Devon has strong historic links with the Canadian Province of Newfoundland dating back to the 16th-century, with boats from local ports sailing annually to waters of Newfoundland to fish for cod. Initially men left Devon in April and returned in the autumn, but gradually land bases were established and they began to overwinter. In 1583, the Devon mariner, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, claimed Newfoundland as the first English overseas colony.
This celebration, organised by the Devonshire Association working with the Devon Family History Society, marks nearly 500 years of contact and interaction between the two communities. Whilst people in Newfoundland are very aware of their Devon connections, Devonians are less well informed about the historic importance of Newfoundland to the economy of the county. Through talks, visits, concerts and displays, the celebration aims to develop both existing and new links between the two communities and to celebrate our shared heritage.
Events will take place throughout the county, but particularly in the county town of Exeter and in the north Devon port of Bideford.
Click here for the full programme.