THE VOICE OF ATLANTIC CANADA, DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX.
Welcome to the bi-weekly boost, brought to you by [EDIT] and Stewart McKelvey.
Featured in the issue below are:
Photographs by Al Douglas
It’s no secret that we are big fans of celebrity chef Michael Smith here at the [EDIT] office. As Prince Edward Island's most beloved ambassador, best-selling cookbook author, innkeeper, educator, professional chef, home cook and television star, the New Yorker has now launched his most stunning accomplishment to date; the Farm, Fire & Feast cookbook. He owns the famous Inn at Bay Fortune with his wife Chastity Smith, which works to showcase local and sustainable cooking, as well as the endlessly inviting PEI community.
The cookbook is a delectable collection of recipes from their five-star country inn and its accompanying award-winning restaurant FireWorks. The unbelievably delicious food that is offered at the inn is just one aspect of the unforgettable experience, that the [EDIT] team was lucky enough to enjoy while filming the Atlantic Edition TV show.
The inn is located on a hill overlooking the ocean and is sprawled across forty-six acres of scenic farmland. From the expansive garden that the meals are harvested from to the lobster trap labyrinth, the details of the property all work together to create a magical atmosphere. When you visit, Chef Michael Smith will take you through the property, stopping along the way to shuck fresh oysters, have a taste of the seasonal appetizers and chat about his passion for all that surrounds him. The evening ends with an exceptional meal, shared with the fellow guests at the family-style long feast tables.
The live-fire culinary experience is unique, to say the least, and if you have the chance to attend it is definitely worth the trip. For those who aren't able to make it though, or wish to reminisce of their past experience, or are simply just are looking for a phenomenal meal, Farm, Fire & Feast is where to look. The impressive cookbook takes the meaningful experience of being at the inn and translates it onto the page. Chef Michael Smith has taken all of the knowledge and passion for food that he has accumulated over his broad career and showcases the best of east coast cuisine with recipes like the Iron-Seared Island Scallops, Oven-Baked Salt-Crusted Halibut, Beach Lobster, Smokehouse Pork Belly, Fire Garden Tacos, Sunchoke Fries, Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart and Wild Blueberry Grunt. Accompanying these recipes is amazing photography of the inn, farm, and food, making it the perfect coffee-table book as well as your new go-to cookbook.
Watch Episode 2 of Atlantic Edition with Chef Michael Smith on Bell Fibe TV 1. And make sure to tune in on May 5th to James Mullinger live in conversation with Chef Michael Smith, here!
It’s no exaggeration to say that Nicole Lapierre puts her heart and soul into her photography. Looking at her stunning portfolio full of couples in love, children laughing, and ethereal scenes of nature, you are able to gather the essence of who she is. Her skill of making people feel absolutely comfortable in their own skin is reflective of her own welcoming, magnetic and warm personality. As one of the most popular wedding photographers around, Nicole works to get to know couples before their big day, in order to capture the authenticity of each. This connection is noticeable in all of her work, both in photography and her other creative endeavours. [EDIT]ION met with Nicole to hear more about her various work as a photographer and creative.
[EDIT]ION: What made you fall in love with photography?
Nicole: My favourite thing as a young girl was to go through old photo albums and relive moments, I still love doing this today. There is something to be said about having something tangible to look at and reminisce. With digital being so prominent and accessible, I feel many individuals have lost the ability to rummage through old photo boxes and relive their moments. For me, photographs evoke a sense of nostalgia and that is what made me fall in love with photography. I want to be able to evoke those same feelings in others when they look back at the captures I have taken for them.
[EDIT]ION: Can you tell me about the different ways that you and your husband, Teddy, work together?
Nicole: This is a full time business for me, Teddy works full time in the film industry and so he assists me on select weekends with my wedding assignments. We only take on 4 weddings a year, and the majority of my photography work is made up of corporate assignments, food photography and portraits, all of which I do solo. Although we don't work together everyday, he is my biggest support, and is always available to lend his hand when I need him. I adore him.
[EDIT]ION: We've seen that you love to travel. What has been your favorite place to photograph?
Nicole: Travel is such an important part of my life, it fuels my creativity on so many levels. We haven't been able to travel abroad or nationally since the pandemic, so I seek inspiration by taking little trips throughout the province when restrictions allow. My favourite place to photograph would be a toss up between the sunny coast of California, and the breathtaking scenes of Italy. Paris is also a beautiful place to photograph, especially on film.
[EDIT]ION: What makes the East Coast scenery special for you to capture?
Nicole: The East Coast has such a wonderful array of different landscapes and textures. You could travel from the North to the South of Nova Scotia and back again, and you would see so many different landscapes, and the sun hits them all in its own special way. Depending on where you are, and what time of day, you always get a unique perspective; sometimes you can imagine you are in a different country altogether depending on your surroundings. We are so lucky to have this diversity in our beautiful province.
[EDIT]ION: How do you manage to relax people enough to capture your signature candid and natural shots?
Nicole: Being photographed can often be daunting, I hear it all the time. What I like to do primarily is connect with my subjects beforehand by finding out their interests and also their objectives for their shoot. I also like to arrive at least 30 minutes early so that I have time to allow for genuine engagement so that everyone is relaxed and feels comfortable. Establishing an authentic connection with someone will always translate into authentic captures on film. It also allows me to get to know my subjects and understand how they move through a scene. Direction and movement is also key, treating each session like a short film will allow the movements and expressions to happen naturally. I also shoot a lot of medium format film, and there is a very storytelling feel to it. My only objective in photography, regardless of what it is I am photographing, is to create a warm image that shows movement and life.
[EDIT]ION: Outside of photography what are your other passions and aspects of your business?
Nicole: This time last year, everything was shut down, including my photography business, and I needed to pivot my business quickly in order to ensure that we were not financially compromised. That is how my online shop, HOME by Nicole Lapierre came to be. It started out as a platform for where I could sell prints of my travels and floral work, and then quickly grew to include plants, flowers, home goods and sourdough starters. I love gardening and I really love baking sourdough bread, so the shop seemed like a natural segway into incorporating all of the things I love in life into one platform. I loved the shop so much that I decided to keep it going even after photography assignments picked up again. I see the shop as another creative outlet for me and I absolutely love it. The support that so many people have shown me has been truly moving and I am so very grateful.
Please visit Nicole’s online shop (HOME by Nicole Lapierre) HERE for plants and other home goods. You can check out some of her editorial features HERE. Make sure to follow her on Instagram to stay up to date on her photography adventures @nicolelapierrephotography.
How WBNB Promotes Female Indigenous Entrepreneurs
by Jennifer Wood
Women in Business New Brunswick (WBNB) is a non-profit organization that assists current and aspiring women entrepreneurs realize their full potential by offering quality, bilingual advice and services. The strength of WBNB lies in a team of six dedicated employees who provide support to all women entrepreneurs, in both rural and urban areas. They assist with start-ups, growth and expansion and export and international trade. The non-profit also has a Pan-Atlantic partnership project for women entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada, which aims to bridge the gaps and create opportunities for underrepresented women in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. They take great pride in providing expert business counselling to Indigenous women entrepreneurs from First Nation communities throughout New Brunswick.
Natasha Martin-Mitchell who serves as WBNB’s Development Officers for Women Entrepreneurs, just started her role when the pandemic hit. Unsure how to execute her plan of support and guidance, she reached out via Facebook asking what her community needed. “More than anything they needed to sell their products,” says Natasha. “They were having a hard time earning income as they could no longer reach their clients with the same efficacy. I brought the idea of creating a platform to showcase these entrepreneurs to my director, Katherine Lanteigne, and she was thrilled with the idea.
With the help of other employees, the team created Nujintuisga’tijig E’pijig, whose Mi’kmaq meaning is Indigenous women salesperson/vendor. Promotion through the website is available free-of-charge to any female Indigenous entrepreneur/artist living in New Brunswick. Once artists/entrepreneurs register, they are connected directly to Natasha, who then helps them create their own personal page on the site to showcase their work. To date, there are 31 artists/entrepreneurs represented on the site, which features more than 150 products.
Natasha says she “has been busy promoting the website and our entrepreneurs by speaking (virtually) at local and international conferences.”
The website has been receiving great traction. “Since its launch in November 2020, we have had over 58 000 visits to the site,” Natasha tells [EDIT]ION. “Each and every one of our entrepreneurs have reported a spike in sales. They are selling their items across the country, and in places as far away as the United States and the United Kingdom. It’s been a fantastic start, and I am excited to see what we can accomplish together next.”
Stephanie LaBillois – Mi’gmaq – Tan with green beadwork moccasins
Marsha Vicaire- Mi’gmaq – Pink Glazed Beaded Earrings
Edmundston, New Brunswick-based nurse and artisan, Stephanie Couturier, is bringing in light in dark times. Her handmade stained glass business La Vie en Verre is inspired by the notion of seeing life through a happy lens, represented in her simplistically beautiful designs. First starting her projects as a hobby in 2019, it quickly evolved into a business as the local community was eager to get their hands on the unique pieces. As a long-time lover of stained glass, Stephanie took it upon herself to learn the craft; “One day I decided to go for it, I watched some YouTube videos, read blogs, ordered the materials online, gave it a go and was instantly hooked!” She tells [EDIT]ION.
It’s not a simple process either. “For me it all starts with an idea of something I want to communicate. Then I transpose that idea into a drawing that will then become my pattern. After that there is the crucial part of finding the right colours and textures for the project. I cut the glass, grind every piece and apply copper foil tape around each piece. Lastly I solder all the pieces together,” says Stephanie. She draws inspiration for her geometric designs from being in nature, where her creativity flows best. For her, her creations also are made with a purpose; to bring light, joy and beauty into her life and others. “A lot of my pieces have mental health themes and nature themes and I try to integrate these subjects into contemporary decor,” says Stephanie.
You can find Stephanie’s work at lavieenverreglass.com
To stay in the loop with her shop updates, you can follow her on Instagram @lavieenverreglass
Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Saint John
Big Brothers Big Sisters is known throughout Canada for its impact on youth, providing life changing mentoring experiences. The Saint John, New Brunswick branch of the charity is making sure this impact is still happening, even throughout a pandemic. Special Projects & Marketing Coordinator Rhoda Welshman tells [EDIT]ION how “now more than ever, children and youth need those positive role models to give them support.” They have done just that through a mix of virtual and in-person mentorship options. Right now, the program is looking for more volunteers for their one-on-one mentorship programs, which can be tailored to your time commitment needs and preferences. The ability to mentor virtually also opens up doors for anyone who usually travels and was concerned about committing to mentorship. “It's about the consistency of staying connected whether it's in person or virtual,” says Rhoda.
[EDIT]ION met with volunteer Paulette Nickerson to learn more about her experience as a mentor.
[EDIT]ION: When did you first get involved with BBBS?
Paulette Nickerson: Alyssa and I were matched in December 2018. I am grateful that Charlene & Kim of BBBS took the time to find the right match for me. They asked a lot of questions about my interests and activities and found the perfect little sister for me. They set us up for success.
[EDIT]ION: Can you tell me about some of the activities you do as a volunteer?
Paulette: Our first activity was bowling and a visit to the arcade. We have returned to that activity on our first and second match anniversary. We enjoy an active lifestyle when weather permits. So visits to playgrounds, Timbertop Adventures, skating, walking uptown, visiting the Beach at Dominion Park, Rockwood Park and Saint Rest Beach. We like to attend the BBBS scheduled events as well. We’ve been to their Bowling for Bigs, GoCart Racing, Sailing and BBQ with MYC as well as the seasonal events for Halloween and Christmas. We enjoy inside activities too, such as baking, making crafts and going to the movies. The time I spend with her is always amazing, even when its ordinary and mundane.
[EDIT]ION: What has been the most rewarding part of the experience?
Paulette: The most rewarding part of my experience has been building a friendship with my little sister. We have a lot of fun. She is very funny. I laugh a lot and I look forward to seeing her every week.
[EDIT]ION: If someone was on the fence about volunteering, what would you say to them?
Paulette: I would tell them to try Mentor Links first. It’s a great program for the kids waiting for a match. Adults can volunteer with Mentor Links and see how little time is required to make a big difference. It’s a cliché but I get as much out of this relationship as she does. I would also tell someone on the fence that it’s less expensive or time consuming than I thought it would be. I also appreciated the regular check-ins with the Mentoring Coordinators. Charlene had many wonderful suggestions for activities and coached me whenever I had questions.
To learn more about donating or volunteering, visit saintjohn.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca