Culture, technology make ideal pilot site
by Deana Stokes Sullivan. The Telegram
November 27, 1997. Copyright © 1997, The Telegram. Reprinted with permission. The Telegram can be reached on the web at
Thomas Axworthy, executive director
of the CRB Foundation, describes
Newfoundland as "a place where heritage comes alive in everyone's conversation."
So what better place for a pilot project,
creating the first national historic
website to eventually lead to widespread historical
links throughout the country by 2000?
The availability of communications
technology in Newfoundland, combined with
the province's heightened
awareness of culture, has made it an
ideal location, Axworthy said Tuesday.
The Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage Web Site, which was officially
opened during a ceremony Tuesday, is a
Joint project of Memorial University's
Smallwood Centre for Newfoundland
Studies and the CRB Foundation,
named after Charles R. Bronfman.
Bronfman and his wife, Andrea,
established the family foundation in
Montreal. In 1991, along with the help
of other corporations and organizations
They launched a heritage project.
The foundation is probably best
known for its heritage minutes, short
film strips aired on television about
events in Canadian history.
But its heritage project has four
components - media, outreach, education
and new technologies.
In the area of technology, Axworthy
said, Newfoundland schools are probably
the best linked across the country.
The goal of the foundation's Canada
2000 initiative is to see heritage web
sites established in 2,000 Canadian
Work on the Newfoundland website
began in February. A faculty member
with The Smallwood Centre serves, as
site editor, while undergraduate students
have been hired as assistants on a
variety of grants.
The site contains six main categories
- natural environment, aboriginal peoples,
exploration and settlement, law
and government, society and the arts.
Its aim is to provide students and the
public with a wide range of information
on the province's history, culture and
Getting youth involved in learning
about their history is also the main goal
of the CRB foundation's heritage fair
But Axworthy said, the heritage fairs
involve "hands-on learning."
"Young people get involved in their own heritage,"
he said. "The kids and Schools really throw themselves into it."
Last year, Newfoundland students
came up with "tremendous projects," he
said, some focusing on the fishery and
local cuisine. There were students who
were excellent musicians and dancers
who demonstrated their talents as part
of the overall fair, said Axworthy.
Newfoundland students are now
preparing to host the second heritage
fair next May.
More than 50,000 people participated
in exhibitions this year in about 30
communities throughout the country.
The goal is to increase annual participation
to about 150,000, said Axworthy.
Each province will select 15 students
to represent them at a national exhibition.
During a visit to the province this
week, Axworthy said, he also intended
to visit archeological sites on the
Southern Shore, including Ferryland
and Bay Bulls, to get possible ideas for
The CRB's heritage minutes.
He said more than 100 ideas have
been submitted to the foundation from
across the country. To date, the foundation
has produced 60 heritage minutes.
More information about the heritage
fairs can be obtained by calling 1-800-
The Newfoundland website can be
reached at the URL address of
Sidebar updated April, 2007.