Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Saving Endangered Crafts across Newfoundland and Labrador: Introducing Heritage NL's Mentor-Apprentice Participants

Colourful wooden boat created by Newfoundland artist Jerome Canning.

From boatbuilding to bark tanning, traditional skills at risk of being lost in Newfoundland and Labrador just got a boost from Heritage NL.

Nine projects from all across the province that pair a learner with an experienced craftsperson have been given the green light by Heritage NL, the provincial agency that deals with historic places and living heritage. 

The Heritage NL Mentor-Apprentice Program is a one-on-one immersion program that provides funding up to $10,000 to support the teaching of endangered crafts and skills from an established mentor to an apprentice craftsperson or tradesperson. 

“The traditional craft sector is an important part of our contemporary economy, especially in rural areas,” says folklorist Dale Jarvis, Executive Director of Heritage NL. “We are excited to support these tradition bearers and entrepreneurs in learning and promoting skills and crafts that otherwise might fade away.”

The participants will have a year to work together, teaching and learning a variety of skills including weaving, making traditional Labrador clothing, and manufacturing Uilleann (Irish) bagpipes. There are two more opportunities for people interested in traditional skills to apply to the program, February 10 and April 10, 2022, with more information online at 

This program is supported by the Labour Market Partnerships program, Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The approved mentor/apprentice projects are as follows:

Labrador duffle work, (a pure wool fabric originally used for blankets and coats).

Mentor Joyce Lee, Red Bay,  with apprentice Miranda Rumbolt, Mary’s Harbour.  

Rodney punt design and construction

Mentor Jerome Canning, St. John’s, with apprentice Chris Hogan, St. John’s.

Bark tanning 

Mentor Susan Furneaux, Conception Harbour, with apprentice Nicole Travers, Lark Harbour.

Uilleann (Irish) bagpipe making

Mentor Neil O'Grady, Carbonear, with apprentice Robert Brown. 

Wild food processing and preserving

Mentor Lori McCarthy, St. John’s with apprentice Tina White, Mount Pearl.

Labrador cossack (dickie) making

Mentor Charlene Rumbolt, Mary’s Harbour, with apprentice Katie Lee, Red Bay.

Weaving skills

Mentor Stephanie Stoker, St. John’s, with apprentice Chantelle Evans, Makkovik;


Mentor Megan Samms, Katalisk / Codroy Valley, with apprentice Jane Walker, Bonavista;


Mentor Jessica McDonald, St. John’s, with apprentice Christian Dauble, St. John’s.

For more information or photos, contact:

Dale Jarvis

Heritage NL 

Take a look at some of the beautiful work our apprentices have made. More details on our Mentor-Apprentice program to come!

A beaded shield. Bark Tanning work created by apprentice Nicole Travers.

Storage of Japanese Knotweed - a Foodways preservation technique credited to apprentice Tina White.

Goose Eye Weaving by apprentice Chantelle Evans.

Duffle work courtesy of mentor Joyce Lee.

On the loom - Weaving in process by apprentice Chantelle Evans.

Linen weaving by mentor Stephanie Stoker.

Mentor Susan Furneaux's "Small Landscape" bark tanning.

Apprentice Jane Walker's first completed woven scarf.

A woven baby blanket by apprentice Christian Dauble.

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