Lifelong Friends Discover NL and Highlight Local Entrepreneurs

Discover NL is a locally produced weekly television show airing on Eastlink Community TV that showcases stories that reflect the heart and soul of the province highlighting interesting people and places. Currently, in its seventh season, Discover NL is comprised of two features including a sit-down interview and a profile of a local business with the goal to celebrate and share positive stories that shape our province.

The show is co-produced by Chelsea Jacobs who has recruited her lifelong friend, and YouTube vlogger Courtney Crocker (aka Courtney Mona) to host the segment on local businesses. This friendship dates back two decades to the campgrounds of Golden Arm Park in Green’s Harbour.

“I watched some of Courtney’s content on her YouTube channel and thought she would make a really great host because she is so enthusiastic and has a great personality!” said Jacobs via email.

Crocker enjoys meeting new people and has a passion for all things related to Newfoundland. “The most surprising thing I've learned is how many people in our province have amazing ideas that they are bringing to life,” she said via email. “We've interviewed bath bomb makers, brew masters, and restaurant owners. People in this province are resilient and that really comes through in our segments.”

Interviewing Bonavista Bicycles courtesy of Eastlink.

Interviewing Bonavista Bicycles courtesy of Eastlink.

Jacobs is surprised by the amount of collaboration between entrepreneurs. “Bonavista is a good example of that. During the summer, Courtney and I spent 3 days there interviewing a number of business owners in the area. We couldn’t help but notice how a community of small business owners work so tightly to support each other,” she said. “To illustrate, East Coast Glow uses Newfoundland Salt Company in some of their products, Newfoundland Salt Company can be found on the menu at The Boreal Diner, and Port Rexton Brewery uses East Coast Glow soap in their bathrooms.”

Interviewing East Coast Glow courtesy of Eastlink.

Interviewing East Coast Glow courtesy of Eastlink.

Discover NL presents different challenges in terms of hosting and producing. “I think the most challenging thing for me is to not talk too much before the camera comes on,” said Crocker. “I want to make people feel comfortable on camera so I like to chat while we’re setting up for the segment. But when you hear a story in its raw form, it tends to be more compelling and resonate the best with viewers so I've been learning to speak less before we start shooting.”

“[In terms of producing] the most challenging aspect is scheduling,” said Jacobs. “There are so many great stories to tell in a short period of time, which makes it difficult to get to everyone we would like to interview.”

Jacobs believes that locally owned businesses have been an essential part of Newfoundland’s economy for decades and really believes in the “support local” mentality that many Newfoundlanders seem to live by.

“I think it's safe to say that there is an outport revival happening in our province, said Crocker. “The fishing communities of Fogo Island and Twillingate are booming in the summer. If you get the opportunity to head beyond the overpass, I recommend it. It's full of life and culture and of course delicious food, which is always my favourite part of visiting a place.”

Interviewing Discover Twillingate courtesy of Eastlink.

Interviewing Discover Twillingate courtesy of Eastlink.

We asked Crocker if her experience with vlogging and running a YouTube channel has helped with hosting Discover NL. “I think YouTube has definitely helped me get more comfortable in front of the camera,” she said. “Despite putting myself out there on the Internet, I am a reserved and private person. I can sometimes be quite shy as well. Holding a camera yourself and vlogging an outfit of the day or doing a makeup or skincare review is quite different than getting in front of the large cameras that are used for TV. I always tell my interviewees to ignore the cameras and have a chat with me. I want them to feel comfortable because that makes for a good interview.”

“Courtney has such a great personality that when she is interviewing people she is so natural and easy to talk to,” said Jacobs. “I like to compare Courtney to a proud Nan; she is legitimately bursting with pride for entrepreneurs that are able to be successful here in Newfoundland. Courtney is so proud to be a Newfoundlander and it certainly shows in her interviews.”

Discover NL airs every Thursday on channel 10 or 610 in HD on Eastlink Community TV and repeats during the week. If you are a Rogers customer you can find our show there as well.

You can follow Courtney Mona on YouTube or Instagram, @courtneymona.