Blog Archives

Jelly Bean Row – Denmark

Our rural communities on the Great Northern Peninsula have been known for their bright vibrant colours. It would not be uncommon to see an array of red, blue, orange, green and yellow painted wooden homes scattered along the shoreline. Today only a few of the older salt-box houses remain, as they are now replaced with vinyl siding and other modern designs. I would love to see a revival of our heritage colours and even home design in our rural communities.

The tiny town of Conche on the Northern Peninsula East is travelled by many over a 17.4 KM gravel road. Despite a gravel road, thousands of tourists and travellers visit each summer, the “Beauty Spot of the North” to take in its rich local culture, folklore and heritage. Conche, even today has vibrant colour that brings a smile. Back in April 2011 I wrote, “Vernacular Architecture Thrives in Conche, NL” (https://liveruralnl.com/2011/04/05/vernacular-architecture-thrives-in-conche-nl/).

When travelling to Denmark this past year, I walked along a small business and could not resist taking the photo shown below:

The coloured wooden houses instantly reminded me of “Jellybean Row”, which is iconic in the downtown heritage corridor of St. John’s, NL.  If you would like to add some colour in your life you can visit www.jellybeanrow.com/ and buy a mailbox, wall art and even get decorating tips from a local company in Conception Bay South.

A simple idea can translate into a viable business. The existence of the Internet means a talent you have or product you make can be sold around the world. Live Rural NL blog has been viewed  more than 137,000 times across 154 countries! Our communities on the Great Northern Peninsula may be small, but technology can allow us to develop cottage industries and sell our products, services and experiences all over the globe. Let’s do this together!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Marketing Rural Newfoundland & Labrador & the VTTA

Today I attended the Viking Trail Tourism Association’s Annual General Meeting at the Plum Point Motel. The chairs were filled tourism operators, employees, government workers and development organizations. We recognized our role and the role we have in advancing tourism on the Great Northern Peninsula. There was much talk of partnership, packaging and being creative!

The Viking Trail Tourism Association is a member-based non-profit industry association that promotes  its members and the greater region since 1988 – entering a milestone of 25 years of service. It continues to purchase advertisements in magazines such as “Downhome” and “Sledworthy”, attend trade shows, and provide members updates. However, it recognizes that it must reach out beyond traditional means of print advertising and is also focusing efforts on the social media.

  • Facebook Page: Viking Trail Tourism Association.
  • Twitter/@vikingtrail

I encourage you to like/follow them and share with friends. Start interacting, ask questions and post your own travel experiences and stories about the Great Northern Peninsula. Visit www.vikingtrail.org/contact.php or email info@vtta.nf.ca if you would like to contribute, become a member and help this non-profit member-based group advance its tourism initiatives.

Today’s meeting got me once again thinking about marketing the rural experience…it’s sometimes the little things we do…

I recently stayed at the Battery Hotel & Suites, which has the most amazing view of St. John’s harbour, NL en route to Signal Hill. As I checked into my room, I had to pass Room 400 Flower’s Cove which is just 14 KM from my hometown and has a unique tourism experience of Thrombolites (living rocks), White Rocks Walking Trail, Marjorie Bridge, Seal Skin Boot Church, Flower’s Island Lighthouse, local foods and great conversations. I immediately felt at home! A place I truly could relate…I immediately told other guests about Flower’s Cove.

Despite the star marking the location of Flower’s Cove being a little too far south I thought this little marketing initiative was powerful. My own room was historic Cupids, the oldest continuously settled British Colony in Canada and the second oldest in North America – what a view the room boasts. Neddie’s Harbour Inn (www.theinn.ca) on the Great Northern Peninsula also has local names for their rooms.

Now imagine if each room at the Battery had content from across the Province. Why not have a story board of Flower’s Cove with local sights, history and stories inside Room 400? Let’s create a means to further cross-promote regions, businesses & attractions. There may be a role for the VTTA, Destination Management Organizations, Business & Department of Tourism, Culture & Recreation to find new creative ways to ensure we reach out in new ways to share the beauty of rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

I commend the VTTA and your efforts to date. I know you will work with your members and others to build upon the tens of thousands of tourists that experience Route 430: The Viking Trail every year.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Another Reason to Live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador

There are many reasons to Live Rural NL – the image above is certainly one of those. This winter scene from Croque, NL instantly brought warm feelings and a smile to my face, despite the cold day of January 24, 2012.

The proportion of snow on the rooftops of the fishing rooms is the perfect contrast to the slowly fading red paint. It is evident the burgeoning fishery is in decline. Although, the community like Grandois, faces a decreasing population – it offers endless opportunities for tranquility and is a photographers dream.

Croque is 20 km via gravel road from neighbouring Main Brook. This community has a French cemetery, waterfront properties, walking trails and many natural wonders.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Beautiful Bird Cove – A Vibrant Town Still Without High-Speed Internet

The Town of Bird Cove is nestled on it’s own small peninsula with beautiful water front property appeal. Although it is an aging community, like many on the Great Northern Peninsula – it is vibrant! The community has a Going Healthy Program and active Community Centre with programs and activities that appeal to all ages and interest groups. They host a soup kitchen, exercise classes, dances, movie nights and have a community library. This is the social commons of a community that has existed for the past 50 centuries that date back to the Maritime Archaic Indians.

However, The Town of Bird Cove is one that is “Lost in Time” and not because of lack of vision from the Town, but the failure of Government to ensure that all citizens in Rural Canada receive equal access to high-speed Internet. The Town of Bird Cove is one of the many communities on the Great Northern Peninsula that will not be receiving high-speed Internet under the Provincial Government’s recent RBI (Rural Broadband Initiative) to subsidize companies to invest necessary infrastructure in rural regions and provide high-speed service. The Great Northern Peninsula had 10 communities slated to receive Broadband Internet. Neighbouring communities of St. Barbe, Blue Cove, Plum Point, Brig Bay and others will receive this access when Bird Cove, the only neighbouring Municipality is blatantly being disadvantaged. They have an Interpretation Centre, active community centre, school children and others that would seek on-line education. This must be an oversight as the community of Brig Bay is less than 2 kms away? Will this mean that the Town of Brig Bay will be years before they gain access? We have seen this happen in the District of the Straits-White Bay North where communities such as Eddies Cove East, Pine’s Cove, Bide-Arm, Wild Bight, North Boat Harbour and others have no access to high-speed Internet when neighbouring communities received access.

The investment by Government is a step forward, however, the access to high-speed Internet is still not a rosy picture for the region. This increase will bring broadband internet coverage to 44 of the 70 communities living on the Great Northern Peninsula. There are other regions in the province facing similar challenges of access to high-speed Internet. The Provincial Government must continue to invest in the RBI to provide this essential service to its citizens, travellers, commuters and potential developers in these regions. It will build strong economies as we strive to enter a more knowledge-based economy in rural NL.

The province says the percentage of residents with broadband access has increased to approximately 85 per cent, up from 60 per cent when the Progressive Conservatives took power in 2003. If we look a littler closer at these figures we will see:

Red Ochre Regional Board released the following figures in it’s annual 2011 report as they represent Economic Zone 7 (36 communities) a distance from Trout River to St. Barbe and a population in 2010 of 8,968. Prior to the announcement only 10 of the 36 communities had high-speed internet service. This will now increase to 19/36. Prior to the announcement only 57.89% of the Zone’s population had access to high-speed. This region for the past 8 years has been under-serviced and are well under the number of 85%  the Provincial Government has been touting. It is time to bridge the gap of access to Broadband Internet, as it is no longer a luxury but essential to daily tasks.

 

Economic Zone 6, which represents the Straits-White Bay North District will have 11 of the 35 communities without complete access to high-speed internet. We must continue to bridge these infrastructure gaps and provide this service to under-serviced communities. Or else we will be forever lost in time.

Please write the Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development to voice your concerns:

 

Minister’s Office

Minister Hon. Keith Hutchings
Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development
Confederation Building, West Block, Second Floor
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
Tel: (709) 729-4728
Fax: (709) 729-0654
Email: keithhutchings@gov.nl.ca

We simply can not remain quiet on this matter, as we must be outspoken on this issue and remind Government to advance our province and develop our knowledge-based economies!

Live Rural NL –
 
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Live Rural NL Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

One year ago today, I introduced myself to the wonderful world of blogging under the name Live Rural NL. Over the past year I have scribed nearly 200 posts and have shared with you my rural life from heritage, cuisine, politics to vacations. I extend a big thank you for all my loyal readers for continuing to show interest in the potluck of articles I post daily as time permits.

The journey over the past 365 days was a learning experience as I became much more aware of the significant aspects of rural culture that surrounded my daily life. For instance:

  1. the tradition of soup Saturday with my grandmother, my love for fisherman’s brewis, figgy duff and Sunday’s Dinner.
  2. the significance of my grandfather’s folklore, his incredible riddles, quotes and jokes – sadly only the memories remain with his passing on June 6, 2010.
  3. I continued to realize how much I value the water and the importance of the fishery to our rural economy.
  4. I took a strong stance against Ellen DeGeneres’ views on the Canadian seal hunt, lobbied Governments for Broadband Internet access and asked for decision-making at a more localized level.
  5. I realized the nuisance a Moose can be on our roadways, but how delicious they are in a pot of stew.
  6.  I learned how to traditionally hook rugs, paint using acrylics and also improve my photography skills.
  7. I spent time with family, playing games, telling stories, enjoying laughter.
  8. Locally, I visited most places on the Great Northern Peninsula, being a tourist at home. |This past weekend, I’ve re-visited again Conche, Englee, Roddickton- Bide-Arm, Main Brook, St. Anthony, L’Anse aux Meadows and Quirpon to tour with a friend. I’ve returned to St. Pierre-Miquelon-Langlade, Grand Bank, Marystown, Burin, Brigus, Cupids, the Irish Loop, St, Johns, Port Home Simpson, Mary’s Harbour, Lodge Bay, Battle Harbour and the Labrador Straits. Evident from the nearly 50,000 kms I have placed on my car in the past year.
  9. Nationally, I visited Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg
  10. Internationally, Mom and I visited France, England, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland last November to experience the Newfoundland-Ireland connection. I also travelled to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Cuba.
  11. I joined Couch Surfing
  12. I met up with old friends and made new friendships
  13. I realized the importance of community and how everyone has a role to play and that we should do our best to contribute.
  14. I plan to visit Raleigh, Cook’s Harbour and Cape Onion this summer season. As well as return to many other places. As well, I would love to spend a weekend in Fogo, Ramea and St. Brendan’s. There must be something about island culture.
  15. Culture evolves and does not remain stagnant
  16. We have some of the best cultural assets in the world!
  17. There is immense opportunities on the Great Northern Peninsula, for those young and old alike.
  18. Include the community in the decision-making process. Local people have valuable ideas and contributions.
  19. The Great Northern Peninsula is an experience
  20. Live Rural NL!

To reiterate lines of my first post, “I have changed many times as a person as I progress through my twenties, but I realize that with the right attitude and efforts we can accomplish the unthinkable. Today my friends, I just want to share with you what it means for me to continue to Live Rural Newfoundland.”

Cheers,

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

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