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It’s All About Love – The Arches Provincial Park, Great Northern Peninsula

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One can fall in love, over and over again, especially when visiting the Great Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador. As you pass ancient fjords of Western Brook, the flat tablelands that feel like you’re walking on Mars, the natural wildlife and the beauty of the ocean, I must recommend you stop with your love and visit The Arches Provincial Park along the Viking Trail (Route 430).

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Ancient limestone carved by the rising tides, have masterfully created the Arches, a natural rock formation worth exploring. The site, contains picnic tables, parking area, washroom and includes a beachside trail leading to the huge rocks. A great place to picnic, take panoramic snapshots and be dazzled by pure natural beauty.

I always enjoy walking under the Arches to experience the roar of the sea. This past trip, was my first on top of them, as the wind blew through my hair, the strength of the ocean could be felt at every turn.

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There is something immensely special about this place. Maybe you too will share in the magic, find that perfect heart and experience that perfect moment. It’s all about love – the Arches Provincial Park.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Live Rural NL,

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows and Minister of Tourism for Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Great Northern Peninsula would benefit from An Artisan’s Nook

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.

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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.

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I also purchased mummer things, which is quintessentially a part of our Newfoundland and Labrador cultural activities, still celebrated today.

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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

 

Clotheslines of Cod on the Great Northern Peninsula

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Typically cod would be drying on flakes or neatly spread on flat rocks near the beach, but more and more often the cod fish can be seen drying like clothes on the line. It’s a sign of the ever changing times in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

Cod jigging is part of growing up in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. The implementation of the cod moratorium in 1992 caused 30,000 people in the province to lose their employment, basically overnight, ending 500 years of this fishing activity. Our communities were forever changed.

25 years later, there are signs of a Northern cod recovery. The impact it will have on our communities are yet to be seen.

Each summer though, residents and non-residents take to the water off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador to catch a few cod by participating in Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)’s Recreation Cod Fishery, which we often call the food fishery. Cod is an important staple for residents and many catch their quota of 5 fish per day over the course of a 46 day fishery between July and September.

I never miss the opportunity to go jigging. There is something about being on the water close to your home, pulling in the fish and being able to deliver it to your table that gives you a sense of belonging to this place we call home. Knowing where your food comes from is important. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians always had a strong connection to the land and sea and I believe we always will.

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Our communities are still very traditional, our communities are resilient and we have opportunities to share our culture, traditions and way of life with the world. There are authentic unique experiences in our rural communities just waiting for you.

From sea or farm to plate is an ever growing concept, which has always been the way for our outports. A rabbit snared, partridge hunted, garden potatoes, carrots pulled or fresh fish would be served up at the dinner table. Taking these concepts to our local restaurants for tourists is an opportunity.

Also, to tell the story of who caught it, how it was caught, where, who prepared it, the recipes and the process are all part of adding real value. Sharing our unique culture with the world is what is requested. I believe we have exceptional opportunity to do just that.

Our communities, like others do not remain stagnant, we will always change and evolve over time. Our traditions and values remain core to who we are, whether we  spread fish on flakes or hang  them on the line, we have a strong sense of where we belong.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows and Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

 

Famous Last Fjords – Western Brook Boat Tour

There’s that famous photo of a hiker trekking Gros Morne National Park that has captivated audiences and brought tens of thousands of visitors to Western Brook Pond Fjord each season.

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Imagine hiking to this magical place and garnering this view and this image with you in the backdrop? It certainly is on my to do list, as this image came from www.newfoundlandlabrador.com.

This season was not my first to the fjord, but it was my first taking the 2-hour boat tour. It was something on my list for a long time and I was thoroughly impressed by the experience.

After taking the Coastal Hike of 6 KM return, I would park at the lot at Western Brook Pond, which was spilling out on the road way. BonTours, which offers the Boat Tour has been offering 5, sometime even 6 tours a day with an average of 300-400 people. The tour begins with a 2.65 KM walk into the pond, which takes about 40 minutes. There is a well developed boardwalk and trail network that is accessible.

I’ve always enjoyed the storyboards and views along the way. If you are lucky you may even get to see an animal grazing, enjoy the flora and fauna, see berries and watching the water flow.

The price tag of a tour ranges from $58-65.00/person and also requires a Park Pass of $9.80/person. I highly recommend a Discovery Pass with Parks Canada as it covers your trail portion.

“The Memories Are Worth It”…BonTours   Visit them at http://www.bontours.ca

I couldn’t agree more.

From moose, waterfalls, natural glacial carvings, faces in the cliffs, commentary and of course the spoons! I’m not musically inclined, but certainly enjoyed playing the spoons with my friend Carter.

BonTours is a tourism icon in the province, providing a unique experience in Gros Morne National Park for over 40 years!

We have some magical gems in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Bon Tours on the Great Northern Peninsula is one wonder you will truly want to experience.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA St. Barbe-L’Anse Aux Meadows and Minister of Tourism for Newfoundland and Labrador

 

 

 

 

 

Stormy Cove – Old murders, long winters, and a town’s dark secrets

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The Great Northern Peninsula is the setting of a new mystery novel by our very own Bernadette Calonego, an author born in Switzerland, who spends her time in British Columbia and Newfoundland. Stormy Cove is her fourth novel. After reading her page turning “Under Dark Waters” about historian digging up the past of a German author and Canadian trapper, while participating in a dangerous mission of uncovering the truth set in British Columbia and the Canadian North. Certainly a novel with storyline and characters that kept you wanting more until the very end. I am even more excited to read this newest work given its affinity to my home.

Her work was published in Germany and it was quite successful. Now in its English version, launched in late May, it can be purchased locally at Shopper’s Choice Pharmacy, St. Anthony; Hedderson`s Store, St. Lunaire-Giequet; Dark Tickle Company, St. Lunaire-Griquet; J and K, Noddy Bay, the Norseman Restaurant and Gaia Art Gallery, L`Anse aux Meadows; Neddie’s Harbour Inn, Norris Point; every book store can order it by visiting  http://www.bernadettecalonego.com/english/ or visit Amazon.com.

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The back jacket reads:

As a globe-trotting freelance photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Lori Finning has seen just about everything. But when she lands an assignment on the barren, snow-swept island of Newfoundland, she finds herself in harsh and unfamiliar territory.

During the long, dreary winters in the isolated fishing community of Stormy Cove, gossiping is the primary pastime. So Lori is surprised when she learns of a crime the locals have spent twenty years not talking about: the strange, unsolved murder of a teenage girl. As she delves deeper into the village’s past, she’ll discover dark family secrets, unexplained crimes, and an undeniable attraction to Noah, a taciturn local fisherman who just might hold all the answers.

Who wouldn’t want to immerse yourself in a novel set on the Great Northern Peninsula that surrounds the mystery of murder and uncovers a tiny town’s dark secrets? I can’t wait to finish it! Happy reading everyone!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA                                                                                                                                        St. Barbe-L’Anse Aux Meadows

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