Last week, I was in North River as part of the Cupids 400 Cultural Tourism Forum. In the afternoon, participants broke into groups to discuss issues of particular interest to them as business owners, volunteers, municipal officials and community leaders. I was asked to facilitate the group on the arts.
The arts (visual, literary, performing arts such as theatre, music and dance) provide a great way to generate activity in a community by: drawing visitors, fostering and supporting the creative talent of youth and artists, enhancing the local quality of life, and giving new life to heritage structures.
Participants brainstormed on possible arts related activities, and one thing we discussed were the key historic themes and traditions in the Cupids and wider Baccalieu Trail area. While not a complete list, some of the local traditions and themes participants identified include:
Heritage train stations
Pirate history (Hr Grace, Carbonear)
Lancers, traditional dance/ square dancing/ Scottish and NL dancing
Quilting/knitting/spinning, trigger mitts, socks
Lobster pot making
Carving, scrimshaw, animal horn
Photography (modern and historic)
Culinary arts – jams, recipes, rum, dogberry wine, moonshine, winery
Live oral history interviews
Running the Goat
Architecture, stages, root cellars
Legends, folklore, ghost stories
Jam doughboys on Good Friday
Plenty of work there to keep a team of folklorists busy for quite some time!