What is the Provincial Historic Commemorations Program (PHCP)?
The PHCP is a citizen-driven program that allows for the commemoration of aspects of our history and culture that are of provincial significance. The establishment of a Provincial Historic Commemorations Program allows us to better recognize, honour and interpret our cultural and historic treasures. This program is distinct for its recognition of the intangible aspects of Newfoundland and Labrador’s culture and heritage – the customs, cultural practices, traditional skills and knowledge that define the province and its people.
Nominations fall under the categories of:
- Exceptional People from the Past
- Outstanding Historic Events
- Unique Places
- Distinctive Cultural Traditions and Practices
- Tradition Bearers
Nominations are reviewed by the Provincial Historic Commemorations Committee. Successful nominations should demonstrate that the subject influenced Newfoundland and Labrador’s history, culture and way of life, and that its impact is recognized as provincially significant.
What is Intangible Cultural Heritage?
The 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage defines intangible cultural heritage as the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, and skills that communities, groups and (in some cases) individuals recognize as part of their shared cultural heritage.
The UNESCO Convention further defines intangible cultural heritage as traditions and customs that:
- are transmitted from generation to generation
- are constantly recreated by communities and groups, in response to their environment, their interaction with nature, and their history
- provide communities and groups with a sense of identity and continuity
- promote respect for cultural diversity and human creativity
- are compatible with international human rights instruments
- comply with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, and of sustainable development
According to the Convention, intangible cultural heritage is conveyed, practised, and shared through:
- Oral traditions and expressions
- Performing arts, such as traditional music, dance, and theatre
- Social practices, rituals, and festive events
- Knowledge and practices that involve or concern nature and the universe
- Traditional craftsmanship
For further information on the UNESCO Convention, visit www.unesco.org/culture/ich/
About the Provincial Historic Commemorations Committee
The Provincial Historic Commemorations Committee includes representatives from a range of citizens who have far-reaching experience in the fields of culture and heritage. The six-member advisory committee meets biannually to review public nominations for commemorative designation.
Current PHC Committee Members
A resident of St. John’s, Jerry Dick is the Executive Director of Heritage NL. He served as Director of Heritage with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador from 2006-2016. Prior to that, he was executive director of the Association of Heritage Industries, an umbrella organization of provincial heritage groups in Newfoundland and Labrador. His professional experience includes interpretive planning/exhibit design and community development. He has also been the operator of a heritage inn. Mr. Dick has supervised the restoration of a number of heritage buildings and is a Southcott Award winner for the restoration of Garrison House in Harbour Grace.