The Helen Creighton Folklore Society is named in honour of folklorist Helen Creighton (1899-1989), who collected and published traditional music, stories and lore of Maritime Canada.

Our Mandate

The mandate of the Helen Creighton Folklore Society is to encourage and promote work that reflects the diverse folk culture of the Maritimes as exemplified by the work begun by Dr. Helen Creighton.


The Helen Creighton Folklore Festival was launched in 1989 to honour Dr. Creighton at her 90th birthday celebration. The Festival, created through the efforts of her friends and the city of Dartmouth, celebrated the life and work of “Canada’s first Lady of Folklore.” The event was held each fall at the Alderney Gate Public Library in Dartmouth until 1993, and then at the Halifax Citadel from 1994-6. It featured music, dance, demonstrations of traditional crafts, and storytelling. The Festival sponsored a national competition for a commissioned piece of work based on folk music from the Helen Creighton collection. It also co-sponsored, with the Alderney Gate Public Library, a ghost-story writing contest for young people.

The Helen Creighton Folklore Festival Society of Dartmouth changed its name in 1997, and was registered as The Helen Creighton Folklore Society. Also in 1997, The Helen Creighton Folklore Society merged with The Dr. Helen Creighton Memorial Foundation. The Foundation had been established by the Province of Nova Scotia in 1990 at the University of King’s College, and it is the endowment from the Foundation that allows The Helen Creighton Folklore Society to provide grants to folklore researchers. In 1999, The Fred Redden Society for Traditional Music was also incorporated into The Helen Creighton Folklore Society.

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Sankofa Songs

Sankofa Songs, A Legacy of Roots and Rhythm: African Nova Scotian Songs From The Collection Of Dr. Helen Creighton

Sankofa: a West African word from the Akan people meaning “to go back and take what was taken.” The term made its way to North America and scholars coined its meaning as “remembering our past, to protect our future legacy!”

Available for download at Bandcamp 
($10 for entire album plus pdf notes, or individual tracks for $1) or in CD form from the HCFS ($20 postage included).

Purchase this and other Helen Creighton Collection products.