Craft at Risk

Recipient of the 2023 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming
November 14, 2023

Heritage NL, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Craft at Risk was an ambitious project to research, assess, and address the loss of traditional knowledge and craft in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Through more than sixty-five training events throughout the province, the project team worked with community members and craftspeople to deliver interactive, introductory workshops on historic skills. Heritage NL also offered an immersive apprenticeship program, where participants worked with a skilled mentor to learn a craft that was listed as endangered or critically endangered.

The project team documented all of the activities with photographs, videos, and oral history interviews. This material is now publicly available through a digital archive and is being shared widely through social media channels. In total, the initiative has helped preserve more than twenty crafts, from bark tanning to komatik (sled) making to letterpress printing, revitalizing a wide range of traditions and skills.

Craft at Risk engaged more than 1,000 participants in fifty communities with the rich, cultural traditions of Newfoundland and Labrador. It serves as a model of intergenerational learning and for safeguarding cultural knowledge and skills for future generations.