connections. He noted that we must meet challenges and seek new opportunities. 
 
Mr. Gerry Byrne, MP for Humber-St. Barbe -Baie Verte daringly noted that transportation is the cornerstone, the life blood of all economic and other activity. There are issues when it comes to access to markets, goods & services, Marine Atlantic and others; the challenges are HUGE…but so are the opportunities. 
 
There were diverse and dynamic speakers representing water, air and road transportation. However, the message was clear that we need an advanced transportation & communication network to be competitive in a global marketplace, which was re-iterated during a presentation given by the Northern Peninsula Business Network. The role of Government includes investing in infrastructure in both urban and rural regions, primarily education, healthcare, highway improvements/ maintenance, human resources and various other government services. There is a need for improved infrastructure across the country, especially in rural regions. This infrastructure is more than just a bit of pavement, it includes communications – power wires, telephone wires, fiber optic cables, various wireless technologies and everything need to make these utilities functional. 
 
Many communities in Economic Zone 7 is yet to experience high-speed internet access and 11 communities in Zone 6 still does not have such an access. I work in an office building that does not have high-speed service. Can you imagine the challenges and inefficiencies? I contacted Bell Aliant today asking about their free upgrade to high-speed ultra for my residence. The response, “sorry you are not in a region in which we offer such a service”. The implications on our current small business operators and attracting new investments can be devastating. For instance, point of sale purchases (POS), answering emails, placing on-line orders, uploading video and even hosting a website becomes a daunting chore.  Canada may be a very rich country and Newfoundland & Labrador may be a “have province”, but we have a lot of catching up to do. If we are to prosper in the future we must invest heavily in our current communications and transportation shortfalls.   
 
Challenges Facing Rural Communities: A Newfoundland & Labrador Perspective by MHA Fitzgerald was quite an interesting read. It stated, In Newfoundland & Labrador, as in some other areas, transportation is a key infrastructure challenge. Sir John A. Macdonald recognized that constructing a rail line from west of the Rockies to eastern Canada was an investment in Canada’s viability and sustainability as a nation. It was enormously expensive, but far cheaper than the alternative of letting the idea of Canada disintegrate into a collection of remote, disconnected states. 
 
 The transportation aspect of the article illustrated how the initiative “opened up”, therefore creating opportunities for rural communities. It is difficult to compare with the opening of the Trans-Labrador Highway to the completion of the rail line connecting all of Canada, but for the residents who live near these regions or will use this new route, certainly  feel the impacts. More trade can now occur, whether it be agriculture, fish products, timber products, value-added products or small-scale manufacturers. 
 
“Over 95% of Canada’s natural and environmental resources are located in rural Canada. Many of Canada’s major industries – agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining and energy – rely on rural communities,” Fitzgerald’s article notes. When we look at Newfoundland & Labrador, populations may be moving towards the Avalon Peninsula. However, the city is a service center, made possible by the resources that exists from the rural economies.   

Therefore, if our transportation networks are not up to par, we will lose our ability to be competitive in the global marketplace. It is evident that our transportation networks are failing us, especially in the rural regions. We can not continue with such neglect, as rural Canada’s infrastructure needs are continuosly eroded or the needed investments never made. Rural areas are the regions that feel the most pain because of this neglect.

MHA Fitzgerald states, “I believe as a nation we need t revisit the thinking of Canada’s first Prime Minister and share the burden of bringing the country’s transportation network into the 21st century”. I agree with the Honourable Member.

Rural regions need an advanced transportation and communications network. We must lobby governments on all levels to make such investments in the appropriate infrastructure. “Infrastructure is essential to economic diversification. and diversification is integral to sustainability. A region is best-position for survival if it has many oars in the water at once.”  This is a very logical argument. Newfoundland & Labrador’s rural economies have been typically built around natural resources and one-industry towns. We have certainly experienced the devastation of boom and bust when an industry shuts down or fails us. The Cod Moratorium of 1992, Abitibi Bowater closing its Mill in Stephenville, and later Grand Falls – Windsor to name a few.

To build stronger communities, a stronger Canada – a greater focus must be placed on rural regions despite our increasingly urbanized world. If we do not focus on investing in the rural economies, as Canadians we will all suffer if we just ignore the current infrastructure challenge that is only getting worse as the days go by… 

Live Rural NL – CCM  

 

 

 

Vernacular Architecture: Rural NL Saltbox Home

A friend, travelling from Quebec City to the island of Newfoundland for the first time had scheduled a visit. Prior to waiting for the Ferry Service to dock at port in St. Barbe, I decided to take a “Look Back in Time”. 

Traditional Saltbox Home

Black Duck Cove Seashore Day Park was my first visit. This rest point’s highlight is a collection of miniatures that represent the architecture-styles of rural communities of the past. There are two saltbox homes, slightly modified; a church, schoolhouse, wharf, fishing rooms and lodge. There are beautiful & well-marked walking trails, captivating views of waterways and binoculars to view sights of Labrador. There is a small playground and picnic area for you to stay for a while. However, many travellers would not easily find this place, at it is not well-marked in terms of signage or on any main highway route. If you can, take the time to ask for directions. I’d recommend a fresh coat of paint to the replicas and some minor repairs, unless the organization responsible is going for a more rustic look of the past. Just moments away, you can see neatly stacked lobster traps, two adjacent graveyards and piles of unpacked wood for winter stoves. 

Stacked Lobster Traps

These replicas made me realize that the vernacular architecture styles are fading from local communities in the Strait of Belle Isle region. Vernacular architecture is a term that categorizes methods of construction which use locally available resources and traditions to address local needs and circumstances, as defined by Wikipedia

 I decided to drive the area in search  of the traditional folk house type, found commonly all over Newfoundland & Labrador, which is the Salt Box style. It is named for its shape, which resembled the boxes used for shipping salt to Newfoundland & Labrador and was one of the earliest forms of house construction. The Salt Box traditionally had a shorter steep roof line in front and a longer steep slope in back. This gave the impression that the house was much larger than it actual size. 

An Abandoned Home

Talking to residents and elders, they noted that logs were sawed into lumber using a “pit saw”. The simple design of a two-story “salt-box” used simplicity of design and maximized space and limited the amount of resources required. This saltbox home depicts a more modern-style where the rooftop peak is central to the home for even distribution. 

Today, Live Rural NL sees a more modern home, split-level, bungalow, two-story, pre-fab home, mobile with an array of designs and styles. I’ve suppose we have gone modern, with very few residents living in this traditional home design with bright vibrant colours. Vernacular architecture tends to evolve over time to reflect changes of culture and society. I certainly hope that these homes do not disappear forever entirely in the region.           

Tilting with Time

There is much charm in an older traditional home. I had to stop for a moment as the structure to my left continues to tilt to its demise as it lacks an apparent caretaker. The field is quite large as the water it in the background. For this place, we can only stop and “Look Back in Time” at the memories that were made by the people who lived here before us. 

A Rural Reflection - 

CCM

Fill Your Puddick: Fish Recipes from Grandmother’s Kitchen

Hello again!

Today I’m sharing with you some local fish recipes that we still add to our palate. Since the recreation cod fishery is ongoing you might be able to enjoy some fresh fish if you come to our provincial paradise. Just a piece of insider information, for readers unaware, in Newfoundland & Labrador we say fish, we mean “cod” and if we talk about other fish species we name them specifically such as Salmon, Trout, Herring. Certainly, the cod fishery has been the mainstay of Rural Newfoundland & Labrador well before the days of Giovanni Caboto some 500+ years ago.

Puddick – (defined in the Newfoundland Dictionary as Stomach).

RECIPE #1: Fried Cod Tongues

Fried Cod Tongues

  • 1 lb cod cheeks
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & Pepper

Wash cod cheeks. Beat egg. Coat cheeks in beaten egg. Put cheeks in a bag with a mixture of flour, pinch of salt and pepper. Shake until cheeks are well floured. Fry in a pan until golden brown.

A simple but delicious recipe! When the opportunity arises, drop by a get yourself some cod tongues.

RECIPE #2: Fish Cakes

  • 2 lbs salt cod fish (boiled)
  • 8 medium potatoes (mashed)

    Golden Brown Fish Cakes

  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 savoury
  • small piece of salt pork
  • Pepper

Cut salt pork into small pieces and fry until brown in frying pan. Remove pork cubes, leaving fat in pan to fry fish cakes. Mix fish, potatoes, onion and savoury together. Shape into round cakes and coat with flour. Add a dash of pepper. Fry both sides until golden brown.

My grandfather would take great pride with drying fish and then placing it in brine. I’ve always enjoyed salt fish. This technique of drying and salting forms a lovingly delicious appetizer or meal that can be found in almost any local restaurant. If you are ever in the neighbourhood, drop by for a “scoff”.

RECIPE #3: Baked Cod Fish

  • Choose a firm codfish. Remove head, tail and sound bone. Wash and clean skin with a sharp knife. Wipe dry.
  • Salt pork (optional) 

Dressing:

  • 3 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp savoury
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 small onion (finely minced)

Mix dressing ingredients together and stuff the fish. Tie securely to a skewer. Place dressed fish in a roasting pan in which salt pork has been fried. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees F. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F and bake for one hour. Baste occasionally and add sliced  onion to roasting pan for flavour during final 20 minutes of baking.

I will share with you other recipes from the Rural Newfoundland kitchen in the coming days.

Cooking up a storm -

CCM

HAVE A SCOFF – Gourmet Cooking, Newfoundland Style

A recent vacation, led me to visit the pristine oasis of Main Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador. If you ever have the opportunity, visit and stay awhile.
Tuckamore Lodge

 I decided to stop by the Tuckamore Lodge, a wilderness retreat located in the centre of a vast region of exceptional natural beauty. Upon stopping, I was greeted by the proprietor, Barb Genge and instantly invited into her home. She is a visionary.  I enjoy every conversation we are able to have with respect to  marketing, packaging, the industry and the great outdoors.  Yes, this woman is a titan for the Viking Trail and its remarkable tourism and outfitting offering. 

While at the Tuckamore Lodge, I was privileged to enjoy a great lunch, what a “scoff”. You see the cuisine of Newfoundland and Labrador is as diverse as the heritage. We have Jigg’s Dinner, Toutons, Mug-ups and various wild game and seafood dishes that have been passed on from generation to generation. Tuckamore staff strive to provide an experience to its customers and not just a nights accommodation, with the food being a big part of the experience. 

Juicy scallops, seared with hollandaise sauce

The Scandinavian Decor, placement setting and experienced staff set the mood and  atmosphere. Lunch was served; on thick slices of freshly baked homemade bread was a gourmet sandwich and  side salad so fresh, you would think the vegetables came from a backyard garden. Yes, this lunch was an unexpected treat and so was the dessert that followed. A bakeapple square with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice-cream. This was incredible, as I found my way into dessert heaven. It was so enjoyable to the tastebuds I asked the chef for the recipe. She provided it instantly, despite being very busy with a number of other tasks. Now that is exceptional customer service. I’ve since prepared the dessert, not really comparable to the first, but I will keep trying. If you would like to eat at Tuckamore, it would be best to make a reservation in advance. You will certainly not be disappointed. 

I wish, there was more time to inhale the natural beauty of the lake, the sights and sounds of nature and the great outdoors. The countryside teams with wildlife: moose, caribou, black bears, salmon, trout, birds and other animals. Truly, something for everyone – the nature enthusiast, photographer, eco-tourist, hunter and anyone who would like to get-a-way from it all without having to “rough it” since there is a sauna, billiards room, hot tub, library, fitness equipment and more… 

Check out their website and see it for yourself: http://www.tuckamorelodge.com/ 

A Recommended Rural Retreat - 

CCM

The Success of Social Enterprise $$$

You may have heard the term, “social enterprise” popping up in the media, during boardroom discussions or being coined as essential to our community future for local revitalization. However, social entrepreneurship has always existed in Rural Newfoundland and Labrador, one of the more notable social enterprises dates more than a century years ago with the establishment of the Grenfell Mission. Rural regions are very social in nature, ask anyone who has ever met me! We have a number of social institutions that strive to provide services and enhance the quality of life, entering a market where private business and/or government(s) are more than hesitant.

A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses business-like principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make improve social conditions. Social entrepreneurs are most commonly associated with the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors, yet this association does not mean they can not and do make profits.

Moulder of Dreams Inc., located in Port Hope Simpson was started in 2000 to assist a group of people suffering from Myotonic Dystrophy gain therapy by using their muscles to make various types of pottery. Government funding made training these people, providing the necessary knowledge and skills to make Inukshuks, mugs, candle holders and bowls. This was a social group activity, therapy and not considered a sustainable business. Why?

I suspect dependency on government funding and a lack of long-term plan. It is not uncommon for Government to fund programs, enabling agencies that apply to hire people short-term, provide skills training and make product(s). After a set period of time, the worker is finished and the agency must scratch its head and start considering a new project, as the previous project is done as there is no more funding available for further development. There is something clearly wrong with this picture. I am not knocking the worker, as they clearly need employment or the agency, as this is the environment government has built for them. I do not disagree with government assistance to initiate and foster economic development in rural regions, but it must institute proper mechanisms to enhance their investments, enabling these dollars to work towards the development of sustainable business or social enterprise from the present formula. Does overdependence on Government subsidies and funding hinder social and economic development?

Inukshuk

The success of Moulder of Dreams came much later than if the government had alternate measures in place when it awarded its initial funding back in 2000. The business closed in 2003 primarily due to loss of government funding and not having an appropriate financial plan to continue operations into the future. A lot of ground was lost, as it took more than 4 years for a determined group of individuals to obtain the appropriate supports to assist with business planning, product development and marketing to clearly refine this concept. 

Moulder of Dreams re-opened with a business mindset, providing a steady stream of revenues to support operations and provide an income supplement to workers. It now has 8 employees with products available in more than 15 sites across Newfoundland and Labrador. I actually purchased my Inukshuk at the General Store on Battle Harbour (historical Capital of Labrador).

This social enterprise is a success story, making milestones as it continues to work towards long-term sustainability. Throughout Rural Newfoundland & Labrador, many more success stories are have occured and others possible with the same level of determination and request for business supports. We have invaluable cultural skills and knowledge that can be shared and passed on in the form of social enterprise. If the key decision-makers, (the powers to be), would act now, make the necessary changes in programming we will have a much brighter and prosperous rural Newfoundland and Labrador. However, our Government is likely to hire an independent out-of-province consultant or look-into the matter in the form of a study, which will possibly take years, hinder the process and for me to only have the same discussion and dialogue again. So stayed tuned to Live Rural NL’s blog and hope that I am wrong.

We have the power, the voice and the ability to institute real change. We can make a difference in our communities and improve the lives of those around us and for future generations – becaue there is a future as we Live Rural NL. We must act now, we can not wait any longer.

The social enterprise awaits -

CCM

How ‘is yer boots, me ol’ trout?

This post is dedicated to all my Mainland and International friends. Some of you may have heard me pose the question, How ‘is yer boots, me ol’ trout?”.

K posted a comment earlier today about Newfoundlanders & Labradorians and our wonderful sense of humor. Well I have certainly turned a few heads when I asked someone “how their boots are?” The look of confusion and lost stares are ever present on their face, because it is somewhat odd to ask someone about their boots, especially as a conversation starter.  However, this is an expression I have either created or adapted as a friendly way of saying, “How are you today?” and well “Me ol’ Trout” or “My Old Trout” is just an expression for “old buddy” or “(good) friend”. I enjoy the humour and providing an explanation of this saying, because it is a great ice-breaker. It is an instant way for me to smile and tell the person what I really mean and begin to share aspects of my Newfoundland culture, heritage and upbringing.

We certainly have a unique local language and regional dialect. However, local language variations and dialects are not uncommon and exists all around the world. French is much different in New Brunswick and Quebec than in France, because of expressions and adapted slang. As well, the North & South of France have regional language variations and barriers. Are language variations part of an urban and rural divide? If so, what happens as the world becomes more urban? Will languages be adapted and integrated? It is a curious concept.

I often wonder if the Newfoundland & Labrador language and our never ending list of unique vocabulary is a result of the integration of the many cultures that inhabited Rural NL throughout history. We have had Maritime Archaic Indians, Groswater & Paleo-Eskimo, Recent Indians, Norse, Basque, French, English, Irish, Scotish and other European settlers all living here at one point in time. Was the result the Dictionary of Newfoundland English (the only province to have its own)?

Newfoundland Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

We learn from others and can share valuable experiences and knowledge. Culture, traditions and language does not remain stagnant and surely evolves over time.

I invite you all to post comments regarding some of your favourite Newfoundland & Labrador words or expressions and your thoughts on our language.

Linguistically Living Rural NL -

CCM

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