I’ve spent this week in the town of Carbonear, Newfoundland, a town an hour’s drive from St. John’s, where I have been adjudicating piano at their local community music festival. Being my 3rd trip to the “Rock”, I’ve thought a lot this week about why I enjoy visiting this province. So without further ado, here’s my top 5 reasons why I love Newfoundland so much:
1. It’s so different yet the same. It’s an interesting feeling to visit a place so far away from home yet still be in your own country. Newfoundlanders have such a different culture and customs yet when I’m here, I still feel a connection because we are all Canadian. Yes I know, patriotism can be cheesy and even sometimes dangerous, but I still can’t help feel the pride.
2. Music. The people here love music! This festival I’m adjudicating at is packed with kids strutting their stuff and the population is not that large. Flying here, I was on the same flight as the famous singer-songwriter, Alan Doyle (no I did not introduce myself – too shy). And it’s not just traditional folk music either (which is awesome BTW), but classical, rock, jazz, etc.
3. The geography. Yes being surrounded by endless water is lovely, but the “Rock” and open space is equally amazing and unique. My first trip here was back in 1997 when Lisa and came by ferry from Nova Scotia and drove across the entire island and back. So much rock and interesting formations and lovely views of desolateness and anything undeveloped. The only other place I got that feeling was in the Australian Outback, though obviously different than here.
4. The Accent. The Newfoundlander accent is so unique sounding. It’s not quite Irish or Scottish. I’ll admit if they start speaking quickly, I have no idea what they’re saying, but as a sound/music geek, I love it!
5. The People. I hate to generalize but I have never met such a bunch of nice and kind-hearted people in my life. The politeness is crazy. The constant smiles and laughter. Have you ever met someone for the first time and that person treats like you’ve known each other for years? That’s what it is like here in Newfoundland ALL the time. For the locals, this might just the way it is. But coming from sometime-aloof Toronto, it just blows you away.
Thank you Carbonear for a beautiful week! I hope the 4th visit will not be too far in the future. Or as they say here, ‘Wait a fair wind, and you’ll get one.’