Anita Best has spent a lifetime exploring, cataloguing and celebrating
the rural Newfoundland lifestyle and culture. In the process she has become
one of the province's most prominent traditional singers.
Born on Merasheen Island in Placentia Bay (since abandoned under the
resettlement program), Best has worked as an educator, archivist, folklorist,
broadcaster and singer. A particular interest in oral history - songs and
stories passed down through generations - lead to her performing career.
She has toured extensively as a storyteller and singer, made numerous
television and radio appearances and added her voice to several Newfoundland
recordings. She is best known for two albums: The Colour Of Amber, a
collaboration with Pamela Morgan, was released in 1993. Crosshanded,
a collection of twelve songs for solo voice, followed a few years later. In
these recordings and in her performances, Best tends to forego the standard
Newfoundland repertoire in favour of the lesser known songs and stories
collected from around the province.
|Anita Best, n.d.
Anita Best is one of Newfoundland's most talented traditional singers.
Photo by Denice Grant. Courtesy of Amber Music.
Anita Best is also the co-author of the folk song collection Come And
I Will Sing You. She has worked with numerous folk arts councils and
heritage groups, organizing concerts and other folklore events. She has
received several awards and honours for her contributions to heritage
preservation and the cultural life of the province.
© 2001, Jamie Fitzpatrick