Message From Tourism Bell Island Inc.
Tourism Bell Island Inc. has taken an active role in our island over the past three years much has been accomplished and there are plans for much more to come.
This past year with the enthusiastic support of government partners federal, provincial and our own town mayor and council, local businesses, corporate sponsors across the tickle and to all the local people and tourists from far and wide we were able to make all of our projects a success. Still, some people have asked, "What does tourism give back to the island?” The answer to that question is simple but lengthy. Tourism has but one single objective and that’s to re-build the economy of Bell Island. We are a not for profit organization, which means all monies that are brought in through all the projects are invested back into new projects. The organization is run by a nine person board consisting of local business people, retirees and professionals who receive no wages for their efforts.
Thanks to the hard work of all those mentioned above, here is what went on this summer:
* This year we celebrated our 275th year as a community. Gregory Normore our first resident was with us the whole summer and left us on Dec.11th. To celebrate his return there was a motorcade, a gala at the arena, visits to everything on this island from the hospital, all our schools and more. Young people were employed to portray these historical characters.
* Bellfest on the beach was an overwhelming success. This year it was expanded to a three day event. There was fillet splitting, Tia-Chi, walk the plank, live music and much more.
* The Keeper's Cafe enjoyed a great year with excellent food, the best view in Newfoundland and music on the deck. Five people were employed part time at the cafe.
* Harry's lookout got a complete make over thanks to the expertise of local carpenters. Two people were employed and tasked with that job. As well, down by the Keeper's cafe we now have Gregory Normore's house and a barracks that when complete will resemble a WWII barracks.
* Tourism also hosts the ABE (Adult Basic Education) program where two instructors are employed year round.
* This year we again hosted "The Tree of Memories" which was lit on Dec.11th. All proceeds shared equally with The Wabana Boys and Girls Club and The Food Bank.
* Dec.13th TBI and RBI hosted the 3rd annual Dial A Carol and what a time that was with $1400 Pledged.
* We enthusiastically participated in the Kiwanis Santa Claus Parade.
* The Gregory Normore Coastal Walking Trail which encompasses 22 Km of the island was worked on again this summer and local people as well as bushels of tourists took the opportunity to use it and loved it.
* Dominion Pier was dredged and we are moving forward with developing it into a marina.
* This past summer Tourism Bell Island with its partners employed twenty one local students. These students learned the fine art of acting and performed three play's for everyone to enjoy.
* Employment was a big theme for tourism this year. At our peak this year with students we employed 36 people part time and some full time.
* Agriculture grew for us this year, no pun intended. We activated the green house. We grew vegetables in our bins at the cafe and we filled up the community garden. During August of this year those of you who has salads from the cafe were eating locally grown ingredients. This years agricultural program will even be bigger and better.
Tourism is looking forward to this coming summer. We have already started to renovate #4 Mine Collar so it can be used as an indoor theater this summer, thanks to our local council and MHA David Brazil. We are also determined to have an Arts and Community Center built on the island, to allow us to develop and expand upon the host of talented actors and musicians on Bell Island. We have obtained money under Canadian heritage to build a barracks, purchase a search light and construct signage that will relate to our place in history in WWII. Bellfest will be back bigger than ever. The cafe will open for the new season. Agriculture will be bigger. The trail will continue to be improved. We have been asked to look at ways of utilizing the West Dam for kids and adults alike and it's on our to-do list.
If someone asks what Tourism Bell Island Inc. gives back to the community, please show them this message and ask them to join out volunteers as we strive to turn our community around. As Chairperson of Tourism (Henry Crane), I could not be prouder of what our board and partners have achieved in just three years.
Thank you to everyone who in any way contributed to the success of Tourism Bell Island this past year and to one and all have a Happy and prosperous New Year.
Tourism Bell Island is located at the Wabana Complex 14 Middleton Avenue, (the old trade school) on Bell Island. We are an incorporated non-profit organization dedicated to the establishment of a new economy on the island, through partnerships with local and off island businesses, groups and organizations. As well, there is a strong partnership with the local municipal council, the provincial and federal government.
The office is located on the second floor of the Wabana Complex. Presently, Gail Sheppard is our administrative assistant and she works from 8:00-4:00pm daily, Monday-Friday.
Mailing Address: PO Box 279, Bell Island, NL A0A-4H0
Website Address: www.tourismbellisland.com
You can also facebook us and joining Tourism Bell Island
Phone Numbers: Toll Free: 1-855-235-5475 or (709) 488-2411
You can also reach us at: (709) 488-3319 at the Keeper’s Cafe and Interpretation Center, 115 Lighthouse Road.
Tourism Bell Island Inc. uses Paypal as a means to collect funds from individuals, groups, organizations and businesses who because of distance or ease of payment wish to use this method.
The Keeper's Cafe and Interpretation Centre is a project undertaken by Tourism Bell Island in partnership with government agencies at all levels; municipal, provincial and federal.
Adult Basic Education is a partnership between the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Tourism Bell Island Inc. The program has been under the administration of Tourism Bell Island for the past three years.