Directory of members

Anita Best

Anita Best grew up on an island in Placentia Bay, which was closed down during Newfoundland's community re-settlement program This early life in one of Newfoundland's most culturally rich regions inspired her to attempt to document and interpret a traditional culture which seemed to be departing in tandem with the disappearing communities. Initially Best began professional work as a classroom teacher, later becoming an oral historian and archivist and eventually moving into careers as diverse as radio broadcaster, archivist, professional performer and university course instructor.

Anita Best was the host and writer of a local CBC radio series, "A Little Ball of Yarns" in 1995-98 which served as a means for her to continue her much loved oral tradition but it is her ballad singing for which she is best known. Best has been recorded on a dozen albums and has three complete works to her credit, the award-winning “Color of Amber", with Pamela Morgan, "Some Songs" with guitarist Sandy Morris and the solo recording "Crosshanded".

With Genevieve Lehr, Anita  collected the songs for Come and I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, published by the University of Toronto.  In 2019, Clever Maids, Fearless Jacks and a Cat: Fairy Tales from a Living Oral Tradition,  edited by Anita Best, Pauline Greenhill and Martin Lovelace was published by the University of Utah.

She has received several awards and  honours for her work, including The Order of Canada, The Marius Barbeau Award and an Honorary doctorate from Memorial University.

Anita has toured in Canada, the UK and the USA as a storyteller and singer. She currently lives in Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland.

Back to list

Forgot password?