While May Day is celebrated widely just about everywhere except North America, its roots are firmly in the United States, in Chicago to be precise. It is also a product of the struggle of workers for the eight-hour day, one of the key demands of workers during the late nienteenth century and much of the twentieth. While May Day is known as the day of international workers’ solidarity, there is no one song associated with it. “Solidarity Forever”, “Joe Hill, Hold The Fort” and “The Internationale” are all widely sung in Canada as is “Bread and Roses”.
On April 10th, friends, family members and colleagues of Helmut Kallmann gathered in the spacious main lobby of the University of Toronto’s Edward Johnson Building to remember Helmut Kallmann, who passed away on February 12, 2012.
Helmut Kallmann was the pioneer scholar of Canadian music history and the founder of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada and author of A History of Music in Canada 1534-1941. He was co-founder of the Canadian Music Library Association and the first chief of the National Library of Canada’s Music Division (1970-1987).
The sinking of the Titanic has resonated now for 100 years in the consciousness of Canadians. The grief, wonder, and curiosity the disaster continues to inspire has been the impetus for countless literary works. While the majority of these are factual or biographical, significant imaginative works of poetry and prose have been produced, works that strive to understand the psychological, social and personal effects of the disaster. Here, then, is a survey of some of the most important works of poetry produced on the subject of the sinking of the Titanic, poetry read and loved by, and for the most part produced by, Canadians.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I thought it was appropriate to revist some classic shipwreck songs, from the Jack-Johnson-inspired “Fare Thee Well Titanic” to a vibrant toast about escaping the Titanic’s sinking, and a popular Stan Rogers’ song about the fictional wreck and rebuilding of the the Mary Ellen Carter.
The Titanic, named for the Titans, or god-giants of Greek mythology, was the largest (269 m), most luxurious ocean liner to its time. It was touted to be unsinkable, but it struck an iceberg just before midnight on April 14, 1912, on the fifth day of its maiden voyage, and sank in 2 hours, 40 minutes, with the loss of 1513-1522 lives, including the captain and Canadian railway tycoon Charles Melville Hays.
For the 328 people whose bodies were recovered at the site of the Titanic disaster, unique fatality reports were created. They speak volumes about those whose bodies were retrieved. From third-class passengers to millionaires, these reports document their lives through what they had on their person that fateful night.
A friend in the business passed along an email press release a while back because he assumed I might be interested. It opened with, “Cineplex Entertainment will celebrate 100 years of movies and movie-going memories in 2012.” Curious, I thought. As a corporate entity, Cineplex has only been around since 1979, when entertainment lawyer/producer Garth Drabinsky and distributor/exhibitor Nat Tayor launched the company with their first Cineplex theatres in Toronto’s Eaton Centre. Hardly the birth of cinema (the first public screening took place in Paris, Dec. 28, 1895), so what was “1912” referring to?
de Havilland Canada‘s legacy lies in creating aircraft that are essentially Canadian – weatherproof, utilitarian and beautiful in a rugged way. Their planes are built to battle through Canada’s severe elements, but have also proven durable in all climates of the globe, essentially being Canada’s global ambassadors of the sky. de Havilland Canada has proven to the world that when you build aircraft to defeat Canada’s wilderness, you’ve created aircraft capable of defeating any spot on the globe. It rekindles the legends of the first pilots – adventurers, daredevils, fearless heroes – in anyone buzzing over land, water, sand and ice in de Havilland’s very Canadian wings.
Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden was born on March 27th, 1962, in Calgary and raised in Springbank, Alberta. Known equally for her wit and skillful, heartfelt song-writing, Jann is a 10-time Juno award winner (an event which she hosted in 1997). In 2006 Jann was awarded a star on the Canada’s Walk of Fame. What is the secret to her success? In a 1995 Chatelaine article, she credited her passion for music to her father’s mother, “a stormin’ Mormon who was outspoken and flinty and played a tough, two-fisted piano.” You know her music, but how much do you really know about Jann Arden’s life and career?
With Air Canada staff staging a wildcat strike today (including a horrific incident involving a man spitting into a baggage handler’s face) the CBC reviews the ailing airline’s history of labour strife. [CBC]
In a major legal decision, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that judges who do not consider lenient or creative sentences for aboriginal offenders are violating the law. The decision has been so polarizing (and energizing) that the Globe & Mail article, posted today, has received over 900 comments, some insightful, others deeply offensive. The crux of the matter seems to be this: how far does historic disadvantage (including institutionalized racism and oppression) extend?
I did not meet Pat until she began coming regularly to the Music Division at the then National Library of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada) in the late 1970s. After the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (EMC) had been put to bed, work on the second edition began almost immediately and Pat’s efficiency and enthusiasm, not to mention her “eagle eye” for typos or inconsistencies, were great assets to the existing team.