I am 70 years old, and I have a dream…
It’s a dream that centres on a peaceful outport community off the beaten track on this wind-beaten easternmost island of Canada, and it’s a dream that pulls together three of the passions of my life: Newfoundland, community service and creativity.
When the winds are howling across the coast and the ocean is churning plumes of white spray against the rocks, it can seem incredible that men and women choose to live here on the edge of the North American continent. Yet they do, with indomitable pride and ingenuity and humour, and in the process they have created lives rich with craftsmanship, invention and community in a world of sea and stone. Nevertheless, rural communities like Rose Blanche, like others along the coast, like others across Canada, are struggling. My husband and I have been summering in Rose Blanche for a number of years, I have seen changes over that time, and it is time for me to give back to this community.
Community service connects me to my neighbours and gives me a sense of my place in the world. In my home town I have spearheaded projects supporting the public library, organizing a community art project and the writing and illustrating of a book, Theo and the Threads. This project was especially meaningful to me because creativity has been a line to wholeness in my own life. I believe that exploring and expressing our creativity feels risky, but that it leads us to our authentic selves, from which we can live more fully and more honestly. And I believe that the path to authenticity is enhanced in a community like Rose Blanche, where there is little interest or time for artifice and superficiality, and in the company of Rose Blanchers, who have a remarkable zest for living.
Thus my idea of a centre where course participants include local residents, who can in turn set off on their own journeys of creativity and invention. This is my dream: seeing local people and people “from aways” sharing the best of themselves and enjoying their unique creative paths in a welcoming environment and a setting of extraordinary natural beauty.
I welcome you to the SouthWest Coast Centre and to Rose Blanche, a village with a heart of gold that has enriched my life immeasurably. I hope it enriches yours.
I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with Lynne after forty some years and sharing memories and stories of times in Montreal. Lynne has established a fantastic guest house and studio with her artistic flair and attention to detail enabling guest and friends to appreciate this amazing corner of newfoundland which she obviously loves so much. For me it has been an experience I will ever forget.Anna Johnstone Dumfries, Scotland – September 30,2012
Take a tour of Rose Blanche, an authentic fishing village on the SouthWest Coast of Newfoundland: