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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Lloyd Pike is a retired teacher whose 32 year teaching career began on remote Pass Island, located off the Connaigre Peninsula on Newfoundland's Southwest coast. On one particular dark night Lloyd experienced a disturbing encounter with the "old hag”. Danielle Barron was born and raised in St. John’s, is an avid reader and has had multiple experiences over the past seven or eight years with the “old hag”. We discuss sleep paralysis and the old hag, Lloyd and Danielle’s experiences with the old hag, fortune telling, reading tea leaves, mediums, and other superstitions. Recorded on 30 July 2015.
Zainab Jerrett is the Executive Director of Tombolo Multicultural Festival Newfoundland and Labrador. She is also the Coordinator for International Food and Craft Expo and owner and operator of Multi Ethnic Food Kitchen. She obtained her PhD in Folklore at Memorial University in 1998. We discuss her move to Newfoundland, her PhD work on folk songs in Nigeria, her start at food and craft fairs, starting her business, and her work with the Tombolo Multicultural Festival and the International Food and Craft Expo.
Gail Everson, formerly a Hudson, she is a lifetime resident of Pouch Cove. Her family owned and operated 3 Cod Liver Oil factories in Pouch Cove, Bauline and Cape St. Francis from the late 1800s until the mid 1960s. Dr. Margot Duley is a graduate of MUN and the University of London where she received a PhD in history. She currently lives in Pouch Cove, a community that she loves and where she finds inspiration for her ongoing writing in Newfoundland history. The Pouch Cove Heritage Society is a non-profit community association founded in 2009 to assist residents of Pouch Cove identify and protect local heritage. Some of the community activities to date include commemorations of the Waterwitch shipwreck and rescue, Pouch Cove Heritage Days, a heritage night with storytelling, a kitchen party, and events to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1914 Sealing Disaster. The committee has conducted many interviews with local seniors, which form the basis of a book on local history. We discuss the work of Pouch Cove Heritage Society including the background history of the community, their oral history interviews, the development of a Smartphone App walking tour of the community, and the community’s book “Home by the Sea”.
Dave Lane wears several hats: he is Development Partner at the marketing firm Dc Design House, managing a team web developers, designers, and social media experts; he is a Councillor at Large for the City of St. John's, chairing and sitting on several committees; he is an entrepreneur, building an online business; he is a musician, singing with the Quintessential and Innismara Vocal Ensembles; and he is a fiancée, washing dishes and driving his better half to and from work. We discuss how Dave got his start in heritage, the work of Happy City, community engagement, smart development, and built heritage.
Charis Cotter is an award-winning children’s writer, actor, and storyteller who has worked extensively in schools telling Newfoundland ghost stories and encouraging students to collect local ghost stories from their communities. In 2013 she published The Ghosts of Baccalieu, a book of traditional ghost stories by students from Tricon Elementary in Bay de Verde. Her latest storytelling presentation, The Ghosts of Grates Cove, is an hour of ghost stories from one of the most haunted places in Newfoundland, Conception Bay North. We discuss Charis’ work as an author, how she teaches children facts through games and fun, school programs, and ghost stories.
Robert Chafe is a playwright based in St. John’s, whose work has been seen across Canada, the UK, Australia and in the United States. He is the author of seventeen stage scripts and co-author of another eight. He was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Drama for Tempting Providence and Butler’s Marsh in 2004, and won the award for Afterimage in 2010. He has been writer in residence at Artistic Fraud, Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre, Playwrights Workshop Montreal, Forest Forge Theatre, (Hampshire, UK), and Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a guest instructor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, and The National Theatre School of Canada. On this episode, we talk about how Robert began writing plays, how to write about history and local characters. We also discuss several of Robert’s plays, the research behind them, and the community response to them.
Dianne Carr (nee Vokey) is a Spaniard's Bay native who recently "resettled" in the community after retiring from teaching. Diane became involved with Spaniard's Bay Heritage Society two years ago. Her father was one of the founding members of the society and she decided she would like to carry on his legacy and give back to the community by getting involved with the summer programming and helping to promote the small museum. We discuss Dianne’s memories of growing up in Spaniard’s Bay, her love of and passion for heritage, and her work with the Spaniard’s Bay Heritage Society including their heritage walks and the community museum.
Terra Barrett is a folklore masters student at Memorial University who holds a BA in Folklore/French from Memorial University and is currently completing her M.A. in public and applied folklore. Terra is completing a workterm with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador as part of her M.A. program. Her research interests include foodways, customs, material culture and public folklore. In this episode, we discuss Terra’s oral history work in Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove, how to conduct oral history interviews, how to put together a booklet and host a launch, and Terra reads several excerpts from the booklet.
For years, Marnie Parsons studied, taught, reviewed, and edited poetry and children’s literature. In 2000, shortly after moving to St. John’s, she began learning letterpress printing from book artist Tara Bryan, and established Running the Goat Books and Broadsides. Initially an occasional imprint, Running the Goat is now a full-time printing and publishing operation, specializing in limited-edition handmade books and fine trade books with a Newfoundland and Labrador emphasis. We discuss letterpress printing, where to source materials and equipment, the Running the Goat print shop, and current and future projects.
Ralph Barrett was born in Upper Island Cove and is founding member of the Avalon Sail Squadron who served as the Commander of the Avalon for 4 years and was inducted into the Volunteer Hall of Fame as a result of his work with numerous organizations. Ralph is also a painter and has an avid love of fossils. We discuss Ralph’s memories of growing up in Upper Island Cove, Conception Bay North, including chores, children’s games and activities, nicknames to distinguish families with the same surnames, and folk beliefs. Ralph also explains Teak (Taig) Day, and describes Bonfire Night.
Catharyn Andersen is an Inuk from Nunatsiavut in northern Labrador. She is the Special Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs at Memorial University. Before joining Memorial, she worked with the Small Craft Harbours program with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. She was the Director of the Torngâsok Cultural Centre, the cultural arm of the Nunatsiavut Government, from 2003 to 2008, and also worked as the Inuttitut Language Program Coordinator with the cultural centre. She is an alumna of Memorial University. In this episode, we talk about Catharyn’s position as Special Advisor, her work with the Torngâsok Cultural Centre, aboriginal language and cultures, and the construction of an aboriginal house at Memorial University’s St. John’s campus.
Born and raised in Iran, Saeedeh Niktab arrived in Canada in January 2014. Having survived the brutal winter of that year, as a master’s student of Folklore, she has started to explore the mysterious land of Newfoundland and learn about its rich culture. Back in Iran, she finished her bachelor in Computer Engineering, but her life-long passion for art led her into Art Philosophy as her first master’s in Iran and later in Folklore in Canada. As a member of Iranian community in St. John’s, she has developed a special interest in Folklore in diasporic communities; especially the relationships between identity, beliefs and foodways. Raised by a family for whom Iranian music was of great value, Hadi started to learn Iranian music by playing Setar when he was thirteen. He attended music classes of some outstanding masters of Iranian music between 1999 and 2009. After finishing his BMus degree in 2009 (University of Tehran), and his first M.A in art studies in 2012 (University of Tehran), he decided to pursue a Master’s in Ethnomusicology at MUN, where he thinks his ideas and interests will finally find their home! We talk about Iranian culture including customs, festivals, and foodways, the difference between the north and south parts of the country, New Year’s celebrations, children’s games, and their Master’s research.