Brigus is one of the oldest European settlements in Canada. Historically a fishing and sealing port, like many outport communities, Brigus lost its economic base and began to see a steady decline in population and activity following the cod moratorium in 1992.
The Scree Trail extends from Brigus’s town centre to the town’s lighthouse, a distance of 6km. In recent years the trail, despite its cultural history and rich possibilities, had become underused and difficult to identify.
Culture of Outports undertook a Community Design-Build project in 2012 in partnership with the Town of Brigus. The team designed and completed an installation called ‘the Lookout’, to attempt to bring more awareness to the trail and encourage its use, for both locals and tourists. The site is nestled in the trail’s rocky terrain and affords views of the ocean and town. The project utilized traditional building techniques, local resources, and labour, which provided an opportunity to facilitate cultural exchange between the student participants and the local community.
The trail is a collection of formal and informal paths, in places natural and idyllic and in others derelict from weathering and age. The trail is an important part of the town’s tourism infrastructure. Its rehabilitation and rejuvenation is part of the town’s long-term planning and proposed priorities of the Town.
Most importantly, the shared experience of the Community Build served to open the lines of communication between the youth and elders of the community—a process that will hopefully continue beyond the completion of the project.