The Canadian sealing industry may be facing stiff, somewhat insurmountable challenges in its quest to regain prosperity, but local crafts producers are doing their part to support the industry.
At the Confederation Building on Thursday, the provincial government hosted an event in partnership with the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador in advance of National Seal Product Day on Sunday, where local producers showcased some of their sealskin and fur products such as jackets, shoes, earrings, purses and more.
National Seal Products Day was designated by federal law last year.
“Sealing and seal products are a source of pride for our province, and hold the promise of even greater social, economic and environmental benefits in the future as we help people develop a better understanding of the industry, and the sustainable manner in which it is conducted,” Premier Dwight Ball stated in a news release.
Joining the premier in speaking about the economic, cultural and environmental importance of the sealing industry was Nunavut Premier Paul Quassa, Speaker of the House of Assembly Perry Trimper, Labrador MP Yvonne Jones, Bill Strickland from the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union and craft council chair Joan Kane.
“We are very excited to be working with various jurisdictions to create an event that celebrates craft producers who work with sealskin and seal products, and the sealing industry,” Kane stated.
“The many talented makers we have as members work tirelessly to promote education about the seal industry and as a result have seen an increase in demand for products from the combined efforts.”
A similar event will be held at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on May 22, featuring more crafts producers, local chefs Todd Perrin of Mallard Cottage and Lori McCarthy of Cod Sounds, and representatives from DPA Industries, producers of omega-3 seal oil capsules.