The Historica-Dominion Institute mourns the passing of Peter Lougheed, a great Albertan and Canadian. Along with his many achievements on behalf of his country, the Institute in particular is grateful for his commitment to history, shown through his constant support of our initiatives. In 1978, when Mr. Lougheed was asked, in his capacity as Alberta premier, to support the creation of The Canadian Encyclopedia, he immediately agreed – and also offered to underwrite the Encyclopedia’s development cost. He then decided to provide additional funding in order to send a copy to every school and library in Canada. This gesture became Alberta’s gift to Canada, given on the occasion of Alberta’s 75th anniversary. That grant marked the first in support of the Encyclopedia, a national resource that has now been available to Canadians for almost 30 years (available today in online form.)
When I arrived in Edmonton in 1980 to become the editor of The Canadian Encyclopedia I was only dimly aware of the presence of the man at the epicentre of both the oil boom and the fight with Ottawa. Having lived in Ottawa I had experienced the power that another man, Pierre Trudeau, had over the political landscape, but I soon learned that Peter Lougheed had equally put his stamp on the dramatic decade of the 1970s.
August 20, 2011
Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.
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.
I met Helmut many years ago when I was a novice encyclopedist and he was already busy at work on the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. I remember clearly sitting in his office in the National Archives soaking up his sage advice about how to go about making an encyclopedia (not all of it repeatable!). I really had no-one else to talk to and learned so much from the way he described his editorial process, his relations with his fellow editors, and the very high standards that he set for EMC. I went back several times to visit and each time he was as generous to me as the last. I felt therefore that he was a big part of The Canadian Encyclopedia and that his spirit was helping to sustain us through a difficult challenge. In addition, of course on the subject of music, Helmut helped shape our encyclopedia and he made major contributions to it as both a consultant and a writer.
Helmut Kallmann was the chief pioneer of musical historiography and music librarianship in Canada. We were good friends from our student days, sixty-plus years ago.
When I was music editor for the University of Toronto student newspaper, Helmut said I gave him his first writing assignment. His later writings, as author of the still-much-quoted A History of Music In Canada, 1535-1914 (1960) and many seminal and provocative articles, and as senior editor of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (1981, second edition 1992), he influenced many, perhaps most, areas of musical life in this country, in his quiet and precise fashion. He told the University of Toronto student yearbook at the start of his career that his ambition was “to be useful” – a modest aim that in my view he more than realized.
“Pierre Trudeau among us was his greatest contribution.” - Rex Murphy
Pierre Trudeau’s death on September 28, 2000, brought about a spontaneous outpouring of national pride and mourning perhaps unprecedented for any political leader in our history. To many Canadians, he was the very embodiment of the nation. Yet, by what means can we judge a life? In a recent book two historians ranked Pierre Trudeau a paltry fifth among Canada’s prime ministers. If criteria for eminence were to include vision, force of character, style or intellect, then surely none but Macdonald would surpass Trudeau. He would be considered truly the second father of his country.
With the passing of Jack Layton last week we’ve lost a charismatic and engaging leader and a strong voice for our country. We’ve also lost one of our biggest advocates for young Canadians. One of the things I loved the most about Jack was his commitment to engaging young people and encouraging their participation in politics. I became involved with the NDP while studying at the University of Ottawa. In September 2006 I went down to a small bar on campus where Jack and his wife Olivia Chow were coming to talk to students. There was no election on and no campaign in sight; they were just taking time to check in.
Gil Courtemanche is no more. The journalist, an angry man whose biting words were well directed yet always fair, a brilliant essayist and writer rather surprised by the pen that calmly brought him a belated success, passed away during the night of August 18, 2011, a frightened and sick man. His commentaries, notably on Enjeux, […]
Gil Courtemanche n’est plus. Le journaliste, homme en colère aux mots acerbes, bien ciblés et toujours justes, l’essayiste brillant, l’écrivain un peu étonné de cette plume qui l’a tranquillement et un peu tard amené vers le succès, l’homme apeuré et malade s’est éteint dans la nuit du 18 août 2011. Ses reportages toujours sensibles, toujours […]
Our friend and contributor to The Canadian Encyclopedia, Alan Whitehorn of the Royal Military College of Canada, explains the significance of Jack Layton’s legacy and the unique role of the New Democratic Party in Canada on Radio Canada International. Some highlights:
On August 22, 2011, Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democrats, died after a brief and aggressive battle with an unnamed cancer. He was 61. Just months before, he led his party to unprecedented electoral success, becoming the Official Opposition in this year’s federal election in his last amazing race.
Everything about Jack Layton’s rally at Montreal’s Olympia Theatre, the biggest campaign event ever staged by the NDP in Quebec, had a sort of retro flair. There was the 1925 theatre itself, with its rococo red-and-gold plaster details. There was the lead-on band, the aptly named Quebec group Tracteur Jack, which played hopped-up swing. When Layton made his grand entrance, wading through a roaring crowd of more than 1,200, jauntily wielding the wooden cane he carries after hip surgery, he leapt to the podium like a barnstorming politician of old. Now that he’s 60, that signature moustache, which once recalled the disco era, looks more like a tribute to his social-democratic forebears. Some of his applause lines have a time-honoured left-wing ring, too. “A prime minister’s job,” he declares to cheers, “is to make sure the government works for those who have elected him, and not for big corporations.”