Distilling an Industry: Re-engaging the Community of Bell Island through Small-Scale Industry
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The province of Newfoundland and Labrador presents many outlets for resources and innovation. Unfortunately, outdated technology and economic downturns have rendered many communities economically vulnerable. The community of Bell Island, Newfoundland, was once one of the largest iron-ore exporters in the world. Since the closing of the mines in the 1960s, Bell Island’s population has dwindled and its lack of industry is just one example of a recurring economic pattern. While large-scale industries have garnered the hope of renewed economic benefits to the province, Newfoundland has often fallen privy to the contentious politics behind such distant projects. In order to revitalize and sustain the community of Bell Island, this thesis takes stock of local resources and proposes a strategy that returns small-scale industry based on local knowledge of skill and place, in this case adaptively reusing a barn, that was part of the mining operations, into a gin distillery.