This province is a place that’s practically teeming with talent. From singers, songwriters and storytellers of every stripe to playwrights, painters, potters and more, you’ll likely find an artist wherever you roam. Our creative community plays a huge part in what makes this place great. The folks at Edge of the Avalon Inn know this well.
Located in historic Trepassey along the bottom of the scenic Irish Loop, the family-run business is perfectly situated to attract visitors thanks to its proximity to the ancient fossils at the UNESCO Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve and the Titanic ties at Cape Race. The Inn has also been offering experiences like guided folklore and fairy hikes, led by members of the community, to give visitors a taste of local flavour.
In recent years, the Inn has been getting more creative and is ramping up their efforts by working with local artists to help highlight the area says Genevieve McCorquodale, Marketing and Brand Management.
Prior to working at the Inn, McCorquodale (who is also a musician and worked as professional music manager for 10 years) ran the Mistaken Point Concert Series in Portugal Cove South, bringing together youth performances with those by seasoned musicians like Craig Young and Ron Hynes. Now, she is combining her creative background with her marketing know-how to help promote not just the Inn, but the entire region.
The business and arts communities, McCorquodale says, have so much potential for collaboration. Last year, she organized the Music at The Edge concert series at the Inn, which provided musicians with a performance venue, accommodations and meals. The artists also decided what to charge at the door and got the entire take for the evening. This model, McCorquodale says, also allowed for cross promotion between the artists and the Inn via their social media channels, which was a boon to both sides.
This year, McCorquodale is looking to expand upon this concept and is seeking interested artists who would like to take part. The plan is to offer an exchange program with musicians, photographers, painters and storytellers, with the Inn setting aside two rooms for artists at The Annex (one of the Inn’s properties, which also includes a kitchen and lounge area).
“It’s going to be a curated program, so I want artists to approach me and showcase what they have,” she says.
An important part of the program, McCorquodale adds, will be the youth talent. Last year, the teenaged brother and sister trad/folk duo Conway performed as part of the concert series. McCorquodale wants to encourage more young performers to get involved and is looking at having a regular open mic session, which will help the youth gain valuable live performance experience.
“There’s some really talented young people. I go down to Erin’s (Pub)…Kelly Russell has a Slow Session, and I’m loving seeing the kids, because this is the passing of tradition and culture,” she says.
“I want the youth to not feel shy to apply.”
McCorquodale says she is also open to the idea of co-creating workshops and retreats with artists who work in other mediums.
“We had a local lady do a quilting workshop in October, and it was a retreat for a group of women. And it was wonderful. It was great! So whatever your art is, (if) you do needlepoint or whatever, and you want to do a workshop, let’s give it a shot.”
The land, McCorquodale says, is a wonderful muse, and there’s certainly no shortage of inspiration around the Southern Avalon. The Irish Loop, she says, is not just a drive, but a destination. She hopes that by partnering with artists who align with the Inn’s brand, it’ll attract even more visitors to come see what the region has to offer.
“I look at Bonavista and I look at Twillingate – we want to do that here,” she says.
“The world is our oyster and I figure when I open it up to other people who are creators, we’re gonna create some cool things down here. I want this to be an artistic hub.”
Interested artists who would like to apply to this program (or have further questions) can contact Genevieve McCorquodale at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include digital samples of your work (links to a video performance, etc.), collaboration ideas, and links to your artist website and social media.