Events Archive

For details of past events in our Music & Culture Lecture Series, click here.

Good as a Concert: Traditional Newfoundland Songs from the Collections of MacEdward Leach

February 25, 2023
To celebrate the launch of Folk Songs of Atlantic Canada from the Collections of MacEdward Leach, a website featuring over 650 recordings of traditional music from Newfoundland and the Gaelic-speaking regions of Nova Scotia, MMaP partnered with SingSong Inc. and Eleanor Dawson to present another event in our "Good as a Concert" performance series. Featuring a variety of well-known singers, the event showcased songs from MacEdward Leach's collection and highlighted the province's rich musical heritage. The concert took place on Saturday, February 25, 2023, in The Well Room in downtown St. John’s. Videos of this event are available on the MMaP YouTube channel. The video for the first half of the event can be found here, and the video for the second half can be found here.

Album Launch: Doughboys and Molasses, Oh!

November 26, 2020
The virtual launch of our album of traditional songs from the Gros Morne region was screened on MMaP’s YouTube channel. The launch featured performances of songs from the album by special guest musicians, as well as greetings from project partners. Watch the video to learn more about musical heritage of this distinctive region of Newfoundland’s west coast.

Good as a (Covid) Concert: Livestreamed Performances for a Time of Crisis

July 20, 2020
Presented in partnership with SingSong Inc. and Eleanor Dawson, this livestreamed event featured performances by Sherry Ryan, Aaron Collis, and Natasha Blackwood, along with host Jim Payne. It was a night of inspiring music that continued the themes of our “Good as a Concert” series during this time of global health crisis.

“Good as a Concert”: A Festival of Traditional Story and Song

February 29, 2020
Presented by The Rooms in partnership with MMaP, SingSong Inc, and Eleanor Dawson, this event featured local performers steeped in the ballad and storytelling traditions of Newfoundland and Labrador and offered listeners a chance to hear some lesser-known songs and stories from the province’s vast traditional repertoire.

Listening Party: Jazz Vocalists from 1905 to Today

February 5, 2020
Curated by MMaP scholar-in-residence Dr. Martin Daughtry (New York University), this listening party traced the influence of jazz vocalists from Bert Williams to Cécile McLorin Salvant. Held in Memorial’s new Global Learning Centre, the event was presented in partnership with the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador and featured special guest performances by local musicians affiliated with MWONL. 

“Good as a Concert”: A Festival of Traditional Story and Song

October 19, 2019
This daylong event celebrated Newfoundland and Labrador’s rich folk song and narrative traditions. It featured thematic sessions on “Captains and Ships” and “Ghosts and Gallows,” a traditional song circle, and an evening concert by prominent folk singers and instrumentalists. Videos of the festival can be found here.

Launch event for the CD Work, Work, Work: Work and Labour History in Song

September 2, 2019
Held at the Johnson GeoCentre and produced in partnership with SingSong, Inc., the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, and the Greening Memorial Fund at St. Francis Xavier University, this event featured live music performances by traditional artists and remarks about the CD Work, Work, Work: Work and Labour History in Song.

LGBTQ+ Community through the Arts and Choral Music

June 20, 2019
A concert and roundtable held in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of PFLAG, the St. John’s Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Bruneau Centre for Excellence in Choral Music at Memorial University. The event featured performances by the St. John’s Gay Men’s Chorus and the Spectrum Queer Choir, as well as a panel discussion about queer communities and the arts. A video of the event can be found here.

An Evening of Ottoman and Turkish Musics

February 11, 2019
A concert of Ottoman and Turkish musics by the renowned ethnomusicologist and performer Dr. Denise Gill. Gill sang and played the kanun (trapezoidal zither), inspiring her audience with powerful music from the Ottoman and Turkish repertoires. You can see excerpts from the concert on MMaP’s YouTube channel.

“The Music of Our Burnished Axes” Book Launch

September 11, 2018
This book launch event featured performances by traditional artists and remarks by the book’s authors, Ursula A. Kelly and Meghan C. Forsyth, and others. A video of the event can be seen here.

Indigenous Improvisation: Freedom and Responsibility

July 4, 2018
The international colloquium on Indigenous Improvisation brought together Indigenous scholars and musicians from Canada, the United States, Taiwan, and Norway to present on the complex relationship of individual freedom and social responsibility in the context of artistic practice. Addressing both the practices teaching, learning, and performance within their own communities and the long history of Indigenous performers, composers and song-makers engaging with improvisatory traditions, such as jazz, contemporary classical music, and song, the discussions nuanced common constructs of Indigenous performance practices. Scholars also addressed issues of cultural appropriation, including the mass marketing of instruments and the use of sacred works in musical sampling. More information about the Indigenous Improvisation Colloquium and the participating scholars and musicians can be found on their website.

Phenomenology and Ethnomusicology 2018: The St. John’s Conference

June 5–7, 2018
Bringing together leading scholars from North America, Europe, and Australia, this conference presented cutting-edge research on music and culture drawing on ideas from the phenomenological tradition of continental European philosophy. Videos of the paper presentations can be found on MMaP’s YouTube channel. The conference website can be found here.

An Evening of Bollywood Music and Indian Performing Arts

March 7, 2018
Produced in partnership with the Friends of India Association and the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland, this event featured a talk by Professor Jayson Beaster-Jones on the music of Indian films and performances by artists from the St. John’s South Asian community.

West African Drumming Workshop with Steven Friedson

March 27, 2017
Produced in partnership with the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador, this event was an engaging and participatory introduction to traditions of West African drumming. It was presented by the well-known ethnomusicologist Steven Friedson.

Book launch for Forgotten Songs of the Newfoundland Outports as Taken from Kenneth Peacock’s Newfoundland Field Collection, 1951–1961

November 30, 2016
This book launch event featured performances by traditional artists and remarks by the book’s author, Anna Kearney Guigné, and others. A video of the event can be seen here.

Music of Survival: Film Screening and Interview

November 3, 2016
MMaP presented a screening of the film Music of Survival. The triumphant story of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, the film examines the roots of a rare and fragile musical tradition. Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, the film focuses on the ways that music and musicians are used and abused by political regimes. The film screening was followed by a public interview with the film’s director, Orest Sushko. A video of the interview with Sushko can be found on MMaP’s YouTube channel.

North Indian Vocal Workshop with Matthew Rahaim

October 26, 2016
Produced in partnership with the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland, this event was an engaging and participatory introduction to the classical tradition of North Indian vocal music. It was presented by the well-known ethnomusicologist Matthew Rahaim.

DanceSpace: A Research-Creation Dialogue on Embodiment, Gesture, and Dance

May 24, 2015
A group of internationally renowned ethnomusicologists joined local scholars and dancers for a lively exchange about embodiment, pedagogy, and dance to celebrate the naming of the Dance Space, a collaboration between MMaP and the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre. The symposium focused on the challenges of representing and teaching embodiment and movement in Newfoundland and around the world, and the role of improvisation in dance and other performing arts. The symposium was held in conjunction with the meeting of the Board of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) in St. John’s, hosted by SEM president Dr. Beverley Diamond.

Symposium on Music, Folklore, and the Public Sector

May 15, 2014

Expanding Ecomusicology: Exploring Sonic Culture and Environmental Change

September 28, 2013
Bringing together scholars from Memorial, York, Cape Breton, and Concordia Universities and featuring a keynote by Andra McCartney, along with panels chaired by Leila Qashu, Ellen Waterman, Marc Finch, and Meghan Forsyth, this symposium addresses topics including non-human sound production, industrial soundscapes, environmental issues in music instrument manufacture, and music that imitates place-based sound.

41st World Conference of the International Council for Traditional Music

July 13–19, 2011
Memorial University was honoured to host the 41st World Conference of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), an organization recognized worldwide as an eminent society for ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology research. The St. John’s meeting was the first ICTM World Conference to take place in Canada since the renowned folklorist Marius Barbeau hosted the meeting in Quebec City in 1961. The conference had 460 presenters from 57 countries. The SOUNDshift festival of world music and dance was held alongside the conference.

Symposium on Music, Dance, and Place

July 2, 2010
Presented in anticipation of ICTM 2011, this symposium focussed on the relationship between traditional dance forms of Atlantic Canada and notions of space.

Dance Heritage Think Tank

February 21, 2009
Presented in partnership with Neighborhood Dance Works and the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Foundation, this open event brought together traditional dance enthusiasts from novice to expert to exchange ideas and discuss the future of traditional dance in Newfoundland and Labrador.

North Atlantic Fiddle Convention: Crossing Over

August 3–8, 2008

MMaP hosted the 2008 North Atlantic Fiddle Convention. The event provided a forum for talking about and experiencing the links among fiddle music, dance, song, mouth music, piping, and related cultural traditions. The program for this event can be found here.

Indigenous Music and Dance as Cultural Property: Global Perspectives

May 2–4, 2008
This three-day colloquium involved presentations, discussions, workshops, and performances by Indigenous and settler academics and Indigenous culture bearers from eight countries. The colloquium concluded with a concert entitled “Global Spirit: An Indigenous Showcase,” featuring Indigenous musicians from around the world. Videos from the concert can be found here.

Post-Colonial Distances: The Study of Popular Music in Canada and Australia

June 24–28, 2005

Symposium on Women, Music, and Technology

July 9, 2004
This day-long event, which was part of the Sound Symposium series, featured a Soundwalk lead by Andra McCartney, and two panels—“Women, Music, and Technology in Newfoundland and Labrador” and “Research Reports from the ‘In and Out of the Studio’ Project.”

Who Owns Traditional Music? A Dialogue

April 10, 2003
This day-long symposium was presented in partnership with the Memorial University School of Music and brought together academics and musicians to discuss the politics of performing traditional music. Panel and keynote topics included “Canadian Copyright Law and Oral Tradition” lead by John Joy, “International Conventions and the Projects of Archive of Folk Culture” lead by Michael Taft (then-director of the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress), and roundtables of musicians (Stan Pickett, Anita Best, Peter Narvaez, and Victor Sage Muise), archivists (Martin Lovelace, Patricia Fulton, Philip Hiscock, and Neil Rosenberg), and folklorists and ethnomusicologists (Dufferin Murray, Kati Szego, Klisala Harrison, Johanna Devlin Trew, and Beverley Diamond).