International Small Island Cultures Conference

 The 13th International Small Island Cultures conference will be held in St. John’s from June 15–19, 2017 at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

The main conference theme will be “Stories, Ballads and Island Narratives.” Islands are storied places. We want to hear the stories. We want to hear the ballads. We want to learn about island narratives. And we want to tell you a few stories of our own.


Sponsors and Partners 

We would like to thank our sponsors, Engen Books, the Newfoundland Quarterly and the City of St. John's. We would also like to thank our partners, the Small Island Cultures Research Initiative, the St. John's Storytelling Festival and the Resource Centre for the Arts. If you would like to become a sponsor, please email or call (709) 864-6115. 






Click here for the full program. 

Click here for Book of Abstracts.

This is truly an international conference featuring fifty-four presentations delivered by people from Canada, Australia, Cayman Islands, France, Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States. The themes are just as varied, and will include topics such as island identity, narratives, music, legends, mythology, literature, gender, migration, fisheries, tourism, creative industries, geography, place, health and wellness, among others. 


Conference registration is now closed 



We are offering a total of four local excursion options. We are taking payments and providing transportation for the two excursions on June 16th; however, payment and transportation for the excursions on June 15th and June 18th will be the responsibility of each individual participant to take care of themselves.

With respect to the two exciting excursion options on June 16th, you are welcome to do either one or both of them. You can register for these when you register for the conference, or you can return and register up until June 14th, as long as space allows. You are welcome to register other people travelling with you but are not attending the conference, such as your spouse/partner, family members, etc.

A Celebration of Island Cultures: Stories, Ballads and Recitations
Thursday, June 15, 2017
$5 at the door
Gower Street United Church Lecture Hall
Registration not necessary

The St. John's Storytelling Festival is welcoming participants of this conference to join this special story circle. Are you a storyteller at heart, looking for an audience? Do you like listening to stories and recitations? Come with a tale to share or just relax and listen. Hosted by Dave Paddon, with special guests Anita Best and Dave Penny, and an Open Mic!   

City of St. John's Tour
Friday, June 16, 2017
$60 (taxes included)
Register here by June 14th 

This is a great orientation of St. John's, as well as the most Easterly point in North America. You will be driven to the National Historic site of Cape Spear; where you may walk to thru a World War II gun battery, look for whales at the most Easterly point in North America, while having a chance to visit to oldest standing light house in North America. Then we will head back into the city to see the beautiful view on top of Signal Hill while hearing the historic tales of North America's oldest colony. Other stops include Quidi Vidi Village, Government House, the Roman Catholic Cathedral and an orientation of the shops and restaurants of downtown St. John's.

Bird Island Boat Tour
Friday, June 16, 2017
$100 (taxes included)
Register here by June 14th (limited capacity, register early to ensure your spot)

The day begins with a drive down the Southern shore to Bay Bulls, which will include some ditties and tales from your local guide. Once there, you will take in the fresh ocean air and rugged coastline as you cruise to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. It is home to the largest Atlantic puffin colony in North America (1/2 a million), while millions of other seabirds including Common Murre, Black-legged Kittiwake and Razor-bill Auk can also be viewed. It is also the right season to view humpback whales and sail past 10,000 year-old icebergs. The best time for seabird viewing is from May until early September, whale sightings are highest in July, and icebergs can typically be seen in May and June. This conference happens to be at an opportune time to possibly view them all!

If a Place Could Be Made, Local Theatre Production
Saturday, June 17, 2017
8:00pm (arrive by 7:30)
$17 to $27 each (plus fees and taxes)
LSPU Hall, 3 Victoria Street, St. John's
We are not holding any seats for conference participants, so get your tickets early to ensure you get a seat. Click here or call 1-709-753-4531 to purchase tickets, as you cannot do so on our registration page. 

Kitty and Daniel Daly of Riverhead St. Mary’s Bay, Newfoundland had twelve children, six of whom were very tall, and mythologized as giants, and six of whom were persons of short stature, formerly known as dwarfism, or little people. Most of them had disabilities. They were also resilient and funny people, and from a time where, we are told, ‘if a place could be made’ for people in Newfoundland with physical disabilities, more often it was. The Dalys’ great-granddaughter (and great-niece), singer-songwriter Diana Daly, dancer-actor Louise Moyes and choreographer Anne Troake, have been asked to tell their stories. In a journey of friendship and song, they bring the Daly family’s memories to life through powerful images, tales, songs, dance, and laughter. This is a story about family, strong personalities, great faith, inclusion, expansion, and making the best out of what we have been given. Click here to view the trailer 



Macpherson College, Memorial University

Photo: Macpherson College Residence 

We recommend booking accommodations on campus at the conference site. Accommodations are comprised of two bedroom suites sharing a washroom/shower. The cost is $60/room or $120/suite. Delegates should book by May 15, 2017 through the following process:

1. Go to
2. Enter promotion code ISIC2017, choose dates, and the number of guests.
3. Click Next to enter personal and payment details.

NOTE: The promotion code only works when you book under the above reservation link and only for the nights of June 15-20, 2017.

Payment is due at the time of booking by Visa or MasterCard. On your credit card receipt there will be a transaction from SpeedyBooker (this is the company that powers our reservation system) and they are out of the United Kingdom. To view the Cancellation terms please visit:

If you have questions related to booking, please email or reach them toll-free at 1-877-730-7657.



For more information on this conference, please contact:
Amy Jones, Harris Centre Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator
Phone: 1-709-864-6115


The Harris Centre

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000