Living Heritage

Living Heritage is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep heritage alive at the community level. We talk about their work, their passions, and the day-to-day safeguarding of culture and tradition.
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Living Heritage




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Sep 15, 2016

Andrea McGuire is completing her MA degree in Folklore at Memorial University. She is currently in the throes of writing her master’s thesis on hitchhiking traditions in Newfoundland and Cape Breton. In her thesis, she is looking at how trust, in its many variations, influences the way hitchhiking is practiced, and the way hitchhiking stories are told.  We discuss why Andrea chose hitchhiking for her thesis, how she conducted her research, the difference between short and long distance hitchhiking, how gender effects hitchhiking, the stories people tell and the techniques they use, the brief history of hitchhiking in Newfoundland, and examples of the hitchhiking stories she has heard.

Sep 8, 2016

Ken O'Brien is the Chief Municipal Planner for the City of St. John's, involved with land-use planning, rezonings, heritage planning and environmental planning.  He graduated from MUN in 1986 with a B.A. in Religious Studies and a minor in Math (having tried Engineering first), then attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, graduating with a Master's in Urban and Regional Planning in 1991.  He likes history and old buildings and is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners.  We discuss what a land use planner does and what they study, the importance of the social history of buildings, his work with the city of St. John’s, changes in the past 20 years, the benefits of heritage regulations, St. John’s storm doors, the Atlantic Planners Institute and the Planners’ Plate series, how community members can get involved with planning, mapping community assets, the oddities of downtown St. John’s, and growing up in Georgestown.

Sep 1, 2016

Colleen Quigley holds a Masters degree specializing in Archives from University of Toronto and is Acting Head of Archives and Special Collections at Memorial Libraries. Her primary responsibilities include managing the vast treasures of the division’s Performing Arts Collection, which included North America’s largest online performing arts poster collection. In addition to archival work Colleen is also a trained dancer, with a degree from York University, who performs and choreographs regularly.  We discuss how Colleen started working with archives, her work with ANLA and a dance think tank which moved Colleen into the archives world, her work with the Archives and Special Collections at Memorial University in

Aug 25, 2016

Philip Hiscock has been studying Newfoundland and Labrador language and folklore for four decades.  These days, he teaches Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and is the coordinator of the MA and PhD programmes in that department.  We discuss Philip’s interest in dialectology, folklore, radio, and popular culture, Newfoundland folklore and language including the terms skeet and b’y, Newfoundland language and YouTube, children’s folklore, and digital folklore.

Recorded 23 June 2016

Aug 18, 2016

Andrea O’Brien is the municipal outreach officer and provincial registrar for the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. She comes from a background in folklore, history and Newfoundland Studies. She has been involved in the province’s heritage sector, both academically and professionally, for 20 years.  We discuss how Andrea got her start in folklore and heritage, provincial and municipal heritage designations, interesting municipal designations, Andrea’s favourite designation, cultural landscapes, graveyards, fisheries heritage preservation program, and the links between tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Aug 11, 2016

Teresita E. McCarthy is a retired educator. She taught for thirty-three years in the classrooms in her native community of Bell Island, NL. Teresita also taught three programs for older workers under a WISE sponsored program on Bell Island. She is currently manager of the Bell Island Community Museum and #2 Mine Tour.  She is a founding member of the Bell Island Heritage Society Inc. and Tourism Bell Island Inc. and has also served as Vice President of the Museum Association of NL, President and is currently immediate past President and Treasurer of this association. We discuss the history of Bell Island and importance of the mine, effects of World War Two on Bell Island, the closure of the mine, Bell Island Community Museum and #2 mine tour, diving tours in the mine and partnership with Ocean Quest, and the museum expansion.

Aug 4, 2016

Diane Tye is a Professor in the Department of Folklore, Memorial University. Most of her research over the last twenty-five years has explored intersections of folklore and gender and with Pauline Greenhill she is co-editor of Undisciplined Women and Unsettling Assumptions.  For the last decade her work has included examinations of foodways in Atlantic Canada. She is author of the book, Baking as Biography. A Life Story in Recipes, that tells the story of her mother’s life through her recipe collection, as well as articles that explore a range of foodways topics from the food we eat on storm days, to the significance of making family recipes, and the cultural meanings of regionally iconic foods.  We discuss Diane’s academic interest in food, her book Baking as a Biography, food and nostalgia, gender and food, and where her work has taken her.

Jul 28, 2016

Carol Stobie works with Scotland’s Urban Past - a five-year nationwide community engagement project about the history of Scotland’s towns and cities. It is a part of Historic Environment Scotland, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Scotland’s Urban Past’s project ideas stem from local communities, and the organization helps grow these ideas into full community-led projects by offering training, access to essential resources and project support. Carol is their Audience Development Officer, with an interest in storytelling, folklore, and cultural history.  In this episode we discuss Carol’s trip to Newfoundland, her work with Scotland’s Urban Past, community engagement and development, community mapping, oral history, and archiving.

Jul 21, 2016

Nolan Reilly has a long-standing interest in community history. He is a professor of history and former chair of the Department of History at the University of Winnipeg, as well as being the the co-founder and Co-Director of the Oral History Centre at the University of Winnipeg.  The Oral History Centre was established in 2012, and develops and offers training in advanced digital recording technologies, digital storage, strategies for oral history research, archiving, and dissemination.   It offers a program of local and international conferences, lecture series, workshops, and other events.  We talk about Nolan’s trip to Newfoundland, genealogical research, the Oral History Centre, several of their projects, as well as how he started working with oral history.

Jun 23, 2016

Suzy Harrison is a second year PhD researcher at Nottingham Trent University, in the United Kingdom, and is funded through the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Programme. Her research analyses current attitudes towards intangible cultural heritage in England, and looks to reveal the challenges which it faces through closer examination of intangible heritage in the East Midlands. Her research is also looking at opportunities to possibly adopt practices at a local or national level which may exist in other countries.

Jun 16, 2016

Pat Burton has been involved with Guiding as an Adult for thirty seven years and is currently the Trefoil President for NL,  a member of Killick Trefoil. She was President of Killick Trefoil Guild for seven years, and is part of the organizing committee for the National Trefoil Gathering for 350 guild members from across the county being held in St. John’s in June of this year. In addition to Guiding, she volunteers, sits on the Provincial Advisory Board for Seniors and Aging and is a member of the Collective Memories committee.  We talk about her involvement with Guiding, the work of the Trefoil Guild, and the 2016 national conference of the Trefoil Guild being held in St. John's, Newfoundland.  Recorded 18 March 2016

May 19, 2016

Stephanie Chipilski is from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She currently works at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, as the Assistant Registrar, assisting with loans, copyright, and collections management. She is interested in natural and cultural heritage, with a goal to celebrate and preserve it in all of its tangible and intangible forms. Stephanie has been a member of the Youth Advisory Group under the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and in this podcast we talk about the Youth Advisory Group, her work with UNESCO, youth mentorship, professional development ideas for those in the heritage and culture sector, her work with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and the importance of saying hi!

Recorded 18 March 2016

May 12, 2016

Dennis is a freelance writer/photographer/storyteller and a native of Colliers, Conception Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2003, he received a National Writing Award of Excellence from the Canadian Community Newspapers Association. His photographs and articles have been featured in various museums, magazines, books, newspapers, websites, and other publications. Dennis enjoys gathering and sharing stories and images that celebrate Newfoundland and Labrador’s unique people, unusual places, and the particular insights, and local humour. In this episode we talk about giant squid, lobster raffles, connection to place, grandfathers, hunting the wren, his life-long love of tales, writing, the Hindenburg, and the power that storytelling has for us all.

Recorded on 3 March 2016

May 5, 2016

Shirley, or “Shirl the Purl”, is a handknitter with a special love for history. A librarian by profession, Shirl wrote a book about the history of knitting in Canada called Canada Knits: Craft and Comfort in a Northern Land. Originally from New Brunswick, Shirl has made her home in Newfoundland for the past ten years. Why did she move here? A taste for penitential exile is one possible explanation. Her love of history, hand knitting, and North Atlantic culture is perhaps a better one. In Newfoundland she has found shared interests, deep friendships, and much food for the soul. Shirley talks about how she learned to knit, the history of knitting in Canada, her time researching for her book,  and Newfoundland trigger mitts.

Recorded on 3 March 2016

Apr 28, 2016

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

Apr 14, 2016

Joanne Kaar 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 & 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.

Mar 31, 2016

Linda White was born in St. John's, Newfoundland. She worked as a Registered Nurse in the United States and England before returning to Newfoundland to attend Memorial University. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in History and a Master of Arts degree in History.  In 1990 she began working in the Archives and Special Collections, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University. Presently she holds the position of Archivist there. Linda talks about why she started studying history, how she became an archivist, what she does at the MUN archives, and about Greenspond, NL. She talks about the aims of the Greenspond Historical Society and Archives, stories of connecting people all around the world,  and the process she goes through editing the Greenspond Letter.

Recorded on 16 February 2016.

Mar 24, 2016

Ryan Davis has been running the Mummers Festival since 2009. He holds an MA in Folklore and a BA in Communication Studies. It was his interest in festivals, celebrations, and costuming that led him to mummering traditions. The Mummers Festival promotes the continuation and evolution of traditional arts and performance by encouraging active participation in mummering activities.  The Mummers Festival helps to keep mummering alive and contemporary and adds to the population’s pride of place. Ryan talks about what mummers are and what they do, the beginnings of the Mummers Festival and how it has grown over seven years, the successes and challenges of running a festival, and what he hopes the festival will offer in the future. Recorded on 10 February 2016.

Mar 17, 2016

Pam Hall is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, film-maker, and writer. Her visual art has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally and is represented in many corporate, private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada. She has won national awards for her work as a designer in film (for Rare Birds) and as a children’s book illustrator( for Down by Jim Long’s Stage) and was recently inducted into the Fortis Hall of Honour at the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Awards.  In this interview, we talk about her work creating and curating the Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge, which explores art as a form of making and moving knowledge and reveals many ways of knowing that are local, living, and still fruitfully in use.  Recorded on 21 January 2016.

Mar 10, 2016

Alanna Wicks holds a BA in Folklore and Cultural Anthropology, and a MA in Public Folklore, both from Memorial University.  She has been working and volunteering in the field of culture and heritage since 2006 in both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. She currently sits as Director on the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives Executive Board and volunteers regularly with archives within the community. In March 2015, she organized and moderated the province’s first Youth Heritage Forum. Alanna dropped by the Heritage Foundation of NL office to talk about the planning of the heritage forum, and offered suggestions for heritage organizations wanting to engage youth.

Mar 3, 2016

Shane O'Dea, Professor of English and Public Orator at Memorial University, has long been involved with preservation in Newfoundland. He was one of the founding directors and an early chair of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, and was involved in the early years of the St. John’s Heritage Foundation and the Newfoundland Historic Trust.  Shane has served on countless boards and associations and was recognized for his efforts in preserving heritage architecture with the Lieutenant Governor's Award in 1990. Shane talks about the early history of the Newfoundland Historic Trust, mobilizing forces to preserve the Christ Church in Quidi Vidi and the Commissariat House on Kingsbridge Road in St. John’s, the battle over Atlantic Place, the formation of the St. John’s Heritage Foundation, and about the introduction of the now-iconic heritage paint colour scheme for downtown St. John’s. It’s a brief oral history introduction to the formative years of the heritage conservation movement in the province! Recorded 20 January 2016.

Feb 25, 2016

Stephanie Micikyan is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with a BA in History, and of Fleming College’s Museum Management and Curatorship Graduate Certificate program. She has worked as an intern with The Rooms history division in St. John’s, working on a textiles-based project, and is the Intangible Cultural Heritage Intern with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, working on the Grey Sock Project, inspired by the First World War-era Women’s Patriotic Association. We talk about internships and Fleming College’s certificate program, the work of archiving and preserving textiles, work to safeguard traditional knitting skills, and her recent research on the life and work of Anna Templeton, a craft pioneer in Newfoundland and Labrador. Recorded 14 January 2016.

Feb 18, 2016

Peggy A. Bulger retired in 2011 as the second director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, where she served from 1999.  A native of New York State, she holds a B.A. in fine arts from the State University of New York at Albany, an M.A. in folk studies from Western Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania.  A folklorist, consultant, and producer, Bulger has been documenting folklife and developing and managing folklife programs for more than forty years.  We talk about her life, her fascinating work, and her thoughts on where public folklore is going today.  Recorded on 7 August 2015. 

Feb 13, 2016

Celebrating World Radio Day, Feb 13th world-wide!

Heritage, Radio, and Building Community Voice, with Joan Cranston and Anita Best.

Joan Cranston is a physiotherapist who operates her clinic out of the old Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital in Norris Point. She is also the (volunteer) coordinator for the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation, and has served on many community development boards. Anita Best is a renowned Newfoundland folk singer, storyteller, and broadcaster. Anita has received several honours for her work in collecting and disseminating Newfoundland folksongs, including the Marius Barbeau award from the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and an Honourary Doctorate from Memorial University, and is the program director for Voice of Bonne Bay Radio. In this episode, they talk with Dale Jarvis about the work of the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation, a not-for-profit community corporation which is adaptively re-using the old cottage hospital as a community center, operating on a social enterprise model.  

Feb 11, 2016

Kristin Harris Walsh is a dancer and dance scholar based in St. John's. She holds a PhD in Folklore from Memorial University and a Master’s in Dance from York University and currently is working on a SSHRC funded research project on percussive dance in Newfoundland and Ireland. Kristin has been step dancing for 15 years and has trained and performed in Newfoundland and Ireland. She is Past President of DanceNL, the province’s sectoral dance association, and is the President of the Society for Canadian Dance Studies. In this interview, we talk about step dancing, percussive dance, and the challenges and opportunities for safeguarding traditional dancing in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Recorded on 4 August 2015

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