Community Impact Award recognizes an entrepreneur whose business has had a significant economic and/or social impact on the local community. Sponsored by Bank of Montreal.
This year’s winner of the 2010 NLOWE Community Impact Award has been a leading contributor to her community’s cultural tourism industry for decades.
It started in the late 1970s, when Christina (Tineke) Gow bought and restored Gover House — a rare 1850s pierced-eave, domer-style house in the town of Trinity, Trinity Bay that now operates as a vacation home.
Through extensive research, she then completed a historically-accurate restoration of a nearby property, Campbell House, which opened as a bed and breakfast in 1992.
These two properties were the beginning of a hospitality business that has been instrumental in the region’s revitalization. They were also the first two homes in the Trinity area to have been restored to official heritage standards by a private owner rather than a government agency.
Building her business in step with the province’s burgeoning tourism industry, Gow opened the Artisan Inn in 1997.
The Inn, which has a four-star Canada Select rating, accommodates resident artists as well as guests.
In 2002, she converted a former waterfront fishing store called The Twine Loft into a restaurant that also serves as a venue for artists and musicians. Culturally enriching the community and tourists alike, it occasionally hosts workshops in areas such as photography and cultural history.
Gow has served on Trinity’s town council, a number of tourism-related committees, and her business has received numerous awards, thereby enhancing the reputation of the region in general. She also maintains the town’s website.
Her businesses are also a significant source of employment in the community.
Born and raised in the Netherlands, Gow moved to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1975. She has studied medical technology and has a degree in social sciences from the University of Western Ontario.