VBNC continues its strategic investment in communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, through financial contributions to and sponsorship of local programs. In 2005, contributions totaled approximately $100,000 supporting civic and community-based initiatives, arts and cultural programs, organizations promoting health awareness, educational programs and other worthwhile initiatives.
In Labrador, much of our community investments focused on improving the lives and preserving the culture of Aboriginal people. In 2005, we continued to support Aboriginal scholarships, community events and sporting activities. We also continued support for athletic tournaments and business and industrial trade shows. Among our most significant donations was support for Them Days magazine, which was established in 1975 and is dedicated to keeping the history of Labrador alive by documenting and preserving the "old ways and early days" of Labrador.
Over the last 30 years, Them Days has amassed a historically significant collection of photographs, tape recordings and other artifacts. However, the magazine’s storage space was inadequate to preserve and protect the collection, putting its security at risk. This point was driven home last year, when the office of the OKalaKatiget Society was destroyed by fire, taking with it the society’s entire archive of photographic, video and audio material.
"When Them Days magazine came forward requesting our support, we heard them loud and clear," said Bob Carter, Manager of Public Affairs. "Working with our operations team in Labrador , we put in place a funding commitment that gives a substantial boost to Them Days campaign to design and construct a more suitable archive, which is critical to the historical documentation of Aboriginal life in Labrador."
Them Days editor Lorne Hollett says the magazine’s archive is “the best collection in the world of Labrador heritage material, according to the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives. It’s a collection that’s worth preserving and protecting. We are really thankful to VBNC for their donation because it has been instrumental in getting Them Days Labrador Archive Fund up and running. It has raised public awareness and should encourage others to donate as well.”
In the Argentia area, VBNC funded the construction of a new and permanent bandstand for the Placentia Regatta, a local tradition for more than 40 years. VBNC also continued its support of Opportunity Argentia, a conference and exhibition focused on strengthening the capacity of local businesses to pursue opportunities flowing from the Voisey’s Bay project.