A portrait of Newfoundland and Labrador
Our first day in Newfoundland and Labrador, 10 years ago, set the tone for the rest of our lives on the island.
We arrived on the very last day of August 2008. We did not know a soul here. On September 1, which happened to be Labour Day, we went in search of the school our older daughter was going to attend as a Grade 1 student. The school was a small community school in a heritage building in the heart of the downtown. We liked it. We walked down King's Road towards Duckworth Street and this grizzled, old man came out of his house and yelled: "Wait, wait..." and then disappeared back into his little row house. We stood there rooted to the spot. I was holding the hand of our 5-year-old and my wife was pushing a stroller with our 14-month old. We were looking at each other trying to figure out what is that we exactly did. The man came out of his house again and in his arms he had a giant, stuffed polar bear. He looked at us and and he said: "I won this bear in a raffle and I've been waiting for a little girl to pass by so I can give it to her. Here you go." And he passed that polar bear to our stunned 5-year-old. That's what this place is like and after 10 years we love it so much more than on that very first day.
We both had a chance to travel across much of Newfoundland and Labrador and we love the people and the stories they have to tell. And we want to share a few of them, exactly 70 in fact, with you. The year 2019 will be the 70th anniversary of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Canada as the youngest province in the Confederation. So we decided to take a look at what this place is like today. To do that, we are going to produce 70 audio-slideshows featuring a voice of somebody who calls this place home. And we will do our best to match demographic picture and geographic and occupational distribution of the people in the province across the 70 profiles. What does that mean? It means that 37 of the 70 profiles will come from the Avalon Peninsula, five from the Central region, four from the Bay of Notre Dame, five from Bonavista-Trinity region, four from Labrador, three from St. George's area and another three from Burin Peninsula, while five profiles will feature stories from Humber District, and two from the Northern Peninsula and another two from the South Coast. As you can imagine, this will require substantial travel funds. As of now we have already produced 12 stories from the Avalon Peninsula. Here is one:
We will continue producing the 37 from Avalon on our own. Where we hope you can help us is with the production of the episodes from the rest of the province. We are asking strictly for travel support. Our time, equipment, and skills is our gift to this project. And we are not asking you for all of the money we think we may need. We'll create small campaigns to allow us to cover one region at the time. So this campaign is going to support the production of the five stories in Bonavista-Trinity region. That's it. If we reach our goal of $1,000 we will be able to rent a car, pay for gas and stay for a few days in the region to record interviews and photographs. That's it. We'll take the next step after those are completed.
The Independent (theindependent.ca), an online publication with a long history of journalism and commentary in the province, has been our distribution partner from the beginning. We are very grateful to the Indy and its readers. We hope to announce a couple of more partners soon.
The Centre for Newfoundland Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland is also a partner on this project. The Centre is one of the provinces most important archival institutions and we are honoured and pleased that they will archive and make available all of the 70/70 episodes to the future scholars, researchers, and residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.
What others said about the project:
"Love the presentation format as the audio just adds so much information to the still photos. And the audio being in the subject's voice is really a step up. Also, great choice of subject matter. Each episode is a surprise being a subject we thought we had no interest in until it starts. When each show is over, we are left with that feeling that we are a bit smarter than when it started. Who would have ever thought that I would watch a little program about bee keeping. But I did and loved it." -Bob, Apopka, Florida
"It’s so cool to peak inside Rodney’s workshop & see what he does. And of course the photography is fantastic. Love it all!" - Aimee, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
"I just watched all of these slide shows. Very well done. I do like the way that each person tells their story without any interruptions at all, combined with the background sounds that bring the viewer into the environment. I get the feeling I would like to know these people." - Sid from Memphis, Tennessee
"Awesome interview and wonderful photography!" -Kelly, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Risks and challenges
This is a big project. And we don't feel conformable asking for the full amount necessary to produce the 23 episodes outside of Avalon Peninsula. That's why we are approaching it in such small steps - one region at the time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)