Village at the End of the Road
A Film By Dennis Lanson & George Gmelch
A remote Newfoundland outport faces extinction. Once a vibrant community of independent fishermen, Bay de Verde was helpless in the face of international fishing trawlers and government fisheries mismanagement. The cod fishery collapsed in 1992 leading to the largest industrial layoff in Canadian history. A tide of outmigration followed, later slowed by a boom in mobile work as Newfoundlanders travelled back and forth to offshore oil rigs and further afield to Alberta’s oil sands, and elsewhere. Still, most of Bay de Verde’s young people are now gone. Its population has declined by half. How are those who remain at home coping? What future do they hope for? Will new developments, such as a different fishery (shellfish), tourism, and long-distance commuting be enough to save Bay de Verde? While our film focuses on one Newfoundland community, it serves as a wider comment on what is being lost in many rural places across the planet.