Our People Still Celebrate Our Distinct Culture.

Residents of the Baccalieu Trail enjoy a rich verbal, literary, and musical heritage, reflecting many influences. 

Literary giant, poet E J Pratt, Poet Laureate for Canada in the 1930's was born in Western Bay and spent his early years in the region, and his majestic verse reflects his experiences here.

The area is renowned for its story tellers, including Ted Russell, an educator famed for his recitations and humour, including the "Smokeroom on the Kyle". ( The Kyle was one of the famed Alphabet fleet, which plied the coastal waters of this province up until the 1960's when she broke from her moorings and beached at Riverhead in Harbour Grace). Recitations (the telling of tales from memory) are still part of local custom, and residents such as Tommy Oliver of Gull Island continue this tradition. In earlier times, the clergy and aristocracy were the only literate individuals across most of the western world. Most commoners could neither read nor write, and so those who could recite from memory were treasured. Many of these recitations were used in song, including "Excursion Around the Bay" a Johnny Burke recitation made popular by Great Big Sea, whose lead singer has roots in the region. The community of Bay de Verde is renowned for its musical traditions producing many fiddlers and accordionists including Ray Walsh and Darcy Broderick. There are many more. Glen Simmonds ,Neil O'Leary represent some of the talent from other parts of the region.

Older residents still hold on to many traditions. Newfoundlanders are known for their use of hand gestures, nods and gutteral sounds to communicate, as are residents on this trail. Local entertainer, Ray Johnson of Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, does his best to celebrate these cultural nuances. Travelling around the region, you'll find most locals are friendly and outgoing. You will have to listen closely to understand some residents. Just as Canadians and Americans pronounce z differently, residents of communities like Port de Grave and Upper Island Cove are known for their alternate pronunciation of the r and h. Indeed, national linguistic analysis reveals that nearby St. Johns is the only major city in Canada with a distinctive dialect ( aside from the predominately French Speaking Communities in Quebec), and this is something which locals cherish. 

Depending on which part of the region or province you are in, there are very noticeable differences in the lexicons of locals. Words such as "Sleeveen" (a sly deceitful person) or Posie (Touton - Fried doe) and the colorful and unusual place names such as Port de Grave, Bay de Verde and Baccalieu Island reflect the influence of other cultures in the region. 

Other place names such as Hearts Delight, Hearts Desire and Hearts Content, and Bristols Hope, reflect both the passion and determination Newfoundlanders share, as they seek out existence in this harsh and beautiful environment.

© 2002 Baccalieu Trail Tourism Association 
Carbonear, Newfoundland
A1Y 1A7