Retelling: A Conversation with Zita Cobb

Retelling: A Conversation with Zita Cobb

A Conversation with Zita Cobb

Watch a gifted storyteller at work in Retelling: A Conversation with Zita Cobb.

The conversation was filmed at Innovation Works in London, Ontario, in March 2017 as an extension of the Public Matters Speaker Series hosted at Museum London in partnership with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Western University.

Topics covered include: (1) life on Fogo Island from past to present; (2) the continued impact of the Fogo Process, a participatory filmmaking project; and (3) the groundbreaking work of Shorefast, a registered Canadian charity.

Watch Zita Cobb tell her story

Zita Cobb in conversation with Joel R. Burton

Who is Zita Cobb?

Zita Cobb is Founder and CEO of Shorefast and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn. A registered Canadian charity, Shorefast uses business-minded means to help secure economic and cultural resilience for Fogo Island, Newfoundland: one of Canada’s oldest settlements. Following a successful career in high-tech, Zita returned to her home of Fogo Island to help grow another leg on the economy to complement the Island’s fishery.

Shorefast’s notable achievements to date comprise a holistic set of charitable initiatives, including the world-class artist-in-residence program Fogo Island Arts, and three innovative social businesses whose operating surpluses are returned to Shorefast for reinvestment in further community development work.

Specifically, Shorefast is behind the award-winning, 29-suite Fogo Island Inn, the Woodshop on Fogo Island, and Fogo Island Fish. Shorefast has pioneered the innovative practice economic nutrition labelling for its social businesses, transparently demonstrating “where the money goes.”

In 2016, Zita was awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of Shorefast’s work in collaboration with the community of Fogo Island to help secure a more resilient future for this singular rural place.

“And so when we started these projects under Shorefast, we definitely tried to work with stories and tell stories in contemporary ways as well.”

Zita Cobb
1967

The Fogo Process begins as a collaborative film and social development project between the National Film Board of Canada and Memorial University of Newfoundland with the people of Fogo Island.

2006

Zita, Alan, and Anthony Cobb form Shorefast as a registered Canadian charity dedicated to continuing the legacy of the Fogo Process and building cultural and economic resilience on Fogo Island.

2017

Zita Cobb travels across Canada to discuss the Fogo Process and the continued role of arts in developing the community economics practiced by Shorefast to the benefit of Fogo Island.

About the Creators
Adam Helmers

A photographer, filmmaker, designer, and writer. Graduate of the inaugural class of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities (SASAH) at Western University. Has a passion for telling stories through music, cinema, and words. Dreams of working to make a difference for others through community organizations, specifically those who are a part of his local. Believes in the value of the humanities for all and embraces learning and development through real and authentic relationships.

Joel R. Burton

A PhD Candidate in English at Western University. Maintains lifelong connection to the people and traditions of Atlantic Canada. Supports diverse forms of research and community engagement with an emphasis on storytelling. Committed to finding ways to use narrative and conversation as methods of learning and knowledge creation in the humanities and beyond. Board Secretary of the Friends of Writers at Woody Point and founding member of the Public Humanities at Western.