Nfld. & Labrador

Intangible cultural heritage earns tangible award — and cash — for Heritage NL

Newfoundland and Labrador has an abundance of traditions, wisdom and skills — just some of what's known as intangible cultural heritage — and now has an award to prove it.

Foundation the first-ever recipients of the award, worth $10,000 US

Dale Jarvis was in South Korea recently to accept an international award to the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador for promoting intangible cultural heritage. (Dale Jarvis/Twitter)

Newfoundland and Labrador has an abundance of traditions, wisdom and skills — just some of what's known as intangible cultural heritage — and now has an award to prove it.

Dale Jarvis, Newfoundland folklorist and Heritage Foundation NL development officer, recently accepted an international award in South Korea for the Crown agency's efforts in promoting intangible cultural heritage.

"The work we do with Heritage NL is really community-based. So I'm always out, we're also working with communities and developing community projects, and I think that's one of the reasons why they were really impressed with out work," Jarvis told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

This was the first year the Jeonju International Award, valued at $10,000 US, was handed out, making Heritage NL its first-ever recipient. 

Heritage NL applied for the award several months ago, Jarvis said, and was one of three finalists, out of 48 applicants from 36 different countries. 

Jarvis took in a workshop held by a master artist who creates traditional Korean fans. (Dale Jarvis/Twitter)

Jarvis said his favourite part was meeting people from all over the world who share a burning interest in keeping heritage alive in their home countries. 

"The award ceremony was very nice and people have been very generous, but having the opportunity to speak with the international scholars, the international participants and getting to getting to see some of the thing they're doing here in Jeonju — Jeonju city is really passionate about their heritage," he said. 

"I got to spend about an hour or so with a traditional Korean paper and bamboo fan maker. [A] really impressive body of knowledge."

Jarvis said he's coming home with more than just some hardware. He said he's going to bring with him some new ideas he has picked up from other folklorists while in Korea.

Jarvis stayed in Korea after the award ceremony to give a presentation on N.L. heritage programs at the 2019 World Forum for Intangible Cultural Heritage at the National Intangible Heritage Center.

"It's going to be another great experience to share ideas and share best practices for the work we're doing," he said.

"This has been great. Just being able to walk around the city and visit the traditional markets, seeing craftspeople at work, tasting all the food, it's a great opportunity for a folklorist."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from The St. John's Morning Show

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