Until recently, the beginning of my workday was a run-of-the-mill affair. I would come in to the office, get a glass of water, maybe munch on an apple, and then get to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love working in Canadian history, and am generally thrilled to be an employed arts graduate; but something […]

History
Things//Choses

I have no distinct memory of the first time I saw a Heritage Minute. I watched a lot – like A LOT – of television as a child in the early nineties, probably more than I or my parents would like to admit. Much of it was CBC programming, if that may redeem me or […]

Film
Politics
Jack Layton

“Jack”, the new biopic on the late Jack Layton, tells the story of romance and politics behind the charismatic NDP leader. It premiers on Sunday, March 10 on CBC.

History
In the News
Literature
Sunshine Sketches

SUNSHINE SKETCHES OF A LITTLE TOWN
Airs this Sunday, February 12th at 8 pm on CBC

Based on the life and writings of Stephen Leacock, Canada’s first and foremost humorist, this two-hour signature television event celebrates the book’s 100th anniversary. The reinterpretation of the popular work combines two key stories from Leacock’s time-honoured Canadian classic of the same name, first published in 1912: the sinking of The Mariposa Belle steamer with its holiday crowd in the perilously shallow waters of Lake Wissanotti; together with the frantic campaign to save Mariposa’s hotel and public bar from the Liquor Commission’s shutdown. Leacock’s sly, humorous portrait of small-town Canada—a portrait that mirrors the whole nation—remains intact in the adaptation.

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Canada Soup
In the News
Canada First Polymer Note
Canada First Polymer Note

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, introduces the new Canadian $100 bill. (Image: Peter J. Thompson, National Post)

Welcome to the first weekly instalment of “Canada Soup” where we roundup news on Canadian history, identity, and fun and bizarre developments in the country. Like the internet, and our country for that matter, our roundup is an eclectic smorgasbord where news of Canada’s first polymer note mixes with the imagined apocalyptic future of the CBC and a surprising admission of military defeat by a US scholar. What remains constant in this alphabet soup is our steady focus on our dear old country Canada!

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English
Things//Choses
Adam Gopnik Winter
Adam Gopnik Winter

Adam Gopnik"s Winter: Five Windows on the Season (House of Anansi Press, 2011).

It was my good fortune on October 26 to attend the final lecture on Adam Gopnik’s tour to deliver this year’s Massey Lectures on the theme of “Winter.” It took place in the beautiful Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory, University of Toronto. Gopnik of course is the famous New Yorker writer, with a number of bestselling books, including Paris to the Moon. On “winter,” this most Canadian of themes, the author is careful to point out his bona fides, that though born in Philadelphia, he grew up in Montreal.

It is a great pleasure to attend a live lecture and I went with such anticipation, which was somewhat dampened by the length of the introductions and formalities.

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Literature

On October 12, internationally acclaimed writer and New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik arrives in Montreal to deliver his lecture on the most Canadian of subjects – winter. In conjunction with the CBC Massey Lectures, Gopnik will be delivering his lectures based on his new book Winter: Five Windows on the Season, a meditation on winter’s […]

History
John A. Macdonald

Poster published by the Industrial League to appeal to the old ways on which Macdonald built the power of the Conservative Party (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-6536).

Tonight, get ready for the premiere of John A: Birth of a Country, airing on CBC Television. The two-hour political thriller follows the fight for power between charismatic Conservative leader John A. Macdonald and his opponent George Brown, leader of the future Liberal Party and founder of the Globe and Mail newspaper. Covering the years between1856 and1864, John A. shows both men spurred into action by intense hatred towards one another and wildly different visions for Canada.

As the English in Upper Canada (Ontario) are pitted against the French in Lower Canada (Quebec), the country threatens to crumble under the watchful, covetous eyes of the United States, who fancy annexing Canada’s northern land. England, meanwhile, has no desire to fight for Canada. During this tumultuous time, two men – John A. Macdonald and George Brown – butt heads as they fight to control Canada’s future.

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