Currently at Commemorations

New Designations Announced

Event takes place in Black Duck Brook

Read More >

New Designations to be Announced

Ceremony to be held Oct 18 2013

Read More >

Kelly Russell Legacy Project

Kelly Russell Legacy Project

Read More >

About the Program

What is the Provincial Historic Commemorations Program (PHCP)?

The PHCP is a citizen-driven program of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador 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:

Nominations are reviewed by the Provincial Historic Commemorations Board. 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

About the Provincial Historic Commemorations Board

The Provincial Historic Commemorations Board (PHCB) is appointed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Its representatives are drawn 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, and advise the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation about commemoration designations. Board meetings are held in camera and recommendations remain confidential until the Minister has reviewed and approved them.

Current PHC Board Members


October 2013: (L-R) Jerry Dick, Gary Baikie, Françoise Enguehard, Bob Hobbs, Terry Bishop-Stirling (Absent: Anita Best)

Françoise Enguehard (Chair)

Françoise Enguehard is a journalist/writer/consultant with extensive knowledge and experience of the French community and French history in this province. She coordinated activities around the 500th anniversary of the French presence in Newfoundland and Labrador and is currently president of the Société Nationale de l'Acadie (National Acadian Society). She has written extensively on historical subjects, including a historical novel. Ms. Enguehard is originally from St. Pierre et Miquelon, and has been living in St. John's for 34 years.

Terry Bishop Stirling (Vice-Chair)

A native of St. John's, Terry Bishop Stirling is a professor of history at Memorial University with specialties in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador and women's history. She is former president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Historical Society and is one of the province's leading experts on Newfoundland and Labrador history.

Gary Baikie

A resident of Nain, Gary Baikie is employed as a visitor experience co-ordinator with Parks Canada, designing experiential programs for visitors to Torngat Mountains National Park and marketing the park at the local, provincial and national level. He is the owner of Thule Consulting  Incorporated, which conducts work in the area of archaeological consulting and assessments under the Historic Resources Act of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is a former director of the Torngasok Cultural Centre in Nain.

Anita Best

With degrees in arts and education, and graduate work in folklore, Anita Best has been involved over the past 30 years in teaching, as well as in raising awareness of the province's intangible cultural heritage. She is one of the province's best-known performers of traditional song and has taught a course in Newfoundland and Labrador folksong at Memorial University's School of Music. In addition, she has been actively involved in cultural policy development within the province. Ms. Best lives in Norris Point, where she works with Memorial University at the Bonne Bay Marine Station.

Jerry Dick

A resident of St. John's, Jerry Dick has served as Director of Heritage with the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation since April 2006. 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.

Robert Hobbs

Robert Hobbs possesses a broad background in history, geography, and economics. He holds a bachelor of education from the University of Alberta with a major in history and minors in geography and economics. He has taught in these subjects for over 30 years, mainly at the high school level, including a Newfoundland and Labrador culture course. Mr. Hobbs resides in and is the mayor of Bishop's Falls.