History
In the News

I had been looking forward to this day for weeks. On Friday, 28 June 2013, a fleet of Tall Ships sailed into Hamilton Harbour on Lake Ontario as part of the War of 1812 bicentennial. I had arranged to leave work early, catching the bus from Toronto to Hamilton in time to see the ships arrive. What […]

Canada Soup
In the News
Stompin' Tom Connors (public domain).

Canada’s folk hero Stompin’ Tom Connors has died at age 77. His songs of Canadian life, from Sudbury nickel miners to P.E.I. potato farmers and the joys of a good snowmobile, paint a picture of his great love for Canada. In his last letter to fans, Stompin’ Tom credits Canada’s beauty and inspiration as the source “driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world.” Rest in Peace, Tom. [StompinTom]

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Education
Film
History
A Desert Between Us And Them

The upcoming documentary, A Desert Between Us and Them: Raiders, Traitors and Refugees in the War of 1812, tells the story of the American raids on an undefended Upper Canadian peninsula (now Southwestern Ontario) during the War of 1812. Rather than give a straight military account, A Desert Between Us and Them focuses on the civilians caught in the war – people who were faced with food shortages, constant pressure to change allegiance, thousands of refugees, and the eventual abandonment of Southwestern Ontario by the British army. War was not remote. It came up to their doorsteps, into their homes and changed their lives forever.

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Canada Soup
History
In the News
GraveQR

The Quebec film Rebelle (War Witch) has been nominated for an Oscar in the best foreign-language film category! Directed by Montreal’s Kim Nguyen, it tells the moving and heartbreaking story of child soldiers in Africa. [Montreal Gazette]

The Grammy Awards will honour legendary Toronto pianist Glenn Gould with a lifetime achievement award this February! With four Grammys to his name, the famously eccentric Gould was one of the 20th century’s most celebrated classical pianists. [Globe & Mail]

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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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Education
History
In the News
The-Encampment-Fort-York
ft-york-encampment

Sunset at Fort York’s The Encampment.

June 15 kicked off the city of Toronto’s War of 1812 celebrations, with an abundance of free and lively events around town in conjunction with the Luminato Festival. The Canadian Encyclopedia attended a handful of events, one of which was a unique art installation called The Encampment at Fort York.

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History
Battle of Queenston Heights
George Prevost

Portrait of Sir George Prevost, attributed to Robert Field, circa 1808-11.  (courtesy McCord Museum/McGill University).

On September 13, 1811, Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost arrived at Quebec to take up the duties of Captain General and Governor-in-Chief of British North America. Prevost, an officer with considerable military and colonial experience, was appointed the task of readying British North America for a war with the United States.

The Prince Regent and the government gave Prevost specific guidance that limited his military and diplomatic authority. He could not undertake offensive action into the United States or declare war on his own. Most importantly, as Britain was pre-occupied with the war against Bonaparte, he could not expect any large-scale reinforcements.

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Canada Soup
In the News
pierre-juneau

This week Pierre Juneau, the head of the CRTC and an early champion of Canadian content, passed away. Under Pierre Trudeau, Juneau mandated minimum standards for Canadian content (CanCon) on the TV and radio, winning him few friends among broadcasters but the loyal support of Canadian performers. He forever changed what Canadians watched and heard, and his legacy of promoting and carving a space for Canadian artists has lasted to this day. [CBC]

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History

The Historica-Dominion Institute, in partnership with Fort York National Historic Site, presents the first of their 1812 Shorts in celebration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. In this video, Ojibway writer Drew Hayden Taylor discusses the role of First Nations in the War of 1812. Stay tuned for more videos in the series. […]

Canada Soup
In the News
harkvagrant-header
Hark! A Vagrant

A comic from Kate Beaton's website, Hark! A Vagrant.

This week, Canadian history buffs across the nation celebrated Sir John A. Macdonald‘s 197th birthday, remembering the contributions of our country’s first prime minister and great uniter. We celebrated our early history even as one of our most storied publishing houses, McClelland and Stewart, was taken over by the German-owned Random House, leaving a big question mark as to the future of Canadian publishing and, in many ways, the question of Canadian identity.

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