About the Provincial Historic Commemorations Program (PHCP)?

The PHCP is a citizen-driven program that commemorates aspects of our history and culture that are of provincial significance. The PHCP recognizes, honours and interprets our cultural and historic treasures. The program is unique for its recognition of intangible aspects of our culture and heritage – the customs, practices, skills and knowledge that define us. The program recognizes subjects that have a broad impact on the province as a whole. Subjects with a more regional impact may also be recognized.

Designations under the PHCP

Click here to view PHCP designations. 

Nominations fall under the categories of:

  • Tradition Bearers
  • Exceptional People 
  • Outstanding Historic Events
  • Distinctive Cultural Traditions and Practices
  • Unique Places

Nominations are reviewed by the PHCP Committee. Successful nominations should be of provincial significance and should have influenced Newfoundland and Labrador’s collective history, culture and way of life.

How to Make A Nomination

  1. Read the Program guidelines. Click here.
  2. Complete a nomination form. Click here.
  3. Submit your nomination. They are accepted anytime.
  4. FAQs? Click here.

What happens after I send in my nomination?

Receipt of the nomination will be acknowledged by phone or email. The nomination will be reviewed for completeness and eligibility. Additional information may be sought if requirements are not met. The submission will be forwarded to the Provincial Historic Commemorations Committee (PHCC) for consideration.

The PHCC evaluates the nomination according to the criteria for each category and compiles a preliminary list of candidates for designation. Research papers are then commissioned to assist the PHCC in its review. This may take some time depending on resources.

On average, 2-5 commemorations are designated each year. The application and designation process takes about 12-18 months.

Successful nominations are commemorated through a ceremony and online multi-media.

PHCP Committee

The PHCP Committee includes representatives who have far-reaching experience in culture and heritage. The committee meets biannually to review nominations. Current Committee Members are:

  • Joan Ritcey (Chair)
  • Dr. Olaf Janzen
  • Dr. Lisa M. Daly
  • Dr. W. Gordon Handcock
  • Andrea O’Brien (Heritage NL)

Joan Ritcey lives in St. John’s and works as a freelance book and map appraiser, and book indexer. An academic librarian since 1980, including 20 years as Head of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, she retired from Memorial University in 2018. She has been very active in community heritage, having served on the planning committees for 18 history symposia and as president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association, the Newfoundland and Labrador Historical Society and the Historic Sites Association.

Dr. Olaf Janzen retired in 2017 as Professor of History after 38 years’ service at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has been a member of several other organizations, including the Newfoundland Historical Society. Dr. Janzen’s research specialization has been the trade, society and defence of eighteenth-century Newfoundland, and he has published a number of papers on those themes in peer-reviewed journals, including Newfoundland & Labrador Studies. In 2013, a collection of many of those papers was released by the International Maritime Economic History Association under the title War and Trade in Eighteenth-Century Newfoundland. He also contributed the chapter on the eighteenth century in A Short History of Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s, 2008). He continues to build and maintain an on-line “Reader’s Guide to the History of Newfoundland and Labrador to 1869”, and he also continues to develop finding aids to two series of eighteenth-century manuscripts which are also accessible on-line. He is an active member of the Corner Brook Museum and Archives Board of Directors.

Dr. Lisa M. Daly has worked as Archaeological Project Manager for the province of New Brunswick, as coordinator for the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum and as a private tour guide/step-on guide for Wildland Tours in St. John’s. She has volunteered with various heritage organizations, including Heritage Tomorrow NL, and started her career in heritage in 2001 with a summer position at the Provincial Archives of NL. She holds a B.A. (hons.) from Memorial University in Physical Anthropology (Archaeology), an M.Sc. from Bournemouth University in Forensic and Biological Anthropology, a diploma in Heritage Resources from Memorial, as well as her Ph.D. in Archaeology, also from MUN. Lisa specialized in aviation archaeology, and has visited sites in Gander, Stephenville, Burgoyne’s Cove, Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, Goose Bay, and in Labrador. Beyond the actual archaeology, she has been researching the province’s aviation history and sharing it on her blog planecrashgirl.ca.

Dr. W. Gordon Handcock Professor Emeritus in Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, was born in Eastport, NL and now resides in Mount Pearl and Salvage. He graduated from Memorial with a BA (Ed) in 1964, a BA (Hons) in 1966 and a MA in Geography in 1970. He received a PhD in Geography from the University of Birmingham in England in 1979, concentrating on English-Newfoundland origins, migrations and settlement patterns.

Dr. Handcock began his career as a high school teacher. From 1970 until 1996, he was a faculty member of the Department of Geography at Memorial and taught courses in rural, historical and cultural geography. In 1996 he became honorary research professor in Geography at Memorial and in 2004 emeritus professor in Geography.

Dr. Handcock made major contributions to the Historical Atlas of Canada, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, the Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. His book Soe Long as There Comes no Women: English Migration and Settlement in Newfoundland was awarded a Regional History Certificate of Merit by the Canadian Historical Society in 1991. He received the Newfoundland Historical Society Heritage Award for 1995-96. He served as the provincial representative on the Historic Sites and Monuments of Canada for nine years and was a member of the Canadian Geographical Names Board of Canada for 33 years. He was chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Geographical Names Board from 1990-2018. He was a founding member of the Battle Harbour Historic Trust, vice-chair of the Trinity Trust Foundation, and served on heritage advisory committees for the Ryan Premises at Bonavista, the Bonavista Landscape Project, the Port Union Restoration Project and the Red Bay Basque Whaling site.

Andrea O’Brien has a BA focusing on folklore, history, Newfoundland Studies and English, a Bachelor of Education and an MA in folklore all from Memorial University. She serves as Heritage NL’s Register of Historic Places, Municipal Outreach Officer, Youth Heritage Places Poster Contest coordinator and web manager. Andrea has been involved in the province’s heritage sector academically and professionally since the early 1990s, including 8 summer seasons at the Colony of Avalon in Ferryland and student employment at MUN’s Folklore and Language Archives. She is also a founding board member of the Mummers Festival.

For more information contact Heritage NL

Andrea O’Brien – andrea@heritagenl.ca or 709-739-1892 extension 4