There’s something truly humbling about encountering a place in isolation, where few have ventured, and where time seems to stand still. It’s difficult not to reflect on what life was like for generations past and how intrepid travellers would ever reach this point before the era of modern transportation.

Too often these spots evolve into destinations, their natural beauty exploited for an endless turn-style of visitors, eventually catering to tourists at the expense of the landscape. It’s a deeply unfortunate reality of travel and tourism, though a very fine few break the mould.

Fogo Island Inn by Alex Fradkin

Fogo Island, a rugged landscape off the north east coast of Newfoundland, is one such place. While the island’s economy was historically driven by the cod fishing industry, a downturn in the early 1990s led to the closure of the local fishery and, as a result, large-scale layoffs. Witnessing the harsh impact of an industry in decline, local resident Zita Cobb, who made her mark (and fortune) off of the island, decided to take action and lay a new foundation for a revitalized and resilient Fogo Island – one rooted in a strong sense of place, history, art and design.

At the centre of this strategy is the Fogo Island Inn, a stunning example of architectural design based on the natural surrounding and local culture. Established in 2013, the Fogo Island Inn has created space for international visitors to connect with place and self. It has also repositioned the island as a hub for art and design, supported by the Fogo Island Arts residency program, and for food, with the inn’s restaurant reimagining local ingredients in a way that fuses traditional cuisine with the modern. Together these initiatives have created new employment opportunities for Fogo Islanders and spurred a novel and deeply local approach to building rural resiliency.

To learn more about Fogo Island, the Fogo Island Inn, and the passionate people behind them both, check out the awe-inspiring video above.

About Fogo Island Inn and the Shorefast Foundation

The Fogo Island Inn is an initiative of the Shorefast Foundation. Shorefast is a registered charity of Canada that uses a social entrepreneurship model to contribute to cultural and economic resiliency for Fogo Island and Change Islands.


Photo by Alex Fradkin, courtesy of the Fogo Island Inn.


 

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JP Bervoets

JP Bervoets

JP has spent the last decade working in the not-for-profit sector and has called Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa home. He’s travelled to over 30 countries and currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. His interests include photography, cycling, playing guitar and working on Departful. JP co-founded the site in 2012.

Departful is a full service travel agency for busy professionals seeking unique and transformative custom travel experiences. We create memorable holidays that are 100% tailored to our clients, saving them time and energy by handling all of the little details while providing value by leverage our expertise and network of travel partners. We are based in Toronto.

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Departful is a full service travel agency for busy professionals seeking unique and transformative custom travel experience. We create memorable holidays that are 100% tailored to our clients, saving them time & energy by handling all of the little details while providing value by leverage our expertise and network of travel partners. We are based in Toronto.

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