Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) encompasses the underlying fabric of our lives. The way we speak, the foods we eat, how we celebrate traditions all tell a story -- the story of who we are and the intangible values and beliefs we hold. It does not always leave a material record behind, but rather is passed from person to person and generation to generation. It is so deeply embedded in our cultural identities that we oftentimes take it for granted.
Saskatchewan’s cultural landscape is as diverse as its geography. By exploring ICH, individuals, communities and organizations can develop our understanding of our place(s) in the world and nurture our Living Heritage, thus improving our quality of life and the vitality of our communities.
UNESCO states that Intangible Cultural Heritage “…includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts…An understanding of the intangible cultural heritage of different communities helps with intercultural dialogue, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life. The importance of intangible cultural heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from one generation to the next.”
Awards in this category will be given to projects and initiatives that (must include at least one from the following list):
- Document ICH and living traditions (audio/video recordings, interviews, photographs, written narratives, etc.);
- Recognize and celebrate ICH with festivals and community events;
- Support and encourage the passing on of knowledge and skills; and
- Explore the potential of ICH as a resource for community development.
Examples of projects could include:
- Supporting the transmission and re-creation of traditional skills, crafts, and practices, oral traditions, etc.;
- Supporting the transmission of traditional knowledge;
- Language retention initiatives;
- Stories and storytelling initiatives/projects;
- Projects that both celebrate traditional practices (music, dance, theatre, social practices, festive events), and encourage deeper understanding of the values, beliefs, meanings, and teachings that go with them.