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St. John's, 2006

Living Heritage Forum
Association of Cultural Industries, June, 2006, St. John’s, NL


In June, 2006, heritage experts from Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as experts from around the world, came together in St. John’s to explore future directions for the province in intangible cultural heritage work. Presented by the Association of Heritage Industries and held at Memorial University and The Rooms, this ambitious forum celebrated living heritage, and fostered discussion on ways of safeguarding it. Over 135 participants had the opportunity to hear speakers, to share their concerns and ideas, and to enjoy an array of performances. The forum offered an opportunity to create recommendations for a provincial strategy for safeguarding Newfoundland and Labrador's intangible cultural heritage.

Speakers from Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as organizations such as UNESCO, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and the Department of Canadian, gave presentations to suggests directions ICH work in the province might go. Several of these presentations are available here.

Presentations:
Passionate about a heritage that could neither be seen nor touched...

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Dr. Jerry Pocius, professor of folklore at Memorial University and one of Canada's foremost experts on intangible cultural heritage, explained just what that term means, and why safeguarding it is so crucial to the vitality of so many communities around the world, including those in Newfoundland & Labrador.

"../../I began to see Newfoundland and Labrador heritage not as static but as living—living through what people knew, living through what people did .... I came to believe that heritage ... had little to do with things. Ordinary Newfoundlanders were passionate about a heritage that could often neither be seen nor touched...." Listen to part of his address»

Read the full text of this address»

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Oral traditions and Aboriginal identity:

Listen to Mr. Stan Hill's story»

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Learn about Preserving the art of Newfoundland boatbuilding»

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Tom Hedderson, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, was a luncheon speaker at the forum.

"People tend to think that our heritage is made up of buildings and artifacts," said Minister Hedderson. "But it is also our music, stories, customs, dialects and so on that represent ... our distinctive identity. In this fast-paced world, we do to want to lose the things that make up the very essence of Newfoundland and Labrador."

One of the key goals of the province's recent cultural plan is to develop strategies to promote and safeguard intangible cultural heritage.

"Input and ideas gathered at this conference will play an important role in helping to shape our provincial plans as we move forward," said Minister Hedderson, who explained his personal interest, and his government's, in this important initiative: Listen»

To kick off the three-day conference, Mr. Rieks Smeets, head of the Intangible Heritage section of UNESCO in Paris delivered a presentation on the global movement to safeguard ICH. View Rieks Smeets powerpoint presentation»

The Role of Copyright in Supporting Intangible Cultural Heritage: Wayne Shinya, Senior Policy Analyst with Heritage Canada, asks "Who owns traditional cultural expressions?

The Forum Program
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