Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Minister for Department of Heritage

The now-former Heritage Minister, James Moore, was replaced with Shelly Glover as the new Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages during yesterday’s federal government cabinet shuffle.

Minister Glover, a Métis, is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Saint-Boniface in Manitoba.

Her profile says that “Prior to entering federal politics, Mrs. Glover served as a member of the Winnipeg Police Service for almost 19 years. She had a diverse career in a variety of positions including undercover work, child abuse investigations, youth crime and gang investigations, and general patrol. Mrs. Glover has a high level of proficiency in the French language and was the first female and bilingual spokesperson appointed by her department”.

While we welcome Minister Glover to her new post, you will notice that there is nothing in her profile which would lead anyone to believe that she will be sympathetic to the genealogy community, the Library and Archives Canada, or the 1921 Canadian Census (and its release), as was the impression given by her predecessor Minister Moore, who is now the new Minister of Industry.

But time will tell ...

Toronto Heritage Lecture

The 2013 Toronto History Lecture, titled Mary Mink: The Making of a Myth, will explore the sometimes blurred line between historical fact and historical fiction. James Mink was a successful Black businessman in Toronto in the 1840s and 1850s. His story is one of the best known tales of Black Torontonians in the 19th century, told and retold many times in newspapers and books.

In the 1990s, his story was made into a TV movie, Captive Heart: the James Mink Story, which was broadcast in Canada and the United States. In the screen version of events, Mink arranges for a white man to marry his daughter Mary and then stages a daring rescue when her husband whisks her off to the American South and sells her into slavery. The movie is said to be “based on historical records”, but as Guylaine Pétrin found out through her research, records can lie.

Admission is free, but reservation is required.

Please join us again this year in spreading the word about the Toronto History Lecture. It will be held on August 7th at 7:30 pm at the City of Toronto Archives and is presented jointly by the Archives and the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

For further details, including a map and driving directions to the Archives at 255 Spadina Road, visit http://conta.cc/187ZUcY. Questions may be directed to info@torontofamilyhistory.org  or Paul Sharkey (City of Toronto Archives) at 416-392-5561.

We look forward to unravelling the true story of Mary Mink with you on August 7th.