The Neighbours: St. John’s is an app for Android and iOS devices that presents fascinating stories from cultural communities in and around St. John’s. Created by award-winning radio documentarian Chris Brookes, the app enables users to take a walking tour of downtown St. John’s and Middle Cove Beach, and hear stories associated with individual locations. Users can also hear the stories by clicking on icons on a map within the app itself. Listen to local Member of the House of Assembly and social activist Lorraine Michael tell the story of her family’s Lebanese grocery store, Mi’kmaq artist Jerry Evans talk about the Shanawdithit monument in Bannerman Park and his connection to Beothuk history, and realtor Bob Button describe his childhood memories of running wine and fetching soccer balls from the St. John’s harbour for Portuguese fishermen. Each story is accompanied by new and archival photographs, storyteller bios, and information about the communities and historical events. The stories range from comical reflections on local traditions and experiences to tales that address the challenges faced by newcomers to the province. Discover the diversity and richness of St. John’s as you walk or from the comfort of your home! The app is available as a free download for iOS and Android devices through the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. The app uses your phone’s build-in GPS. It requires no cell connection and there are no data charges.
The project builds on an oral history project undertaken by the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place (MMaP) between 2009 and 2011 that focused on cultural diversity in St. John’s. An accompanying website, to be completed in 2018, will feature over 60 audio stories from that project: www.mun.ca/neighbours/.
The Neighbours: St. John’s phone app is part of the Back on Track Audio Publication Series produced by the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place at Memorial University of Newfoundland.