This past summer I visited the Burin Peninsula, which is quickly developing its tourism product. Heritage Run is quickly becoming a destination for many travelers to our province. With a direct ferry connection to an international destination of St. Pierre-Miquelon, an economuseum, expansive trails, museums, heritage square, dinner theatres, beaches and more. One place that stood out as a model to truly replicate in our rural communities was the Artisan’s Nook in Lamaline.
The importance of buying local and filling a gap that residents and tourists want – access to quality made locally produced products that are handmade. The concept is quite simple of using space in a community building to set-up a permanent craft shop that is professional and operated by one of the artists. A collective of artisans working together in a cooperative has created something beautiful for residents and tourists alike.
Four talented locals came together, quilter Christina Lundrigan, artist Kathy Hillier, rug hooker Anne Kirby and knitter and crocheter Melaine Lambe operate this shop, but also work and interact with visitors as they are surrounded by their creations.
I have several pieces of Anne Kirby’s hooked rug ornaments hanging on my tree. I especially loved my line of salted cod.
I also purchased mummer things, which is quintessentially a part of our Newfoundland and Labrador cultural activities, still celebrated today.
The shop is an outlet of creativity, to purchase a variety of product, utilizes technology and illustrates the type of success people in small communities can have by working together to create the right atmosphere. Four artists now will spend less time marketing and more time creating. A permanent shop reduces setup time, provides continuity for repeat customers and multiple people allows for sharing the day required to be physically at the shop. Sales are not lost because of cooperation.
This is a more sophisticated model of a continuous craft fair that adds so much value to the artist, the community and the tourism product offering. I was impressed by use of the “square” (a credit card processing and business solution that connects to a mobile or iPad and allows for direct sales https://squareup.com/ca). I’ve seen more crafters using this technology at fairs, markets and at shops, which has led to increased sales.
I would encourage communities to open community hall or other spaces and artists to consider a model like the Artisan’s Nook. It can be a valuable addition for all involved. Drop by Lamaline, say hello and get some great pieces of art today!
Live Rural NL,
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows and Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
On Thursday, I spent time visiting Residents of the historic Town of Raleigh on the Great Northern Peninsula. It is a picturesque community that highlights the rich fishing heritage with stages, fishing rooms and wharves. A focus the Raleigh Historical Society has been trying to highlight with a replica fishing village. There are still fishers actively earning and living, small business owners catering to the tourism industry (www.burntcape.com), hiking trails, icebergs, whales and the Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve with dozens of rare plants and is likely the province’s most significant botanical site. This waterfront community provides and authentic experience of what living rural is all about. I only had to walk from door to door to see gardens being tended, fish and homemade quilts drying in the open air.
However, there is much more art to be admired than the images you see of every day life surrounding Raleigh.
A visit to Taylor’s Crafts is a must, with 4 generations of carves in their family. Master Carver Abiel Taylor, a third generation carver learned the art of carving from his grandfather during the 1950’s. At Taylor’s studio, you can meet the artist, learn more about the process and view a wide selection of carvings made from soapstone, serpentine, whalebone, and moose and caribou antler. These are lifetime pieces, that are uniquely one of a kind. You can reach him at (709) 452-3386 / 2131 if you see something of interest.
Abiel’s work can be even found on the lawn of Government House, home of the Lief-tenant Government in St. John’s, NL as former LG John Crosbie was fascinated by a totem pole this master carver produced. His craft shop has incredible amounts of product and depicts of rich history of living from the land and sea. He has images of his grandfather presenting a replica he made of the Victory, which was Lord Nelson’s vessel to medical icon Dr. Charles Curtis (who the current hospital in St. Anthony is named). You will be inspired, intrigued and immersed in culture by taking the time to visit, an opportunity to experience the artist’s efforts and creative nature and maybe you too can own a little piece of rural Newfoundland & Labrador.
Experience the Great Northern Peninsula –
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)
The Cow Head Heritage Committee is hosting its second annual Fall Fair which proved to be an exceptional success last year to extend the tourism season, which is great for small business owners and families throughout the region.
Last year, I enjoyed the official opening which included the talents of Daniel and Stephanie Payne. I also enjoyed watching the basket weaving workshop performed by Main Brook resident Helga Gillard and moose tufting workshop. There are many talents and community economic development initiatives happening on the Great Northern Peninsula. I commend the sponsors, volunteers, organizers and those who participate in making this annual event a growing success!
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North @MitchelmoreMHA
GNP Craft Producers of Shoal Cove East, NL has a unique offering. They are situated just minutes north of the Town of Flower’s Cove in a beautifully maintained yellow building, surrounded by an array of outer buildings, one of which includes a replica fishing room with wharf.
This venture produces 100% locally made traditional crafts, specializing in sealskin product. They sell a line of hats, boots, mittens, vests, coats, slippers and more to local and tourist market. Some former politicians have sported sealskin jackets at public events in the province.
This organization has a workshop, where they have trained artisans to keep the tradition of sealskin boot making alive. They purchase sealskin from local sealers, they have their own tannery and avail of local labour. Once the seal skin is ready they can employ skilled locals to produce quality pieces for retail. They have a selection of other local craft goods for sale in addition to seal skin product.
If you have the opportunity to visit their site, they have a series of panels that depict the process involved with seal skin boot making and a brief history of the sealing industry.
One can visit their store front, or inquire about products by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 709-456-2122.
GNP Craft Producers is an authentic heritage shop, where the products are not imported from other countries. It is a storefront where you can buy local. Show your support, pass on a rural tradition.
Live Rural NL –
Christopher C. Mitchelmore