Blog Archives

We all have stories to tell…

We all have stories to tell. We share them with our friends, family and even the world through the social media. There is a time and space for this type of art form. I use my blog as a forum to share knowledge of culture, people, landscapes, business, heritage and history of the Great Northern Peninsula.  Our way of life has been viewed by nearly 180 countries world-wide and edging closer to 200,000 views. I may not have the talents of my grandfather Mitchelmore for storytelling, but I do my best to convey what is truly authentic to rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

This past weekend, my sister and I had a unique opportunity to be in the audience at the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre and were spectators to a performance scripted by a local playwright, Megan Coles.

Our Eliza is real – authentic. A true depiction of what life was like growing up in rural Newfoundland & Labrador not so long ago. It is masterfully crafted – capturing the audience from the first soundbite as it works its way through a powerful coming of age story. One exuding Newfoundland humour and wit, colourful language and actions that will keep you wanting more, long after the curtain closes. Our Eliza is the type of story that must be told beyond centre stage, it should be shared with Outport Newfoundland & Labrador – one of which we can all reflect upon as to who we truly are as a people – a society.                                                                                                 -Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA

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When I picked up my tickets at the box office, I was asked my address. I responded, “Green Island Cove”. The person asked where that was and I said, “The Great Northern Peninsula”. She said, I will be in for a real treat with tonight’s showing and that it has been getting great reviews from those in attendance. This certainly raised my expectations, especially since Friday and Saturday night’s performances had sold out.

The very first soundbite set the stage of framing for the audience the hardship the moratorium would have on our way of life in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Actors Greg Malone (Author of “Don’t Tell The Newfoundlanders”), Joel Thomas Hynes and Renee Hackett turned the clock back more than twenty years and had us reminiscing only in the stories our parents and grandparents could had told us. Our Eliza, is the typical Newfoundland girl, who becomes a woman and the glue that kept many of us together especially when times got tough. The modest, yet powerful story that lasted about 1 hour and half was filled with humour, wit and antics in which I could easily relate. I do not want to give away the story-line  I want you to go experience it for yourself.

These talents have engaged in putting our culture, our life experiences into performance, which brings together many art forms. We can all learn something about our roots and the role in which space plays in it. I took a Newfoundland Society & Culture, in which I learned much about community order and our every day space. It was pleasing to hear writer and co-producer Megan Coles, and co-producer Shannon Hawes, founders of The Poverty Cove Theatre Company open the show highlighting the minimalism utilized in staging, as well as the desire to be able to tell this story in non-conventional spaces. On March 2 & 3, the performance has found a home in the Library of the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre. You can purchase tickets at www.artsandculturecentre.com.

Thank you Megan Coles for sharing with us your creative talents and all those involved with the current production. You have made Our Eliza, a part of all of us. I only hope this story gets told throughout rural Newfoundland & Labrador where it can be at home, especially the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Halloween Parties at local Lion’s Clubs in Rural NL

Halloween ranks way up there as a favourite holiday from the days of making paper chains, bobbing for apples, going trick-or-treating, participating at our high school Spook Trail, carving pumpkins or joining the crowd at George Street’s Mardi Gras.

These past three years I’ve taken a liking to staying in rural Newfoundland & Labrador and celebrating Halloween at the local Lion’s Club. In 2010, I dressed as a Mountie accompanying Mary Poppins & Bert the Chimney Sweep. Last year, at the last-minute I joined the Roper’s making a Where’s Waldo costume by coloring red stripes on a white long sleeve shirt.

To me making your own homemade costume is the fun of Halloween. I remember when I made an Elvis Presley costume from plastic white banquet roll, stapling together parts for Marge Simpson or finding the perfect shirt to be Stewart from MadTV. This year’s group costume really wasn’t in the cards. I guess sometimes the last-minute costumes are the ones that bring the most fun.

Many who know me, know that I collect board games, so being the characters from Milton Bradley’s CLUE was a real treat. After digging through our boxes of dress-up clothes we found a maid costume, red dress and purple trench coat, green pants and tan jacket. A lightbulb moment happened and we thought let’s be the characters of the CLUE board game for Halloween. I was originally supposed to be Mr. Green because of my green suit but that had to change after I visited the Salvation Army in St. Anthony the day of the party and found the perfect plum velvet jacket that fit me to a tee, as well as short purple pants, a large green jacket and bright yellow blazer and a blue dress for Mrs. Peacock. After shuffling some characters we are as follows:

Mr. Green with the wrench, Miss Scarlet with the candlestick, Mrs. Peacock with the knife, Col. Mustard with the revolver, Mrs. White with the rope and myself as Professor Plum with a lead pipe. The Mystery remains…Who Killed Mr. Body?

Who Killed Mr. Body? Mr. Green, Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, Col. Mustard, Mrs. White & Professor Plum.

The Sandy Cove Lion’s Club on Friday Night filled with characters including Willie Wonka Nerds, Anne of Green Gables, Fred & Wilma Flintstone, Al Capone, devils, pirates, cats, wizards, dead cheerleaders, scarecrows, witches, police officers, Grime Reaper, Indians, Spiderlady and many other ghouls and goblins. Everyone broke out when the Monster Mash played and we all danced long into the night.

Young and old alike, we continue to have much spirit in rural Newfoundland & Labrador – especially during occasions like Halloween.

Be sure to join us some time!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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