Category Archives: Environmental Protection

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, www.pigeoninlet.com,  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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Filed under Baccalieu Trail, Bay Roberts, Clients, Cupids 400, Environmental Protection, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northern Avalon, Provincial Historic Commemorations Program

Shearstown Estuary – 2009 Torngat Municipal Achievement Award – Environmental Sustainability


The Shearstown Estuary wetlands is jointly managed by the towns of Bay Roberts and Spaniard’s Bay.   The towns jointly won the 2009 Torngat Municipal Achievement Award in the category of Environmental Sustainability.

Baccalieu Consulting has worked with the Joint Management committee of the two towns to develop materials about the wetlands project.  The members of the Joint Management committee are Cathy Kleinwort (chair) and Councillor Mose Anthony representing Spaniard’s Bay, and Pat George and Councillor Bill Seymour representing Bay Roberts.

The audience for materials that have been developed include residents of the two neighbouring towns, as well as people across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and through the Internet, people all over the world.

Shearstown Estuary Website

Even though the Shearstown Estuary has been allotted space on both the Town of Bay Roberts website and the Town of Spaniard’s Bay website, the Joint Management Committee wanted website of their own.  After discussion, we concluded that a WordPress blog was the best solution for them.

http://shearstownestuary.ca/

Over 90 Photos  on Flickr

We have uploaded a large number of photos which we have taken of the Sheartown Estuary in various seasons on Baccalieu Consulting’s Flickr site.

1o Signs about Life in the Estuary

We have developed 10 signs that have been placed in the estuary describing life forms in the estuary.  The signs include 6 about birds of the estuary which had information about the bald eagle, the osprey, the common loon, the American black duck, the dark-eyed junco, the blue jay, the northern pintail, the green-winged teal, the greater yellow-legs, the black-bellied plover, the common golden-eye, and the black-headed gull.  In addition, there is one sign about flowers, one about grasses, one about invertebrates, and one about fish.

All signs have been uploaded to Scribd.  The sign which describes four of the flowers in the estuary is linked below, and the others can be easily found.

YouTube Presentations on the Shearstown Estuary

We have also prepared two YouTube presentations about the estuary.

Life in the Shearstown Estuary

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Muddy Hole



Muddy Hole

Originally uploaded by eracose

One of the photos of the Shearstown Estuary taken from the Flickr site.

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Filed under Environmental Protection, Newfoundland and Labrador

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.

flowers-2-sm

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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Filed under Clients, Environmental Protection, Newfoundland and Labrador