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Call for nominations


Presentation of the program

The national Masters of Living Traditions program recognizes outstanding artists and craftspeople who master a practice or technique passed down from generation to generation. It also aims to highlight these Masters on the territory of Quebec through transmission and dissemination actions, spread over a minimum of one year. Five (5) Masters of Living Traditions will be selected during the first call for nominations.

This UNESCO-inspired program will contribute to the development of intangible cultural heritage (also called living heritage). It is managed by the Conseil québécois du patrimoine vivant (CQPV).

Definition of Master of Living Tradition

Masters of living tradition are people who possess at a high level the knowledge and skills needed to interpret or recreate specific elements of intangible cultural heritage. (UNESCO)

Masters of living tradition are bearers of tradition and mediators of living heritage as defined in the Charter of Competencies of the Living Heritage mediators (CQRHC 2011). They are experienced pedagogues, virtuosos or experts in the handling of ancient techniques, and are recognized by their peers. They are both role models in their community and ambassadors for the general public. Their action aims at sustainable development and contributes to education on the cultural demand. (CQPV)

Summary rules and general operation of the program

The title of Master of living tradition can be attributed to the same person for a period of one to two years maximum.

This distinction is awarded at an official ceremony. A $ 2,000 bursary is awarded to successful applicants, which is used as a living expense to prepare educational or other content. The Masters then receive a fee based on the work done (several activities during the year). Travel and subsistence costs are the responsibility of the CQPV.

For each of the chosen Masters, an action plan is put in place, which presents the objectives, the description of the projects and a schedule. Upstream, the Master is met in order to evaluate his vision of his practice, his needs, his ideas, his strengths and his challenges, etc. Throughout the process successful applicants are supported by the CQPV Project manager.

Briefly, the activities that the selected candidates will be able to provide are: teaching (master class, initial and professional training, internships, mentoring), dissemination activities (shows, exhibitions, conferences, demonstrations, animations, media interviews ). They will also collaborate on documentation initiatives (films, audio recordings, articles, inventory, etc.). Depending on the financial partners involved, and selected candidates, an artistic creation and production component could complement the initiative. The Masters could thus realize new works. All of these activities will be carried out in collaboration with a wide range of partners throughout Quebec.

The program of activities of each selected candidate will be modulated according to the available budgets, the discipline specific to each and the demand on the Quebec territory.

At the end of the period provided for in the action plan, an evaluation of the program is carried out in order to improve the subsequent experiences.

As an indication and not exhaustive, the disciplines that can be envisaged within the framework of this program are for example:

  • Diatonic accordion, harmonica or fiddle
  • Storytelling (oral tradition)
  • Inuit throat singing
  • Handcrafted bark canoes, snowshoes or moccasins
  • Step-dancing, dance and call
  • Herbalism and traditional medicine
  • Ancestral knowledge or craft techniques related to agriculture, nature, or navigation
  • Textile crafts, arrow sash, etc.
  • Etc.

Objectives of the program

The label Master of living tradition thus allows a prestige enhancement for artists and craftsmen in order to become ambassadors of traditional culture.

In addition to this official designation of Master of living tradition, this program promotes atypical collaborations between Masters and various cultural venues or spaces, libraries, media companies, educational institutions, health institutions and more. The fundamental objective remains to increase the visibility and the presentation of living heritage and its various cultural elements.

The specific objectives related to this program are:

  • Recognize masters of exemplary oral tradition;
  • Allow a training offer for several under-represented disciplines in the educational spectrum in Quebec;
  • Increase the dissemination and influence of the oral tradition culture by promoting a professional, dynamic, prestigious and innovative image of the disciplines concerned;
  • Promote citizens’ access to their own cultural heritage in various regions of Quebec;
  • Produce and disseminate documentation on particular practices very well mastered;
  • Provide interesting content to the media to increase the visibility of the sector of intervention.

Selection criteria and skills of the candidate

Candidates will be selected based on the following criteria :

  • Excellence in the application of traditional knowledge and skills ;
  • Ability to transmit knowledge and skills (teaching skills) ;
  • The candidate’s ability to publicly present their knowledge and expertise in various dissemination contexts ;
  • The commitment of the individual and his / her availability to provide services over the period foreseen by the program ;
  • The relative scarcity of educational offerings across Quebec and the world of the cultural element concerned ;
  • The high degree of specificity related to the territory of Québec or the relevance of active safeguarding of the cultural element concerned ;
  • The availability of the candidate to document his practice ;
  • Asset: Demonstrate interest in creating new works.

The program targets practices passed down from generation to generation that meet the definition of « intangible heritage » in the Quebec Cultural Heritage Act: « know-how, knowledge, expressions, practices and representations transmitted from generation in perpetuity and recreated permanently, in conjunction, where appropriate, with the objects and cultural spaces associated with them, which a community or group recognizes as part of its cultural heritage and whose knowledge, preservation, transmission or enhancement is of public interest ». The program is for living heritage mediators as defined in the Living Heritage Mediator’s Charter (CQRHC 2011).

Recognition as a lMaster of living tradition can be attributed exclusively to an individual. Businesses, NGOs and other organizations or corporations are not eligible. Posthumous nominations or recognitions will not be considered either.

The candidate must be over 18 years of age, be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and reside in the province of Quebec.

First Nations and Inuit applicants are encouraged to apply.


  • Launch of the candidatures: October 7, 2019
  • Deadline for receipt of applications:  November 8, 2019
  • Jury : November 2019
  • Announcement to successful candidates: December 2019

Presentation file

Applicants must provide the following documents :

  • Application form (online)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Pictures (up to 10)
  • Link to videos
  • Portfolio and / or press kit
  • Letters of recommendation or proof of recognition by third parties
  • Any other document relevant to the analysis of the file


A jury composed of peers, representatives of cultural organizations and professionals from public institutions will have the mandate to analyze the application files and select the Masters of living tradition.

The CQPV project manager acts as a facilitator on the jury.

Rights and obligations of successful candidates

A contract binds the Master to the CQPV, the terms of which are established after the selection of successful candidates.

Deadline and application form

Deadline to submit an application: November 8, 2019 at 5 pm

Applications must be sent to the Conseil québécois du patrimoine vivant by completing the form available at the following address :

Application Form – Master of living tradition Program

Taking into account the guidelines, the candidate will have to answer three essay questions (in addition to information about the candidate) :

  1. Provide a brief description of the candidate’s approach and practice in the field of intangible heritage (living heritage) (3,000 characters maximum).
  2. Provide the reasons why the candidate should receive the title of Master of living tradition and participate in the CQPV program (refer to the selection criteria and competencies of the candidate, particularly with regard to pedagogy and cultural mediation). (5000 characters maximum).
  3. Referring to the candidate’s field experience, present projects or examples of activities that the candidate might wish to complete as part of the Master of living tradition program (3,000 characters maximum).

For any information contact:

Gilles Pitre, project manager
Tél. : 418-524-9090
Cell. : 450-803-6775 

Conseil québécois du patrimoine vivant
310 boulevard Langelier
Bureau 242
Québec, QC G1K 5N3

The masculine form is used to lighten the text and designates both women and men.


The Quebec Council of Living Heritage (CQPV) is the national umbrella group for the intangible cultural heritage sector, recognized and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Communications (MCC) since 1993. It brings together individuals and more than 100 organizations from the living traditions sector in the four corners of Quebec. Its board is made up of specialists, tradition bearers, representatives of associations and mediators of living heritage. The CQPV officially acts as an advisory organization to UNESCO in the framework of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Financial partnership:


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Conseil québécois
du patrimoine vivant

310 boulevard Langelier
Bureau 242
Québec, QC G1K 5N3