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Yukon and Confederation
Yukon entered Confederation in 1898, after a gold rush boom led Canada to create a second northern territory out of the Northwest Territories (NWT).
Canadian Film History: 1939 to 1973
Filmmaking is a powerful form of cultural and artistic expression, as well as a highly profitable commercial enterprise. From a practical standpoint, filmmaking is a business involving large sums of money and a complex division of labour. This labour is involved, roughly speaking, in three sectors: production, distributionand exhibition. The history of the Canadian film industry has been one of sporadic achievement accomplished in isolation against great odds. Canadian cinema has existed within an environment where access to capital for production, to the marketplace for distribution and to theatres for exhibition has been extremely difficult. The Canadian film industry, particularly in English Canada, has struggled against the Hollywood entertainment monopoly for the attention of an audience that remains largely indifferent toward the domestic industry. The major distribution and exhibition outlets in Canada have been owned and controlled by foreign interests. The lack of domestic production throughout much of the industry’s history can only be understood against this economic backdrop.
This article is one of four that surveys the history of the film industry in Canada. The entire series includes: Canadian Film History: 1896 to 1938; Canadian Film History: 1939 to 1973; Canadian Film History: 1974 to Present; Canadian Film History: Regional Cinema and Auteurs, 1980 to Present.
The Massey Commission was formally known as the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences. It was officially appointed by Prime Minister Louis St-Laurent on 8 April 1949. Its purpose was to investigate the state of arts and culture in Canada. Vincent Massey chaired the Commission. It issued its landmark report, the Massey Report, on 1 June 1951. The report advocated for the federal funding of a wide range of cultural activities. It also made a series of recommendations that resulted in the founding of the National Library of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada), the creation of the Canada Council for the Arts, federal aid for universities, and the conservation of Canada’s historic places, among other initiatives. The recommendations that were made by the Massey Report, and enacted by the federal government, are generally seen as the first major steps to nurture, preserve and promote Canadian culture.
Meech Lake Accord: Document
Canada’s Cold War Purge of LGBTQ from Public Service
Between the 1950s and the 1990s, the Canadian government responded to national security concerns generated by Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union by spying on, exposing and removing suspected LGBTQ individuals from the federal public service and the Canadian Armed Forces. They were cast as social and political subversives and seen as targets for blackmail by communist regimes seeking classified information. These characterizations were justified by arguments that people who engaged in same-sex relations suffered from a “character weakness” and had something to hide because their sexuality was considered a taboo and, under certain circumstances, was illegal. As a result, the RCMP investigated large numbers of people. Many of them were fired, demoted or forced to resign — even if they had no access to security information. These measures were kept out of public view to prevent scandal and to keep counter-espionage operations under wraps. In 2017, the federal government issued an official apology for its discriminatory actions and policies, along with a $145-million compensation package.
Canadian Bill of Rights
The Canadian Bill of Rights was the country’s first federal law to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. It was considered groundbreaking when it was enacted by the government of John Diefenbaker in 1960. But it proved too limited and ineffective, mainly because it applies only to federal statutes and not provincial ones. Many judges regarded it as a mere interpretive aid. The bill was cited in 35 cases between 1960 and 1982; thirty were rejected by the courts. Though it is still in effect, the Bill of Rights was superseded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982.
1939 Royal Tour
The 1939 royal tour by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was the first time a reigning Canadian monarch had set foot in this country. It was the most successful royal tour in Canadian history, with enormous crowds greeting the royal couple as they crossed the country by train. The tour, which included a four-day visit to the United States, also reinforced critical Anglo-Canadian and Anglo-American relations on the eve of the Second World War.
Cypress Hills Massacre
Though peaceful to visit today, the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan and Alberta had a troubled history in the years just after Confederation.
Great Western Rail Disaster
The railway train from Toronto (Canada West) was due at Hamilton at a quarter past six o'clock p.m., Thursday, March the 12th. It came on from Toronto as usual, and was proceeding at a moderate speed to cross the tressle or swinging bridge of the Des Jardins canal….
Discovering Gold in the Klondike
Robert Henderson drifted downstream in the shallow waters of the Indian River, heading toward Forty Mile to get supplies for the men panning for gold at Gold Bottom Creek.
Eugenics: Pseudo-Science Based on Crude Misconceptions of Heredity
"Great men are almost always bad men," Lord Acton famously said. If that is so, we are going to have to tolerate flaws if we want to celebrate "great" Canadians. The eugenics movement of the early 20th century particularly tries our tolerance of several of our textbook heroes.
Sinking of HMHS Llandovery Castle
On the evening of 27 June 1918, while sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Liverpool, England, the Canadian hospital ship Llandovery Castle was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat (U-86). Of the 258 crew and passengers, only 24 survived. Almost all the Canadian Army Medical Corps personnel were killed: six male officers, 64 enlisted men and 14 nursing sisters. Only one lifeboat escaped; the rest were either sucked under as the ship sank or attacked by the U-boat. The submarine’s officers were later charged with committing a war crime.
Railway accidents may result from a number of situations, including improper track beds, metal fatigue, fire, flawed rails, human error and frail bridges.
One Step From Death
Dozens of people who were inside Elliot Lake’s doomed mall are haunted by close calls, fateful decisions and countless ‘what-ifs’
Canadian Museum of Nature
The Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN), designated as a crown corporation in 1990 under the Museums Act, is the national museum of natural history.
Wartime Home Front
The two world wars of the 20th century were total wars that involved the whole nation, and the "home front" became a critical part of Canada’s effort.
Quebec Conference of 1864
There was no media circus surrounding the conference. The press was banned from the discussions, so the newspaper reports said a great deal about the miserable October weather, but precious little about what was discussed in the meetings.
The Halifax Explosion of 1917
In Richmond Prison, at the end of Gottingen Street, Halifax, the warden's young son was drawn to a window by a spectacular display of fireworks. Too sick to go to school that day he had gone to work with his dad.
The Parliament Hill Fire of 1916
Members of the press gallery who took their time going down the winding staircase were quickly immersed in thick black smoke. Along the way they ran into the prime minister, Sir Robert Borden, and his secretary making their way to the exit almost on hands and knees.