Monday, February 15, 2016

Canadian Week in Review 15 February 2016

I have come across the following Canadian genealogy, history and heritage websites, social media, 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 

Louis Riel provisional government

In 1870, Louis Riel established a provisional government at Red River, Manitoba. 

His first resistance was the Red River Rebellion of 1869–1870. The provisional government established by Riel ultimately negotiated the terms under which the modern province of Manitoba entered the Canadian Confederation. 

He is frequently referred to as the "Father of Manitoba".

First free public library opened in Guelph

In 1883, Ontario's first free public library opened in Guelph. 

In 1832, the first Guelph circulating library began operation in the backroom of a store on Wyndam Street. Eighteen years later, on January 14, 1850, the Farmers' and Mechanics' Institute in Guelph was established, with a small book collection and a reading room for the use of the members. 

In 1882, the Free Libraries Act was passed, allowing municipalities to establish libraries supported by local taxes. The Mechanics' Institute handed over its assets to the Guelph Free Public Library on February 10, 1883, and Library's services were made available to all residents.

Social Media 

(Photos) HANTS HISTORY: Feb. 11, 2016 

Here's a look at what was making the news 25 and 50 years ago in the Hants Journal 

Upcoming Canadian Events 


New! 2018 Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 

Word has reached us that the OGS has accepted a bid put forward by the Scottish Special Interest Group [SIG] to host the 2018 OGS Conference in Guelph, Ontario. Christine Woodcock will be the conference chair.  

Stay tuned for further developments. 

NEW! 32nd Gene-O-Rama of the Ottawa Genealogical Society  

This year's Gene-O-Rama will be held April 1–2, 2016 at the Confederation Education Centre, 1645 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario (at the corner of Hunt Club Raod & Woodroffe Avenue. 

If you need further information, go to 


The international genealogy conference, UNLOCKING THE PAST 2016, will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the The Beach Club Resort, Parksville, British Columbia, and is sponsored by the Qualicum Beach Family History Society in British Columbia. 

The featured speakers will be Colleen Fitzpatrick and Chris Paton. Registration is now open at, and includes an early bird price.

The website is located at  

Genealogy on the Cutting Edge 2016  

The Ontario Genealogical Society will be holding its annual conference from June 3rd to 5th at the Toronto’s International Plaza Hotel, Toronto. 

Speakers and agenda have been announced this past week.

Registration is at,

Keep up-to-date with the latest news by following their website at, or their Facebook page at 

Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation 2017 

The Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will host the 2017 annual conference, and they have a call out for presentations. 

The conference will be held in Ottawa on June 16-18, 2017 at Algonquin College. The theme of the conference is Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation. 


To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2017 Program Committee at: For more information about OGS or Ottawa Branch respectively, please visit: or

Great Canadian Genealogy Summit 

The summit will be held in Brampton, Ontario from October 21 to the 23, 2016 at the Courtyard Marriott. 

Newspaper Articles 

Nova Scotia 

Amherst Bank of Montreal building to be torn

The Bank of Montreal building in downtown Amherst will be coming down after all.

Town council had given it a three week reprieve in January so the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia could come up with an alternative proposal.

Colchester Historeum continues to make history

The Colchester Historical Society is celebrating Nova Scotia Heritage Day during the grand reopening of the Historeum on Monday. 

Prince Edward Island 

Stanley Bridge history sought from residents  

Have a story about life in Stanley Bridge, P.E.I.? The local historical society is holding a history circle Monday, Feb. 15, and will record stories about the area, preserving them for future generations. 

New Brunswick 

New Brunswick to celebrate Heritage Week Feb. 8-15 

New Brunswickers are encouraged to celebrate Heritage Week 2016, Feb. 8-15.  

Starting today, more than 100 community and school events have been organized throughout the province. 

Historic Saint John courthouse faces sale after city rejects offer  

The New Brunswick government is now free to put the historic Sydney Street courthouse up for sale after Saint John council rejected the possibility of acquiring the building. 

The courthouse, which was completed in 1829, has been vacant since the opening of Peel Plaza more than two years ago. It has received national, provincial and municipal heritage designations. 


New map shows how Montreal's 68 Metro stations got their names  

Taking a ride on the Montreal Metro also means taking a trip back through Quebec history. 

At least that's how it looks on a new map assembled by Gilles Laporte, a history professor at Cégep du Vieux-Montréal and lecturer at l'Université du Québec à Montréal. 


JOY OF GENEALOGY: Pursuing your ancestors’ amorous activities in time for Valentine’s Day 

Ah, February – the month of love. And the perfect time to find out more about your ancestors’ amorous activities 

Former home of Japanese Canadians interned during war could be torn down

An old hotel building that once housed dozens of Japanese Canadian men working in an internment camp in southwestern Ontario during the Second World War could soon be demolished.

Local heritage experts say 55 men stayed at the old Eatonville Roadhouse in 1942 and 1943, after they were relocated by the Canadian government from British Columbia during the war. 


Human rights museum launches outdoor exhibit at Festival du Voyageur 

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights unveiled its first outdoor exhibit at Festival du Voyageur on Thursday. 

The exhibit, Let Them Howl: 100 Years in the Women's Rights Struggle, features 12 portraits of Canadian women who helped break down gender barriers. 


Annual Archives Week in Saskatchewan reminder history is important 

This week is annual Archives Week in the province and Carman Hart said archives are extremely important.

"What we keep in archives is primary sources; it's irreplaceable," he said.

British Columbia 

Tips for how to trace one's family history, from a genealogical expert 

Mapping one's family tree and discovering one's ancestors can be a thrilling experience, says a Surrey genealogical expert.

"You're on a path to discovery that doesn't stop — one thing leads to another and it's really hard to put that down. It can even be described as an addiction," said Laurie Cooke, the branch manager of the Cloverdale branch of the Surrey Public Library. 

Canadian Stories this Week 

Heritage Day and Family Day

February 15th is Family Day in some parts of Canada, and Heritage Day in other parts of Canada. They are provincial holidays, but they aren't federal holidays.

The following provinces – Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan have Family Day, which is on the third Monday of February, and in the provinces of Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the holiday is Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Heritage Day in Nova Scotia, and Islander Day in Prince Edward Island. 


News come to us from Christine Woodcock, who attended RootTech 2016 earlier this month in Salt Lake City, that FindMyPast has entered in a partnership with the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to put on the census returns onto their site.

Please keep it in mind that the census is already on the LAC site free of charge. And for those who like to cite sources – all the information is there.

The LAC website is

Festival du Voyageur releases program for 2016 winter celebration

Festival du Voyageur released its 2016 lineup of musical acts and performers last Tuesday morning. 

This annual winter celebration of Métis and voyageur culture runs started February 12 until February 21st. 

The festival is rolling out a new, themed-tent this year. The Université de Saint-Boniface Portage Tent will be open both weekends of the festival and will host a Karaoke Night, as well as a board game night.

Market Days will see merchants set up tables and sell their wares under a tent on February 20th.

There's an entire day of fiddling and jigging planned for Louis Riel Day (Feb. 15), and the usual snow and ice sculpting, traditional arts and trades and crafts demonstrations, snowshoe workshops, and tours will also be on offer.

The website is at

And that was the week in Canadian news!

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