Storytelling is a tradition in Newfoundland and Labrador

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Sight of Portuguese seafarers

Storyteller Marketing in Newfoundland and Labrador

Storyteller marketing in Newfoundland and Labrador has a long tradition. Whether in storyteller events, at parties with friends or in literature - the Newfoundlanders tell stories. Willingly. Inventive. Adventurous. Newfoundland is made for stories of all kinds: icebergs protrude from the ocean in the distance. The wind carries the smell of seaweed into the country. In the distance you can hear the breathing whales and observes the flight of puffins in front of the cliffs of "the rock". This is what the Newfoundlanders lovingly call their island in the St. Lawrence Gulf.


Tombstone on the Coast - Storyteller Marketing for Newfoundland and Labrador has a long tradition
Storyteller marketing has a long tradition in Newland and Labrador


The island's cemeteries face the sea. As if the people who are buried here wanted to look back on their adventures on the edge of the island. Some of the islanders come from another island known for its storytellers and writers: Ireland. No wonder, then, that Newfoundland is home to a number of Canada's finest writers: Wayne Johnston, Michael Crummey, Michael Winter, Kenneth Harvey.


John Guy's landing on Newfoundland © courtesy Cupids Legacy Center
John Guy's landing on Newfoundland © courtesy Cupids Legacy Center


Newfoundland and Labrador - the land of storytellers

Among the storytellers' stories are tales of characters whose adventures are typical of the people of Newfoundland. It starts with the beginnings of settlement on "the rock". In Cupids, which is about an hour's drive north of the Island capital St. John's lies, Sir John Guy landed. At this point he made the first attempt to settle the island permanently. He himself only lasted one winter (1610 to 1611) here. He then sailed back to his hometown of Bristol, England. But it is to him that the town on the east coast of Newfoundland owes the reputation of being the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Canada. It is North America's second oldest town. Only Jamestown, Virginia, is even older, if only by three years.


The "Roosevelt" under Captain Bob Bartlett
The "Roosevelt" under Captain Bob Bartlett - storyteller marketing in Newfoundland and Labrador


Arctic Stories by Captain Bob Bartlett

Not far from Cupids we hear from Captain Bob Bartlett at Hawthorne Cottage in Brigus. As captain, he accompanied the "Roosevelt" Commander Robert Peary on his attempts to reach the North Pole. The "captain" came from the place on the Atlantic coast. His parents and sisters lived here. He kept coming back from his voyages in the Arctic.

Bob Bartlett was famous for his leadership skills. He proved this on the Karluk expedition, which was pursued by misfortune. He took the lead when Vilhjalmur Stefansson left the expedition. After being stranded in the ice for months, Bartlett and the Inuit hunter Kataktovik marched 700 miles from Wrangel Island over the ice into the Chukchi Sea and through Siberia. From Alaska, he organized a rescue operation for his companions who had stayed behind. He later received the Royal Geographical Society's highest award for the courage he had shown in doing so.


Joe Smallwood ran storyteller marketing for Newfoundland and Labrador
Joe Smallwood, affectionately known as "Joey," ran storyteller marketing for Newfoundland and Labrador


"Joey" Smallwood, storyteller marketing for Newfoundland and Labrador

We hear and read again and again on our trip through Newfoundland from Joe Smallwood, the island's first Prime Minister after joining Canada. We had read Wayne Johnston's book "The Colony of Unfulfilled Dreams" prior to the trip. In it the author describes the life of Joe Smallwood. The novel is the best preparation for a trip through this province for everyone who wants to get to know the soul of the region better. There is hardly a better way to approach the Newfoundland mentality than this book.

Another reading I recommend for this is Annie Proulx's “Ship Reports”. We come across this book again and again along the way. Once we even spend the night in the same hotel as the crew of actors in the film. The two main actors Kevin Spacey and Juliane Moore stayed during the filming at the Fisher's Loft Inn in Port Rexton near Trinity.


Newfoundland dogs are storytellers

Then there are the stories that life in Newfoundland writes. These are nowhere near the worst. On the contrary, they show the humor of the people on the island in their own way. Despite all adversities, they never lose their sense of humor and good humor. So Tineke Gow, the owner of the Artisan Inn in Trinity, accompanies us over a bad corrugated iron road to the local lighthouse. With a twinkle in her eye, she tells us that the local car mechanic has only just passed away. So if we need a spare tire ... We can guess the rest.


Tineke and Mareike Gow run Storyteller Marketing in Newfoundland and Labrador
Conversation with Mareike and Tineke Gow in Trinity - Storyteller Marketing in Newfoundland and Labrador


Stories that life writes

Tineke reports from the local carpenter. He is over 1,90 meters tall and now over eighty years old. Because of its size, it has had a piece of jewelery in the living room for years. His coffin, which he made himself. "After all, it doesn't fit in one of the coffins that are otherwise common," she says with a giggle.

She tells of the tour guide of a tourist group who lied the blue of the sky to one of his passengers when the bus drove past an inlet near Trinity. In the middle of it the buoys of an oyster farm could be seen. When asked what it was, he replied, “Yes, you know, that's how people bury their dead in Trinity. The ground here is so rocky that it is impossible to maintain a cemetery. Therefore you hang the dead upside down in the water ... "


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Source: On-site research with the support of Tourism Newfoundland and the Canadian Tourism Commission as well as Tineke Gow from Artisan Inn in Trinity

The travel memories Other travel bloggers can be found at this link.

Text: © Monika Fuchs
Photos: © Copyright Monika and Petar Fuchs

Storytelling is a tradition in Newfoundland and Labrador

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn