In 2010, my mom and I traveled to Ireland. We rented a car and went from Cork-Kinsale-Killarney-Galway-Sligo-Belfast-Giant’s Causeway-Dublin-Kilkenny-Waterford-Wexford-London. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city (about the size of St. John’s, NL), however, just a short distance away is Kinsale, a small town that is known for its food culture. With 2,257 people it is about the size of St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. The regional marketing had us take the drive to the neighbouring community. It was an experience!
The Provincial Government has cut its marketing budget by 25%. Despite winning 183 awards and being internationally recognized, the market for the International, out-of-province and local market is highly competitive and stakeholders will have to do more to market their business to maintain their bottom lines. I believe it’s all about regional marketing, let’s pool our resources and develop vacation guides, business directory, updates, mini-sites and more in a modern Viking Trail Tourism website.
Check out how Kinsale market’s itself: http://kinsale.ie/.
The Great Northern Peninsula has many reasons for which one must visit. Here is a short-list:
- Gros Morne National Park, WORLD UNESCO Site – home to the Table Lands and 155,000 visitors annually.
- L’Anse aux Meadows, WORLD UNESCO Site – more than 1,000 years ago, the Vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America. The only authenticated North American viking site. Nearby, Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade is home to the replica viking ship, the Snorri. Wonderful cuisine en route: The Daily Catch, Northern Delight, Snow’s Take-out and The Norseman Restaurant.
- Community of 50 Centuries, Bird Cove – for more than 5,000 the Maritime Archaic Indians, Paleo-Eskimo, Gros-Water Eskimo and recent Indians. As well, a Basque presence and Captain James Cook cairn. Port au Choix National Historic Site has unique interpretation of archaeology and history.
- The French Shore (Petit Nord) – Conche’s Interpretation Centre is home to a 222 ft tapestry depicting the French history, the Granchain Exhibit is found in St. Lunaire-Griquet
- Grenfell Historic Properties – highlights the legendary Sir Doctor Wilfred Grenfell, his International Association, residence and his economic development through the co-operative process. Grenfell Historical Foundation and Handicrafts remain an integral part of the continuing story. Grenfell Memorial Co-op is the Newfoundland & Labrador’s oldest consumer co-op. Nearby are the Jordi Bonet Murals, Northland Discovery Boat Tours, Polar Bear Exhibit & Fishing Point Park.
- Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve – home to more than 300 plants, 30 of which are rare and one Burnt Cape cinquefoil, which the Great Northern Peninsula is the only place in the world where this species grows. Raleigh is also home to a fishing village and carving shop.
- Leifsbudir – The Great Viking Feast is the only sod restaurant in North America, built into the rock of Fishing Point, St. Anthony
- GNP Craft Producers – a unique gift shop that makes seal skin products and shares the history of seal skin boot making. In nearby Flower’s Cove one will find “Seal Skin” boot church. The community is also home to thrombolites (existing on just a few places on earth).
- Deep Cove Winter Housing Site – a National Historic Site is an open air museum which highlights the way of life residents experienced in both summer and winter living. It is south of Anchor Point which is home to the peninsula’s oldest consecrated cemetery.
- Torrent River Salmon Interpretation Centre - the Interpretation centre in Hawke’s Bay is a must for the salmon enthusiast. Beyond the mighty Torrent, many salmon rivers exist in Main Brook. Roddickton-Bide Arm is a great place to also participate in recreational hunting and fishing, it is home to the natural Underground Salmon Pool.
An array of walking trails, nature, wildlife, icebergs, whales, recreational hunting and fishing, picturesque outport communities, attractions, shops, restaurants, crafts, festivals, events, local culture and heritage and people who will make any visit a treasured experience on the Great Northern Peninsula. We make need to take a page out of Kinsale’s book, and work as a region to pool our marketing resources and create a more dynamic on-line presence that takes in our region’s unique offerings!
Experience the Great Northern Peninsula & start planning your vacation today!
Live Rural NL -Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
- What a view today on the Great Northern Peninsula… (liveruralnl.com)
- Inspired by our Lifestyle & Fishing Heritage (liveruralnl.com)
- Fishing Remains Our Mainstay (liveruralnl.com)
Innovative rural companies like Auk Island Winery in Twillingate are continuing to add flavour to the tourism experience. Newfoundland & Labrador takes pride in its unique local berries, such as patridgeberry, bakeapples, squashberries, as well as our very own Screech Rum. This company typically makes berry wines and sells quintessentially on Newfoundlandia.
I have tried bottles that are called, “Moose Juice”, “Krooked Cod”, “Jellybean Row” and “Funky Puffin”. I believe part of my purchasing of this product is curiosity, but primarily to support a local business that prides itself in all things Newfoundland & Labrador.
The imagery on Outport Wine, which includes an iceberg, outport boats and fishing rooms. The splash of Screech just adds to the authenticity and certainly begins the storytelling process.
This season I hope to tour Auk Island Winery and taste many other wines they have produced in various shapes and sizes. Let’s keep being creative and expand the rural economy and our visitor experiences as we celebrate traditional and modern-day outports.
Live Rural NL -Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
Even if you get lost on Bell Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, it is quite the experience. I know there were times that I circulated up and down the roads of Wabana trying to find myself. I do recommend you take a GPS or try to find a Map if you are not up for the more adventurous means to find the sights and attractions of the beautiful island. I did not see Maps available on the Ferry, it may be something I missed.
Fortunately for me I had a GPS to outline the numerous roadways – but really had no idea the incredible beauty I was about to capture:
One of the first stops was the Bell Island Lighthouse (above).
Sea caves and unique landscapes near the Bell Island Lighthouse
After leaving the lighthouse area we went to another part of the island where we found three chairs waiting just for us:
It was evident that others have come before us to marvel at the beauty of the landscape; to hear; to watch – the crashing waves.
This is truly one of the four corners of the world.
One will get lost in thought – in the beauty of what is Bell Island. Get lost and find yourself again as you experience Rural Newfoundland & Labrador.
Live Rural NL -Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits – White Bay North
- Find Yourself on Bell Island, Newfoundland & Labrador (liveruralnl.com)
- A Swiss, German and Rural Newfoundlander Re-united for the Holidays. (liveruralnl.com)
Saturday in Rural Newfoundland, has long been known as Soup Saturday. In September 2009, I returned to my community on the island of Newfoundland. Since that time, I continue my previous tradition of visiting my grandmother who makes soup every Saturday to enjoy a drop.
She makes traditional split pea soup, turkey neck, rabbit, partridge and my favourite – Moose Soup.
I love the flavour of the all the garden vegetables mixed with salt meat (beef) and of course the moose. I also love the fact that she adds macaroni noodles. Those who know me well, know I enjoy macaroni in my soup. In fact, my Aunt Viola always added extra to her soup when she knew I was coming over.
When I enter my grandmother’s kitchen on Saturday, she had the moose meat placed on the table, salt & pepper shakers are always in the same location, homemade bread is sliced and strawberry flavoured drink mix readily available. One has to dig in and can not simply stop at one bowl.
Soup is a great dinnertime meal (we do not call it lunch in Rural Newfoundland), especially when it is complimented by some of grandma’s freshly baked bread.
We continue the conversation over a cup of Tetley Tea after our meal and marshmallow biscuits that I’ve enjoyed at grandma’s ever since I can remember.
The act of mummering actually comes from Rome, which is an awfully long way from Newfoundland and Labrador. The tradition was picked up in Great Britain, a tiny bit closer. It was adapted when some of the planters from Great Britain settled in Newfoundland, they brought the tradition of mummering with them.
At that time there were three types of mummering (or “jannying” or “mumming“). The oldest form was the parade. In St. John’s, Newfoundland‘s capital city, the Mummer’s Parade was a yearly event. This parade was not like our Santa Claus parades of today; it was very loud and rowdy, even to the point where people got hurt. In 1861, one hundred and fifty years ago, mummering was actually banned in Newfoundland because a man was killed by a group of mummers. Mummering, illegal?
Mummers also gave a performance visit. A group would go to someone’s house and put on a small play for him or her. The play always had a hero who was killed by a bad guy. Then a doctor would bring him back to life again. The actors in the play would ask for money before they left the house. This kind of visit stopped in Newfoundland and Labrador shortly before World War I; that’s more than 90 years ago.
The one kind of mummering activity that can still be found in Newfoundland and Labrador is the house visit. But years ago even this form of mummering was often violent and unpleasant. Mummers often carried “splits” or large sticks and fought with other groups of mummers or attacked innocent people. Horns, tails and skins from goats, sheep, caribou and seals were all used in costumes. They did a lot of damage to houses, wharves and fences. Many people were afraid of them.
Just under thirty years ago, in 1982, Bud Davidge and Sim Savoury released “The Mummer’s Song“. This silly song, written in true Newfoundland dialect, tells about a visit of the mummers who come in and dance. “Be careful the lamp and hold on to the stove. Don’t swing Granny hard ’cause you know that she’s old.” This catchy tune has probably caused more people to start mummering again. This time, however, most mummering is not violent, but fun. It is a really enjoyable way to visit your friends, and when they guess who you are, you invite them back to your house for a similar visit.
Sometime during the twelve days of Christmas, usually on the night of the “Old Twelfth”, People would disguise themselves with old articles of clothing and visit the homes of their friends and neighbors. They would even cover their faces with a hood, scarf, mask or pillowcase to keep their identity hidden. Men would sometimes dress as women and women as men. They would go from house to house. They usually carried their own musical instruments to play, singing and dancing in every house they visited. The host and hostess of these ‘parties’ would serve a small lunch of Christmas cake with a glass of syrup or blueberry or dogberry wine. All mummers usually drink a Christmas “grog” before they leave each house. (Grog-a drink of an alcoholic beverage such as rum or whiskey.) When mummers visit, everyone in the house starts playing a guessing game. They try to guess the identity of each mummer. As each one is identified they uncover their faces, but if their true identity is not guessed they do not have to unmask.
Although mummering has faded in large urban centers, with the exception of the re-introduction of the Mummer’s Parade held annually in St. Johns, the spirit of mummering continues in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. So when you’ve opened all your presents and you’ve eaten your turkey dinner, you probably feel that Christmas is over – here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the most easterly province in Can, the fun is just beginning, for the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 26 to January 6) is the time we’ll be mummering. You can watch for us, but you won’t know who we are!
There is still time to mummer, as tomorrow night is OLD CHRISTMAS NIGHT!
Live Rural NL – Christopher Mitchelmore
- A Brief History of Mummering… (liveruralnl.com)
- Calling all Mummers….Mummers Walk & Food Drive December 29, 2010 (liveruralnl.com)
- Mummering flourishes in N.L. homes (cbc.ca)
- Mummer’s Walk & Food Drive a Success! (liveruralnl.com)
- Our Beloved Purity Factories… (liveruralnl.com)
Newfoundland & Labrador, one of the first places discovered in the New World, boasts a rich history. St. John’s is considered to be the oldest city in English-speaking North America. With Cupids, being the oldest English Colony in North America, celebrating 400 years in 2010.
I’ve received this in an email forward and felt compelled to share. Here are some interesting facts about Newfoundland & Labrador…
The first province to Respond to Titanic distress signal.
The first to vaccinate for smallpox.
The first host a trans-Atlantic flight.
The first to have a wireless communication in the world.
The first place to discover proof of the theory of continental drift.
The oldest street in North America.
The oldest city in North America.
The oldest rock in the world.
The oldest continuous sporting event ( Regatta Day rules! )
The largest university in Atlantic Canada.
The most pubs rep square foot in Canada ( George Street in St. John’s)
The longest running radio program in North America.
Caught the world’s largest invertebrate ( giant squid )
The finest people in Canada ( ask anybody )
The Sexiest people in Canada ( MacLean’s magazine survey )
The only Province that has four identifiable flags.
The only Province to be able to land the Space-Shuttle ( Stephenville )
The most giving people in Canada ( Stats Canada )
The most sexually active people in Canada.
build the world’s first artificial ice arena.
invented the gas mask
was once governor of northern Rhodesia
was with Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg
WE ARE THE ONLY PROVINCE TO HAVE…
it’s own “encyclopedia”
it’s own “dictionary”
is own “pony”
it’s own “dog”
Our beautiful province is unique, as with any place. The dynamic people that live and populate this island enhance the natural beauty and add to the extensive culture, heritage that has been in existence for more than 5,000 years.
Think about where you live and consider some of the interesting facts and reasons you choose to live and experience your province, state or country.
Live Rural NL – CCM