Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sources for diverse Canadian folklore and folktales, for #FolkloreThursday.

There was a request on Twitter this morning for some diverse resources on Canadian folktales and folklore. It's a bit of a tall order, given the incredible diversity of ethnocultural communities in Canada, but here goes.

A good place to start, for children's literature anyway, is the Aboriginal authors & illustrators page curated by the University of Saskatchewan library.  And if you are in Toronto, check out the AMAZING Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books.

In terms of printed book collections, a couple of my favourites sources to check out would be (in no particular order):
If you like audio collections, check out the StorySave project by Storytellers of Canada - Conteurs du Canada, a very important project working to preserve the voices of storytelling elders from a wide variety of Canadian communities, everything from Chinese stories and stories in Irish, to tales from the Omushkigo and Kainai people.

And, because I love Newfoundland folklore so much, every folklorist/storyteller/book lover needs to own Peg Bearskin, printed by the fabulous Running The Goat Books and Broadsides. Tell Marnie I sent you!

This list is pretty Atlantic coast heavy, and I'm sure there a lot more resources out there specific to Francophone and Indigenous communities. Comments and suggestions welcome!

And if you are in the mood to listen to a Canadian folktale, sit back with a cup of tea and let my favourite storyteller Alice Lannon tell you the story of Open, Open, Green House

- Dale Jarvis

#LivingHeritage #Podcast - Aboriginal Engagement with Catharyn Andersen

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 Torng√Ęsok 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 Torng√Ęsok Cultural Centre, aboriginal language and cultures, and the construction of an aboriginal house at Memorial University’s St. John’s campus.

Download the mp3

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Labrador Memories, Fools, and Stepping Out - The ICH Update

In this edition for the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for Newfoundland and Labrador: our Living Heritage Podcast goes national on CBC radio with a spotlight on the Labrador memories of Dave Paddon; an article by Dale Jarvis on the link between tangible and intangible cultural heritage; notes from the Mummers Festival's Sharna Brzycki on the tradition of Christmas Fools; and an overview of a new research project looking at step dance traditions in the province.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

#LivingHeritage #Podcast - Iranian Culture with Hadi Milanloo and Saeedeh Niktab

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.

Download the mp3

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Memory Store: Barber Pole Brigade

The week's Memory Store video is another video from Gary Green. Gary is a past president of the Crow's Nest Officer's Club and a past president of the Crow's Nest Military Artefacts Association. This week Gary Green explains the story behind the tradition of the Barber Pole Brigade.

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


Friday, November 13, 2015

Archvies Week 2015: MUN Folklore and Language Archive Tours

To celebrate Archives Week 2015, The Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) will be offering free tours to the public.

Come check out our brand new cold storage vault!

Donated by over 11,000 contributors, MUNFLA has over 40,000 audio recordings, 20,000 photographs, 16,000 manuscripts, 4,000 commercial recordings, 2,000 printed documents and over 800 video recordings. These materials cover topics such as custom and belief, childlore, song, dance and foodways. We also house collections documenting folk cultures all over the world, through the research activities of Folklore students. 

Maybe not. But still...
Join us and take a tour of our collections, check out our brand new environmentally controlled vault, and learn more about MUNFLA and how archives work...and can work for you!

Time: Tuesday, Nov 17, 10am-4pm
Place: MUNFLA, ED4038, Education Building, Prince Philip Drive, St. John’s
Contact: Nicole Penney (709) 864-4586 /

Thursday, November 12, 2015

#LivingHeritage #Podcast - Fishing for Success with Kimberly Orren

Kimberly Orren is one of the founding directors of Fishing For Success, Inc. at Island Rooms of Petty Harbour, and currently serves as its Executive Director. Fishing For Success is a not-for-profit that aims to teach youth and tourists about the culture of Newfoundland and Labrador through the establishment of a traditional family inshore fishing premises. We talk about her first memories of fishing, science education, getting kids interested in fishing, and everything from capelin and sharks to traditional fishing marks.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Look out! Mummers want your long johns!

The Mummers Festival is looking for donations of old, clean mummers garb to be used during our annual Rig Up! This free community event allows anyone to dress up in the perfect disguise just prior to the Mummers Parade on Saturday, December 19th, 2015.

All donations are welcome, but especially useful items include things such as:
  • Lace curtains or pillowcases to cover the face
  • Silly household items that can be used as hats (Tea cozies, colanders, lampshades, etc)
  • Wigs, masks, mittens
  • Loose-fitting clothes that can be worn over winter clothes so our mummers stay warm!
  • Kooky dresses (unwanted wedding dresses welcome!) 
  • Fishermen’s oilskins, hunting jackets, flannel
  • Aprons
  • Longjohns
  • Anything else you can envision a mummer wearing!

From November 6th to December 14th drop-off boxes will be stationed at:

A.C. Hunter Library
Arts and Culture Centre
125 Allandale Rd

Michael Donovan Public Library
655 Topsail Rd

Marjorie Mews Public Library
12 Highland Drive

We will also be accepting donations all day on November 24th, 25th, and 26th out of Victoria Park Poolhouse.

For more information check out our website at

#LivingHeritage #Podcast - Digitization How-To with Archivist Nicole Penney

Nicole Penney is a folklorist and archivist living and working in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She holds a BA in Folklore / English Literature and an MA in Public Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. On this episode, we talk all about digitizing archival records, with tips for community museums and archives, as well as private individuals, about how to best digitize old photographs, print, video, and audio materials.

Download the mp3