Key dates and times: Conference at a Glance

October 25-26:  Forum on Adapting NL’s Intangible Cultural Heritage – The Lantern, 35 Barnes Road

October 25: Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Architects 2017 Architecture Lecture Series – Yellowbelly Brewery, 288 Water Street

October 25: Folk Night Traditional Acoustic Session – The Ship Pub, Solomon’s Lane, 265 Duckworth Street

October 26:  Workshop on Adapting NL’s Historic Religious Places – Cochrane Centre, 81 Cochrane Street

October 26:  Reception for delegates attending Conference on Adapting NL’s Historic Places – Spirit of Newfoundland, 6 Cathedral Street 

October 27-28:  Conference on Adapting NL’s Historic Places – Gower Street United Church, 99 Queen’s Road

Post-conference Tool Kit

Art Projects

Forum on Adapting NL’s Intangible Cultural Heritage

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – The Lantern, 35 Barnes Road

Keynote –   Looking Back: A decade of safeguarding ICH in Newfoundland and Labrador

Keynote speaker: Dale Jarvis (Heritage Foundation of NL)

Drawing from and inspired by UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador held its first ICH conference in 2006, and adopted an ICH strategy in 2008. Since then, the Heritage Foundation of NL has been working to ensure that intangible cultural heritage is safeguarded as both a living heritage and as a source of contemporary creativity.  Folklorist, storyteller, and heritage activist Dale Jarvis is the ICH Development Officer for Newfoundland and Labrador, working with local partners to make sure that living heritage remains relevant to community.  In this keynote, Dale will give examples of how folklore and ICH is at the heart of local life; explain how safeguarding intangibles can contribute to healthier, more vibrant, and engaged communities; and give examples from the past decade of work to promote living heritage in Newfoundland and Labrador, setting the stage for a discussion of where tradition will take us in the future.


Session One:  From Sealskin to Science Fiction – Taking Tradition into the 21st Century

The 2003 Convention on ICH recognizes that intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups. Our cultural heritage comes from the past, moves into the future, and evolves and changes over time. What then does “tradition” mean in the 21st century? How do we maintain traditional knowledge, while addressing contemporary needs? In this thought-provoking session we look at how people are gently pushing at the boundaries of tradition and finding new ways to keep living heritage meaningful in today’s society.

Presenters: Clare Dawn Fowler (Clare Dawn Couture); Grace Shears (Abby Shot); Dan Rubin (Perfectly Perennial), Kevin Noseworthy (Escape Quest).  Moderated by Terra Barrett (Heritage Foundation of NL).


Session Two:  Heritage in the Landwash – Safeguarding Coastal Traditions

In the fishing communities of rural Newfoundland and Labrador, architecture, place, cultural heritage, food, and traditional knowledge are interwoven. In order to best safeguard the traditions of coastal communities, strategies must recognize the importance, and the interconnectedness, of both the tangible, and the intangible. The traditions associated with our inshore fishery have been identified as being of particular concern and interest. This session looks at the cuisine and material culture of our coastal communities, and how we inspire the next young generation of livyers.

Presenters: Andrea O’Brien (Heritage Foundation of NL); Jeremy Harnum (Wooden Boat Museum of NL); Lori McCarthy (Cod Sounds); Caitlyn Bolduc-Whelan (Fishing for Success). Moderated by Crystal Braye (Wooden Boat Museum of NL).


Session Three: Stories From Here

We often hear the same concern expressed by local seniors – that their stories are dying out in their communities. Moved by this concern, groups across the province have been working to create venues for community members and seniors to come together to share their ideas, experiences, memories, and traditional knowledge. This session looks at local programs to engage tradition bearers, while promoting pride in community history and traditional cultural activities, and conserving those stories in creative and innovative ways. From the merchants of Main Street, Windsor, to the goats of New Perlican, to the traditional narratives of new Canadians, we examine the stories told here.

Presenters: Jillian Gould (Bay Roberts Folklore Field School Program); Audrey Burke (Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society); Eileen Matthews (Heritage New Perlican); Local Immigration Partnership (City of St. John’s); Neil Burgess (Shipwreck Preservation Society of NL). Moderated by Kathi Stacey (Legendary Coasts).


Session Four: Safeguarding Living Heritage Across Canada

Across Canada, there is a growing recognition of the importance of intangible cultural heritage, and many jurisdictions are developing programs and projects to address traditional culture, language, and indigenous knowledge. This session starts with the work underway in the northern part of our province, with the research being done in Nunatsiavut in order to ensure the continuing vitality of Labrador Inuit culture. From there, we head west, with stops in Quebec, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, looking at recent approaches to conserving living heritage and ICH.

Presenters: Tom Gordon (Nunatsiavut); Laurier Turgeon (Laval); Beth Hanna (Ontario Heritage Trust); Ingrid Cazakoff (Heritage Saskatchewan).


Session Five: Close to the Floor – Dance Traditions in NL

We close off the first day of the ICH with a bang – a look at the living dance traditions of Newfoundland and Labrador! We’ll talk about step dancing, set dancing, and the work to conserve one of our most vibrant (and fun) traditions. Bring your dancing shoes!

Presenters:  Kristin Harris Walsh (Memorial U); Jane Rutherford (Memorial U). Moderated by Colleen Quigley (Memorial U), with some special guests!

Thursday, October 26, 2017 (Morning) – The Lantern, 35 Barnes Road

Session: Looking Forward, Making a Plan

During the morning of October 26 participants will help us to plan priorities for the next 10 years of ICH work in the province. Come have your say about what work needs to happen next!

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Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Architects 2017 Architecture Lecture Series

Wednesday (Evening) October 25, 2017 – Yellowbelly Brewery, 288 Water Street

7:00 – 8:00 pm – Reception
8:00 pm – Lecture
FREE, no registration required

Speaker – Lola Sheppard B.Arch, M.Arch, OAA, OAQ/ Lateral Office and University of Waterloo School of Architecture

Lola Sheppard is a founding partner, with Mason White, of Lateral Office, a Toronto based practice, and she is Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo.

Lateral Office is an architecture practice that operates at the intersection of architecture, landscape, and urbanism. The studio describes its practice process as a commitment to design as a research vehicle to pose and respond to complex, urgent questions in the built environment, engaging in the wider context and climate of a project– social, ecological, or political. Lateral Office is particularly interested in contemporary vernaculars and the role of spatial practices in the era of globalization. Sheppard and White’s work has been exhibited extensively and they have lectured across the USA, Canada and Europe. They have won numerous National and international design awards.


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Folk Night Traditional Acoustic Session

Wednesday (Evening) October 25, 2017 – The Ship Pub, Solomon’s Lane, 265 Duckworth Street

9:00pm – 11:30pm
Admission is $5 cash at the door

Every Wednesday, music lovers and performers convene for Folk Night at The Ship Pub on Solomon’s Lane (265 Duckworth St.) – St. John’s oldest, continually-running, live music event, organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society. Started in 1974, Folk Night starts at 9:00 p.m. and runs until 11:30 p.m. Come out to enjoy amazing, well attended performances. October 25th is a traditional acoustic session, with tunes around the table all night!


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Workshop on Adapting NL’s Historic Religious Places

Thursday, October 26, 2017 (Afternoon) – Cochrane Centre, 81 Cochrane Street

Churches and religious organizations today are facing significant challenges to maintain their historic buildings in the face of declining congregations and volunteer bases and the costs of operating and maintaining often large, ornate buildings.  An increasing number of churches are being closed and sold and even demolished, sometimes resulting in conflict within the community.  This half day session will provide useful information and tools to religious organizations on the management of historic ecclesiastical buildings.

Presenters: To be Announced

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Reception for delegates attending Conference on Adapting NL’s Historic Places

Thursday (Evening), October 26, 2017 – Spirit of Newfoundland, 6 Cathedral Street  

Join fellow conference goers for an evening of conversation, finger food and refreshments (cash bar) at the historic St. John’s Masonic Temple. Entertainment by Kelly Russell. Please note that pre-registration is required.

A professional musician since 1975, Kelly Russell has been a member of landmark groups Figgy Duff, The Wonderful Grand Band, The Plankerdown Band, Bristol’s Hope, Kelly Russell & The Planks and The Irish Descendants. Working closely for many years with legendary fiddlers Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit, learning, recording and documenting their unique music, Kelly has inherited genuine status as one of Newfoundland’s leading traditional music performers.

Kelly has been awarded the Nfld & Lab Arts Council Award for Music (1987), twice awarded the Tourism Industry Association Certificate of Recognition (1991 & 1997), the prestigious Marius Barbeau Award (1997) for his contribution to Canadian Folklore and the City of St. John’s Legend Award (1999). In 2010, Kelly was the first ever recipient of the “Tradition Bearer” designation from NL’s Provincial Historic Commemorations Program. In 2013 Kelly received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and is a member of The Order of Canada.

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Conference on Adapting NL’s Historic Places

Friday, October 27, 2017 – Gower Street United Church, 99 Queen’s Road  

Session One:  Plenary Panel Session – The Context for Change

Newfoundland and Labrador is facing change on every front.  Rural populations are declining rendering many historic churches and community structures redundant.  New models of doing business are being introduced that impact how people use and lease building space and social enterprise offers hope for managing heritage buildings for which there may not be a business case in the regular market economy.  New technologies can help in the preservation of historic structures and in adapting them to modern needs and standards.  These and other issues and trends will be explored that help set the stage for adapting heritage to today and into the future. This moderated session will set the context for the conference by examining the issues and trends that heritage needs to respond to in Newfoundland and Labrador.  A variety of panelists will explore such topics as social, demographic, economic and cultural trends in the province and beyond that will impact heritage in the coming decades.

Panelists:  Rob Greenwood (Harris Centre, Memorial University); Mark Thompson Brandt (MTBA Associates, Ottawa); Robert Pajot (Canada’s National Trust, Ottawa); Dave Lane (Common Ground, St. John’s); Neil Hardy (Altus, St. John’s)


Session Two:  Concurrent Sessions – Adaptive Reuse

Redundant or under-utilized heritage structures need to find new uses if they are to have a continued life.  How does a community go about deciding on sustainable new uses?  What are appropriate design interventions in historic buildings? What is the business case for adaptive reuse? There are countless examples from around the world in communities both large and small of successful adaptive reuse projects

Panel 1 – Design Issues: How new development meets old

This session will explore principles and approaches for adapting heritage buildings to new uses while respecting their heritage integrity.  While the Standards and Guidelines for the Preservation of Historic Places in Canada lay out principles for the appropriate treatment of heritage structures there are a variety of ways of interpreting them. Also to be explored will be the question of how one builds contemporary buildings within an historic neighbourhood or community.  A number of case studies will be presented.

Panelists:  Michael McLellan (ERA Architects, Toronto); Robert Mellin (McGill School of Architecture, McGill); Jessica Stanford (LAT49 Architecture, St. John’s)

Panel 2 – The Dollars and Sense of Heritage

Panelists will explore the economics of heritage in terms of making heritage adaptive reuse projects financially feasible.  What can governments do to enhance the viability of commercial heritage development projects through planning and incentives?  What innovative financing models/approaches exist to undertake heritage adaptive reuse projects? What is the role of developers?  Of the public and community sectors?

Panelists:  Robert Shipley (Professor Emeritus, U Waterloo); Duncan Whitcomb (Martek Property Management, St. John’s); Neil Hardy (Altus, St. John’s)

Panel 3 – Innovative Models for Managing/Utilizing/Financing Heritage Structures

This session looks at innovative models for financing and managing heritage buildings that include:  a St. John’s church that was able to keep its doors open by setting up a new management structure; a new way of leasing office space in heritage buildings that supports business startups; new ways of fundraising for and financing heritage projects.

Panelists: Robert Pajot (Regeneration Program, Canada’s National Trust, Ottawa); Cochrane Street United Church, St. John’s; Dave Lane (Common Ground, St. John’s)


Session Three:  Concurrent Sessions – Innovative Management of Heritage Resources and Ensuring Sustainability  

New ways of doing things: technologies; operational models, innovative financing can help us to ensure the sustainability of heritage resources.  Good consultative processes can help communities to identify what is important to them in terms of their heritage resources and and can help create community buy-in for planning measure to protect heritage resources.

Panel 1 – Identifying Adaptive Reuse Opportunities

Your community has one or more vacant or under-utilized heritage structures. How does one go about identifying sustainable opportunities/building program for adaptive reuse?  How do we encourage thinking outside of the box? What is the role of the community?  Of the community sector?  Of the business community?  What are other heritage assets that can be used to create enterprise and activity in the community?

Panelists:  Phil Evans (ERA Architects, Toronto); John Norman (Bonavista Living, Bonavista); Jerry Dick (Heritage Foundation NL, St. John’s)

Panel 2 – Adapting to Regulations and Codes

Modern building codes and regulations can often create significant challenges for heritage buildings that were constructed long before such regulations existed.  How can one adapt heritage buildings to comply without breaking the bank or compromising heritage integrity?  The session will provide information on how to deal with building regulations and innovative approaches to adapting to them.

Panelists:  Jim Donovan (retired Fire Commissioner, City of Halifax); Jim Case (Lat 49 Architecture, St. John’s)

Panel 3 – The Importance of Cultural Landscapes:  Aboriginal Perspectives

Our heritage is about much more than our historic structures.  It is, in a very significant way, about the land that we inhabit:  our natural inheritance; traces of past human habitation; stories, human practices and ritual in the landscape and spiritual significance that give us meaning today.  This session will explore ways in which cultural landscapes having meaning for Aboriginal communities and in which they are seeking to protect them that will provide useful perspectives for all Canadians.

Panelists:  Lisa Prosper (Cultural Heritage Professional, Inuvik, Northwest Territories); Jamie Brake (Nunatsiavut Government, Labrador); Mitch Blanchard (Qualipu Cultural Foundation, NL)


Session Four:  Concurrent Sessions – Evolving Meanings of Heritage for the Present and Future

In a world of rapid cultural, social and economic shifts what is the place of heritage?  How can we ensure that heritage is relevant to individuals and communities today and not just the preserve of a small group of heritage advocates?  How can heritage contribute to our quality of life and the future of our communities?  What will be the heritage of the future?  These are some of the questions that we will be exploring in this theme area.

Panel 1 – Making Newfoundland and Labrador’s Heritage of the Future

This session will explore how we build buildings today.  In a world of increasing uniformity and throw away buildings constructed to last a few decades how should we be building so that people of the future will care enough about places to preserve them?  What are approaches and principles that we could apply that would ensure that new buildings, infrastructure and landscape design are of this time but also of this place?

Panelists:  Lola Sheppard (U Waterloo School of Architecture); Taryn Sheppard (Woodford Sheppard Architects, St. John’s); Matthew Brown (Ekistics Plan and Design, Halifax)

Panel 2 – Heritage and Technology

This session will look at “Smart Heritage” and how technology can help owners of heritage buildings by making them more affordable to upgrade, operate and manage.  Also considered will be new digital mapping technology for the documentation of heritage structures.  Also discussed will be the need for holistic approaches to understanding historic buildings (e.g., building envelope and passive building systems) when deciding on appropriate interventions.

Panelists:  Chris Foran (SDMM Land Surveyors, Halifax); Mark Thompson Brandt (MTBA Associates, Ottawa); Grant Genova (Fresh Fruit & Architecture, St. John’s)

Panel 3 – Heritage as a Tool for Community Revitalization

There are numerous examples in the province and beyond of communities that have utilized their heritage resources as a tool for community revitalization.  This session will look at a number of successful case studies, highlighting the processes and tools used.

Panelists:  Robert Pajot (Regeneration Program, Canada’s National Trust, Ottawa); David Bradley (Bonavista Historic Townscape Foundation); John Norman (Bonavista Living)


Saturday, October 28, 2017 (Morning) – Gower Street United Church, 99 Queen’s Road

Session One:  Plenary Panel Session – Perspectives on Heritage and Sustainability

While the ability to preserve and sustain heritage buildings is a lot about dollars and cents, there are other aspects that fit into the sustainability equation such as community identity, pride, the maintenance of a distinctive culture, and the social benefits of heritage.  Two speakers will share their thoughts based on their work in two communities in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Presenters:  David Bradley (Bonavista Historic Townscape Foundation); and TBA


Session Two:  Plenary Panel Session – Place-making and Heritage: The Role of Stories

Historic places are about more than their style of construction and age.  They are the embodiment of memories and stories that give them meaning and a sense of identity for people and contribute to conviviality and community.  This session will explore the role of stories and narrative in place-making and how we can incorporate our stories to give historic places relevance for people today.

Presenters:  Dale Jarvis (Heritage Foundation NL); Kristin Catherwood (Saskatchewan Heritage); Chris Brooks (Battery Radio, St. John’s)

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Post-Conference Tool Kit

The conference is intended to provide a combination of practical information and case studies that communities and property owners can apply to their own heritage buildings along with some thought-provoking ideas about how we think about heritage in the present and going into the future.  Each of the sessions will seek to capture and distill some principles or lessons learned about the adaptation of heritage.  These will be put together into a “toolkit” for distribution after the concert to be available to a broader audience.

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Art Projects

Another dimension of the conference will be the showcasing of commissioned arts projects by Newfoundland and Labrador artists, that will explore concepts such as:

  • What heritage means today and its role in our contemporary society
  • The connection between “heritage” and “place”
  • Evolving heritage

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