In celebration of International Women’s Day, Heritage Canada has just released a brand new Heritage Minute featuring Lucy Maud Montgomery. Who is L.M. Montgomery? For every kid that grew up in Canada, she is better known as the author of Anne of Green Gables.
Fact: Canadians invented Basketball!This is a fun one, and it’s a great piece of trivia to stupefy any of your U.S. friends or loved ones. Seriously, if you ever do any cross-border dating, and I highly recommend it, this one will surprise and astound the date you met on Match.com or whatever dating service is trending with the kids these days.
A Match.com Coupon Code For You?Just don’t tell them that, because you’re Canadian, you used a match.com coupon code. Why pay more money than you have to? Yes, the modern game of basketball came about because an older guy didn’t like climbing ladders. What I don’t understand is that the commercial doesn’t even show the idea of baskets with full holes in the bottom of them. We saw the ‘midway’ point, where they cut a tiny hole that a broom handle could poke the ball out of. I also don’t understand how exactly the old man was not okay with cutting holes in the bottom of the basket, but he was okay with cutting ‘small holes’ in the basket. I mean, doesn’t dirt still fall out of the smaller holes? I’m guessing the baskets were used for plants of some kind, right? We also have no idea how the game of basketball was first thought of. This commercial has a drop-in league already up and running. How did the founder even think of the game in the first place? And when did someone else decide to play… Read the rest
Welcome to our weekly feature of Canadian Heritage moments. This week we’re going to make an exception and create an ‘honorary’ Heritage Moment: William Shatner’s Priceline commercials. Shatner is of course a Canadian treasure: he’s most famously known as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek. He’s also the face of Priceline.com, an online booking company that has famous commercials that showcase Shatner at his looney best. As a part of his agreement to do commercials for Priceline, Shatner agreed to take shares in his company as payment. It’s estimated that he’s earned $600 million from his Priceline partnership, according to the Telegraph. That article from the Telegraph was written back in 2010, when Priceline.com’s stock was worth roughly $200/share. Today? In 2017, the stock is worth around $1700/share. That’s a lot of money. He could buy the Star Trek franchise for that kind of money! With so many commercials to choose from, we figured that we would choose one in which he costars with old friend, the late-great Leonard Nimoy: Seeing this commercial, I can’t help but wonder about what Shatner said to the notoriously-reclusive Nimoy as he called him up and asked him to be in a commercial together. The two have been life-long friends and their famous on-stage barbs were reason enough to visit a Star Trek convention in the 80’s, 90’s and early-aughts (Nimoy retired from the convention scene in 2011). Unfortunately Leonard Nimoy passed away in early 2015. Priceline.com is an online booking agency.… Read the rest
Our Most Requested Heritage Moment:This one was on the air so much back in the day, I think every single Candian born before 1997 has seen it. It’s kind of strange how a throwaway line that wasn’t really the point of the commercial that hasn’t been on the air in 20 years became a part of the cultural fabric and everyday lexicon, but here we are.
So, what do the best coffee grinders and strokes have in common???They both make you smell delicious breakfast foods! Well okay, one is delicious and one is burnt. Let me ask you this: Have you ever smelled freshly-ground coffee beans and then found that no one was making coffee? What’s your first reaction? If you’re like most people, it’s ‘I’m having a seizure!’, or ‘I’m having a stroke!’. Pretty much every single Canadian knows exactly what you’re talking about when you say you smell ‘burnt toast’. It’s become short-hand for ‘I think I’m having a stroke’ in every day conversations with Canadians. You’re referring to this video about the famous surgeon Dr. Wilder Penfield. He was a famous neurosurgeon who developed a surgical treatment for epilepsy. At the time, no one was really sure why epileptic seizures occurred. Dr. Penfield was a really, really good guy. As in, the world definitely has less of these types of people, and could certainly use more. He went to Princeton and was voted “best all-round man” (on a side note, wouldn’t it be funny… Read the rest
A Canadian Fought For The American Way?Is Superman Canadian? Well, no. But in these Canadian Heritage Moments, they highlight a cool part of Superman’s history that most people don’t know. First, the part that people know: Superman was co-created by two people: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. They met in Cleveland, Ohio, and struck up a friendship fueled by their passions for writing stories and creating characters. Now, the Canadian part: Shuster was born in Canada. He and his family moved down to Cleveland when he was ten years old. So, before the idea of Superman was first sparked in their imaginations. As you can see in the video, they aged Shuster up in this video to look like a young adult that’s about to set off to start his career. He’s already sketched out the modern look of Superman on a piece of paper…even before meeting Jerry Siegel. It’s a cool little backstory, but Joe Shuster is Canadian in the same way that Jim Carrey is Canadian. Sure, he was born here, but he moved away as a ten year old and spent most of his life in the United States.… Read the rest
Welcome back to our weekly series featuring Canadian Heritage Moments, which were commercials that ran on Canadian television in the 1990’s.
A Heroic Self-Sacrifice.This one is actually quite sad and I’m glad that they created this commercial, as it highlights and important moment in Canadian history that most people in Canada weren’t aware of. For those who don’t know, the Halifax Explosion was the largest explosion in the world until the atomic bombs were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Essentially what happened was a large French cargo vessel carrying high explosives (the S.S. Mont-Blanc) collided with a Norweigan vessel, the SS IMO. The explosion killed 2,000 people and injured many more. But what this commercial highlights is how an act of self-sacrifice kept this body count from being much higher. Initially thinking it was just a fire on a boat, people were watching the fire…completely unaware that the ship was carrying high explosives. Everyone who could see this boat was in imminent danger. Train dispatcher Vince Coleman, once he realizes what’s happening, tries to send out a message to an incoming train with hundreds of people aboard. Instead of evacuating like everyone else, he stays behind to ensure that the train acknowledges his message and avoids the danger. And to think: all that story in just 30 seconds! The complacent Halifax citizenry, the realization that they are in danger, then realizing that more people will die on an incoming train if they don’t do anything. Then a frantic… Read the rest
Welcome to our series featuring Canada’s ‘Heritage Moments’, a series of commercials that aired on Canadian television in the 1990’s. We’ve decided to take a look at each one and the historical moment in Canadian history they depict.