Home to a number of talented emerging and established artists, the local arts scene is lauded for good reason. Our stories (whatever the medium) bind us, help us to make sense of our past and inform our future – and nobody can spin a tale quite like a Newfoundlander and Labradorian.
For the second year in a row, the folks at Riddle Fence (a St. John’s-based, non-profit magazine of contemporary art and literature) and Leaside Group are working together to promote a variety of artistic voices through their arts and culture contests. Consisting of the Leaside Fiction Contest; the Compton Poetry Contest; the Spa Visual Art Contest; and the Arnold’s Cove People’s Choice, the awards give writers and visual artists the chance to put their best work forward. And with $3,000 in prizes and publication in the upcoming issue of Riddle Fence up for grabs, they also provide the winners with the opportunity to expand their reach.
“We were looking at ways to give back and it seemed like a win-win for everyone. Due to other commitments, we never had the chance to do an award ceremony (last year), but we will be doing one this year for sure,” says Dion Finlay, owner of Leaside Group.
Finlay says while Leaside Group offers donations, room nights and spa services to various causes throughout the year, they’ve never done anything as focused as this before. The local arts community, he says, helps tell our story through their various disciplines, and that’s something worth supporting and celebrating.
“They are true ambassadors for the province and tell our story while being very entertaining, whether that be in the conference room at Leaside or Compton House, or the cafe at the spa, or on the Broadway stage and beyond. The talent we have in this province is amazing and to be associated in any way is a great feeling,” Finlay says, adding that aligning with the arts has also been great for business.
“For example, we have done some work with Ian Foster. He recently filmed one of his music videos in Leaside and Compton House. He enjoyed the process and posted on his social media about it and more recently, that video was nominated for a MusicNL award and getting more attention. How cool is that? We are open to so much more of that kind of thing,” Finlay says.
“We are just trying to be ambassadors of these historic properties and have them utilized to the max. Accommodations and spa services are our core business, but the events, retreats and conferences are growing to be among that core. The arts community fit right in with that focus.”
If anyone has ideas on how to utilize Leaside’s properties, Finlay says, they can feel free to reach out via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline to apply to the Riddle Fence and Leaside Group’s Arts & Culture Contests is October 1. For submission guidelines, click here.