Chris Driedzic is an interpreter with Parks Canada. You can find him dressed as the lighthouse keeper and immersed in the 19th century at Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site. He also develops interpretive programs for Provincial Historic Sites of Newfoundland and Labrador and has created work for Heart’s Content Cable Station, Mockbeggar Plantation, Point Amour Lighthouse, Cupids Cove Plantation and The Commissariat. In this podcast, we explore the world of first-person interpretation, and get Chris’s inside scoop on working as a parks interpreter.
Gail (Hussey) Weir is the author of The Miners of Wabana, published by Breakwater Books in 1989 and 2006. Her latest publication is a chapter on the history of Company Housing on Bell Island in the book Company Houses, Company Towns: Heritage and Conservation, published by Cape Breton University Press in 2016. A former archivist with Memorial University Library’s Archives & Special Collections, she is spending her retirement years constructing a website on Bell Island’s history and culture at www.historic-wabana.com. In this podcast, we talk about the history of mining on Bell Island, company housing and building styles, and Gail’s memories of growing up on the island.
Since arriving in Newfoundland fifteen years ago, Dan Rubin has been deeply involved in local history and heritage, as the founding chair of the Pouch Cove Heritage Society. He was lead author and editor of the book Pouch Cove: Our Home by the Sea which received the Manning award for community history in 2016. But Dan is also a groundbreaking gardener and seedsman. He is here today to talk about how he is helping preserve and extend local traditions of food production in his community and across our province while working as the manager of Perfectly Perennial Herbs and Seeds. We discuss the seed company, extending the gardening season, biannual plants, walking onions, food security, root cellar technology, north-adapted plants, and the importance of workshops and passing on agricultural traditions!
Graham Blair is a printmaker and graphic designer based out of St. John's, and holds a master's degree in Cultural Anthropology and Museum Studies from the University of British Columbia. After working in both non-profit and commercial galleries for a decade, Graham began pursuing printmaking full-time five years ago. He specializes in woodcut prints using techniques based on the earliest forms of printmaking, and in addition to selling his work at local craft fairs and venues, Graham sells his woodcut prints at the One of Kind Show in Toronto and, most recently, the Originals Show in Ottawa. We talk about how Graham got his start in art and printmaking, specifically woodprints, his tenure at the Quidi Vidi arts plantation, the process of making woodcut prints, materials and tools used, Japanese techniques, his time at the Mi-Lab print residency at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, the types of designs he favours and wildlife art, and his most recent acquisition - an antique book press.
Lloydetta Quaicoe is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sharing Our Cultures, Incorporated. The program, established in 1999, engages high school youth in skills-development workshops which culminate in them sharing their cultures with the public and over 800 Grade 6 students at a three-day event at The Rooms. Lloydetta obtained her PhD in Education at the University of South Australia. Her areas of research are the psychosocial needs of newcomer children and youth and their sense of place and belonging. In this episode we discuss the beginning of Sharing Our Cultures, the growth of the program over the past 25+ years, the importance of the program and how students and the general public respond, this year’s theme and what to expect at the event. Lloydetta also explains how Sharing Our Cultures is going national this year.
Jim Dempsey is the President of the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador. Jim has been around boats and the ocean all of his life. As a boy, he spent his summers on the beach where he always had a boat to row. After studying marine biology and oceanography at university, he was fortunate to be employed in his field for over forty years. He has worked along the entire British Columbia coast, in the Canadian Arctic, and from Sable Island to Hudson's Bay on the east coast. For Jim, the Wooden Boat Museum has provided a chance to realise a dream to build wooden boats. This experience has been enhanced by the people he has met, the places he has visited, and the stories he has heard. In this interview we talk all about the wooden boat museum, their past conferences, the work of conserving boatbuilding skills, and their current educational and outreach programs.
Catherine Dempsey is a Newfoundlander by Choice, having spent 35 years living life and enjoying the special culture of her adopted home. With a background in book selling and teaching, and two decades promoting the history and heritage of the province, Catherine now lives on four acres in Flatrock, raising a garden, chickens and bees. Catherine is also the President of the Newfoundland & Labrador Beekeeping Association, which encourages those interested in keeping bees to work together to learn best practices, and to protect the province’s honey bees from pests and diseases. We talk about how Catherine got interested in bees, bee species, hives, keeping bees, the association between bees and gardening, tips for people getting started in bee-keeping, and the politics of introducing new bees to the island of Newfoundland.
Lori McCarthy grew up in the small fishing community of Bauline, of about 200 people, on the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. The traditional foods of her childhood feed her passion to tell the stories of her province through its people, culture and food. Out of this passion she started Project NL Food, a province-wide endeavour to visit various communities and speak with generations of people that hold their culture close to their heart. Lori also owns and operates Cod Sounds, a company which is devoted to celebrating the province’s unique foods with travellers and locals alike through hands on experiences like beach boil-ups, mussel picking and berry picking. In this interview, we talk about how the Project NL Food got started, traditional recipes, family foodways, the barter system, hunting, teaching, workshops, and food tours.
Patrick Collins, born and raised in Riverhead, Harbour Grace, is a retired educator who taught in various communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. He finished his teaching career in education as a Curriculum Program Specialist, working in Avalon Peninsula School Districts. He is also a writer of historical fiction and has published five literary works. Currently Patrick teaches at The Canadian Training institute, Bay Roberts. We chatted with Patrick Collins about where his interest in history started, the 1871 murders of Jane Sear Geehan and Garnett Sears on the southside of Harbour Grace which Collins wrote about in his book Belonging, railway memories and his work as a station operator, writing historical fiction, and his next book What Lies Below.
Emily Hope is an artist, researcher, and founder of the Wild Man Appreciation Society, a civil society and personal museum dedicated to the promotion and preservation of tales of the Wild Man. Emily was born and raised in Aurora, Ontario, and college-educated at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, where she earned a BFA in 2012. Emily lives in Kamloops with her husband, Cory, and their daughter, Molly. During the week you can find her at the Kamloops Art Gallery where she works as the Education and Public Programs Director. We chat about about the origins of the Wild Man Appreciation Society, Emily’s work as an artist and collector, the origins of the Wild Man archetype and pre-Lenten masking traditions, Black Peter, Santa, the interplay between pagan faiths and Christianity, her research on traditions in Romania and wild man parade and house-visiting traditions there, gender roles and cross-dressing in masking customs, photography and curating exhibits on Wild Men, and her visit to Newfoundland to better understand mummering traditions, and similarities between the festivities in Romania and Newfoundland traditions.
Bruce Templeton’s journey with Santa has taken three phases so far. In 1978, he was asked to "play Santa." he was an actor. In 1982, he held the hand of a dying child whose last words were "Santa, Santa." Then he became Santa. And in the last few years, he has met St. Nicholas who has joined them on their visits. Bruce has joined Santa in the parades for 37 years and they have 50 visits each year in less than 30 days. Their last visit is to the Janeway on Christmas Eve where Santa holds the newest newborn born on Christmas Eve.
We discuss Bruce’s journey with Santa, becoming a Knight of St. Nicholas, the history and story of St. Nicholas, the work of Mrs. Claus, the Flight to the North Pole, the Santa Claus Parade, the Teddy Bear Project, and some of his favourite stories throughout his time with Santa Claus.
Amelia Reimer is a Cultural Support Worker for the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre. She is a proud Métis woman originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has made her home in St. John’s for the past 4 years. For the past 23 years, she has worked with and served a wide variety of Aboriginal communities across North America. With the Native Friendship Centre, she has taken on the national Faceless Dolls project – tracking and honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Newfoundland and Labrador while increasing public awareness through media, speaking, and events. She volunteers her time with a variety of community organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors for the St. John’s Status of Women Council. We discuss the services of the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, the Faceless Dolls Project, In Her Name vigil, reconciliation, and Amelia’s work with the Centre and volunteering with the Status of Women Council.
Debbie O'Rielly is Coordinator for Volunteer Mount Pearl (VMP), an office created in 2014 by the Mount Pearl Sport Alliance. VMP was established to address the volunteer needs of community groups in the Mount Pearl area, and to act as a hub to connect volunteers and the groups that need them. Debbie does community outreach with seniors, youth and all those in between. She provides volunteer related news and shares volunteer job details on her website, through social media and in a quarterly newsletter. We talk about the work and objectives of Volunteer Mount Pearl, retaining and recruiting volunteers, using social media, linking youth with seniors, bread and raspberry jam making workshops, the Art of Storytelling project, and community gardens.
Anna Kearney Guigné is an independent folklorist and adjunct professor affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland’s ethnomusicology program. An historian at heart, Kearney Guigné has extensively written about twentieth-century folksong collectors and collecting practices. Kearney Guigné also explores the wide range of influences that continue to shape our rich musical tradition including such popular media as newspapers, broadsides, songsters, and radio programs, vinyl recordings.
Elinor Benjamin has been telling stories for over 25 years . She was inspired by many, including Newfoundland fiddler and storyteller, Emile Benoit, Rita Cox, Bob Barton and Laura Simms. After 22 years as an administrator with the Newfoundland Public Libraries, she left to devote more time to storytelling, working with the “Learning Through the Arts” programme in schools in Western Newfoundland, before moving to Nova Scotia in 2011. Lifetime member, former Administrator, retired Webmaster of Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada, she received the Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada “Storykeeper Award” in 2015. In this podcast, we discuss how Elinor started in storytelling, her new project “Cousin Silas and the Moose Woman”, and the work of Silas Tertius Rand who was a Baptist Missionary and Mi’kmaq story collector. We also discuss several stories Silas collected and published and what the future holds for Elinor’s storytelling projects.
Kathy was raised in a remote village on the Alaska Highway in northern BC, but wanderlust has taken her far from her roots. She’s always loved telling tales. One day she stumbled upon the world of traditional storytelling, and she was hooked! Since then, Kathy’s performed original stories and world folktales in schools, libraries, concerts and festivals across Canada and internationally. Highlights include the Scottish International Story-telling Festival, a Nordic storytelling conference in Iceland, and most recently- sharing tales with school children in South Africa. Her stories have been published in various venues, and included on several CD anthologies. In this podcast, we discuss growing up on the Alaskan Highway, Kathy’s family’s roots in the area, her father memories and work on the Alaskan Highway, and we focus on her upcoming storytelling show the “Alaskan Highway Road Show” celebrating the 75th anniversary of the highway.
Ivan Coyote is the award-winning author of ten books, the creator of four short films, and has released three albums that combine storytelling with music. Ivan is a seasoned stage performer and long-time road dog, and over the last eighteen years has become an audience favourite at storytelling, writer's, film, poetry, and folk music festivals from Anchorage to Amsterdam. Ivan's 11th book, Tomboy Survival Guide, was released in the fall of 2016 with Arsenal Pulp Press. In this podcast, we discuss the writing process, performing, Ivan’s new book Tomboy Survival Guide, trans and queer stories shared after Ivan’s performances, and their latest projects.
Aoife Granville is from Dingle, Co. Kerry (Ireland). A flute player, fiddler and traditional singer, she completed a PhD thesis in 2012 entitled at University College Cork entitled "We never died a winter yet" The Sráid Eoin Wrenboys of Dingle: Music, Community and Identity. Aoife has held lectureship posts in Music at UCC and Newcastle University (UK) and is currently working at the Folklore department at UCC. She has released two solo albums to date and is working on an Arts Council of Ireland funded project on traditional songs of The Schools Collection (Irish Folklore Commission) at present. In this podcast, we talk about Dingle, growing up within a musical tradition, fife and drum groups, calendar customs, the routes taken by wren groups on St. Stephen’s day, parades, disguises, traditional tunes, straw hats, and the evolution of wren traditions in Ireland and Newfoundland!
Sarah Wade has worked for the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (MANL) since June 2011. Prior to working at MANL, Sarah attended Memorial University of Newfoundland where she received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Archaeology and History in 2009. Sarah also obtained an Honours Diploma in Advanced Museum Studies from Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario in June 2011. Sarah is also an active member with Youth Heritage Newfoundland Labrador, a group that works to create a network for youth and heritage professionals within the province. Sarah talks about how young people can start to develop a career in heritage through education and volunteerism, the importance of employers developing meaningful internship opportunities, networking, the role and mission of Youth Heritage NL the youth mentorship speed-dating model, how institutions can better utilize the skills of youth, social media, and workshop opportunities.
Ruth has been a mat maker since 1995. She works primarily with wool yarn to create mats which capture Newfoundland and Labrador past and present especially as it relates to her connections to places throughout the province. Though her works vary in size, Ruth particularly likes large scale mats. Some of her larger pieces include Portugal Cove c1920, Quidi Vidi c1900, the Battery c1960 as well as modern day Quirpon and Fortune. Her works have been exhibited at the Battle Harbour National Historic Site of Canada, the Arts and Letters Competition, the Bonavista North Museum Gallery, the Kildevil Fair and Auntie Crae’s. Ruth and her work have also appeared in a Parks Canada promotional video. Her works hang in private collections across Canada. She has taught mat making for the Provincial Museum, the provincial Youth Heritage Forum and to private students. In this episode, Ruth talks about her introduction to mat making, explains the process being making a hooked mat and the materials involved, different styles of designs, the role of place, memory and history in her work, and the differences between hooked and poked mats.
Marlene Creates is an environmental artist and poet who lives in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. Underlying all her work is an interest in place—not as a geographical location but a process that involves memory, multiple narratives, ecology, and language. Her work has been presented in over 350 exhibitions and screenings both across Canada and internationally, and is in many public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada. We discuss how Marlene got her start in art, how she found herself in Newfoundland, her work in Newfoundland and Labrador on place, the importance of place, several recent projects including her memory maps and important place awards, and her new book “Brickle, Nish, and Knobbly: A Newfoundland Treasury of Terms for Ice and Snow”.
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.
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.
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
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