Monday, July 11, 2016

Canadian Week in Review 11 July 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 

Daredevils of Niagara Falls 

In 1930, George Stathakis died when he plummeted over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The turtle he took with him, survived. He wasn't the first person to go over the falls, but he had plans for the money that he would make. He was going to write a book about the secret of life, but it was not to be. 

To read more about George Stathakis, go to 

Canadian Wheat Board 

In 1935, the Canadian Wheat Board was established. It marketed all Prairie wheat and barley, and in 1943, the sale of wheat through the board became compulsory. Other grains were later added. The board negotiated sales and then paid farmers based on a system of pooling of prices. In 2012, the government stripped the board of its authority of selling Western wheat and barley sales.

To read more about the Wheat Board, go to 

Social Media 

(Video) Interview with Iceland's new Canadian First Lady 

Canadian born Eliza Reid is to become Iceland's sixth First Lady in August when her husband, historian Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, is inaugurated as President of Iceland. Iceland Monitor met with Reid at their Reykjavik home to discuss the presidential race, her upbringing in Canada, and bringing four young children to the presidential residence at Bessastaðir. 

Jill Ball, the Australian genealogist, has a Facebook page at, and last week, she visited Iceland. Take a minute and look at the many pictures that Jill took. Doesn't Iceland look something like Newfoundland? 

(Video) First World War travelling exhibit a hit in Gander 

A First World War exhibit from Ontario is travelling through Atlantic Canada this summer, and the reviews from families at a stop in central Newfoundland are good. 

(Video) This year's Calgary Stampede parade a colourful display of history and heritage 

With a startling bang of fireworks and a blaring of brass horns, Calgary’s annual summer whoop-up began to wind its way through the heart of the city. 

Newspaper Articles 

Newfoundland and Labrador 

Have a voice in the Collective Memories Project 

The Collective Memories Project aims to have as much as possible spoken aloud, recorded and added to the digital archives at Memorial University of Newfoundland. 

Prince Edward Island 

12 P.E.I. finalists in history video contest 

Vote early, vote often, vote here. Twelve Island students have posted 12 short videos at province=Prince%20Edward%20Island&fairid=&year=2016& and they need your vote now. 

Bailey, from Alberton, explores her Mi'kmaq heritage. Karrie Lee, from O'Leary, rocks the legacy of Canadian bluesman Jeff Healey. Basel, from Charlottetown, shares his journey from Syria to Canada. 

Montague's Garden of the Gulf museum re-opens 

The opening is a month later than usual, and the museum will be operating with fewer staff. 

The museum lost a long-time staff person last year, and the board said it took longer than expected to replace them with a new development coordinator. 

6th-annual Adäka Cultural Festival kicks off in Whitehorse 

Half an hour before the the Adäka jigging contest was scheduled to start on Saturday afternoon, the best seats were already filled up. 

Reenactment group sets up camp in Summerside

The reenactment regiment was founded in the early 1980s by a group of Nova Scotians who were black powder weapon aficionados. They evolved into what they are today after some of the members took a liking to the pageantry of dressing up in period costumes and discovered that they could make history come alive not only for themselves but for the people around them.

Nova Scotia 

Peggy's Cove recreated at Thai resort

A resort in Thailand has fashioned itself after the iconic Nova Scotia destination, complete with colourful homes and Martime-inspired food.

The resort, located on Chanthaburi Kung Wiman Beach about 225 km east of Bangkok, offers 38 rooms. Each are designed to look like small fishing houses connected by wharves.

Room names have Nova Scotia-friendly names like "sea bass" and "trout".

Dartmouth poet remembers No. 2 Construction Battalion with unique quilt

Canadian Forces veteran and beloved poet George Borden is now the proud owner of a quilt that commemorates a piece of African Nova Scotian history.

This year, the black community in Nova Scotia is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, the only all-black battalion in Canadian military history.

History of Whitney Pier celebrated in new mural

Another mural is being created in the Sydney, N.S., neighbourhood of Whitney Pier.

A mural painted last year celebrates the former Sydney steel plant and those who worked there.

Both murals are a project of the Friends of Neville Park Society, a volunteer non-profit group that showcases events of special interest to people in Whitney Pier and area.

A place in Canadian history: Mi’kmaq canoe built in Keji headed for national museum in Ottawa

A birch bark canoe from southwest Nova Scotia is headed for Ottawa and permanent display in the Canadian Museum of History.

New Brunswick 

Local student moves on to national competition with heritage project

During the regional heritage fair held this spring in Hillsborough, one of the students at Dorchester Consolidated School was recognized for her great project and her ability to explain her topic


Concordia prof looking to find 'lost' stories about Canada's past

Maybe it’s a quirky snippet you’ve stored in the back of your mind, but if you have a little-known story about Canada’s past you’d like to share, Concordia University history professor Ronald Rudin wants to hear from you.


A Canadian kept blood flowing in WWI. An American got credit

As British soldiers fought the Battle of the Somme, a Toronto surgeon on the Western Front offered them an idea, hoping to save the wounded.

It was 100 years ago that Dr. Lawrence Bruce Robertson published “The Transfusion of Whole Blood: Suggestion for Its More Frequent Employment in War Surgery” in the British Medical Journal – and he was a Canadian!

My London: Concrete sculptures still ‘play’ well

A chance encounter with some remarkable concrete sculptures in Huron County has illuminated my imagination and memory.

The sculptures are masterpieces by the late George Laithwaite, a Goderich-area farmer. Laithwaite (1871-1956) found inspiration in Canadian history, world events, the Bible and his playful sense of the absurd. He created the folk art sculptures from about 1912 to 1952.

JOY OF GENEALOGY: 8 suggestions to get your genealogy research ready for the fall in just 15 minutes a day this summer

Check out these 8 suggestions that will take about 15 minutes a day and get you more organized by autumn.

The history of King and Church

The intersection of King and Church streets in downtown Toronto is one of our city’s most historic.

Government of Canada Announces 13 New National Historic Designations

In celebration of Canada History Week (July 1-7), the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced the designation of 13 new nationally significant persons, places and events that helped define Canada's history.

Re-enactment brings Fenian Raid to life

A piece of Canadian history was re-enacted at Lang Pioneer Village Museum on Sunday, commemorating 150 years since the Battle of Ridgeway.

On June 1, 1866, the Fenian Brotherhood crossed the Niagara River, seizing the town of Fort Erie. The Fenians, Irish-American patriots, planned to take over the provinces.

Parks Canada designates 88 heritage lighthouses

The federal government added 13 lighthouses Thursday to its list of federally protected heritage lighthouses as part of it efforts to preserve a key part of Canada’s maritime history.


Cultural tapestry: Prayer rug weaves history of Muslims and Alberta

A youth group that created an Alberta-inspired prayer rug to showcase Muslim heritage is hoping the passion project will lead to similar tapestries.

British Columbia 

Four Forgotten BC 'Heritage Moments' for Canada Day

There are certainly plenty of high-stakes moments to discuss: the Last Spike, Wolfe and Montcalm at the Plains of Abraham, the Klondike Gold Rush. But for every moment that's officially Part of Our Heritage, there are those that have been lost to the mists of history.

Vancouver Island named Canada’s best island by U.S. travel magazine

It may come as no surprise to its inhabitants, but Vancouver Island has been named Canada’s best island by a New York-based travel magazine for the second year in a row.

Travel + Leisure Magazine released its annual “World’s Best Awards” this week, providing rankings for categories like “The 15 Best Cities in the World” and “The World’s Best Tour Operators.”


Muslims share colourful array of stories at end of Ramadan in Yellowknife

Vibrant pinks, melon greens and sparkling slate-gray hijabs — headscarves worn by some Muslim women — flooded the gymnasium at Yellowknife's William McDonald School on Wednesday

Book of historic Yukon First Nations photos back in print, 40 years later

When Jim Robb first conceived the idea for Their Own Yukon, more than four decades ago, it was a novel concept — a historic Yukon photo book not about Klondike stampeders, but about the First Nations people whose roots in the territory are far, far deeper.

Canadian Stories this Week 

Library and Archives Canada needs you! 

They are so close to completing the transcription, but you can help them to complete it.

The website reads that “The Coltman Report, 1818–Inquiry into the Offences Committed at the Battle of Seven Oaks is what is being transcribed. On June 19, 1816 the Battle of Seven Oaks broke out, a violent confrontation involving fur-trade rivals—the Hudson’s Bay Company (that employed Selkirk Settlers) and the North West Company (that employed the Métis). It resulted in the deaths of 21 Hudson’s Bay Company men and a Métis man”.

The report is 534 pages long, and there are only a few pages left to go. So how about it?

The website is at

Chinese Canadian Archive: From Chop Suey to Peking Duck and Chinese Canadian artifact inventory makes history with online database 

The British Columbia Museum has a rich treasure chest of true historical significance. British Columbia’s first-ever computerized inventory of Chinese historical records and artifacts is now complete, giving easy access to anyone interested in learning more about the rich cultural history of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia.

You can go to


The Toronto Reference Library has gathered together the Chinese-Canadian archives in their library and you can see an explanation of them at

They have divided them up into different parts, and have included the history of the first Chinese man in Toronto - Sam Ching in 1878 to asking people of the Toronto’s Chinese community. If you wish, if you are a member of Toronto Chinese community, you should consider the Toronto Reference Library to be the place to permanently maintain and preserve their precious family records.

Lancashire Diaries 1772-1910 Launched 

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa has put the Lancashire Diaries 1772-1910 on their website at

Although I don't have any ancestor from Lancashire, I read through the information on the website,

Also, their conference will be held September 9 – 11 this year, and I plan to go to the sessions on Saturday, to get the latest news about DNA.

The conference news is at

And that was the week in Canadian news!

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