Dale Jarvis uses storytelling and folklore to capture intangible cultural heritage

Working with communities around Newfoundland and Labrador, Dale Jarvis uses folklore to capture the spirit of places. Dale has been the Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for the province since 2008. Dale’s passion for storytelling is contagious and his ability to capture history and traditions in creative ways invigorates people everywhere he goes, whether its travelling throughout his home province or delivering presentations or guest lectures at conferences around the world.

Feature photo credit: Chris Hibbs

Among many other awards and distinctions, Dale was recently awarded a Jeonju International Award in Korea for Promoting Intangible Cultural Heritage, which recognizes the safeguarding and capacity building in communities to realize and celebrate rich cultural traditions. Dale’s initiatives celebrate, record, disseminate and promote living heritage within diverse cultural groups in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dale Jarvis conducting an oral history interview in Marysvale, NL. Photo credit: Heritage NL

In addition to his professional work with the province, Dale is passionate about inspiring the next generation of folklorists and community cultural workers. A member of the Department of Folklore, he has taught classes that look at public folklore, community, and place as they simultaneously co-exist within “living heritage”. He also teaches a variety of workshops for the general public on storytelling, oral history and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.

Dale also hosts the “Living Heritage Podcast” where he interacts with many different types of people engaged in the heritage sector including museum professionals, policy makers, historians, and community research groups. He explores each of their roles in the safeguarding of culture and traditions as a cross-section of the multifaceted concept of living heritage.

Next time you find yourself in St. John’s, Newfoundland, sign-up for a haunted walk. Dale first developed the haunted walks in 1997 to get people excited about history by framing it in interesting ways. These storytelling-based performances have become a well-known attraction for tourists and locals alike.

You can follow Dale Jarvis on social media @dalejarvis, listen to Living Heritage Podcast, or read more on his blog at www.ichblog.ca.