Blog Archives

Ocean Comes to Life at Bonne Bay Marine Station

IMG_20140831_135441The Bonne Bay Marine Station, a research arm of Memorial University is nestled in the quiet community of Norris Point aims to expand knowledge of marine ecology. I have been to the centre on a number of occasions, including an International Fisheries Symposium hosted by Community University Research and Recovery Alliance (CURRA). It is a great place for people of all ages to have fun and learn about ocean life! I took the visit from a water taxi departing Woody Point and returning later in the evening. A 20 minute water taxi saved an hour of driving and provided a great view of dolphins! Totally worth $14 return.

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One can get a guided tour, explaining sea anemones, lobsters, crabs, starfish, wolf fish, sand dollars, sea urchins and a variety of other creatures. One can truly experience the squishy-ness of the starfish and take up scallops and other items in the touch tank.

I was thoroughly impressed by our guide, as she expressed enthusiasm and also great knowledge as she opened shell of the female crab or engaged a colleague digging for worms. We spent some time in the upper level as well where there are digital learning areas, interpretative panels and displays. Additionally, there is a library, classrooms and laboratories that are part of the educational program.

The Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge the brainchild of Pam Hall, adorns the walls. It highlights local knowledge from the Great Northern Peninsula, many of it focused on the fishery and living rural.

After a visit to Bonne Bay Marine Station, one can take a Bon Tour on the Emm-Cat of the bay or drop by for a pint and some wonderful seafood chowder at the Cat Stop Pub.

Norris Point is home to the iconic “Trails, Tails and Tunes” festival, Voice of Bonne Bay Community Radio Station, Gros Morne Adventures and a number of local businesses that cater to tourists taking in beautiful Gros Morne National Park. There is much opportunity to promote and partner fisheries-tourism synergies and to also partner education with commerce as a means to enhance community and economic development.

Ocean comes to life at Bonne Bay Marine Station. Drop by and let me know what you think.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Sometimes a Name Does Say It All – Paradise, NL

I have spent more than a year of my life living literally in Paradise. I had moved from 55  1/2 Bell’s Turn in The District of Virginia Waters to Paradise in the fall of 2005 as I continued my studies at Memorial University. I stayed in Paradise until December 2006, when I hopped across the pond and spent the next year of my life in Europe – working, studying, travelling and consuming culture. In 2008, I completed my last semester at Memorial University while living in Paradise, NL in the District of Mount Pearl North.

The Town at the time had a tag line “A Community in Progress”. Although, most likely true – with that type of tagline it was indefinitely selling itself short. I only noticed this sign on my past visit in 2011/12 that the sign illustrated a new brand for the Town.

Welcome to Town of Paradise “Our Name Says It All…”

My area of interest at Memorial was Marketing and I commend the Town of Paradise for capitalizing on its name and selling them in a more grown-up manner with much more to offer residents and visitors.

Although, I no longer live in the Town – I am living in my own Paradise. I am home and have been since 2009.

However, it is important to think about how your Town or Community is being portrayed by residents and travellers. How are you marketing? What are you doing to be placed on the map?

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Encourage Youth to Make Their Own Money…

I remember one of my first endeavours into business. We were roadside retailers/re-sellers of items we purchased at a local convenience store. Two friends a couple of houses away and I purchased candy, potato chips, gum and Neilson Chunk chocolates and re-packaged the items into brown paper bags. We creatively called our product goodie bags, as the “surprise bag” was already taken. We sold them for $0.50/per bag. I am unsure if we made money on this product or if the customers felt they received good value for their money. We also sold some chalk painted rocks and other handmade crafts. I remember they were not big sellers though. Local residents from our rural community supported our first venture into the world of business. In the early 1990’s, there appeared to be more value placed on being creative, taking initiative and  incentive to earn a few dollars to buy things we wanted. I know at the youthful age, we most likely re-invested it on more sugary good stuff :).

As I grew older,  my progression in business included packing up firewood, painting fences, mowing lawns, doing chores or odd jobs, washing cars, tutoring to selling homemade crafts. My parents encouraged me to work hard, realize there is a cost of material goods and to understand the value of money.

At 16 years of age, I founded Flower’s Island Museum. The business expanded to include a 9-hole miniature golf course and later a summer festival, which operated for two years in partnership with another youth entrepreneur. During 2002, I contacted Nortip Development Corporation seeking information on heritage grants and spoke with the Youth Development Officer. Although, I did not apply or receive grant funding, I was introduced to a program they offered called Youth Ventures.

Youth Ventures empowers students age 12-29 start and operate their own businesses in Newfoundland & Labrador. There are 23 Youth Ventures Coordinators throughout the province to provide free assistance to interested youth. You can visit www.youthventuresnl.com. They have a list of ideas, information and contact information for a local coordinator.

Youth Ventures helped raise the profile of my business. I was profiled by the Getting the Message Out (GMO) program with the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. During my Bachelor of Commerce studies at Memorial University, I became employed as an intern with GMO. As well, received a number of local and provincial honors, which included the Provincial High Achievement of Financial Management Award sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada. Operating my own business provided a wealth of experiences, included customer service, marketing, financial management, human resources and operations. I enjoyed adapting to new situations and engaging in constant improvement. This experience aided in landing a position with an International Marine & Engineering Consultancy Headquartered in London, England.

There is satisfaction in creating, assisting and meeting the needs of the consumer. Youth in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador have opportunities to make their own money and put their talents to good use by venturing into the wonderful world of business. However, without incentive to do so, we may lose a future generation of innovators and economic drivers. In some rural communities it appears adherent today that youth no longer need to work to earn an allowance. Additionally, many are given mobile phones starting at elementary school, not to mention parents purchasing all sorts of electronics, brand name clothing, lavish recreational vehicles and cars as presents.

Youth need to be encouraged, understand the importance of the almighty dollar and to make decisions with their own money.  The future can be bright for rural Newfoundland & Labrador for young leaders today and tomorrow, if we provide the necessary supports.

Encourage youth to make their own money…create their own dream job, be their own boss and masters of their own destiny.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

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