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Summer Season – Busy Time

We have been so busy that time has just run away. Working on Cupids Cove Chatter for Cupids 400 Inc. and working on “The Holdin’ Ground Project” and the “Bay Roberts Cultural Foundation” for the town of Bay Roberts has been very times consuming, but extremely uplifting.

Yesterday, April 8, 2010, there was a press conference in Cupids about “The New World Theatre Project” which is being developed by Aiden Flynn of Rabbittown Theatre in St. John’s.  At a press conference at Cupids Haven  in Cupids on April 7th, 2010, plans for the New World Theatre Project were revealed. The 
Project is 
first season
 the founding
 1610. The New World Theatre Project will explore, present and celebrate the   Guy’s England, particularly what settlers may have seen, heard, or written in the London of 1610. Through ongoing dialogue and consultation with institutions such as Shakespeare’s  Globe (UK) and Shakespeare’s Globe Centre of Canada, the project will provide unprecedented artistic opportunities for Newfoundland theatre artists and provide the community with a new and unique cultural experience.

For more information see the blog which we developed and are maintaining for Cupids 400 Inc. > >

For more photos see Flickr Cupids 400, the Flickr site we maintain for Cupids 400 Inc.  (all these photos were taken by Neddal Ayad >>

Our other big project has been preparing websites for The Bay Roberts Cultural Foundation ( ) and the “Holdin’ Ground Project” ( )  In addition, we have developed a YouTube channel for the interviews from the Holdin’ Ground Project.  The students has saved the videos of their interviews, some of which were 30 minutes long  in DVD format. They were converted to AVI format and broken down into segments less than 10 minutes long (since YouTube will not accept videos which are longer than 10 minutes.)  Then those were uploaded to the Bay Roberts Cultural Foundation You Tube Channel – > > and linked back to

The interviews are a wonderful way to preserve the memories and knowledge of older citizens in the community.  Mr. Cecil Greenland at 104 is completely amazing, as well as Mr. Ralph Greenland, 80 who is a talented musician. This morning I am uploading stills from the videos to the Baccalieu Consulting Flickr > >.

In addition, we have updated all the Pigeon Inlet related material for the upcoming summer season.  The website for “A Time in Pigeon Inlet” ( ) with a new page about the Russell Family  and Uncle Mose’s Blog ( ) are now ready for the new season.  We have set up “A Time in Pigeon Inlet” Fan Page on Face Book .

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Provincial Historic Commemorations Program

Last week, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the first-ever designations under the newly-established Provincial Historic Commemorations Program. The program is designed to  recognize and commemorate distinctive aspects of our province’s history, culture and heritage. Dildo Island, which represents more than 2,500 years of occupation by various cultures, was commemorated as a Place of Provincial Significance.   Kelly Russell, well-known fiddler and tireless promoter of Newfoundland and Labrador’s traditional music, was recognized under the category of Tradition Bearer.

Because we worked on the  Baccalieu: Crossroads for Culture Project and have worked closely with clients in the Dildo area, as well as with Kelly and his family through the Bay Roberts Cultural Foundation and “A Time in Pigeon Inlet,” we have in depth knowledge about the two choices.

One of Kelly Russell's music collections.

Kelly Russell, at the March 3rd Award Ceremony, with his book of musical notation.

Kelly Russell

Like almost everyone in the province, I was familiar with Kelly Russell, the fiddle player, but until “A Time in Pigeon Inlet,” I did not know that he is also a skilled storyteller,  a producer and director, and recorder and arranger of music. With his company Pigeon Inlet Productions, he has produced Tales from Pigeon Inlet (3CD set, featuring 30 original recordings of his father, Ted Russell’s works) and a number of other compilations of music and spoken word by the best know performers in the province.

He has developed and printed two unique books of musical notation:  Fiddle Music of Newfoundland & Labrador – Volume 1 – The Music of Rufus Guinchard & Emile Benoit, containing musical notation to over 250 fiddle tunes learned from master fiddlers Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit. Volume 2 is also now available, containing tunes from 25 other fiddlers around the Province including several fiddlers from Labrador.

Needless to say, over the past two years, I have gained tremendous respect for Kelly’s contribution to the culture and heritage of the province, and he is very worthy of the name Tradition BearerA Time in Pigeon Inlet which he produces in cooperation with the Bay Roberts Cultural Foundation, helps to preserve the legacy his father, Ted Russell and to preserve the traditions and culture of outport Newfoundland.  His own website, Pigeon Inlet Productions,,  provides information about the items he has produced, and his contribution to ensuring future generations are aware of our traditional music.

Dildo Island

Dildo Island was also an excellent choice. Dildo Island, is relatively unknown outside the region, although it is a treasure of international interest on many levels.  The fact that so many different cultures chose to live there, speaks volumes.  The island is located in area which is visited by seals, whales, and various types of birds.  Fish swim in the water and the land provides quantities of berries and other editable plants. A caribou migration path was located in nearby Blaketown, and various types of small animals such as rabbits and beaver live in the woods. The various  cultures that occupied the island took advantage of the abundant food supply. In spite of the many excesses of hunting and fishing habits during the last half of the  20th century, the island, the waters around it, and the Dildo area are still home to many species of plant and animal life on land and in the water.  Dildo and Dildo Island can be the site for marvelous hiking trips, studying the natural history of the area.

Journey Through Time

Journey Through Time

Everyone loves a good story and the story of human habitation on Dildo Island is an amazing tale. I was first introduced to that story by William Gilbert, chief  archaeologist, when Baccalieu Consulting worked with him to produce a booklet for the Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation entitled Journeys Through Time: 10 Years of Archaeology on the Baccalieu Trail. The amount of   documentation and the number of artifacts that have been found are truly amazing, and William Gilbert has an ability to tell a detailed technical story in plain, coherent language  that is easy to understand.

In 2005, we were project managers for Baccalieu: Crossroads for Cultures, which brought together a large number of groups and individuals, including William Gilbert, to tell the   17th century history of the region, in preparation for the Cupids 400 Celebrations, which are taking place this year.

Tools of the Dorset Eskimo

Tools of the Dorset Eskimo

For a person who loves history and anthropology, the ability to be able to handle items that people used on that island over two thousand years ago is unimaginable. It was fascinating to learn that the Dorset Eskimo over 1000 years ago actually fashioned lamps which burned seal oil and that they produced serrated blades on their cutting  instruments.

It was eerie to read Henry  Cout’s 1613 account of landing on Dildo Island.  He entered a Beothuk home where the fire pit was still warm and examined the inside, seeing how they slept.  When he was ready to go, he left gifts for the Beothuk that own the home. The following day, when he returned, he found the Beothuk had left a gift of cooked meat for them. It is heartbreaking to  read his plea, saying do no harm to the Beothuk  people, in the light of later events.

More Information about Dildo Island

If you are interesting in following the story of Dildo Island and of the visit by the Cupids colonists, you can find detailed information.

From Baccalieu: Crossroads for Cultures – “The Beothuk at Dildo Island”  (available in English and French )

From Baccalieu: Crossroads for Cultures – Henry Crout’s letter to Sir Percival Willoughby, Summer 1613 transcribed by William Gilbert  (available in French and English)

If you want to find more information about the archaeological dig, and the various cultures that occupied Dildo Island, you can find detailed information.

From Baccalieu Digs  (website of the Baccalieu Heritage Corporation, maintained by William Gilbert, chief archaeologist) – Dildo Island

And, to find information about events and activities of Cupids 400, you can see Cupids Cove Chatter.

Accommodations in the Region

If you are interested in visiting the area, we maintain websites for a number of accommodations.  These accommodations consist of B & Bs, Cottages, RV and Camping Parks and range in cost.  The whole area covers a radius of about 40km, so if you stay in one place, you are with easy driving distance of all other parts.

Cupids area:  Blumblebee B & B (Brigus), Roaches Line RV Park & Cottages (Roaches Line), Rose Manor (Harbour Grace), and Klondyke Cottage (Bay Roberts)

Dildo area: George House Heritage B& B and Inn By the Bay (Dildo)Blueberry Hill B & B (Cavendish)Ocean Delight Cottages (Whiteway) and Ocean Delight Cottages (Heart’s  Delight)

In addition, we maintain the website for Northern Bay Sands RV and Camping Park, which is also on the Baccalieu Peninsula.

We also maintain the website for Northern Avalon Tourism Association – Accommodations – All the accommodations listed are within an hour of the Cupids – Dildo area.

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11 Distinguishing Traits of Newfoundland Outport Culture.

11 Distinguishing Traits of Newfoundland Outport Culture.

1. Respect is part of life.

People have been accepted and respected for who they are. If they are a bit “strange” or “touched in the head,” people in the community make allowance for that. Older people in the community are frequently called “Aunt” or “Uncle” out of respect, even if they are not related. (In Pigeon Inlet, “Aunt Sophie,” “Uncle Mose,” Grandpa and Grandma” Walcott, and the hangashore “Jethro Noddy” represent this tradition.)

2. Two Degrees of Separation exists in outports.

If you hear a person’s last name, you have a good idea what part of the province he or she is from and within a few minutes talking you can find someone who knows someone that you both know. (Just 2 degrees of separation) There is a bond of kinship. In David French’s plays, the story of the Mercer family, a name associated with Bay Roberts, is followed trough three generations. When the Couger Helicopter went down off shore, almost to person, everyone in Newfoundland outports knew someone who knew a friend or relative of the people from Newfoundland outports who tragically died.

3. Music – instrumental, singing, and dance have always had a large role in people’s lives.

There are songs that have been passed down through several generations that most people know and can sing along with, including “The Squid Jigging Ground,” “She’s Like the Swallow,” “Lukey’s Boat,”  and “I’se the By.” Traditional “Times” featured singing and dance.

4. Story telling grew out of isolation.

Stories of events in the community (sometimes written in verse), ghost stories and fairy stories have been passed from generation to generation. In the days before modern telecommunications, media and transportation, people were isolated in the winter months and entertained each other with stories and recitations. Each community had several well know story tellers. Ted Russell enshrines that tradition in his “Smoke Room on the Kyle.”

5. Traditional food is served.

Fish and brewis, fish cakes, duffs, flipper pie, bakeapple jam – and other recipes are known by most people. Certain foods are cooked in special ways for Christmas Eve or Good Friday, or other holidays and celebrations. At Newfoundland times and weddings, traditional foods are served. In many homes, even today, there is a traditional menu of  meals for each day of the week – for example, fish was served on Friday.

6. Heroes and characters are well known through generations.

“Characters” were eccentric people. In a gathering, each person tried to tell one better about things that community “characters”  had done. “Heroes” are people of the community, sometimes sea captains, sometimes people who had miraculous escapes from disaster,  who had achieved amazing feats, and whose stories are told and retold.

7. Language and dialect differs from outport to outport.

Each community has a slightly different accent (often based on the part of England or Ireland from which their ancestors came). Use of phrases and names of places are unique to that community. Often the names of places have a story that relates to the name. The Klondyke Causeway in Bay Roberts was built at around the time of the Klondyke Gold Rush. It was a time when the fishery had failed and the economy was in a state of decline. People that were hired to work on building the causeway felt it was the town’s version of the “Klondyke.”

8. Nicknames are very common in outport communities.

Because a number of people in some communities have the same family name and first name, each branch of a family has a nickname which is well known in the community. In Bay Roberts and surrounding communities the name Graham Mercer is very common, so each family has its own nickname. The names were sometimes named after the occupation – “Painter” and “Baker.” Sometimes named after a long forgotten incident – “Fox” another Mercer nickname is perhaps named after an incident with a fox. The Mercers through generations are called Joey “Fox,” or Fred “Painter” and everyone in the community knows which from Mercer family that person originated.

9. Various demoninations of the Church have played an enormous role in outports.

Activities in the community are determined by the church calendar – advent, Christmas, lent, and Easter; and church organizations such as the CLB, UCW, play roles in community life. They were even more important in the past, sometimes having a negative impact, but more often helping people through hard times and tragedies.

10. The sea was the reason for existence for most outports, so it dominated life.

The seasons associated with the fishery give a cadence to community life. Stories are told of well-known Captains, voyages, and dangers. Building boats and parts for ships, preparing and mending nets and pots, preparing fish for market, were a major part of life.

11. Survival skills have been honed by a harsh environment.

Many outport dwellers had an ability to do many things well. Men knew all about fishing, but many were carpenters, wood workers, painters, boat builders, loggers, and farmers. Women were homemakers, but they were also skilled gardeners, seamstresses, needleworkers, and community organizers. Most families cut their own wood for building and for fuel, grew and preserved vegetables for winter, remade old clothes for younger children in the family, coloured old flour bags and hooked them into mats, and raveled old sweaters, using the yarn to make new ones. Although the term was never used, recycling was common. Little was wasted. “This Bear Got Heart” ( is an example of this tradition. Betty uses old clothing to make teddy bears and decorate them with traditional needle crafts.

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New Year -2009

Two new websites are up and running.

The Mariner News – a website for Global Maine which is located in Harbour Grace. They are a high quality – commercial fishing broker. They offer used fishing vessels, full packages, fishing licenses, used fishing gear, processing licenses, and processing equipment.

The Mariner News -

The Mariner News -

The other site is for “Communities Against Violence,” a community group based in the region which educates the community on ways to overcome the various types of violence that seem to have become common in modern life. The site deals with long standing types of violence, such as child abuse, partner abuse, and dating abuse. It also deals with new types of violence that have been developed through the Internet, such as cyber bullying and internet predators.

Communities Against Violence -

Western Avalon Communities Against Violence -

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Work in November

We are finally completing work for the Shearstown Estuary Joint Management Committee.  Four new Wayside Signs will be ready for the spring of 2009, one on fish, one on invertebrates, one on flowers, and one on grasses.  These signs will be placed with the six bird signs that were finished last summer.


In addition, final editing has been completed on a Flash presentation about the Shearstown Estuary.  The presentation has many photos of the estuary and photos of many of the animals and plants.  The presentation can be seen here :

The Shearstown Estuary [It takes a little time to load, because it is large, but it is worth the wait!]

In addition to our regular work, we are working with two new clients:  Western Avalon Communities Against Violence and Global Marine Inc.

We are preparing print materials and a website for the Western Avalon Communities Against Violence. The website will focus on providing help and information for those threatened with violence as well as for the community.  There will be information about such types of violence as elder abuse, bullying, and cyber bullying – all of which have been in the news recently.

Global Marine Inc. are brokers for the fishing industry and will have a website and publish a periodical with listings of fishing vessels, fishing gear, and  fishing licences.

Both these projects are in new areas of interest – so they have been keeping us very busy.

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Town of Carbonear

Another of our clients is the town of the Carbonear in Conception Bay North, Newfoundland and Labrador, which has been our client since 2004. Over the past year, the town website has had 52,485 visitors, viewing a total of 220,323 pages.

Town of Carbonear Website –

Harbour Rock Hill

Harbour Rock Hill

In addition to the town website, we have developed and maintain a website for the Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre which is a 384 seat, air conditioned and wheelchair accessible facility, set in the heart of the Baccalieu Trail Region.

The Princess Sheila Na Geira Theatre

The Princess Sheila Na Geira Theatre

Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre –

We also have design and maintain a website for the Carbonear Heritage Society.

Carbonear Heritage Society –

Railway Station Museum

Railway Station Museum

We have designed a booklet about the town of Carbonear in 2008.

Carbonear Booklet [PDF]- Welcome to Carbonear – Hub of the Bay

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Welcome to our update!

Because we have been so busy with other people’s communications, we have been neglecting our own! We hope to keep up-to-date here.

Town of Bay Roberts

Veterans Quay Marina

Veterans' Quay Marina

The Town of Bay Roberts has been a client since 2003. In July 2008, there were an average of 408 visitors each day who viewed 1206 pages per day. For October 2008, there have been an average of 272 visitors each day who have viewed 834 pages per day. In the past year, there have been 108,000 visitors who have visited 290,00 pages. We believe we have succeeding in making Bay Roberts, a town of approximately 5414 [2006 census], very visible on the Web!

Cable Building - National Historic Site and Provincial Heritage Structure

Cable Building - National Historic Site and Provincial Heritage Structure

Over the summer, we were very busy with a variety of projects in the Town of Bay Roberts as well as maintaining their websites: and

One of our projects the Bay Roberts Tourism & Leisure Guide during the summer. The 16 page guide is online – Bay Roberts Tourism & Leisure Guide – 2008

The previous year we completed a pamphlet on the Shoreline Heritage Walk. It contains information about the history of the walk and a detailed map which visitors can follow.

Shoreline Heritage Walk

Pigeon Inlet was successful beyond what we had hoped. For information about the project, see the website – and the blog which we have been preparing.

We prepared albums of photos taken by Catherine and Steve Armager about the Pigeon Inlet launch –

Photos of Gala Launchand Pigeon Inlet Buffet

We also prepared a large storyboard on the Life of Ted Russell, which is on display at the Bay Roberts Visitor’s Pavilion:

Ted Russell Story Board.  Elizabeth Miller, Ted Russsells daughter [left]

Ted Russell Story Board. Elizabeth Miller, Ted Russell's daughter-left

In the middle of the summer, we prepared a flash presentation entitled “A Time in Pigeon Inlet”.Music in the flash presentation is by Kelly Russell.

We also designed a logo for the Pigeon Inlet project which will appear on all materials relating to Pigeon Inlet in the future:

Pigeon Inlet Logo

Pigeon Inlet Logo


We also worked various projects with the Joint Management Committee shared by the Town of Bay Roberts and the Town of Spaniard’s Bay. We developed 10 Wayside Exhibition Signs for the Shearstown Estuary. Six of the signs have been placed, while the others will be placed later.

Birds of the Shearstown Estuary

Birds of the Shearstown Estuary

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