New project to share traditional stories which have come from away.
St. John’s, NL
For immediate release
The St. John’s Local Immigration Partnership and the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) are looking for old stories from new residents as part of a project to collect and share the diversity of oral traditions that exist within the region, and to create a showcase of traditional stories and folktales from around the world.
“When European settlers first arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador, they brought stories from their old countries,” says foundation folklorist Dale Jarvis. “That is part of the reason we have such a unique oral tradition here in the province with our stories of fairies and superstitions. But that process didn’t stop; new people coming here are bringing their own traditional stories as well, and adding the richness of our local lore.”
Jarvis believes that sharing folktales can highlight the commonalities between cultures, and help build a common understanding between people by bridging cultural, political and religious divides.
“Sharing the stories we grew up with is a way of bringing people together,” Jarvis says.
Jarvis, a group of researchers with the foundation, and the St. John’s Local Immigration Partnership are embarking on a pilot project called “Tales From Afar: Old Stories from New Residents”
Project organizers are looking for folktales, legends, myths, stories of saints and miracles, ghost stories, fables, or traditional children’s tales -- any story that has been passed down by word of mouth.
Participants could be newcomers in the truest sense of the word - recent refugees, temporary foreign workers, international students, newly arrived professionals or economic migrants, or could be well-established immigrants who have long since made St. John’s their home.
“If someone knows a story, and wants to share it, we want to hear it!” says Jarvis. “We will work with participants to edit and polish the stories once they are collected.”
“Tales From Afar: Old Stories from New Residents” will culminate in the creation of written booklet of world folktales. The booklet will be made available online, printed, and shared through key organizations and at community events.
To share a story, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-739-1892 x2. Stories can be submitted in written form, or participants can sit down with a collector and tell their story in spoken form.
City of St. John’s Local Immigration PartnershipThe Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) is a multi-stakeholder partnership designed to help address key immigrant issues, encourage broader stakeholder collaboration and promote St. John’s as a welcoming community. Building a welcoming community in this sense means fostering the conditions where social connections can be made between people, namely between newcomers to Canada and Canadian-born residents.
Intangible Cultural Heritage Office, Heritage Foundation of NLThe ICH Office works to safeguard and sustain the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador for present and future generations everywhere, as a vital part of the identities of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and as a valuable collection of unique knowledge and customs. This is achieved through initiatives that celebrate, record, disseminate, and promote our living heritage and help to build bridges between diverse cultural groups within and outside Newfoundland and Labrador.
For more information, contact:
Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
PO Box 5171, St. John's, Newfoundland,
Canada A1C 5V5
Phone: 709-739-1892 ext 2
Online submission form for stories: