To understand the Shorefast Foundation, we thought we should take you back to the beginning, and a place.
Off the north-east coast of Newfoundland, a 45 minute ferry journey away, sit Fogo Island and Change Islands, some of the oldest settlements in Canada. There are just under 3,000 people living on these islands; independent, unpretentious, strong of will and soft of heart people. It’s not an easy place to live. It never has been. But it is a powerful place that has much to give to those who come to know it.
The Shorefast Foundation is anchored in this place and in a set of principles:
- We believe in community and the inherent qualities and strengths and character of the people in a community.
- We believe in the importance of roots and heritage and that looking at what has formed us in the past is essential to building a strong future.
- We believe that there is a future for rural communities and that future is built on innovation, resilience, optimism and the ability to adapt.
- And we believe the arts have a pivotal role to play in finding the path forward.
The Shorefast Foundation is a Canadian registered charity. We undertake projects built on social entrepreneurship and we use entrepreneurial methods to create positive change.
We look for and use new ideas, products, resources and opportunities in novel ways to tackle challenges. And we will know that they have worked by the benefit they will have for the community, by cultural resiliency and by finding new ways in an old continuity.
A shorefast is the line and mooring used to attach a cod trap to the shore. It is a strong symbol of the cod fishing heritage of the islands and a metaphor for being bound to place and community. We chose this name because it symbolizes our belief in the importance of community and culture, and in the power of authentic connections between individuals and their communities, to culture and physical place.