Music & Performing Arts
Around here, music is part of the natural and cultural landscape. You can find it practically everywhere you go - from kitchens and pubs to concert halls and festivals in every corner of the province.
The traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador is rooted in Irish, Scottish, English, and French music. Thanks to bands like Figgy Duff, Great Big Sea, and musicians like Ron Hynes, and legendary fiddlers like Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit, it's known throughout the world.
Feel free to clap and stomp along to jigs and reels featuring fiddles, accordions, and bodhran drums. Or get swept away by old Irish love songs passed down from generation to generation.
Spend an afternoon or an entire weekend sampling live traditional music at one of the many music and folk festivals hosted by communities across the province in celebration of everything from blueberries to squid to mussel beds.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, held the first weekend in August, features three days of lively traditional music in a picturesque downtown park in St. John's. And on the street made famous for the nightlife, both traditional and modern music fill the air at the annual George Street Festival. Other great excuses to celebrate music include Forteau's Bakeapple Folk Festival, Fogo's Brimstone Head Folk Festival and Black Duck Brook's Un Plaisir du Vieux Temps.
Newfoundland and Labrador has a thriving music scene filled with a diverse range of new music, including reggae, world, jazz, blues, rock, classical, and pop.
It's also become a hotbed of emerging artists, such as the critically acclaimed indie band Hey Rosetta!, rockers The Novaks, and Juno award-winning singer/songwriter Amelia Curran.
On any given day of the week, you'll come across live music playing in one of our iconic bars or clubs - particularly down on George Street, and be sure to visit the Ship Pub, St. John's most popular live music venue.
In the summer months, multi-genre music festivals span the province from east to west. There are many to choose from including Gros Morne Summer Music, the Tuckamore Festival, Festival 500, Sound Symposium, Salmon Festival, and Wreckhouse International Jazz & Blues Festival.
Newfoundland and Labrador is a creative powerhouse, and the dance scene is no exception, from cutting-edge contemporary to the most traditional forms of the art, passed down through generations.
Neighbourhood Dance Works is a company that has been leading the way in contemporary dance in the province for decades, attracting respected artists from far and wide to their annual Festival of New Dance, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Traditional dancing in the province – which includes strong Irish influences – has undergone a revival in the last few years, particularly in urban areas, and Dance Up, hosted by Kelly Russell and Tonya Kearley introduces visitors and locals to NL folk dancing. French Newfoundland has its own dance styles, as do aboriginal groups, and in St. John's, you can find recent immigrants teaching the dance styles of their homelands. There's everything from belly dancing to hip hop, Scottish, country, and salsa being taught and performed.
Original theatre is flourishing in Newfoundland and Labrador. And it's a great way to experience the vibrant culture, rich history, and natural creativity of the people.
Newfoundland and Labrador is home to many talented actors, playwrights, directors, producers, and several professional theatre companies.
You'll find live performances in St. John's year round, and throughout the summer season at annual theatre festivals held in Stephenville, Cow Head, Grand Bank, and Trinity.
Film & Television
Home to a host of talented actors, actresses, producers, and directors, Newfoundland and Labrador has been steadily making its mark in film and television in recent years. Major motion pictures filmed in and around the province include Rare Birds, Love & Savagery, and the international mini-series Random Passage. Most recently, the popular television series Republic of Doyle showcases our vibrant culture through the antics of a crime-fighting family of private detectives. The show, starring Allan Hawco, is set against the colourful backdrop of our capital city.