History Slam Episode Ten: The Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities

By Sean Graham

In the six months or so since I started this podcast, I’ve been amazed to learn how many different groups and organizations are working around the country to promote the study of history. For as much lamenting and hand-wringing that goes on every time a study is released decrying Canadians’ general lack of historical knowledge, there are thousands of people working to engage people in the stories of the past. At a time when there’s been lots of talk of cuts that could prove damaging to the discipline, it’s good to know that there’s so many people from coast-to-coast working so hard to promote Canada’s history.

In this episode of the History Slam I talk with Glenn McKnight and Bob Bell from the Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities, a local historical group from Oshawa, Ontario. We chat about the group’s projects, which include the re-creation of a WWII Victory Garden, geocaching, and their new War of 1812 project, which included a dinner featuring regency dancing and “Kentucky militia” kidnapping the Queen’s representative. After talking about the American perspective of the war in an earlier podcast, it was fun to look at it from a local perspective.

As an added bonus, we also re-assemble the Prime Minister Fantasy Draft for a short recap. We talk about the responses to the draft – good, bad, and indifferent – and announce the big winner – even though it’s been pointed out to me that perhaps nobody can be a winner in a PM Fantasy Draft.

Sean Graham is a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa where he is currently working on a project that examines the early years of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has previously studied at Nipissing University, the University of the West Indies, and the University of Regina and like any red-blooded Canadian his ultimate dream is to be a curling champion while living on a diet of beer and poutine.

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