"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, September 30, 2011

Canadian Government Supports Welland Historical Museum

WELLAND, Ontario, September 30, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Welland Historical Museum will be able to improve the preservation of its collection by upgrading its storage space, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Regional Minister for Southwestern Ontario, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The Welland Historical Museum collects artifacts, archival materials, and art related to the history of Welland and the Welland Canal. The Museum recently acquired the George E. Chipman & Family Collection of locally significant artifacts. The Government of Canada's investment will insure the proper organization, storage, and preservation of these artifacts when they are not on display. The Welland Historical Museum will purchase and install artifact storage equipment, and curatorial staff will carefully transfer the newly acquired collection to its new location.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in projects to improve the preservation and presentation of Canada's heritage collections," said Minister Moore. "By supporting the Welland Historical Museum, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and support our arts, culture, and heritage."

"The investment announced today will help the Welland Historical Museum meet professional standards for the storage and preservation of its collection," said Minister Finley. "Our Government is committed to ensuring that Canadians can enjoy access to Canada's diverse cultural heritage for generations to come."

"We are extremely grateful to the Government of Canada for providing this funding, which will allow us to move forward with storage upgrades necessary to meet museum standards," said Nora Reid, Executive Director of the Welland Historical Museum. "Without this support, we would be unable to undertake these vital initiatives."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $3,900 through the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides funding to Canadian museums and related institutions for projects that foster excellence in museum activities and that facilitate access to the treasures of our collective heritage.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Canadian Government Invests in the Markham Museum

photo credit: reinapvia Flickr

MARKHAM, Ontario, September 24, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Paul Calandra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament (Oak Ridges-Markham), today congratulated the Markham Museum on the grand opening of the new Collections Building.

Markham Museum, owned and operated by the Corporation of the Town of Markham, is a large open-air heritage site, which includes nearly 30 buildings that tell the story of the town's past. The new 17,000 square foot Collections Building houses an exhibition space, a research area, and storage for archives and textiles. It has been built to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for energy conservation. Thanks to the Government of Canada's investment, the community of Markham has a highly energy-efficient facility to present and preserve its rich heritage for generations to come.

"Our Government is proud to invest in heritage facilities like the Markham Museum," said Minister Moore. "By supporting infrastructure projects that enhance the quality of museums like this one, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our communities and support arts, culture, and heritage."

"It is a great pleasure to be here today to see the tremendous results of our Government's investment in this important local heritage site," said Mr. Calandra. "Residents and visitors to Markham will benefit from this impressive facility, which provides much-needed storage for many of the Museum's most valuable collections."

"This new Class A gallery and storage space at the Museum is a first-rate example of Markham's focus on excellence and of the results that can be achieved when we all work in partnership," said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "This new building supports our Greenprint long-term community sustainability plan and will strengthen the Museum's role as a major regional attraction, already drawing over 50,000 visitors each year."

The Government of Canada previously announced funding of $854,500 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

The Government of Canada also provided funding of $41,500 through the Collections Management Component of the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides funding to Canadian museums and related institutions for projects that foster excellence in museum activities and that facilitate access to the treasures of our collective heritage.

About the Markham Museum

From an 1820's Mennonite farm house to a 1940's caboose, there's more than a century of history at Markham Museum & Historic Village. Our 25-acre village is a fascinating journey into the past for all who visit. Visit the Markham Museum and see history unfold before your eyes!

Be a part of Markham's history, visit historic homes, the blacksmith shop, Markham's oldest Baptist church, and the H. Wilson Variety Hall. Or climb aboard the Acadia, a railway car once used by Princess Margaret and other dignitaries. See one of Ontario's finest collections of horsedrawn vehicles and discover why Markham was once the centre for carriage manufacturing in Ontario.
Visit our website

We offer a variety of events and exhibitions for the whole family to enjoy including our March Break Extravaganza, Haunted Museum, and our popular Applefest.

Hands-on discovery, active inquiry, integrated learning and fun is what you will find in Markham Museum's programmes enhancing the Ontario Curriculum for Social Studies/History and Geography, Science and Technology, Language and the Arts.

Located on Markham Road at 16th Avenue, North-West corner.

For more information about us and on our upcoming events & programs,
visit our website or contact us at http://www.markham.ca/markham/channels/museum/overview.htm

Phone: 905-294-4576
Fax: 905-294-4590
Email: museuminfo@markham.ca
Postal Mail: Markham Museum, 9350 Hwy. 48, Markham, ON, L3P 3J3

Friday, September 23, 2011

Canada's History-Magazine

Spuds - After a while, after you savour the oilcloth-covered table and the clay pipe and the nest of boots and the wooden, wired slops bucket, your eyes go to the hand on the far right. A woman's hand, perhaps? If so, why is the man peeling the potatoes?

Looking for a bit of Canadian history?

The magazine "Canada's History" is a good place to start, and they have recently launched a new version of their website.

First-time visitors will note that the website features sections that include "Trading Post", "Online Extension", and "Album".

The "Trading Post" area features pieces on the Hudson's Bay Company culled from its own
in-house magazine, "The Beaver". Here visitors will learn about Inuit art, Cree moccasins, and Fort Garry tea.

In the "Online Extension" area, visitors can view rich multimedia features on marine archaeology in Nunavut and the prominent artist Aba Bayefsky.

Finally, the "Album" area features photos submitted by readers from their own personal collections, complete with annotations and explanations of their importance. [KMG]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

British Home Children Memorial to be unveiled Sept. 28 in Peterborough, Ontario

from the The Peterborough Examiner
by KENNEDY GORDON, Examiner Staff Writer
Wednesday September 21, 2011

British Home Children memorial to be unveiled September 28 In front of the former Queen Alexandra School, now used by Activity Haven

Many Peterborough residents drive down Barnardo Ave. every day without realizing the origin of the street's name.

"You can ask people, and more and more, people don't know about Dr. Barnardo and the home children," said Ivy Sucee, daughter of a Barnardo home child and founder of the Hazelbrae Barnardo Home Memorial Group.

She has made it her mission for decades to help people learn about the impact and legacy of almost 9,000 children brought to Peterborough in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, children from England given to Canadian families as poverty and war tore through Europe.

That work culminates Sept. 28 with the dedication of a new monument to Peterborough's Barnardo children.

The monument, which was built in Belleville, will face out onto BarnardoAve., she explained.

While the details of its appearance will stay under wraps until the unveiling ("we want it to be a surprise"), she said it reflects the importance of the home children on the community. It will contain 8,914 names collected by the memorial group over several years, Sucee said.

...read the full story at the Peterborough Examiner

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Provincial plaque commemorates Wilfrid Laurier University

WATERLOO, Ontario, September 21, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Join the Ontario Heritage Trust and Wilfrid Laurier University for the unveiling of a provincial plaque commemorating Wilfrid Laurier University.

Friday, September 23, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
Heritage Walk (located between the Library and the Seminary)
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo Campus
75 University Avenue West, Waterloo

The university began as the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada on October 30, 1911, offering a theological and liberal arts education. In 1924, its Faculty of Arts became Waterloo College of Arts. The school was affiliated with the University of Western Ontario the following year, providing its students the opportunity to attain degrees. This relationship lasted until 1960, when Waterloo College was renamed Waterloo Lutheran University and attained degree-granting powers of its own. In 1973, it became one of Ontario's provincially assisted universities and was renamed in honour of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, as the former prime minister's last year in office coincided with the institution's founding in 1911.

The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates significant people, places and events in Ontario's history. Since 1953, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New fall marketing campaign leverages Bruce, Grey and Simcoe history

TORONTO, September 19, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) is proud to announce the launch of Region 7's first ever marketing advertising campaign.

Anchored by the campaign microsite brucegreysimcoe.com, the advertising incorporates historical references to the three counties by profiling each county's namesake - Sir James Bruce, Charles, the second Earl of Grey, and Lt. Governor John Graves Simcoe. The advertising incorporates a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, featuring each historical figure with headlines that speak to the many seasonal activities and events available in the region.

Scheduled to run for the next four weeks, the campaign targets consumers in the Greater Toronto Area, Southwestern Ontario and across Bruce, Grey and Simcoe. The campaign consists of a mix of newspaper, television, radio, outdoor billboards and online ads (both display and search engine marketing) - each with the call-to-action driving Ontarians to brucegreysimcoe.com. There, visitors will be able to link to a variety of sites that promote the many attractions, activities and experiences available in RTO7.

The campaign includes a social media component, where visitors can visit the campaign's Facebook page to read posts about the great experiences RTO7 has to offer, view stakeholder deals and services, and even post their own personal highlights after visiting the region.

"Social media plays a large role in the campaign, allowing for quick and relevant impressions that have the potential to reach thousands of Ontarians," notes RTO7 Director of Marketing Bill Sullivan. "It also provides our tourism owners and operators with a powerful medium to promote their business and/or services."

Sullivan says planning is now underway for a more extensive follow-on winter campaign, which will extend through March.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dalton McGuinty and Tim Hudak related, reveals Ancestry.ca

TORONTO, September 19, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Maybe this explains why they squabble like family -- Ontario provincial election rivals Dalton McGuinty and Tim Hudak are related, according to Ancestry.ca, Canada's leading family history website.

McGuinty, the incumbent Premier and leader of the Ontario Liberals and his main rival Hudak, head of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, are tenth cousins through their mothers. Their shared ancestor is Louis Jobidon, their ninth great-grandfather. Originally from France, Jobidon married Marie Deligny in 1655 in Notre-Dame-de-Québec Catholic Church in Québec City.

"You can't help but think 'what would Grandpa Louis think of this rivalry?", said Roger Dunbar, Managing Director of Ancestry.ca. "Discovering who is related to whom helps us use the past to better understand the present and prepare for the future. With Dalton McGuinty and Tim Hudak in such a tight election, Louis Jobidon would be proud of the leadership genes he has passed along, but it sure will make for an interesting family Thanksgiving Dinner this year."

Louis Jobidon and Marie Deligny's marriage record can be found in Ancestry.ca's Drouin Collection, the most comprehensive collection of French-Canadian and Québec historical records in existence, spanning almost 350 years from 1621 to 1967. The collection includes 17 million records, including baptism, marriage and burial records, as well as a compilation of church records from Ontario, Nova Scotia and parts of New England.

This discovery comes from the same family history site that discovered that Madonna, Celine Dion and Camilla Parker Bowles are themselves related through a shared Québec ancestor, Zacharie Cloutier.

To discover if you are related to politicians, celebrities or even royals, visit www.Ancestry.ca to sign up for a 14-day free trial.

Canada's leading family history website, Ancestry.ca hosts 128 million Canadian records, including the complete historical Canadian censuses from 1851 to 1916, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early as 1813, Quebec vital records (The Drouin Collection), Canadian passenger lists and U.S. / Canada border crossings.

Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and belongs to the global network of Ancestry websites (wholly owned by Ancestry.com Operations Inc.), which hosts seven billion records. To date, more than 26 million family trees have been created and 2.6 billion profiles and 65 million photographs and stories uploaded (July 29, 2011).

Friday, September 16, 2011

JOHN A: BIRTH OF A COUNTRY - Two-Hour Political Thriller Airs on CBC Television Monday, September 19

"Shawn Doyle as John A. Macdonald and David La Haye as Georges-Etienne Cartier (CNW Group/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)"

TV Movie is Directed by Jerry Ciccoritti, Produced by Bernie Zukerman, and Stars Shawn Doyle, Peter Outerbridge, David La Haye and Patrick McKenna

TORONTO, September 15, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - JOHN A: Birth of a Country, a two-hour political thriller produced by Indian Grove productions, will air on CBC Television on Monday, September 19 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT). Produced by Bernard Zukerman, directed by Jerry Ciccoritti, and written by Bruce M. Smith, the film stars Shawn Doyle as John A. Macdonald, Peter Outerbridge as George Brown, David La Haye as Georges-Étienne Cartier and Patrick McKenna as Alexander Galt.

JOHN A: Birth of a Country lays bare the passionate, titanic struggle between Macdonald, the charismatic leader of the Conservative Party, and his opponent, the fiercely determined Brown, leader of what would become the Liberal Party and founder of Toronto's Globe (later the Globe and Mail). Both men were fired by dramatically differing visions of this country...and a deep hatred for each other.

The time period of the film is 1856 to 1864. The English in Upper Canada (later Ontario) are pitted against the French in Lower Canada (later Quebec). It's a dysfunctional situation and the United States eyes the chaos, coveting the idea of annexing a vulnerable land. Britain, meanwhile, has no stomach to fight for us. On this stage, lit by the threat of war and the brutality of abandonment, two men, John A. Macdonald and George Brown, each profoundly committed to his own view of the country, battle to dominate the shape of Canada's future.

It was against this volatile background that Macdonald first takes control of the Conservative Party and makes it the dominant Party of the country by forging a deal with the French. Then, he puts together a plan of action that is so brilliant and audacious that it eventually leads to Confederation and the creation of Canada. His adversary is Liberal George Brown, an ideologue committed to Representation by Population - an idea that plays as both anti-French and anti-Catholic. It is Brown who ultimately makes the biggest personal sacrifice in order for Canada to become a reality as a nation.

The struggle between these two fascinating adversaries centres on many of the key questions that still resonate in Canada 150 years later: What does the military mean to us? How do we define sovereignty? What responsibility do we have to each other?

"I like the fact that Canada is an independent nation," says producer Bernie Zukerman, "and it gives me great pleasure to tell the stories of Canada and celebrate the remarkable men who made this country possible."

Winner of 6 Gemini Awards, producer Bernard Zukerman has made some of Canada's most memorable series and films for television. "JOHN A is a political thriller, the story of personal hatred, public passion and a political poison pill. Only the fire of the conflicting energies of Macdonald and Brown could have created a new country - our country," Zukerman comments. The producer's credits include the award-winning Dieppe, The Sleep Room, Love and Hate and, more recently, Victor: The Victor Davis Story and the series This is Wonderland.

Shawn Doyle (John A. Macdonald) captures the tormented brother Joey on the HBO hit Big Love and the eccentric chess champion on Endgame. Winner of the 2007 Gemini Award for lead actor (The Robber Bride), Doyle co-produced and starred in the independent film Grown Up Movie Star which premiered to critical praise at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. He has won 3 awards for his critically acclaimed performance as Dennis Langley in The Eleventh Hour and appeared in the series 24 and Desperate Housewives.

Peter Outerbridge (George Brown) is one of television's most compelling leading men whose credits include ReGenesis (for which, playing David Sandstrom, he is a four-time Gemini nominee as Best Actor in a Continuing Series), Murdoch Mysteries, Whistler, 24, Nikita, Monk, Sanctuary, Heartland, Chasing Cain, 100 Days in the Jungle and Flashpoint.

David La Haye (Georges-Étienne Cartier), one of Quebec's most exciting actors, starred in the highly acclaimed film Un crabe dans la tête for which he received the 2002 Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. He has been nominated two other times for Genie Awards as Best Actor as well as twice nominated as Best Actor for the Jutra Award. He is the lead actor in the series Mirador that debuted on Radio-Canada in January 2010.

For additional information online please visit www.johnabirthofacountry.com and the official JOHN A: BIRTH OF A COUNTRY Facebook page.

JOHN A: Birth of a Country is part of the CBC's "75 Days of Programming", a line-up of new and original programs celebrating the CBC's 75th Anniversary. A comprehensive calendar of all anniversary-related programming and events is posted at www.cbc.ca/75

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Women's History Month 2011 Celebrates the Proud Legacy of Women in Canadian Military Forces

OTTAWA, September 14, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, announced the theme for Women's History Month, which will be celebrated across Canada during the month of October. This year's theme -Women in Canadian Military Forces: A Proud Legacy - celebrates women's contributions, now and throughout history, to the Canadian Forces.

"The contributions of women form a rich and vibrant part of Canada's proud military legacy," said Minister Ambrose. "I encourage all Canadians to take this opportunity to learn their stories and recognize their contributions."

"Women in the Canadian Forces are celebrated for their bravery, dedication and leadership as soldiers, sailors, and airwomen," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "I am proud of the contributions of women warriors, to building a more secure Canada, to protecting North America, and to contributing to international peace and security."

Canadians are encouraged to take an active role in celebrating Women's History Month. Activities will be happening across the country, and Canadians can either attend these events or organize their own events to celebrate the women in their communities.

October is Women's History Month in Canada, which provides an opportunity for Canadian's to learn about the important contributions of women to our society - and to the quality of our lives today.

For more information on the women who have played a role in Canada's military history or for more information on Woman's History Month, please visit www.swc-cfc.gc.ca.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Libraries across Ontario celebrate Culture Days

1911 Guelph Public Library

TORONTO, September 7, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Public libraries throughout Ontario have enthusiastically embraced the spirit of Culture Days. More than 100 public libraries in small towns, mid-sized cities and major urban centres in Ontario are taking part in Culture Days celebrations September 30 to October 2, 2011. Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the public's awareness, participation and engagement in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Find out about Culture Days activities taking place in your community by visiting www.culturedays.ca

During the Aeroplan Culture Stories Contest, Canadians told Culture Days that their public library is a favourite place to experience arts and culture. As Catherine B. of Ottawa said, a library is

"more than books and dust; it's thriving, growing, cultivating - we meet, we share, we have a place that's purely for exploration. Libraries ARE community, and they burst with arts and culture."

The Elgin County Library is hosting a reading by Giller Prize winning author Bonnie Burnard and the Cambridge Libraries and Galleries is presenting storytellers Tongues Wagging Productions. The Stratford, Grimsby and Windsor public libraries are all holding "Human Libraries" during Culture Days. The public can check out "human books" including artists, writers and musicians who have volunteered for one-on-one informative and entertaining chats.

"Public libraries and Culture Days are a natural match because both are about inclusion and making sure that culture is available to everyone in the community," said Stratford Public Library CEO Sam Coghlan.

Beyond the literary world, many Ontario libraries are also hosting a range of arts and heritage activities, such as a bilingual demonstration by instrument builder Pierre Laframboise at the Greater Sudbury Library. The Innisfil Public Library is holding a dance workshop by the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and the Whitby Public Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary by asking the public to scan their historic photos of Whitby into a digital photo collection.

"Libraries have obviously come a long way in 100 years," says Whitby Public Library CEO Ian Ross, "Back then we were inward looking. Today we are collaborative organizations, working with so many partners to achieve shared goals."

Several major urban library systems have offered their spaces to artists and cultural groups wishing to present Culture Days activities. The London Public Library is hosting activities at every library branch in London. Similarly, the Toronto Public Library (TPL) is hosting 85 activities at 48 library branches for their program "Culture Days @ the Library." This large-scale partnership between TPL, Culture Days and the Neighbourhood Arts Network is an unprecedented opportunity for the public to engage directly with artists in their own neighbourhoods.

"The great variety of cultural activities in urban library branches - from music and dance to poetry, storytelling, painting, bookbinding and stone carving - is testimony to the artistic talents in our cities," said Toronto Public Library's Senior Services Specialist Miriam Scribner. "In opening up library spaces for Culture Days, we are connecting artistic creators with local communities, providing high quality cultural experiences that are not always easily accessible."

A complete list of participating Ontario libraries is available here and more information about the Toronto Public Library's involvement in Culture Days is available here.

About Culture Days

Culture Days is a collaborative, Canada-wide volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. The first Culture Days event in September, 2010, swept across more than 700 Canadian cities and towns. The second annual Culture Days weekend will feature more than 1200 activities across Ontario this September 30, October 1 and October 2, 2011. Once again, the event will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate "behind the scenes"—and to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers, and more at work in their community.

Please visit www.culturedays.ca or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

Culture Days in Ontario is supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario in recognition of Celebrate the Artist Weekend.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Heritage Canada Foundation Releases 2011 Top Ten Endangered Places and Worst Losses Lists

Cape Jourimain Lighthouse, Bayfield, N.B.
photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) via Flickr

OTTAWA, September 2, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) has released its Top Ten Endangered Places and Worst Losses Lists drawing attention to a total of 13 architectural and heritage sites in Canada either threatened with demolition or already lost.

The Top Ten Endangered Places List, compiled from nominations received as well as from news items that HCF has been following and reporting on throughout the year includes:

...Bank of Montreal Building, Edmonton — a prominent modernist gem heading for landfill

...Civic Centre, Moose Jaw, Sask. — award-winning hockey arena facing demolition if new use not found

...Brighton Public School, Brighton, Ont. — a solid historic brick building on school board's chopping block

...Cockshutt Office and Timekeeper's Building, Brantford, Ont. — time is running out on designated heritage buildings part of the once thriving industrial heart of the city.

...The Guild Inn, Toronto — multiple levels of authority could scuttle plans of a would-be city partner willing to rehabilitate designated site.

...Historic District of Sillery, Quebec — condominium developers circling estates that make up this designated cultural landscape

...Cape Jourimain Lighthouse, Bayfield, N.B. — the clock is ticking as local groups try to raise funds to save iconic lighthouse

...Mount Allison Memorial Library, Sackville, N.B. — university Board of Regents pushing to demolish war-time monument - a case of academic indifference

...Fisherman's Row Houses, Port Union, Newfoundland and Labrador — an opportunity to preserve part of the Fisherman's Protective Union's legacy and provide affordable housing scuttled by unwilling absentee owners

...Kays Brothers Building, Charlottetown, P.E.I. — new owner looking to delist and demolish large and impressive historic commercial building for a new hotel.

Click Backgrounder for the full story and photographs.

Topping the Worst Losses List is the historic Empress Hotel in Toronto, lost due to neglect, lack of municipal resources and indifferent owners - and ultimately by an arsonist's fire.

Other examples of historic places needlessly destroyed by the wrecking ball are Vancouver's Pantages Theatre and the Methodist Episcopal Church in Picton, Ontario.

Click Worst Losses for more information.

The Heritage Canada Foundation is a national, membership-based, non-profit organization with a mandate to promote the preservation of Canada's historic buildings and places.

Shrimp Peelers, Pig Nurses and Thieves: Ancestry.ca Celebrates Canada's Strangest Jobs in Honour of Labour Day

TORONTO, September 1, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - According to a new national survey, most Canadians dream of becoming doctors, entertainers or professional athletes. But dreams don't always come true. From shrimp peelers and pig nurses to barn poop cleaners and thieves, Ancestry.ca, Canada's leading family history website1, takes a look at some of the strangest jobs from our past and present.

More than 1,100 Canadians were asked to list their dream job and the worst job they've ever had, and the results were intriguing, if not often confusing. Among the worst jobs were variations on the farm hand theme, which included "poop barn cleaner," "cleaner of the horse barn" and a job title that allows the imagination to run wild - "intensive livestock operations."

There were also several entries related to the canning of fish in factories, including one individual with a niche skill of "peeling shrimp." Interestingly, there were repeated entries for "daycare" and "babysitting" as the worst jobs Canadians have ever had, and even one entry for something that many will agree is hard work, though not technically a job - "marriage."

In terms of dream jobs, it was a close race between "author" and "doctor," both listed by 11 per cent of the respondents as their dream job. Those were followed by "musician" (10 per cent), "actor" (eight per cent) and "professional athlete" (seven per cent) rounding out the top five dream careers. Some of the more interesting dream jobs included "lighthouse keeper," "shepherd," "thief" and "dolphin trainer."

Delving through the world's largest collection of online historical records at Ancestry.ca, including national censuses and immigration collections, one can find that Canadians have always held some unique professions, though many of these jobs would be best to leave off of a CV:

...Pig Nurse - Mary Brown, a 26-year-old Toronto resident, is listed in the 1901 Census as a pig nurse, which would appear to be a very rare specialty of the veterinarian family of medicine.

...Lunatic Keeper - John Corbett has the distinction of being Canada's only official 'Lunatic keeper', according to the 1901 Census. John, a 48-year-old, lived in Saint John, New Brunswick.

...Idiot - Neither politically correct or technically even an occupation, the Canadian censuses list three people as 'Idiots', meaning they were patients in Asylums.

...Beggar - Canada had nearly 40 people officially claiming to be professional 'Beggars' between 1851 and 1916, including poor Mary Munroe, a 25-year-old Baptist living in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

...Witch -John Quinn, a 48-year-old resident of Gaspe, Quebec, is listed as a 'Witch' in the 1881 Census.

The lure to Canada's Wild West during the late 1800s is evident with more than 30,000 individuals reporting their occupation as 'Saloon Keeper'. There was also a significant number of 'Cattle Herders', 'Horse Dealers', and more than 8,000 'Stable Boys'.

Looking at historical immigration records like the Canadian Passenger Lists: 1865-1935, one can see that Canada's early settlers were made up primarily of those seeking a better way of life in a new land. The work they did helped shape the fibre of a young nation.

The opening of Canada's west in the late 1800s drew large numbers of German immigrants, mostly farmers. The farmers, used to the harsh conditions of farming in Eastern Europe, were some of the most successful in adapting to the Canadian prairies.

In 1895, following reports of the vast amounts of free land available in the new world, Joseph Oleskiw - a professor of agriculture in the Ukraine - published a pamphlet, About the Free Lands, advertising Canada as the most suitable country for settlement. While the exact numbers remain unknown, it is estimated that between the mid-1870s and 1914 170,000 Ukrainians settled in Canada, mainly as farmers

The first Chinese to settle in Canada were a small group of 50 artisans. They'd been contracted by Captain John Meares in 1788 to set up a trading post of otter pelts on Vancouver Island. It wasn't until 1858 that the next wave of Chinese came to Canada, pulled by the lure of the gold rush in the Fraser River Valley. In the 1870's and 1880's they were followed by another wave of young peasant migrants who came to build the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Rockies.

"For many people throughout history, occupations and careers really helped to define who they were and what they stood for as individuals and within the context of the society in which they lived. Understanding what our ancestors did for a living can reveal a great deal about the type of people they were and can provide a glimpse into what kind of life they may have experienced," said Roger Dunbar, Managing Director for Ancestry.ca.

To find out what your ancestors did for a living, visit www.ancestry.ca.

About Ancestry.ca

Canada's leading family history website, Ancestry.ca hosts 128 million Canadian records, including the complete historical Canadian censuses from 1851 to 1916, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early as 1813, Quebec vital records (The Drouin Collection), Canadian passenger lists and U.S. / Canada border crossings.

Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and belongs to the global network of Ancestry websites (wholly owned by Ancestry.com Operations Inc.), which hosts seven billion records. To date, more than 26 million family trees have been created and 2.6 billion profiles and 65 million photographs and stories uploaded. (July 29, 2011).