The Folk Festival is a great fit for Equinor. We know that folk music is an important part of our province’s cultural heritage, and it’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate the strong tradition of arts and culture in the province every year.

- Alex Collins, Head of Communications with Equinor Canada.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival is a three-day gathering that takes place every August in St. John’s. The Festival celebrates Newfoundland & Labrador heritage through traditional music, workshops, local arts and crafts, exposing festival-goers of all ages and from many different parts of the world to the province’s unique culture. 

It was the strong link with the province’s cultural heritage that attracted presenting sponsor Equinor Canada to the Festival.

The Folk Festival is a great fit for Equinor. We know that folk music is an important part of our province’s cultural heritage, and it’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate the strong tradition of arts and culture in the province every year.

- Alex Collins

“This sponsorship is so much more than Equinor giving us a cheque,” says Erin Whitney, Executive Director of the Newfoundland Folk Arts Society. “They’re interested in immersing their employees into the culture of the province in doing a barbecue for Equinor employees and families on Friday evening in one of the small tents.” 

Equinor provides financial sponsorship to the Folk Festival and works closely with the organizers on youth programming. “It gives us the opportunity to make an important investment in the community through the arts, and particularly with a focus on youth,” said Collins. “We believe that supporting individuals in the arts, early in their lives, really helps us, as a society, to achieve future progress.”

Equinor also sponsors the NewFound Talent Contest with MusicNL and has brought both partnerships together under the Folk Festival umbrella. Now as part of the Folk Festival, on Saturday night, you can find the NewFound Talent Contest, which is a competition for youth performers. “The talent you see on that stage is breathtaking. It’s such a great opportunity to give those young artists extra exposure,” says Collins. 

The Folk Festival incorporates diverse programming by partnering with local community organizations, like Dance NL, First Light Native Friendship Center, and Réseau Culturel Francophone de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador.

“The folk festival is a great organization for us to work with — they are so dedicated to supporting the culture of folk music in the province. We feel they have such strong community outreach; it’s something we’re really proud to be part of” said Collins.

 

Images courtesy of Alick Tsui, Evan Smith, and Joy Hecht.

Contributor bio

Alex Collins, Head of Communications,
Equinor Canada

In her role as Head of Communications, Alex manages strategic communications for Equinor in Canada, including project development, operations, and exploration activities, as well as government and stakeholder relations.

Contributor bio

Erin Whitney, Executive Director,
Newfoundland Folk Arts Society

Erin returned to St. John’s to take on the role of Executive Director of the NL Folk Arts Society in February of 2019. With a Masters in Folklore, Erin loves engaging and introducing people to the music and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador.