Blog Archives

Lots of Magic Happens When Bright Minds Get Together

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The St. Anthony and Area Boys & Girls Club is a social space that provides a safe environment where our youthful bright minds can get together. Youth get the opportunity to experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life.

The Boys and Girls Club has hosted new and existing programs.

  • Cheerleading
  • Boy’s Night
  • Girl’s Night
  • Build Your Own Business
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Baking
  • Music
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Indoor Recreation
  • Dance

It’s important for youth to have social space to get together to create, socialize and learn. It has been nice to see an expanded kitchen to offer more cooking, baking and healthy food offering at the club. As well, more staff to offer new programs to support physical recreation and active living.

The Boys & Girls Club is an amazing pillar in the community, as dozens of youth participate in daily activities. I’ve seen them showcase what they have learned from guitar lessons, musical performances, dances and even cheers. The community becomes more vibrant when these youth showcase their creative abilities and energy overtakes the room.

At fundraising events the Boys & Girls Club staff and volunteers are selling popcorn, making balloon animals or playing their games, like Plinko with youth. It is wonderful to see people of the region give back to help our bright minds continue to get together. Medical Staff at LG Health in St. Anthony have given back.

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We are so fortunate that we have this space where are youth can come together and learn from each other. If you are a youth on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, you can visit one of our four youth centres (St. Anthony & Area Boys and Girls Club, St. Anthony; Youth Centre, Englee; Regional Community Youth Centre, Flower’s Cove; CYN, Plum Point).

A special thank you to all the staff, volunteers, parents, youth and community leaders that continue to give so much. Let’s keep the magic happening as we encourage more volunteers, more support and more attendance at each of our area youth centres.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA. The Straits-White Bay North)

Christmas Card Art Submissions from the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula

160 entries from Kindergarten to Grade 6 students from The Straits-White Bay North were submitted for the annual Christmas Card contest. There is amazing artwork that should be publicly displayed and recognized. I encourage you all to take a look at the incredible creativity shown by children ages 5-11 on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

All entries are posted in the Public Art Gallery at 279 West Street, but to make them more accessible we decided to showcase them on-line.

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has many traditions and talents. It is always nice to stop for a moment and look at life in the lens of a child. These students should be proud of their entries and I encourage them to continue to be involved and hope to reach more schools and student entries. Youth engagement matters!

Merry Christmas,

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for The Straits-White Bay North

There’s Giant Cod Fish Out There…

We are moving into 21 years and a cod moratorium remains.  A decision that has forever altered the way of life in rural Newfoundland & Labrador, especially the smallest of communities.

The closure of the cod fishery in 1992 was to be temporary, yet remains today. It has led to mass out-migration. I was only 6 years old when the cod moratorium came into effect and can certainly recall many families leaving, businesses closing and loss of services. In 1991, the province’s population was 568,000, in 2011 the population dropped to 514,000 – a net loss of 54,000 people or more than 10% of current population, according to Statistics Canada.

The Great Northern Peninsula has been greatly impacted, as the fishery remains today the backbone of our local economy. The loss of population, especially youth and young families adversely impact the amount of tax base available and will push our smaller communities into greater decline. The lack of youth as part of our demographics means we must press our seniors to continue to be committed volunteers longer. These youth that would become community leaders, create new community programs and social offerings or start a business are lost to more urban centres and other provinces that offer high-paying jobs.

Since the first Mitchelmore came from England, they have been fishers. I am the first generation, like my cousins that did not have the option to continue a profession our family has engaged for centuries. Where will this lead rural Newfoundland & Labrador? There are cod in our waters, no question. I could see for myself this summer in communities such as Englee, St. Lunaire-Griquet and Sandy Cove as large cod-fish were landed via small commercial quota or caught in the recreational cod fishery.

CBC Reported: Cod comeback seen off Newfoundland – click for article

In September, I captured this photo at a fish market in Iceland.

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As you can see there are certainly giant cod out there.

We need to have a serious conversation about the future of the cod fishery and the role it will play in rural renewal…

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Home-Based Business Opportunity – Make Soap Jellies

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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