But in this province, storytelling and passing on of family traditions is common. For three young people from Trinity Conception, the knowledge their families have shared with them could lead to a trip to Ottawa by winning a Young Citizens award.
Out of more than 150 projects featured at a regional fair in St. John’s, Cassondra Mayne, Dillon Brown and Julie Clarke are in the running for the trip. They join eight other students from Newfoundland and Labrador, two of whom will go to the nation’s capital later this year.
Those 11 students had to submit a video on their projects and will now hope to attract votes from the public. Votings ends July 5.
Cassondra, 11, is from Hopeall and attends Acreman Elementary in Green’s Harbour. Her project reflects her interest in performing and visual arts and her family’s deep roots in that area.
“I wanted to do this project because my family is very creative, in both performing arts and visual arts, so I thought it would be pretty fun to do something regarding my family,” Cassondra told The Compass, with parents Emily and Brian sitting close by.
Woodland Elementary in Dildo is Dillon’s school, where his mom Leila is a teacher. They live in Whiteway.
“Well, last year in Grade 4 when my teacher took me to the Brother Brennan centre for a field trip, and it fascinated me,” the 11-year-old boy explained.
His heritage fair project was on Newfoundland and Labrador’s natural pharmacy.
Julie, 11, is an avid dancer and was recently accepted into an elite dance program.
Her project, the haunted town of Bryant’s Cove, gives people a look into some ghostly experiences that have been the topic of conversation for decades.
“(Julie) says she is very thankful that she got the opportunity to make the video. She had a lot of fun with her friends and family putting the video together,” Julie’s mom Nancy told The Compass in an email.
The videos for the contest can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1IN4tyz, and they are entertaining.
Cassondra visited several places between her hometown and St. John’s to give those watching her four-minute video a glimpse into what types of art are readily available in this province. A mural at the Confederation Building and an artifact at The Rooms are highlights for her.
She also interviews My Life as Teresa, a fictional character known around Newfoundland for her quirky YouTube videos.
As a musician and singer, Cassondra performs in the video and sings alongside a relative who is a music teacher. The video also features some other artists that are no longer living.
“I think this is a fantastic way of honouring those people,” Cassondra’s mom Emily said.
Dillon invoked his great-grandfather Art Brown for his video, which discusses natural remedies for typical aliments.
“My pop used to tell me all kinds of stories and he used to wear a salt and pepper cap, plaid shirt and all that,” Dillon explained.
He wore the same in his video, and introduced himself as Arthur Brown from 1935. In the background is a fiddle, which Dillon played for the video.
From Juniper tea to blueberries, Dillon had several tricks to teach those who watch his video.
Julie took some friends on a tour of an old schoolhouse that is rumoured to be haunted. She even staged a recurrence of what is said to have happened, with feet visible under a bathroom stall that suddenly vanish when the door open.
“Julie had a few sleepless nights researching the ghost stories for her project, but that was all part of the fun,” her mom explained.
She spoke with locals who had personal experiences and shared stories that have been passed on from others as well.
Cassondra is excited about possibly going to Ottawa, since her sister has told her all about it. Dillon, however, has never been on an airplane.
“I’m kind of nervous but excited at the same time,” he said.
At the regional competition, Cassondra earned the visual literacy award, Dillon won the top award at the fair and Julie took home the community award.
When they announced Dillon’s name as the overall project winner, his mom was ecstatic.
“The look on his face was worth a million dollars to me,” Leila said.
All three families were extremely proud of their children, and were happy to help them bring to life their projects.
“It was actually a lot of fun working on it together,” Cassondra’s dad said.
Emily, Leila, Cassondra and Dillon agreed.