The Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (HSA) and the Mizzen Heritage Society (MHS) are pleased to announce the Heart’s Content Cable Conference, taking place September 9th and 10th in Heart’s Content. The conference is a part of the extended celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the successful completion of the transatlantic cable. It will feature guest speakers exploring a variety of topics related to the cable and to the community. Cyrus Field IV will be presenting a special session on the life of his great-great-grandfather, Cyrus Field, the American businessman who pioneered the cable laying. Conference registration is free of charge and the event is suitable for a general audience. More information can be found by visiting HistoricSites.ca.
Heart’s Content Cable Conference:
The core of the conference will be a series of presentations by guest speakers from Canada and the United States, exploring various topics including:
- The Architecture of Heart’s Content
- The Early Days of the Heart’s Content Cable Station
- Growing Up in a Cable Town
- Fathoming the Depths for the First Transatlantic Telegraph Cables
- Subsea Cables in Modern Times
- The Life of Cyrus Field
To compliment the talks, there will be guided tours of the heritage district and a performance of “A Grand Affair”, a theatrical re-enactment of the cable landing. The conference includes an opening reception at the Cable Station Museum, a Folk Night at the Fisherman’s Hall, and a Dinner and Dance to close out the festivities. Tickets to the three-course dinner can be purchased online or by calling (709) 753-5515. Registration for the conference is free of charge, thanks to generous funding from Canadian Heritage, the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD), and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
The Transatlantic Cable:
The successful completion of the transatlantic cable linking Valentia, Ireland to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland in 1866 was a ground-breaking event. Before the cable, the speed of communication between Europe and North America was tied to the speed of transportation, measured in days or weeks. Telegraphic communication via the cable linked the Old World with the New. It was the beginning of global communication, which changed the world forever.
The cable was also the greatest engineering feat of the 19th century. It was pioneered by Cyrus Field, an American businessman who founded the Atlantic Telegraph Company and saw to the successful completion of the first transatlantic cable.
Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador:
The Historic Sites Association is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the cultural heritage of the province. Their work incudes projects such as the Heritage Fairs, Manning Awards, Dr. Paul O’Neill Scholarship, Bartlett Lectures, and the enhancement of our National Historic Sites in partnership with Parks Canada. The HSA supports its work by operating nine Heritage Shops across the province. These shops also support their mandate by presenting the province’s history and heritage thorough a wide variety of local art, craft, gifts, and books.
Mizzen Heritage Society:
The Mizzen Heritage Society is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to the preservation of the culture and heritage of Heart’s Content. The Society has undertaken numerous restoration projects to preserve and enhance culture in Heart’s Content, including the restoration of the United Church Schoolhouse for use as a community museum, and restoration of the church itself as the Heart’s Content Regional Centre for the Arts. The Society has also established a community archive in the Town Hall, and has gained a positive reputation for local theatre and musical performances through their Mizzen Square Dancers, Old-Fashioned Variety Concerts, and seasonal Coffee Houses.