Happy April Fool’s Day! We’re happy to be celebrating our fifth year and thank you to our readers for all your support over the years!
After five years of operation, ActiveHistory.ca will be shutting down because of government funding cuts. This website, originally envisioned as a Canadian version of Britain’s popular History & Policy website, grew into a widely accessed collection of blog posts, podcasts, book reviews, and short papers.
By the end of 2009, blogging had become our backbone (we now have over 800 posts) and the editorial collective began to develop a series of partnerships with like-minded organizations. The most fruitful ones, such as the Toronto Public Library’s History Matters lecture series and THEN/HiER’s Approaching the Past workshops, became important institutions of their own. In recent years, the website expanded the book review section and added the History Slam! podcast series. In addition to the growing range and quantity of content, the size of the project also continued to grow. Although ActiveHistory.ca operates on an entirely volunteer basis, the editorial collective expanded from five members based at York University to a team of seven located across the country. Contributors, who included graduate students, full professors, public historians, archivists and members of the public, also gave their time freely and the quality of our content relied on their generosity.
Visits to the site continued to grow. Over the past year the site received between 16,000 and 32,000 visitors each month and it was not uncommon to attract well over than 1,000 visitors in a day. Some of this increase in popularity was surely spurred by our contributors’ critiques of government policy at Library and Archives Canada, its expensive commemoration of the War of 1812, and more recently the apparent censorship of a leading feminist historian and the end of the Historical Thinking Project. Sadly, we now fall victim to this same trend. Although our website does not currently rely on any funding, government cutbacks now mean that we must shut our doors too.