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THE VIEW FROM THE THIRD



Well, I guess we should start at the beginning. When I returned ‘home’ in the fall of 2018 it didn’t take me long to notice that I had no idea what was happening about town despite my efforts to be informed and engaged. It was hard to figure out how I wanted to spend my time – and my money. I spent more time reading about past events than attending them. I mostly still do. I have come to learn that there is a colloquial expression used to explain this unfortunate phenomenon that goes something like, ‘you don’t know what’s going on until it’s too late’. I think we deserve better. I think our businesses deserve better. I think those who plan events for us deserve better. to come together as a community at our local businesses and organizations to take part in events that have been planned for us to attend. (More on this in approximately 20 seconds.)

I also felt like a stranger in the place that I have always called home. I had trouble making small talk with pedestrians at intersections, cashiers in local shops, and sometimes my coworkers. It wasn’t them; it was me. (But there will be on this in upcoming issues, for sure.) I had no idea what the local ‘chatter’ was on a given day or week. I struggled to find enough appropriate sources of information to make me feel connected to the people that live here.

Then the lightbulb went on. There’s no weekly paper! There is no one-stop source for what you want to know about your community; what you need to know to participate in a meaningful way. To hit the town. To engage with your community members about issues that are important to us. The Third’s mission is to help us plan the week ahead by providing free events listings to public events taking place in CBRM. No more of this finding out about events after it is too late to put on your ‘going out clothes.’ The Third is also here to facilitate discussions about important matters taking place in our municipality. More and more we are losing local news sources, which means local voices are muted and local stories go untold.

I think that we deserve better. The natural born story tellers that we are need outlets to tell our stories, share our opinions, and collectively plan for our future. I guess that takes us to the name. The Third. If you look at a map of Cape Breton Island and you isolate the CBRM, you don’t consider the space occupied by the Bras d’Or Lake, and you are generous with your understanding of ‘thirds,’ you might conclude that our municipality is about one-third of the island. And, if are an artist, you might be familiar with the rule of thirds. To poorly paraphrase Wikipedia, it is the “rule of thumb” used for composing visual images. Important elements of images are placed along lines or intersections that are divided into a series of thirds. It helps artists with perspective. So, land mass and important perspectives. The Third. It made sense. Perhaps you have already noted that in The Third, we, the people who live in CBRM, will be referred to as Thirders. You might also notice that we use the moniker The Third when we refer to CBRM. That also made sense. And after you read the story about place names, you might have more to say about the name too.

A plea from us at The Third: None of the Thirders we spoke with for this issue wanted their names attributed to their comments. We really, really hope that in the issues to come, The Third can earn your hard-to-get-and-harderto-keep-Cape-Breton-trust. No quality local weekly can survive without your mugs and handles!

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