Heritage Moments #2: Halifax Explosion

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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… Read the rest

Canadian Heritage Minutes #1: Kanata

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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. Kanata…Yes, the village. In this video we see Jaques Cartier and his explorers as they encounter the Iroquois as they venture up the St. Lawrence river. While the Iroquois are pointing out the route to their village, Stadacona (which later became the home of Quebec City), they mention the word “Kanata”, which means village. As you can see the whole commercial is built up like a dramatic encounter, with close-ups of the Iroquois as the flag-waving explorers (literally!) encounter them. It’s weird how so many nations’ English names are the result of mistranslations that somehow endured the test of time. The Japanese… Read the rest