ITMA to have 'A Grand Time' in Newfoundland

‘A Grand Time: The songs, music, and dance of Newfoundland’s Cape Shore’ is ITMA’s newest digital resource. With the support of Culture Ireland and local partners in Newfoundland, ITMA is unveiling the project at a series of events scheduled for 1–4 August 2018.

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A time (aka, kitchen party) at the Roche's house, Branch, St Mary's Bay, Newfoundland, Canada. Left to right: Debbie Careen, Rita Roche, Henry Nash & Audrey Roche (Photo: Aidan O'Hara, used with permission).

In 1993, Aidan O’Hara donated a collection of more than 130 audio reel-to-reels and tape cassettes to the Irish Traditional Music Archive, the majority of which he recorded between 1974 and 1978 while resident in Newfoundland. Scheduled to launch on 1 August 2018, ‘A Grand Time’ makes available for the first time more than 60 historical sound recordings of songs, stories, and music from this collection. Best of all, it's freely available to users. 

With the support of Culture Ireland and local partners in Newfoundland, Aidan & Joyce O’Hara will join ITMA Director Grace Toland, ITMA Project lead Rebecca Draisey-Collishaw, and ITMA Field Recording Officer Brian Doyle, to unveil the project at a series of homecoming events scheduled for 1–4 August 2018. 

  • A Grand Time in Branch, Wednesday, 1 August 2018. A community celebration of the songs, music, and dance of the Cape Shore. Listen to historic recordings, swap songs, and visit with Aidan and Joyce O’Hara, as well as the ITMA team.
  • A Grand Time at The Rooms, Thursday, 2 August 2018. Learn about ITMA and the process of preparing this online exhibition. The ITMA team will be joined by a few singers from the Cape Shore (including Eta Nash, Vince Roche, and Eugene Mooney), as well as poet and playwright Agnes Walsh.
  • A Grand Time at NL Folk Festival, Saturday, 4 August 2018. Aidan O’Hara’s integral involvement in setting up NL Folk Festival during the 1970s makes this a fitting final event for a week of celebrations. Singer Anita Best will host a workshop featuring, among others, Carolann and Juanita Lyver, Vince Roche, and Eugene Mooney.

This new exhibition celebrates Newfoundland’s unique song, music, and dance traditions, while observing strong connections to Ireland. It also pays tribute to 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Aidan O’Hara for his remarkable work in documenting, preserving, and promoting Newfoundland-Irish cultural traditions.