Thursday, August 28, 2008

Living RICH August meeting

I just drove back into town from a meeting in Placentia with the committee for Living RICH (Rural Intangible Cultural Heritage), where I gave an overview of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador's ICH program. It was a good meeting, with representation from Parks Canada, Branch Heritage Group, Tramore Productions, Placentia Area Theatre d'Heritage.

Patrick Carroll with Parks talked about the free concert which was organized at Castle Hill National Historic Site as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations. Part of the goal was to mix old and new musical traditions, and to bring in people from the area. Featured singers/songwriters included Joy Norman, Colleen Power, and one of my favourite traditional ballad singers, Tobias Pearson.

Arlene Morrissey from Tramore talked about some of the projects of the company, which has a strong basis in the conservation and celebration of local oral tradition and oral history, and which incorporates ballad singing and storytelling into their performances. Helen Griffin with Placentia Area Theatre d'Heritage talked about their program of costumed interpretation at Castle Hill, their other shows based on local history, and their weekly theatre cabaret, which drew on the area's Irish, English and American culture with recitations, theatre and traditional music.

Lorna Nash English presented on the various projects of Branch Heritage, including their walk of "name places", areas with particular significance for the community, their memorial skeet shooting competition, kitchen parties with ballad singing, and the revival of traditional dances from the community. She also stressed the importance of passing on skills from seniors to youth.

In the end, the group talked about organizing a one day symposium on rural ICH for the area, sometime in November. I'll be sure to blog about it as it draws closer, so keep posted!

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