Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Memory Store: The plans for the house were a wedding gift in the 1800s...

This week’s Memory Store video is filmed in Captain Blackmore’s Heritage Manor in Port Union, NL. Gary Blackmore, owner and operator of the manor, describes the building and architecture of the manor and the generations of Blackmore family who have lived there.

Watch the video below or click here to watch the video on YouTube.
If you missed our initial post explaining the concept of the Memory Store clip here to go back to our first blog post with the introduction video or check out our YouTube channel at ICH NL.

Stay tuned for more short stories about historic places in the province, in the form of short oral history interviews conducted with the people who care about those places and if you have a personal memory about a historic place in Newfoundland and Labrador, and want to add your voice to the Memory Store project, let us know at


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Winston Fiander remembering life in Coomb’s Cove. #oralhistory #podcast

Remembering life in Coomb’s Cove, with Winston Fiander
Living Heritage Podcast Episode 039

Winston Fiander was born in 1940 in Coomb's Cove, Fortune Bay. He attended Memorial University and graduated with a BA Ed in 1966. He has worked in New Brunswick as a training specialist and later held senior positions in human resource management. He returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1999 and has been engaged in various community development initiatives. Currently, Winston is a member of the Fisheries Communities Alliance of NL, the Board of Directors of the Church by the Sea Incorporated, and past-Chair of the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Heritage Committee.

On this episode we talk about Winston’s boyhood growing up in Coomb’s Cove, his time spent on his father’s schooner, Peddler Joe, and what the community did on Sundays. 

Recorded on 2 March 2016

Photo: Taken by Craig Fiander, date unknown. Original caption reads,
"I don't remember when I took this photo, but it was quite sometime ago.
The smoke is coming from what's left of Tom Vallis old house."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Step Dance Project Event and Call for Dancers

A NL Step Dance Project Event and Call for Dancers

The NL Step Dance Project is proud to present two connected events on April 27th, 2016, a dance discussion and workshop for invited tradition bearers at The Crow’s Nest at 7PM, and a public session of dance and music held at Folk Night at The Ship at 9PM. In partnership with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office, DanceNL, and the NL Folk Arts Society, the NL Step Dance Project is seeking to both highlight and come to a better understanding of this vital and less-practiced tradition of freeform, solo dancing in Newfoundland.

Who in your family pulls out the freestyle solo moves at kitchen parties, weddings, or community concerts? At the trad session on a Sunday afternoon? When the toe tapping music starts up, who’s light on their feet and stays close to the floor? Join us at The Crow’s Nest at 7PM April 27th for a meal, a step, and a story or two, all as part of a collaborative effort with dancers and communities to understand how this tradition is performed and passed on. We are not just looking for ‘professionals’ or trained dancers, but rather anyone who can feel the music in their feet – from those who just do a step or two from time to time, to those unstoppable older dancers still showing their steps with the help of a chair.

After the Crow’s Nest, we’ll all make our way down to The Ship Pub at 9PM for Folk Night. Open to the public, Folk Night on April 27th will be a traditional session with a twist, featuring Newfoundland music and lively step dance for only $5 at the door. All are welcome to get up and show a few steps as the music plays. With tunes from Allan Ricketts and other local musicians, this is an evening not to be missed! Presented as part of Dance Week 2016, in cooperation with DanceNL and the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society, this event will also feature a brief step dance lesson, for those members of the public who want to get a little closer to the floor themselves.

Anyone interested in sharing their “old­time” step moves and dance stories with the NL Step Dance Project on the 27th will receive an honorarium and travel expenses for their involvement. Get in touch with us for more information. We are looking for dancers from St. John’s and beyond, and would love to hear from people off the Avalon. If you can’t make the April event but want to share your steps and stories, we would love to hear from you anyway.

The NL Step Dance Project is lead by Kristin Harris Walsh (step dancer/researcher) in partnership with Dale Jarvis at the Intangible Cultural Heritage office. This project is funded by the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and is part of a larger project documenting and comparing the dance histories of three step dance forms from Ontario, Cape Breton, and Newfoundland.

For more information on the events or participating as a tradition-bearer:
Call: (709) 765­0468 (Jane Rutherford)

Visit or message:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Intangible Cultural Heritage Update - ICH and Youth vs. ICH at Risk

In the April edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, we have an article on the very successful Youth Heritage Forum, and a final report on the ICH at Risk research completed by our office. It is two very different views on the state of heritage in Newfoundland and Labrador!

Contributors: Stephanie Micikyan, Meghan Mills, and Dale Jarvis

Download the newsletter in pdf format.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Memory Store: Fearful for his sacred vessels he buried them in the ground...

This week’s Memory Store video is a clip of Elisabeth Laverty from the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Elisabeth describes one of the artifacts in the cathedral’s museum – a 1700s chalice which was buried in the ground for several years before being discovered.

Watch the video below or click here to watch the video on YouTube.
Click here for more information about the building's history and architectural style.
If you missed our initial post explaining the concept of the Memory Store clip here to go back to our first blog post with the introduction video or check out our YouTube channel at ICH NL.

Stay tuned for more short stories about historic places in the province, in the form of short oral history interviews conducted with the people who care about those places and if you have a personal memory about a historic place in Newfoundland and Labrador, and want to add your voice to the Memory Store project, let us know at


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Student Summer Job Posting: Historic Places Researcher

Historic Places Researcher
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) is seeking a Historic Places Researcher, to assist with updating the Provincial Register of Historic Places.

The position will run for 13 weeks, with a start date in May 2016, with a salary of $15/hour.

The primary work of the Researcher will be to assist with work on the Provincial Register of Historic Places, updating the online registry, and ensuring that online collections match HFNL’s paper files on building designation and grants.

The applicant must have excellent oral and written communication skills; and a desire to work with collections related to the heritage and architecture of local historic places. Should currently be registered in undergraduate or masters level course in history, archaeology, folklore, or architecture. Previous experience with a heritage organization is an asset. Good computer skills required, including ability to do research, data entry, and word processing.

Applicant must be a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, or have refugee status in Canada, legally entitled to work in Canada. Will be between the ages of 16 and 30 years of age at the start of employment, and must be a full time student during the preceding academic semester, who intends on returning to school next semester.

To apply, send a resume detailing related work, plus a cover letter, to

Deadline to register is Friday, 29 April 2016.
As this position is funded through the Young Canada Works program, applicants also must register through the Young Canada Works website at

Monday, April 18, 2016

Drinking About Heritage: The Bad, Better and Brilliant open mic! #nlheritage

This Thursday, 21 April 2016, whet your whistle and chat with heritage folks! Come to the historic Crow's Nest (which has been designed a Registered Heritage Structure by HFNL) for an open mic story night about heritage work in the province! We are limited to the first 40 people who want to participate (it is free!), so register now!

Image: Lay of St. Dunstan by George Cruikshank

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Portable Museums of Curiosity and Wind Folklore with Joanne Kaar. #FolkloreThursday

Joanne Kaar (@joannebkaar) lives in Dunnet, on Dunnet Head, Caithness, Scotland, only two miles from where she grew up in the village of Brough.  She has a BA in Textiles and Surface Decoration and an MA in Textiles from Manchester Metropolitan University. She has been self employed for over twenty years and has been exhibiting and working around the world as both participant and instigator of arts and heritage projects and collaborations.

In this interview Joanne talks about craft, the folklore around wind knots, research on local stories, herbariums, the development of her “Portable Museums of Curiosity,” and the mysterious link between the Magellan Daisy and world-travelling whalers. Recorded on 29 February 2016.

Download the MP3

photo of wind knots credit to Joanne B Kaar

Friday, April 8, 2016

Youth Heritage Forum 2016

On Saturday March 19th, the second annual Youth Heritage Forum took place at The Lantern in St. John's. Our goal was to increase the activity and interest of youth in the heritage field and to bring like minded youth together.  We had fifty-four participants take part in an exciting day of mentorship, heritage skills, and networking.

The day started with Eastern Owl who did a smudging ceremony and played traditional and original music. We were lucky enough to have Stephanie Chipilski, Assistant Registrar at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and member of the Youth Advisory Council under the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, flown in from Winnipeg to be a keynote speaker. She talked about networking, putting yourself out there, and how mentorship can help in all aspects of your career.

Right after Stephanie's speech, the Heritage Skills competition began. Participants got into teams of six and chose what skill they wanted to learn. There was the choice of darning with Christine LeGrow, rug hooking with Ruth Green, knot tying with Barry Darby, net knitting with Bernard Martin and Leo Hearn, Northern games with the St. John's Native Friendship Centre, and Morse code with Mark Sheppard. Each team member got an hour to learn a new skill. After a coffee break the competition was under way! It was exciting, fast paced, and a great time!

We had a speed dating luncheon with established people in the heritage field who mentored participants while they ate a delicious meal served by Multi-Ethnic Food Kitchen. We posed questions to the mentors and they discussed them with participants. We had Glenn Keough from Parks Canada, Colleen Quigley from MUN QE II Archives, Teresita McCarthy who is the Manager of the Bell Island Community Museum and the #2 Mine Tour, Scott Neilsen who is an assistant Archaeology professor, Julie Pomeroy who is the Heritage Programs and Services Coordinator for Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, Catharyn Andersen who is the Special Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs at MUN, Jillian Gould who is a professor of Folklore, and Stephanie Chipilski.

After lunch, four breakout sessions were offered. We wanted them to be exciting, relevant, and fun. Based on the feedback, they were all of these things and more. Jason Sellars taught "Public Programming and Other Extreme Sports," Jane Severs taught "How NOT to start a Heritage Business," Meghan Mills ran a conversation cafe called "What Traditions Matter to You(th)?", and Josh Smee taught "Social Media for Nonprofits."

After the sessions, students from a Public Folklore class hosted the "Lives in Heritage" plenary where guests Chris Brookes, Jane Severs, Hilda Chaulk Murray, and Christine Hennebury answered questions about their time in the heritage field. Later, the panel was opened to participants to ask questions.

At the end of the day, prizes were handed out to six people who completed their heritage skill the best. There was a tie breaker for the best overall team between Team I and Team K. Team I took the prize and with that the forum came to a close! It couldn't have gone any better and we hope that everyone who participated had a great time. See you all next year!

We'd like to thank our sponsors for making the Youth Heritage Forum happen this year: the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Newfoundland Chocolate Company, St. John's Haunted Hike, Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives,
We'd also like to thank Fishing For Success, all of our guests, and the volunteers who made it all happen!

Did you attend the forum? Would you like to give us some feedback? Please click here and fill out this short evaluation.

The Association of Heritage Industries and Youth Heritage NL are bringing you another awesome event! On April 21st, at the Crows Nest Officers' Club, is Drinking About Heritage: Bad, Better, and Brilliant! Register here for FREE today.

All photos courtesy of Jeremy Harnum