Beijing, 2008

Digital Heritage Symposium: Securing the Intangible through the Virtual
Beijing, People's Republic of China
Saturday, August 2 and Sunday August 3, 2008

In recent years, authorities in Canada and China have attempted to raise awareness about the value and fragility of ICH, and have adopted measures to ensure its continuity. In the spring of 2007, for example, the Chinese Ministry of Culture held China’s first ICH festival in Chengdu, the capital of capital of Sichuan province. In February of 2008, the ministry announced the appointment of 551 artists as “inheritors” responsible for carrying forward specific forms of ICH. China has established ten categories of ICH: folk literature, folk music and dance, traditional opera, ballad singing, cross-talk, acrobatics, folk fine arts, traditional handicraft, traditional medicine and folk customs.

The Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), along with its partners in Canada and China, gathered a number of experts to share their experiences in this area. The Digital Heritage Symposium was organized to coincide with the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s exhibition of Canadian aboriginal artefacts at the Imperial City Museum in Beijing.

The symposium focussed on how heritage professionals and academics are working to preserve and promote their intangible cultural heritage, as well as making it accessible, through emerging information and communications technologies.

Dale Jarvis represented the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador at the conference, and presented on the province's ICH program.