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Newfoundland

Slideshow of Newfoundland Pictures, set to The Islander, by The Navigators.

As the oldest settlement in North America, Newfoundland has a rich and varied history. The first European settlers arrived in Newfoundland over 500 years ago, following early indigenous and Viking settlers, who landed at least 500 years before. The earliest known European settlement in North America is L’Anse aux Meadows, settled by Leif Ericson’s Vikings. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1987, Gros Morne National Park also attained World Heritage Site status.

After 200 turbulent and conflict ridden years, mass migration from Europe, particularly from Ireland, was underway by the early 1800’s. Over the next century, despite major setbacks such as the Great Fire of 1892, when much of St. John’s was lost, Newfoundland continued to grow and prosper. Major mining operations were underway in Buchans, Tilt Cove and Bell Island. A major pulp mill opened in Corner Brook. The fishery was strong and profitable.

On March 31, 1949, the people of Newfoundland voted to become Canada’s tenth province. Just 52% of the population voted for confederation with Canada. Fully 48% voted against. Joseph R. Smallwood, after vigorously campaigning for Confederation, became Newfoundland’s first premier.

 Today, aproximately 500,000 people call Newfoundland home, with approximately half the population on the Avalon peninsula. While the province has seen an upswing in it’s offshore oil production, the fishery has taken a heavy hit. Fish plants are closing and rural communities are being decimated, with thousands departing yearly for the cash laden oil sands of Alberta.

Despite all, through the years Newfoundland has remained a vibrant cultural province. Talent rich, Newfoundland boasts many fine musicians, artists and writers.  Never has there been a better time for the arts community here. Live music performances can be seen nightly on the famous George Street strip. Live theatre performances are held nightly in St. John’s, and many rural communities have a lively theatre community.

Traditional music is also alive and thriving in the Newfoundland music scene. The province boasts many popular bands, Great Big Sea, The Navigators, Shanneygannock and The Irish Descendants, remaining some of the most popular. Many of our local bands make a living playing to crowds across the country and beyond. Traditional Irish Newfoundland music can be found any evening of the year on George Street. You can catch up with some local listings on my Music Notes page.

The Fog Devil’s, Newfoundland’s QMHJL hockey team, play on the ice at Mile One Centre. Mile One has also hosted many major music performances, from Hilary Duff and Diana Krall, to Nickelback and Colm Wilkinson.

Newfoundland has much to offer any outdoor enthusiast, as well. Ski Marble Mountain or White Hills Resort. Snowmobile riders can find guided expeditions in many parts of Newfoundland. Kayak and whale watch in Bay Bulls’s, or have a picnic at the lighthouse in Ferryland. Walk the Grand Concourse in St. John’s.

6 Responses

  1. I’ve never been to Newfoundland, but I have this secret desire to live there. I don’t know when it happened, but all of a sudden, maybe a few months ago, I just knew that I’d fall in love with it, and live there one day.

  2. I am a Newfie, born and raised. I now live in NJ USA and I hate it here. I miss my family and friends. I miss being able to trust people. I miss being able to take someone for their word. This place lacks love, respect, hard work and happiness. I long to move back with the people I hold dear to my heart.

  3. don’t matter where we go,we willalways be newfies,and proud of it.
    I love it when someone calls me a newfie.newfie all over but live in nb..next door to newfie luv u all.

  4. You really make it seem really easy with your presentation however I to find this matter to be actually something that I feel I’d by no means understand. It kind of feels too complex and very extensive for me. I am looking forward on your subsequent post, I will try to get the dangle of it!

  5. i am a newfie true and true no matter where i live newfoundland is where i was born and is where i will die or at least be buired

  6. proud to be a newfoundlander &will be till the day i die sure hope it will be in nfld.

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