Monday, February 9, 2015

Canadian Week in Review - 09 February 2015

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.

This Week in Canadian History

In 1858, gold was discovered along British Columbia's Fraser River, attracting 30,000 people to Canada's West Coast.
   Read about the Fraser River Gold Rush at

In 1873, Winnipeg was incorporated as a city.
   Read about the history of Winnipeg at

In 1880, a party of armed men murdered James Donnelly―as well as his wife, Johannah; his sons, Thomas and John; and his niece, Bridget Donnelly―in their farmhouse near the southwestern Ontario village of Lucan, near London, Ontario. Some say that the killings in Ontario were the result of a factional feud originating in County Tipperary, Ireland.
   To read further about the Donnelly murders, read

And while we've had our share of cold temperatures in Ottawa this winter, the lowest recorded temperature in Canadian history occurred on 3 February, 1947 at Snag, Yukon, when it went down to -62.8º Celsius (-81.04º Farenheit).
   See 10 Coldest Places In Canada at

Social Media

The Olive Tree Genealogy
Congralutions to Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the 12th blogiversary of her The Olive Tree Genealogy blog at
   I think she was the first Canadian to start a blog, and has kept at it now for the past 12 years.
Good job, Lorine! And now it’s on to your 13th birthday!

(Video) The Massey Murder: 100 years later, the tabloid tale still fascinates
   It was the trail of the century, and it took place in Toronto. It involved the shooting of Charles Bert Massey (of the Massey Ferguson farm equipment family) by Carrie Davies, the family maid.


Nova Scotia

African Heritage Month steeped in history – our history
   African Heritage Month this year is themed “Social Justice, Roots of Progress,” and with it the province will turn to its own history, to the 1700s during an era of slavery within the province, as well as the Black Loyalists.

Halifax’s unsung wartime heroes: the Home Guard
  They are the dozens of black men and women responsible for protecting a big chunk of Halifax’s core during the Second World War, when attacks from Canada’s enemies were not only feared but expected – it was called the Home Guard.

Prince Edward Island

Big rock with 1880s etchings made official heritage
   Sandstone petroglyphs hidden in woods of Bonshaw, Prince Edward Island.

New Brunswick

UNB's Toll of War project is 'propaganda,' historian says
   The Milton F. Gregg Centre received $488,155 in federal funding for a project to promote Victoria Cross recipients. Some say that the project, Toll of War, has a propaganda tone to it.

Moncton firefighters seek space to display memorabilia
   Moncton firefighters are looking for a place to display some artifacts from the department's 140-year history. One of the items is a 1926 fire truck, complete with wooden spokes in its wheels.


Getting to the 'root' of family history
   This is the first of a monthly series of articles on genealogy, written by members of the Kawartha Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. And the first columnist is the former Executive Director of the OGS – Dr. Fraser Dunford.

John Boyko: The best faces for Canadian banknotes
   In support of an effort begun a year ago by Victoria’s Merna Forster to have more women, such as the Famous Five, on Canadian money, another person gives his opinion.

City of Toronto to proclaim February as Black History Month
   The Toronto Public Library will recognize Black History Month with song, film, and literature that celebrate African-Canadian culture.
   On Friday, February 20, from 2 to 4 p.m., the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, will host Toronto’s Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke―along with Toronto poets Lillian Allen, Clifton Joseph, and Andrea Thompson―in a discussion called Malcolm X: 50 Years After – Pertinent or Passé?

Black History Month celebrates local talent
   Shaun Boothe―London native, renowned hip-hop artist, and motivational speaker―often stops by to see his mom, Dorothy Bingham, who still lives in London.


Quick lesson in Canadian black history
   Black history in Canada dates back to 1605, when the first black person set foot on Canadian soil. His name was Mathiew Da Costa, a free man who was hired as a translator.

90-year-old Lake Louise photo explores Canadian history
   There is a photograph from 1924, taken at Lake Louise, Alberta, which shows Thomas Edmonds Wilson, right, and Walter Dwight Wilcox, and man in traditional garb - Stoney Nation chief, John Hunter.

Stories of the Week

Ottawa is about to alter the physical and cultural landscape of the city by erecting two new moments within the downtown area this year.

One of them, the Memorial to Victims of Communism, has raised concern about the design of the memorial, which is to be placed between the Supreme Court of Canada building and the Library and Archives Canada.
There is an editorial entitled, Move the memorial, which has appeared in the Ottawa Citizen this week at It says, “Some quibble with the design, suggesting it’s little more than a boring, aesthetically displeasing pile of concrete flaps”.

Supporters say that Canada is a Land of Refuge, and that the monument will stand as a landmark in recognizing the role Canada has played in offering refuge to the millions that left behind torment and oppression for a new beginning in a free and democratic country.

So what do you think? This site was chosen because of its close proximity to the Supreme Court of Canada, the Peace Tower, Parliament Hill, and Library and Archives Canada.

The other monument is the National Holocaust Monument, called Landscape of Loss, Memory and Survival, to be built across from the Canadian War Museum, down the hill from the Library and Archives Canada.

Roughly 40,000 Holocaust survivors came to Canada from war-torn Europe during the late 1940s and early 1950s. That is a significant number of people, and Canada, it has been noted, is the last of the developed countries to put a such a monument in its capital city.

The website,, notes that the official inauguration of the main elements of the monument is scheduled for the fall of 2015.

To break up the winter in Canada, various committees are hard at work year-round to make sure that we have festivals to attend in February.
So, in addition to the renowned Carnaval de Québec in Quebec City (home of the famous toque- and sash-clad mascot, Bonhomme Carnaval), there is Ottawa's very own Winterlude, another world-class winter festival, this one centered around the Rideau Canal, and taking place in both cities of Ottawa and Gatineau (across the Ottawa River, in the border province of Quebec, where it is known as Bal de Neige, which is quite fitting for one of the world's coldest capital cities.
Winterlude is known for its own mascots, the Ice Hog Family (for the Bal de Neige, it's « Les Glamottes », in French)

In St-Isidore, Alberta, their Comité culturel de St-Isidore will present the 33rd Carnaval St-Isidore, which is modeled after Québec City's own famous Carnaval. This year, it will take place from February 13 to 15, 2015. Their mascot is an owl.
For more, visit

And to wrap it all up this week, the Royal Canada Mounted Police is looking for Canadian young people to name 10 puppies in their Name the Puppy 2015 Contest, To read the rules, visit

Contestants can enter online or send a letter—with the child’s name, age, address, telephone number, and suggested name—to:

Attn: “Name the Puppy Contest”
Police Dog Service Training Centre
Box 6120
Innisfail, AB T4G 1S8

The 10 children whose names are chosen by the centre’s staff will each receive an 8×10-inch photo of the pup they named, a plush dog named Justice, and an RCMP cap.

The contest is open until March 3rd, and winners will be announced on April 8th.

And that was the week that was in Canadian genealogy, history, and heritage news!

Need help in finding your Canadian ancestors?

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And that was the week that was in Canadian genealogy, history, and heritage news!

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country!

If you missed last week's post on 02 February 2015, visit

The next Canadian Week in Review will be posted 16 February 2015.