Perhaps one of the most important things writers need to get the job done is a nice, quiet space to gather their thoughts and let the creative juices flow without interruption. Whether it be a novel or a screenplay, an article or a communications report, many a wordsmith has been helped along by a bit of silence and solitude. Fortunately, here in St. John’s, there’s no shortage of businesses that are willing to lend a helping hand to the creative community. One example is the local office of law firm McInnes Cooper.
Several months ago, Business & Arts NL approached McInness Cooper about temporarily hosting a small group of writers in one of their spaces to develop a project. The firm readily agreed, offering up a board room for three hours every Friday, for a one-month period. The space allowed the writers (filmmaker/TV producer Deanne Foley, writer/filmmaker Wanda Nolan and author Elisabeth de Mariaffi) to come together and collaborate in a comfortable setting.
“We were grateful to be able to use space arranged for us by Business & Arts NL, both at McInnes Cooper Law and also in the Business & Arts NL office itself, while we were focusing on the bones of predevelopment work for our original TV series, Bar Haven,” says de Mariaffi of the Newfoundland-based show.
“For fans of Fargo and Happy Valley, Bar Haven is a female-driven drama series that centres on a daring and sometimes reckless doctor who wants to spearhead her own investigation after her ex-boyfriend is found dead — and sets off an avalanche of dirty secrets and suspects in her wake.”
The space, adds Nolan, gave the trio the chance to work with and mould their project in a way that a smaller space simply wouldn’t allow.
“As professional writers, we have spaces to write but as a writing team, none of those spaces fit the bill for a group project. With the use of the SMART board, we were able to ‘break’ our story in an efficient, easy way,” she says.
“It brought a professionalism to our work that a conventional office space would not have given us. Plus, the room was gorgeous and the staff at McInnes Cooper were incredibly accommodating and generous.”
If you are a member of the business community and are interested in volunteering in-kind space to artists/arts groups on a temporary, short-term basis, please contact Program Director Bryhanna Greenough at firstname.lastname@example.org.