In the News
Literature
Canadian-Literary-Prizes-2012
A selection of Canadian literary prizewinners from 2012.

A selection of Canadian literary prizewinners from 2012.

Congratulations are due to the winners of the major literary prizes of the season. Not only will their publishers sell copies – increases from the thousands to the, well, dozens, depending on the genre – but their names will circulate more freely in the public sphere, their reputations increase substantially, and so they will find and delight more readers. We readers are, ultimately, the beneficiaries of these prizes when we find a new author to love, when we are introduced to a new genre we may investigate and savour for decades to come, when we introduce other readers in turn to books that please them.

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History
In the News
An aerial photograph of a bombing. From the personal collection of Jack Ford, taken by a member of the RCAF 414 Photo Unit.

An aerial photograph of a bombing. From the personal collection of Jack Ford, taken by a member of the RCAF 414 Photo Unit.

Jack Ford was a Canadian photographer during the Second World War for RCAF Squadron 414. While advancing across Western Europe, he took thousands of photographs, including Winston Churchill (with his proverbial cigar), King George VI, Nazi planes, and prisoners of war. He also captured glimmers of humanity: in one photo, a Canadian soldier dressed as Santa Claus helps a child drink from a teacup.

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In the News
Literature
Reading In Canadian

Margaret Atwood and Naomi Alderman’s new serial novel

Canadian literature has long had a thematic interest in the uncanny, the strange, the frightening, the unknown. From the magical and sometimes terrifying inhabitants of First Nations myths and legends, to the paranoiac claustrophobia imbuing early literature, identified by Northrop Frye as the “garrison mentality,” to the continued dread within contemporary literature of the myriad options for death and damage both Canadian wilderness and urban jungle afford, Canadian literary output can seem fixated on terror. And it’s certainly not the only artistic medium with such a focus – the Canadian film world has David Cronenberg, of course, and a new film festival called Blood in the Snow. Read More

History
In the News
Toronto in Time

Who says time travel is impossible? The Canadian Encyclopedia, a program of the Historica-Dominion Institute, is pleased to take you on a trip through time in its second free app in its “Cities in Time” series, Toronto in Time. Read More

History
In the News
Marilyn-Bell
Marilyn Bell

Marilyn Bell starting her swim, September 8, 1954 (courtesy Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame).

[Editor’s Note: The Canadian Encyclopedia is proud to present its second free app, Toronto in Time, highlighting the stories of the city. “Marilyn Bell Swims Lake Ontario” is one of over 160 unique stories in the app, available for iOS and Android.]

Marilyn Bell waded into the frigid waters of Lake Ontario at Youngstown, NY, at 11:07 p.m. September 8, 1954. It wasn’t supposed to be a race, but she made it into one. The Canadian National Exhibition had offered $10,000 to American swimmer Florence Chadwick to swim the lake. Many thought it was unfair not to include Canadians in the event. Only two others took up the challenge, Winnie Roach Leuszla and 16-year old Marilyn Bell.

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History
In the News
Gibralter Point Lighthouse, 2012 (photo by James Marsh).
Gibraltar Lighthouse Door

The mysterious disappearance of the first keeper, J.P. Rademuller, in 1815 has given rise to the lighthouse’s reputation as a haunted building (photo by James Marsh).

[Editor’s Note: The Canadian Encyclopedia is proud to present its second free app, Toronto in Time, highlighting the stories of the city. “Murdered Keeper Haunts Lighthouse” is one of over 160 unique stories in the app, available for iOS and Android.]

Legend has it that on the night of January 2, 1815, soldiers from Fort York went to the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse to buy beer smuggled from the US by the lighthouse keeper. But the keeper refused to sell, and the furious soldiers chopped him to pieces with an axe and buried the grisly bits to hide their crime. For two centuries, the keeper’s poor spirit has roamed the lighthouse.

There’s truth behind the tale. The lighthouse’s first keeper, J.P. Rademuller, mysteriously disappeared in 1815, and part of a human skeleton was later found nearby. But no soldiers were ever convicted, and the family that tended the lighthouse for 150 years declared as late as 1958 that they had never seen a ghost.

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Canada Soup
In the News
Alexander-Lincoln-header

In this week’s Canadian news roundup, a beloved politician passes, a minute launches, and Lily of the Mohawks gets canonized in Rome. It’s Canada Soup!

Lincoln Alexander, Canada’s first black MP and former Ontario lieutenant governor, has died at the age of 90. The son of a hotel maid and a railway porter, Alexander overcame racism to become a lawyer, a politician and Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, a post he held from 1985 to 1991. In the video above, he calls himself the “Obama of Canada” and praises Canada as “the greatest country in the world, bar none.” Alexander is survived by his wife Marni, his son Keith and his extended family. [Globe & Mail]

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History
In the News
minute-header

The new Heritage Minute tells the story of Richard Pierpoint, a black Loyalist and hero during the War of 1812.

History
In the News
isaac brock
isaac brock

Isaac Brock was long remembered as the fallen hero and saviour of Upper Canada (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-36181).

[Editor's Note: Saturday, October 13 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Sir Isaac Brock, the hero of the War of 1812.]

In the very early morning of October 13, 1812, Major General Isaac Brock was fast asleep in his bunk at Fort George, on the Niagara Frontier. About 4:00 am he was awakened by the distant thud of cannon fire. He rose in a flash, dressed, mounted his horse Alfred and dashed through the fort gate towards the sound of the guns.

Brock knew that the Americans, who had declared war on Britain in June, would try to invade somewhere along the frontier. Former US president Thomas Jefferson told President James Madison that taking Canada would be a “mere matter of marching.”

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In the News
Literature

It’s that time of year again: autumn is upon us, with the tang of decay in the air and the scent of paper burning in the woodstove. And paper, bound into books and printed in interesting and artisanal fonts, is the order of the day for lovers of Canadian literature in autumn. Forthwith: the shortlisted nominees for the three principal English-language fiction prizes of the season, for your readerly delectation, and possibly a quick trip to the local bookmaker on the corner.

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History
In the News
bluenose-header

On Saturday, September 29, the Bluenose II, a reconstructed version of Canada’s most famous ship, the Bluenose, will launch in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia!

Film
History
In the News
argo-header1

After the film Argo had its world premiere at the Toronto International Festival in September, friends of Ken Taylor, Canada’s former ambassador to Iran, criticized it for minimizing Canada’s role in the real-life events that inspired the film. Critics say that the film suggests that the CIA were the real heroes of the rescue mission and that for political reasons, Canada took the credit. It also paid short shrift to Taylor’s role as the mastermind of the operation.

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