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SaltWire Selects Feb. 9: Mobile-friendly film, football coaching award, learning to read virtually and service dog struggle

'Far Away From Far Away' is an interactive long form story designed for mobile phones. It was produced by the National Film Board, but many people from Newfoundland and Labrador worked on the project, including writer Michael Crummey and creative director Bruce Alcock. The story is based on the life of Zita Cobb and focuses primarily on her father's struggle as a fisherman trying to make a living in the 1960s and 1970s. — Andrew Waterman/The Telegram
'Far Away From Far Away' is an interactive long form story designed for mobile phones. It was produced by the National Film Board, but many people from Newfoundland and Labrador worked on the project, including writer Michael Crummey and creative director Bruce Alcock. The story is based on the life of Zita Cobb and focuses primarily on her father's struggle as a fisherman trying to make a living in the 1960s and 1970s. - Andrew Waterman

Stories about Atlantic Canadians and their communities worth reading

Phoning in a film 

Far Away From Far Away is an interactive long-form story designed for mobile phones, produced by the National Film Board.

Many people from Newfoundland and Labrador worked on the project, including writer Michael Crummey and creative director Bruce Alcock.

The story is based on conversations Crummey had with entrepreneur Zita Cobb –  founder and CEO of the Shorefast Foundation and founder and innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn – and focuses  on her father's struggle as a fisherman trying to make a living in the 1960s and 1970s.

Cobb didn't initially think her story was worth telling — until she realized it was not only her story. 

“This isn’t about me personally, it’s about us," Cobb tells the Telegram's Andrew Waterman. "Here we are facing a whole other set of precipices as a province. If that’s helpful to understanding what’s important than we just need to friggin’ do this thing.”

Read more about this story and how Crummey and the NFB settled on its smartphone-only style


Gearing up 

Richard Pellissier-Lush believes strongly in positive role models — and thanks them for saving his life. The 31-year-old P.E.I. man has been paying it forward ever since.

Logan MacLean, writing for the Guardian, spoke to Pellissier-Lush about his choice between joining a gang and playing football while growing up in Winnipeg.

Luckily, his best friend and idol, who was also being recruited to the gang, helped steer him toward the right path. 

Pellissier-Lush moved to P.E.I. with his mother, Julie, to be closer to their Mi’kmaq culture and community in Lennox Island. He eventually joined a high school football team, where he played well enough to find his way back to Manitoba, playing for the University of Manitoba team. 

His involvement in the sport evolved into coaching and, in November, Pellissier-Lush was the recipient of the Aboriginal Sport Circle’s National Indigenous Coaching Award for his work coaching in P.E.I.  

“I was so proud. I was so happy,” he told MacLean. “It was just a huge honour, and some of the people, the coaches that won it before, were my mentors.”

More on Pellesier-Lush's journey through football and life, here

Richard Pellisier-Lush holds the National Indigenous Coaching Award he won in November. - Contributed
Richard Pellisier-Lush holds the National Indigenous Coaching Award he won in November. - Contributed


Going the distance 

Two Northern Peninsula men are making history as the Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council’s (NLLLC) first online tutor/learner pair.

Through Facebook video calls, Roland Reid in Norris Point is helping Jay Ellsworth of St. Paul’s learn to read.

Reid, 39, has cerebral palsy and was once a learner with the NLLLC.

“A long time ago, I found it hard to read silently. I could read out loud fine, but when I had to read to myself, I didn’t understand what I was reading,” Reid tells SaltWire's Diane Crocker.

Reid and Ellsworth have known each other for a few years, as Ellsworth used to live in Norris Point.

“Sometimes he finds it difficult reading. I thought by doing the reading program it would help him improve in his reading skills,” says Reid.

Read on for more on how these friends are making an educational connection

Roland Reid of Norris Point uses Facetime video calls to connect with and help his friend, Jay Ellsworth of St. Paul’s, learn to read. The two men are the Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council’s first online tutor/learner pair. - Contributed
Roland Reid of Norris Point uses Facetime video calls to connect with and help his friend, Jay Ellsworth of St. Paul’s, learn to read. The two men are the Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council’s first online tutor/learner pair. - Contributed


Service disruption 

A volunteer firefighter in Nova Scotia wants to see national guidelines implemented that clearly define training protocols for service animals.

Doug Pynch has been put through the wringer with PTSD his dog, Catie, and the organization that provided her. He doesn’t want to part with Catie — they’ve bonded — but wants to draw attention to the lack of training and assistance he received since 2018. 

“The training was left on my shoulders to try to train this dog in PTSD and I’m not a dog trainer. I had no idea what to do,” he tells SaltWire's Carole Morris-Underhill

Despite what he considered to be Catie's lack of training, Pynch reached out to the organization, Canadian Intervention and Assistance Dogs (CIAD), several times for help but didn’t receive any new training supports.

He said he hadn’t met a properly-trained service dog so he didn’t realize how Catie was supposed to act — and react — in public situations.

CIAD has come under fire in previous cases, and has since had its funding from Wounded Warriors Canada pulled. 

Pynch has at least gained a furry friend for life but now wants people to know they should cover their bases when considering a service dog

Volunteer firefighter Doug Pynch says Catie, his PTSD service dog, wasn’t well-trained when he received her in 2018. He said he knew something wasn’t right, but he kept Catie as they tried to help her become a proper service dog. - Carole Morris-Underhill
Volunteer firefighter Doug Pynch says Catie, his PTSD service dog, wasn’t well-trained when he received her in 2018. He said he knew something wasn’t right, but he kept Catie as they tried to help her become a proper service dog. - Carole Morris-Underhill


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