Category Archives: History and Culture

The Toronto Church Memorials to Soldiers of the Great War Project

Ross Fair Each Remembrance Day, Torontonians assemble for services of remembrance at public cenotaphs such as the civic cenotaph at the front steps of Old City Hall, the University of Toronto’s Soldiers’ Tower and at the Cross of Sacrifice in Prospect Cemetery, where hundreds of Great War soldiers are buried. Yet, these public sites of remembrance represent but a small… Read more »

Stitching our World Back together – Material Culture Revitalization at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig

Mitch Case “Everyone has the right to feel good about who they are, and for us, with all that we have been through since the coming of the visitors to our island, this place given to us by the creator – it’s been a long time that we have not felt that way, but everyone, and there is no exception… Read more »

Memory and Objects: Family History, Local Economy, and Hook Rugs

Stephanie Pettigrew I would like to thank all of my family members who participated in helping me put this together, particularly my sister Debbie, my great-aunts Cecile, Stella, and Sophie, and my cousins Yvonne, Lisa, and Laura, who helped immensely with photos, by sharing memories, and spending hours chatting with me about what were sometimes difficult topics. Thank you. I… Read more »

History’s Reputation Problem: The Sequel, History isn’t Humourless, is it?!?

By Thomas Peace We’ve all heard it: History is boring. Historians may rebut: We’re not boring! We’re serious! A quick Google Image search suggests that both perspectives may be correct! Not only does history look boring and serious, it also looks White, Wealthy, Masculine, and Antiquated (okay: White, Male, and Stale). No wonder history has a reputation problem! Good news… Read more »

Talking History Podcasts, Vol. 2; or, The Podcast Lover’s Quarantine Survival Kit

Edward Dunsworth For my post this month, I’ve decided to revisit a piece I wrote last year in which I shared some of my favourite history podcasts. As many of us hunker down for extended periods of “social distancing” with the spread of COVID-19, we will be looking for ways to pass the time while at home. And what better… Read more »

Stand! Show and Tell (and Sing)

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David Frank The catalogue of labour history films in Canada is a small one. There is a very good body of work in the documentary tradition, but you will not need a long weekend to screen all of the dramatic films related to this country’s labour and working-class history.[1] To this shelf, we can now add a new film based… Read more »

Language Remediation at the WDM: Answering TRC Calls to Action #43 and #67

Kaiti Hannah Author Note: Portions of this blog post were originally published on WDM.ca. They are reproduced with permission from the authors and the Western Development Museum (WDM). The WDM is the provincially mandated human history museum of Saskatchewan. Language is important. The words we choose to use in our historical interpretation must be inclusive, accurate, respectful, current, and meaningful…. Read more »

Stitching History: Using Embroidery to Examine the Past

Sherry Farrell Racette in Looking for Stories and Unbroken Threads notes, “Through the power of colour and design, the objects in museum collections not only speak a powerful aesthetic, they also reveal critical information about the worlds and circumstances in which they were created.” Textiles have a role in telling community and personal histories and can tell stories that aren’t… Read more »

Staging History

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By Craig Heron Historians have become increasingly attuned to the role of performance in history. Many of us have written about the pomp and pageantry of the powerful, the theatre of the high courts, the processions of urban respectability, the rituals of resistance among the poor and powerless. We have been much more reticent, however, about using theatre to present… Read more »

Settler Colonialism, Residential Schools, and Architectural History

On October 24, 2019, Active History commenced a series on education “after” residential schools with an article written by Clinton Debogorski, Magdalena Milosz, Martha Walls and Karen Bridget Murray. The series is open-ended. Active History welcomes additional contributions on related themes. By Magdalena Milosz I remind Until I fall. Rita Joe, “Hated Structure”[1] Throughout my undergraduate education in architecture, I… Read more »