"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Friday, October 24, 2014

Twenty-two winning videos about Canada's history

Young filmmakers travel to Ottawa to celebrate their work
WINNIPEGOctober. 24, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Twenty-two students from communities all across Canada have earned themselves a trip to Ottawa to learn more about our nation's capital and our country's history.
The students were part of a group of over 150 that participated in the Young Citizens program, administered byCanada's History Society, with the support of Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life and the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Take Charge program. The students were selected following their regional heritage fairs, and tasked with making a short video that demonstrated the historical significance of their topic. The videos were all posted online at YoungCitizens.ca and a public vote encouraged Canadians to watch and support their favourite student flicks. After a combined total of over 34,000 votes, a panel of judges selected twenty-two winners for this year's program.
The winners will receive a trip to Ottawa for the first Canada's History Youth Forum from October 31-November 2, where they'll have a chance to visit some of Canada's most important national sites. As part of the Youth Forum, the students will spend a morning at the Canadian War Museum sharing their projects together and deepening their knowledge of Canadian history.
This year's Youth Forum was also made possible by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Cultural Engagement, which supports national collaborative initiatives that strengthen youth engagement in heritage and arts.
The recipients of the 2014 Young Citizens program are:Abby PetersonRocky Mountain House, AB — Canada & Titanic Dominic ShoopOkotoks, AB —The Flintlock PistolDylan LeeVancouver, BC — The Chinese Head TaxAlexandra MinesVancouver, BC — Les Réfugiés Indésirables du CanadaJenna Allison, Winnipeg, MB — Nellie McClungRachel TellerWinnipeg, MB — Sir Frederick BantingMaude CouturierFredericton, NB — Les infirmières militaires canadiennesEmma MorehouseLincoln, NB — Patrick Owens Covered BridgeJasmine RahmanSt. John's, NL—The Newfoundland Conscience: A History of GivingJack GoldsworthyTorbay, NL —Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The Original Way of LifeBen StricklandBridgewater, NS —The MosquitoSam Rogers, Lower Onslow, NS — The Black Devil's BrigadeEastyn KlagesChatsworth, ON — A Little Taste of HomeParis SnakeRama, ON — Residential Schools: The Intergenerational ImpactsKarla McCallum, Charlottetown, PEI —The Journey of the PotatoHarrison Duffy, Kinkora, PEI  — History Of the PEI RailwayÉlodie Chamberland, Sainte-Hélène-de-Kamouraska, QC — La Seconde Guerre mondialeAndréanne Girard-Lemieux, Saint-Gédéon-de-Beauce, QC — Reproduction de mocassins amérindiensDylan DonaldRegina, SK — Chuckwagon RacingElla ForrestRegina, SK — My Oma's StoryDuncan SnooksWhitehorse, YT— Jacques CartierMaximilian WannerWhitehorse, YT — North West Mounted Police
Honourable mentions include:Lauren BaleDe Winton, AB — The Evolution Of Canadian Figure SkatingAmina GuoVancouver, BC — Japanese Canadian internmentOlivia RichardsVancouver, BC — 1961 train smoke eatersSiya JohalDelta, BC — My Sikh Family HistoryLuke HarrisNorth Vancouver, BC — Vimy RidgeJacob GrantWinnipeg, MB — Andrew Charles MynarskiLuke BattcockParadise. NL — Gros MorneGriffin FancyBridgewater. NS — Prestigious ProvoJulia McNeaney. ON — Ridley CollegeTurner ClarkePort Colborne. ON — The Wainfleet BogClara SismondoKingston, ON — KCVI : a historyLise CharlesCharlottetown. PEI — Un pėcheur madelinotKarine Champagne, Saint-Honoré-de-Shenley. QC — Le patrimoine des Jésuites en Nouvelle-FranceMakayla KayeWhitehorse, YT — Yukon First nation
To view the entries and contest winners, visit www.YoungCitizens.ca.
Joel Ralph, Director of Programs at Canada's History Society remarked, "Through the Young Citizens program, these students emerge as teachers and leaders in their community." He added, "They are committed to sharing their knowledge with others and ensuring that the past is not forgotten."
The students will also be recognized for their work at the Canada's History Forum, a gathering of top historians, teachers, writers and heritage professionals that's held annually in conjunction with the Governor General's History Awards. This year's forum is taking place on Nov. 2 at the Canadian War Museum. The forum is free to attend online or in-person. Visit CanadasHistory.ca/HistoryForum to register.
"It's encouraging to see young people sharing and deepening their knowledge of Canada," said Jan Belanger, Vice-President, Community Relations for Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. "We hope our support for the Young Citizens program will help participants gain the insights they need to become responsible and engaged citizens." 
About Heritage Fairs

Heritage Fairs began as a pilot community project in Winnipeg in 1993 and have today grown to involve over 110,000 students each year in schools-based and regional exhibitions in more than 100 communities across Canada. Wholly driven by a network of volunteer teachers and community history organizations, the program benefits from funding support from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, partner in the Young Citizen's video component.
About Great West Life

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life offer a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions and serve the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. Responsible and ethical management is an intrinsic value of the companies and is essential to long-term profitability and value creation. As an Imagine Caring Company supporting the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada, the companies donate a minimum of one per cent of average pre-tax profits to non-profit, charitable and community organizations each year. Learn more about the organization's corporate social responsibility.
About Canada's History Society

Canada's History Society is a national charitable organization devoted to popularizing Canadian history. In addition to presenting the Governor General's History Awards and publishing Canada's History (formerly The Beaver) magazine, as well as Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, the Society also produces a number of educational and online programs to encourage more discovery, celebration, and understanding about our rich history and culture. More details can be found at www.canadashistory.ca
SOURCE Canada's History

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ontario Residents Bring History to Life by Turning Tragedy into Tributes

Photo credit: Canadiangeographic.ca
Their Innovative Centennial Remembrance to be Honoured at Rideau Hall
WINNIPEGOctober 7, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The community of Goderich, Ontario is being celebrated nationally for ensuring that lives lost will be remembered for years to come.  The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 Remembrance Committee came together in 2012 to plan a series of centennial remembrance events and activities to honour those who lost their lives in the greatest Canadian maritime disaster ever to occur on the Great Lakes.  The storm of 1913, known as the 'White Hurricane,' battered the Great Lakes from November 7th to 10th in 1913 and claimed 250 lives. 
The Remembrance Committee designed activities around Goderich to inspire others along the Huron lakeshore to undertake complementary events.  In total, sixty-five collaborations were born that involved over 1,000 volunteers, numerous events that welcomed over 12,000 guests including sixty descendants of the disaster's victims. 
For honouring the memory of those affected in the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 and celebrating a former way of life that was central to the Great Lakes lakeshore communities, the Remembrance Committee is one of this year's recipients for the 2014 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Community Programming
The francophone recipient is La Société historique du Cap-Rouge for their project "Le Centenaire du Tracel de Cap-Rouge."
This year's honourable mentions include:
Harbord Village Residents' Association for Harbord Village Oral History Project.
Living History Multimedia Association for A Desert Between Us & Them: Raiders, Traitors, and Refugees in the War of 1812.
Université Concordia (Ronald RudinPhilip Lichti, et al.) for Le retour des voix au parc national Kouchibouguac.
On Monday, November 3rd at 11:30 a.m., His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General ofCanada, will honour the recipients for their achievements and contributions to furthering interest in and understanding of our history and heritage. 
Media are invited to attend the 2014 Governor General's History Awards. Please contact rsvp@gg.ca to confirm attendance.
Announcements continue throughout the coming week and profiles of all the recipients will be available at:CanadasHistory.ca/Awards.
The Governor General's History Awards bring together community and museum organizations, students, teachers, historians, writers and media producers to celebrate as well as learn from each other.  The day prior to the award ceremonies, recipients will participate in a public history forum at the Canadian War Museum.  This year's forum is open to the public to attend onsite or online by registering at www.CanadasHistory.ca/HistoryForum.                                                               
About Canada's History Society

Canada's History Society is a Winnipeg-based charitable organization devoted to popularizing Canadian history.  In addition to publishing Canada's History (formerly The Beaver) magazine, and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, the Society also produces the Governor General's History Awards to celebrate excellence in the field and encourage more discovery, celebrations and understanding about our rich history and culture.  More details can be found at CanadasHistory.ca.
About Spectra Energy

Spectra Energy Corp (NYSE: SE), a FORTUNE 500 company, is one of North America's premier natural gas infrastructure companies serving three key links in the natural gas value chain: gathering and processing, transmission and storage, and distribution. For more than a century, Spectra Energy and its predecessor companies have developed critically important pipelines and related infrastructure connecting natural gas supply sources to premium markets.
Based in Houston, Texas, the company's operations in the United States and Canada include more than 19,000 miles of transmission pipeline, approximately 305 billion cubic feet of storage, as well as natural gas gathering and processing, natural gas liquids and local distribution operations. The company also has a 50 percent ownership in DCP Midstream, one of the largest natural gas gatherers and processors in the United States. Spectra Energy is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes and the Carbon Disclosure Project's Global 500 and S&P 500 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Indexes. For more information, visit www.spectraenergy.com.
SOURCE Canada's History

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Conversat Returns to University of Guelph for 50th Anniversary

GUELPH, Ontario  June 12, 2014 - University of Guelph News Release - Nearly 40 years after the last Conversat ball took place at the University of Guelph, the grand party returns this month during the University of Guelph’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
The event will take place June 21 as part of the University’s annual Alumni Weekend.
The Conversat ball will bring together some 800 guests for a reception and dinner on Johnston Green and six entertainment venues after the dinner across campus. The evening will conclude with fireworks on Johnston Green at midnight and late-night music and dancing at the Bullring.
Conversat, meaning “meeting for conversation,” began as a social in 1904. Decades later, it evolved into an evening ball.
“The 2014 Conversat will be the signature event of the year, involving all of the colleges and many units from across campus,” said Maureen Mancuso, chair of the university’s 50th-anniversary celebration committee.
“We felt there was no greater way to pay tribute to the history of the University than by reviving a central feature with the ball. After, we’ll give guests the opportunity to travel between eras and continents. We think this will be the highlight of Alumni Weekend, and we’re delighted to have so many people attending.”
The Conversat ball gala dinner is already sold out.
Tickets are still available for six evening entertainment venues: British music from the 1960s; a Casablanca-themed big band event; jazz at a 1920s-style Speakeasy; a beatnik coffee house; a ‘70s and ’80s dance party; and a futuristic galaxy with funk music.
Each venue will have entertainment arranged in 45-minute sets, a complimentary signature drink, savories and sweets.
“We have designed the program so that guests will be able to attend each venue without missing anything,” said Conversat organizer Sue Bennett, director of university and community relations.
“We have a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who are excited about this night, and they are looking forward to celebrating Guelph’s rich history and culture with our guests and alumni.” 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Remembering the Real Winnie: The World's Most Famous Bear Turns 100

Ryerson University to host new exhibition to celebrate Canada's connection to Winnie-the-Pooh
TORONTO, Ontario April 17, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Did you know that the world's most famous literary bear - Winnie-the-Pooh - was inspired by a real Canadian bear? This fall, a new exhibition will celebrate the 100th anniversary of this remarkable true story.
At the onset of the First World War, a Canadian soldier and veterinarian named Harry Colebourn made a pit stop at the train station in White River, Ontario where he met a trapper that was selling a bear cub.  An animal lover, the Captain bought the cub for $20, and named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg. Winnie traveled overseas with Colebourn's regiment, becoming a proud mascot and beloved friend to the other soldiers.  When it became time to go to the front lines in France, Colebourn donated Winnie to the London Zoo in England, where she became the inspiration for author A.A.Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh.
"The story of Harry and Winnie is a love story set against a very dark time in history and is a powerful reminder of the impact that one small loving gesture can have in this world," said Lindsay MattickHarry Colebourn's great granddaughter.  "Winnie has played an important role in many people's childhoods and I am very excited to get to share the historical items that bring to life the real tale behind the fictional ones."
The new exhibition entitled, Remembering the Real Winnie: The World's Most Famous Bear Turns 100 will open to the public at Ryerson University on October 25th, 2014 and run until November 15th, 2014. It will explore the themes of veterinary practice during World War I; military life at camp and at the front; as well as the genesis and popular legacy of Winnie-the-Pooh. The central feature of the exhibition will be Harry's never before displayed wartime diaries which will provide the narrative through-line; they will be displayed at intervals throughout the exhibition in order to carry the viewer from 1914 when Harry leaves for England to 1919 when he donates Winnie to the London Zoo. The exhibition will also feature items from the Colebourn family collection such as Harry's veterinary tools and photographs.
"Literary and Canadian history were forever changed in a moment when Harry Colebourn made his historic purchase," said Ryerson President Sheldon Levy.   "We are thrilled to be exploring the cultural significance of that moment in a way that only Ryerson can - through an innovative approach that allows our various departments to collaborate and bring to this collection to life in a way that is thought provoking and meaningful." 
The exhibition, which will be hosted by the Ryerson School of Image Arts and the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre, is the result of a multi-disciplinary team that has explored the history through multiple perspectives. 
Beyond the exhibition, the history of Harry and Winnie will be explored in an upcoming children's book (to be released in 2015 by Little Brown in the U.S., Harper Collins in Canada).  Film rights to the book have been acquired by Hollywood production company RatPac Entertainment. 
Exhibition Teaser Video: http://youtu.be/V5aOQfsCeU0

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Parks Canada and Canadian Canoe Museum Consider Potential Relocation of Museum to Peterborough Lift Lock

Collaboration would boost tourism and sustainability
OTTAWA, Ontario April 9, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Parks Canada and the Canadian Canoe Museum are exploring an innovative idea of relocating the museum to the Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site on the Trent-Severn Waterway as a way to boost the tourism and revenue potential for both organizations.
The construction of a new museum at this location would consolidate two significant tourism and recreation destinations in the region and offer enhanced opportunities for Canadian families, including the opportunity to better explore the canoe's history in Canada and enjoy the diverse water-related programming and associated activities that can be offered by the museum at this historic location.
Parks Canada and the Canoe Museum will now enter into detailed negotiations to determine the terms of the potential partnership. This joint project would aim to increase visitation and offer new opportunities that would support each organization's mandate and their financial sustainability.
This project demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to work with partners and communities to help canals be a premier tourism destination, generate revenue, foster recreation and economic development, and ultimately build strong communities and support Canadian families. For the Canoe Museum, this initiative represents the potential fulfillment of a long-cherished aspiration - the relocation to a new water-based site that will enable wider and more extensive programming.
Quick Facts
  • Parks Canada and the Canadian Canoe Museum have signed a Letter of Intent to formalize their collaboration.
  • The Canadian Canoe Museum Redevelopment Project Feasibility Study identified the Parks Canada location as the preferred destination for the new Museum.
  • This initiative would bring new economic growth with new construction projects as well as create additional employment and business opportunities for the Trent-Severn Waterway. The construction of the new museum may include a building of 80,000 square feet and space for a gift shop, a restaurant and a meeting room facility to accommodate up to 250 people.
  • The relocation of the museum at the Lock 21-Perborough Lift Lock historical site would unite two of Peterborough'smajor tourism attractions, providing water access for the museum's programming activities as well as preserve Canadian heritage of canoes and other related watercraft.
"The collaboration of Parks Canada with the Canadian Canoe Museum demonstrates our government's support for creating quality tourism and recreation opportunities on the Trent-Severn Waterway that will lead to stronger communities, opportunities for families and ultimately more sustainable canal operations."
Leona AglukkaqCanada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
"We are delighted to be collaborating with Parks Canada to bring the Canadian Canoe Museum and its nationally significant collection and related programs to the water. The Peterborough Lift Lock location allows us to unite two ofPeterborough's major tourism attractions, providing water access and preserving the heritage of Peterborough as the national 'shrine' celebrating canoes and other related watercraft."
Ken Powell, Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Canoe Museum

Friday, March 21, 2014

Commemorating a Father of Confederation

Government supports project that pays tribute to local historical personality Sir Charles Tupper
PARRSBORO, Nova ScotiaMarch 21, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Government of Canada has provided $385,000 through the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program to support the restoration and renovation of the Ottawa House By-the-Sea Museum.
Scott Armstrong, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development and Member of Parliament (Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley), announced the funding today on behalf of Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover.
With this support, the Parrsborough Shore Historical Society will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Sir Charles Tupper by updating the Museum, which was once his summer residence.
Quick Facts
  • Sir Charles Tupper purchased the Ottawa House for his summer home in 1871.
  • In 1981, the Parrsborough Shore Historical Society purchased the historic property built in the 1770's to preserve and restore it. It now houses a museum with over 450 artifacts.
  • It will be converted into an interactive museum dedicated to retelling the region's history.
"Our government is committed to supporting commemorative projects that provide communities with lasting reminders of the people and events that have been instrumental in shaping our country as we know it today."—Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
"As a Father of Confederation, Sir Charles Tupper has made an important contribution to this province and to Canada, and it is fitting that he be remembered through the transformation of his summer home."
—Scott Armstrong, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development and Member of Parliament (Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)
"Dedicated volunteers have been working diligently for the last four years on the restoration of the Ottawa House and the modernization of its associated By-the-Sea Museum. The generous grant from the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program has given us a great boost—we can now complete this worthy community project."
—Colin Curleigh, President, Parrsborough Shore Historical Society

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Parks Canada Investing in Future of Historic Rideau Canal

image credit: Collections Canada

Rehabilitation of Poonamalie Dam to support continued animation of historic infrastructure
SMITHS FALLS, OntarioMarch 20, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, on behalf of Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced today that Parks Canada is supporting communities and businesses along the Rideau Canada by investing up to $7.5 million over the next two years to rehabilitate the Poonamalie Dam and for ongoing preventative maintenance projects and visitor facilities across the Rideau Canada system.
For the Poonamalie project, Parks Canada is investing $4.3 million to rehabilitate the existing earth dam and reconstruct a waste weir to improve dam stability, visitor safety, and improve a service vehicle lane. Up to $3.2 millionwill also be invested over the next two years across the Rideau Canal for preventative maintenance projects and visitor facilities. The funding announced today is in addition to the 2014 Economic Action Plan to invest $391.5 million in funding for highways, bridges and dams in national parks and along historic canals. Details on this funding will come later.
These investments connect communities and ensure the infrastructure is safe and available to those who need it.
Quick Facts
  • Planning for the Poonamalie Dam Rehabilitation Project has now begun. A contract for the design of this project will be awarded shortly.
  • The Poonamalie Dam, in the Rideau Lakes Township near Smiths Falls, has been continuously maintained and monitored since the 19th century. Parks Canada identified the dam for rehabilitation as part of its ongoing asset monitoring and recapitalization program on the Rideau Canal.
  • The work will be completed by April 2017 and will not affect vessel traffic during the Rideau Canal's navigation season.
  • The reconstruction of the canal cut walls at Minnow Creek Waste Weir will reuse stone facing salvaged from the existing wall to correspond with the current aesthetic look.
  • The Poonamalie Earth Dam retains water from the Big Rideau and Lower Rideau Lakes and contributes to ParksCanada management of the water heading north from Poonamalie Lockstation to Ottawa Locks.
  • Parks Canada is gearing up for a new summer season along its historic canals by offering boaters early bird special rates for their permits, which they can buy on-line until March 31, 2014, at www.parkscanada.gc.ca.
"Our Government has made record investments to canals and we continue to work with our partners and communities to maintain the Rideau Canal as a navigable waterway, providing world-class experiences to visitors, which benefits communities and local businesses. These investments are integral in supporting economic development and families in the region."
Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville
Additional links: