Tag Archives: Commemoration

Local Tragedy or National Disaster? Commemorating the Halifax Explosion Centenary

By Claire L. Halstead Canada’s sesquicentennial has been contentious. Both historians and the broader public have discussed and debated the commemoration and celebration of the “birth of the nation”. Although less feted and expectantly less controversial, this year also marks the centenary of the Halifax Explosion. With our senses heightened from tuning into (or out of) Canada’s sesquicentennial, the 100th… Read more »

#Canada150 / #Colonialism150: An Advertising History

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Janis Thiessen Government advertising for the sesquicentennial of Confederation began in 2013, “aimed at increasing Canadians’ knowledge and pride in Canada’s history and heritage.” The federal government promoted licensing agreements for commercial use of the “Canada 150” logo. A number of businesses in Canada took the opportunity to promote their products by connecting them to Canadian nationalism and Canadian history… Read more »

The Bolshevik: Art, Revolution and Canada

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By Laura Brandon On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, this article sheds light on the background and history of a virtually unknown 1918 Canadian War Museum painting by English artist, David Jagger (1891-1958). Entitled The Bolshevik, it is an impressive if anomalous canvas in the museum’s war art collection. The circumstances surrounding this artwork’s creation,… Read more »

A Walk down Memory Lane: A Public Engagement Project about the Halifax Public Gardens

By Claire L. Halstead Last Friday, I received an intriguing phone call. A woman had seen the recent piece on my Halifax Public Gardens Memory Project on the CBC evening news and she wanted to donate a framed photograph. Like any intrigued historian, I gratefully said yes. The photo, still in its original frame, is hand labeled “Public Gardens, Halifax,… Read more »

Contesting Canada Day : A Tradition of Engagement, Challenges and Change

Matthew Hayday “For God’s sakes won’t you listen? What have we got to celebrate? I don’t like what has happened over the last 500 years or 125 years.”[i] No, that’s not a typo, and it’s not a quote that comes from the media coverage of protest against this year’s Canada 150 celebrations, although it certainly has the same feel. I… Read more »

Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, “Architect” of Residential Schools?

Matthew Hayday On June 21, 2017, National Aboriginal Day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government would be changing the name of the day to National Indigenous Peoples Day. He also announced that his government would change the name of the Langevin Block, which houses the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office. The name change had been… Read more »

A Focus on Family: Creating an Exhibit about 19th-Century Archival Photographs

Jay Young with Alison Little Family Focus: Early Portrait Photography at the Archives of Ontario is a free photography exhibit on display at the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto, from June 27 to July 21. The exhibit, part of the Archives of Ontario’s Ontario150 programming, features 15 original and 45 reproduction photos from the late 19th century that depict… Read more »

The Alderville War Memorial: A Bizarre Monument or A Community’s Search for Meaning?

By Jackson Pind If you drive north from Highway 401 in southern Ontario along county road 45, you will come across the reserve of Alderville First Nation, nestled on the shore of Rice Lake. If you travel in this direction, which summer cottagers and scenic adventurers often do, you will notice a striking monument in the middle of the endless… Read more »

The importance of historical and social context to public art: Fearless Girl and Charging Bull

By Kaitlin Wainwright In the cover of night in 1989, Arturo Di Modica installed his bronze statue Charging Bull at Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District. He had been working at it since shortly after the stock market crash some two years prior. It was a symbol of power and resilience. He did not have a permit, and the… Read more »

Canada 150: What’s to Celebrate?

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Christopher Dummitt In this year of Canada 150, it’s not uncommon on university campuses to hear a lot of scepticism about “celebrations” of confederation. This isn’t especially surprising. Scholars rarely celebrate anything (unless it is the end of marking season). But celebrations of the nation state often seem intrinsically troublesome – something we study rather than take part in. Our… Read more »