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Passionate about nature and art, Bill Mason spent his whole life combining his two passions and creating beautiful, nature-inspired artworks. On today’s episode, we will discuss Bill Mason’s life and legacy with the help of three members of the Mason family: his wife, Joyce, and his two children, Becky and Paul. LAC archivist Jill Delaney will also…
 
In early 2020, we invited Indigenous activist Kahentinetha Horn and her daughter Waneek Horn-Miller to come to LAC for a visit. As we hosted them, we were thrilled to witness and record their reactions to the material in the LAC collection related to Kahentinetha’s fascinating life. They were seeing many of these items for the very first time.…
 
In early 2020, we invited Indigenous activist Kahentinetha Horn and her daughter Waneek Horn-Miller to come to LAC for a visit. As we hosted them, we were thrilled to witness and record their reactions to the material in the LAC collection related to Kahentinetha’s fascinating life. They were seeing many of these items for the very first time.…
 
In this new podcast series, Treasures Revealed, we’ll speak to a Library and Archives Canada employee and highlight an item that they consider a real “treasure” in the collection. For this first episode, we hear about a letter that Dominion Archivist Arthur Doughty wrote seeking reimbursement for an odd expense in 1908.…
 
Near the Alaskan border with Canada, nestled along the Klondike River in Yukon, sits the Klondike region. On August 16, 1896, local miners discovered gold there. When news reached the United States and southern Canada the following year, it triggered a stampede of prospectors, forever changing the landscape of the Northwest and of North America. Ev…
 
High in the mountains of southwest Yukon, as far west as one can go in Canada, lies Kluane National Park and Reserve. The park is home to the country’s highest peak, the 5,959-metre Mount Logan. From its earliest documented ascent, in 1925, Mount Logan has been a continuously productive site for the advancement of scientific knowledge. Our guests o…
 
With the creation of the A.V. Roe Canada company following the Second World War, Canada became a leader in the aerospace industry. The company developed the C-102 jetliner and the CF-100 Canuck, the first Canadian-designed military fighter aircraft. In 1953, at the height of the Cold War, the Royal Canadian Air Force (the RCAF) commissioned A.V. Ro…
 
With the creation of the A.V. Roe Canada company following the Second World War, Canada became a leader in the aerospace industry. The company developed the C-102 jetliner and the CF-100 Canuck, the first Canadian-designed military fighter aircraft. In 1953, at the height of the Cold War, the Royal Canadian Air Force (the RCAF) commissioned A.V. Ro…
 
During the First World War, more than 3,000 women volunteered with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. This force was created by Canada for service overseas, with nurses working as fully enlisted officers in the specifically created all-female rank of Nursing Sister. Their dedication to their work, their country, and most importantly to their patient…
 
Éva Gauthier’s musical career took her from Ottawa, Canada, to the four corners of the world. Often considered ahead of her time because of her unique style and approach, Gauthier never let the critics stop her from expressing her true artistic self. Influenced by her journeys abroad, she did not stick to traditions and her inimitable flair, expres…
 
Our guest today, Dan McCaffery, believes Tommy Burns is considered one of the best pound for pound boxers who ever lived. Measuring a mere 5’7”, Burns was the shortest man ever to hold the world heavyweight title, and the only Canadian born to do so as well. The first champion to travel the globe defending his title, he was also the first to defend…
 
In the early 20th century, no spectator sport captivated the world like long distance running. And no runner captured the hearts of Canadians like a Six Nations Indigenous man by the name of Cogwagee in the Onondaga language, or Tom Longboat in English. From his victory at the 1907 Boston Marathon, where he shattered the previous world record by fi…
 
As the custodian of our distant past and recent history, Library and Archives Canada is a key resource for all Canadians who wish to gain a better understanding of who they are, individually and collectively. Library and Archives Canada acquires, processes, preserves and provides access to our documentary heritage and serves as the continuing memor…
 
On May 8th of 1906, three armed and masked men held up the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Transcontinental Express, at a place called Duck’s Station, 17 miles east of Kamloops in British Columbia. It was a botched robbery to say the least. The bandits ordered the engine and mail car uncoupled, and moved the train a mile down the track. Realizing that t…
 
Library and Archives Canada is the main repository for documents relating to Canada’s Prime Ministers. LAC not only has all the political documents relating to each Prime Minister, but also intriguing, less official and often unexpected items. The exhibition entitled Prime Ministers and the Arts: Creators, Collectors and Muses curated by LAC employ…
 
Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Located in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, 150 kilometers east of Winnipeg. It’s May 20th, 1967, and mechanic, and amateur geologist Stephan Michalak wakes up early to begin his hobby of prospecting for quartz and silver. After a morning of working in the bush, and a light lunch, Stephan returns to the task at hand, chipping …
 
Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Located in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, 150 kilometers east of Winnipeg. It’s May 20th, 1967, and mechanic, and amateur geologist Stephan Michalak wakes up early to begin his hobby of prospecting for quartz and silver. After a morning of working in the bush, and a light lunch, Stephan returns to the task at hand, chipping …
 
What drove a successful artist from a comfortable life in Canada to one of hardship in the battlefields of France and Belgium after the First World War? From 1919 to 1922, Mary Riter Hamilton undertook a "special mission” for The War Amps to document the scarred landscape where Canadian soldiers had fought and died.Her canvases capture the devastat…
 
On the morning of December 6th, 1917, Pilot Francis Mackey was guiding the French ship Mont Blanc into the Bedford Basin when, at the narrowest point of the harbour, the Norwegian ship Imo collided with it. The Mont Blanc, laden down with high explosives, caught fire and, about 20 minutes later, exploded. The blast, which was the greatest man-made …
 
Library and Archives Canada has the largest collection of Canadian music in existence. There are over 250,000 sound and video recordings alone, not to mention huge collections of sheet music, printed scores, concert programs and books. Therefore, it goes without saying that LAC also has the largest collection of Christmas and holiday music as well.…
 
For many Canadians, paddling in a canoe serves as a refuge from our hectic day-to-day lives, and as a means of reconnecting with nature, family and friends. But thousands of years before European settlers arrived in what we now call Canada, the lakes and rivers served as vital trade routes for the Indigenous peoples here, with the canoe at the hear…
 
The TD Summer Reading Club is Canada’s biggest bilingual summer reading program. Developed by the Toronto Public Library, in partnership with Library and Archives Canada, this free program highlights Canadian authors, illustrators and stories. The goal of the program is to foster literacy by encouraging kids aged 12 and under to read during the sum…
 
The TD Summer Reading Club is Canada’s biggest bilingual summer reading program for kids. Developed by the Toronto Public Library, in partnership with Library and Archives Canada, this free program highlights Canadian authors, illustrators and stories. The goal of the program is to foster literacy by encouraging kids aged 12 and under to read durin…
 
Down an obscure hallway at our downtown Ottawa location, there is a mysterious room overflowing with majestic tomes and ancient wisdom. The Lowy Room is a self-contained museum housing over 3,000 rare, often unique Hebraica and Judaica items dating back to the 15th century. In this episode, we pay a visit to the current curator of the Jacob M. Lowy…
 
Gratien Gélinas is considered one of the founders of modern Canadian theatre and film. He was a playwright, director, actor, filmmaker and administrator of cultural organizations. His personifications of the common man paved the way for many of Quebec’s leading scriptwriters, and he gave a voice, at home and abroad, to French Canada’s culture and s…
 
William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada’s longest serving prime minister. He is also increasingly viewed as one of the greatest. However, King’s accomplishments are not restricted to the realm of politics. He was also a prolific correspondent and kept an ongoing, almost daily diary from 1893, until a few days before his death in 1950. In it, King no…
 
Ever wonder where Library and Archives Canada (LAC) stores, protects and preserves Canada’s diverse and rich documentary heritage? Join us for this episode as we take you on a walking tour of LAC’s Preservation Centre in Gatineau, Quebec, to celebrate its 20th anniversary. On our tour, we will guide you through the Preservation Centre, discussing i…
 
As Canada marks its 150th year as a nation, we look back on our past with immense pride, but also with a critical eye. In this episode we teamed up with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to talk about the future of Canada and look at the ways in which examining our history can help to inform decisions about the future.…
 
In this episode we speak with LAC employee Tim Hack about the amazing journey he undertook to reconnect with his great-grandfathers, who fought on opposite sides of the First World War. Tim came across the Canadian Expeditionary Force files right after starting work at LAC. This discovery inspired him to retrace his great-grandfathers’ footsteps ac…
 
The 1967 Universal and International Exhibition, better known as Expo 67, was the highlight of Canada’s centennial celebrations. It was held in Montréal from April to October 1967, and was considered the most successful world’s fair of the 20th century. LAC has maintained the majority of the Expo 67 records for the last 40 years. In this episode, w…
 
Before Project Naming began in 2002, the Aboriginal peoples depicted in the majority of federal archival photographs were nameless. Over the past fifteen years, Project Naming has provided a virtual space enabling First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit communities to access Canada's historic photo collections and engage in the identification of …
 
April 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the attack and capture of Vimy Ridge, when all four divisions of the Canadian Corps worked together for the first time. During the First World War, over 25,000 Canadians served with the British Flying Service as pilots, observers and mechanics, and even though the Battle of Vimy Ridge is better known as a g…
 
April 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the attack and capture of Vimy Ridge, when all four divisions of the Canadian Corps worked together for the first time. During the First World War, over 25,000 Canadians served with the British Flying Service as pilots, observers and mechanics, and even though the Battle of Vimy Ridge is better known as a g…
 
The William James Topley photographic collection is one of the most important visual records of Canada. The photographs produced by the Topley Studio provide a vivid documentation of the political, social, cultural, economic, technological, and architectural changes during the first 50 years of Canada after Confederation. The collection documents l…
 
Thirty-four years after his death, Glenn Gould’s extensive catalogue of recordings, and the bold artistic vision behind them continue to resonate with music fans the world over. His irreverent interpretations of piano repertoire and perplexing idiosyncrasies have become the stuff of legend. In this episode we speak with Kevin Bazzana, author of the…
 
Collectors are a breed apart. Quite commonly, their motivations are not simply for personal gain but as a means of ensuring that future generations can enjoy the fruits of their labours in ways that can only be imagined. In this episode, the second edition of our donor interview feature, we speak to author, comic book historian and retired LAC arch…
 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier had the largest unbroken term of office as Canada’s seventh prime minister. He was considered one of Canada’s greatest politicians, full of charisma, charm and passion, qualities that served him well in office, and also in his personal life. This passion is seen in many of the letters he wrote to his wife Zoé. But perhaps we gai…
 
In this episode, we sit down with Erika Reinhardt, archivist at Library and Archives Canada, to discuss LAC’s cookbook collection. We discuss how culture and technology have shaped these books and recipes over time, and the impact they have had on our relationship with food and cooking throughout our history.…
 
Few Canadian authors have achieved the universal appeal of Lucy Maud Montgomery, whose iconic series “Anne of Green Gables” continues to resonate with book lovers of all ages. In this episode, we speak with inveterate book collector Ronald I. Cohen who donated his entire Lucy Maud Montgomery collection to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) between 1…
 
In this episode, we discuss the life of Peter Rindisbacher, an artist that immigrated to Canada from Switzerland with his family when he was just 15. Living in the Red River Colony from 1821 to 1826, he became the first artist to paint and sketch the Canadian west. We sit down with Gilbert Gignac, former collections manager at Library and Archives …
 
In this episode we explore the story of Mary Travers Bolduc. It is a rags-to-riches tale of a Quebec housewife who rose from impoverished obscurity to become a major 1930s recording phenomenon. This ordinary, traditional woman became a most extraordinary musical spokesperson for her time and her people, earning the title "Queen of Canadian folksing…
 
As descendants of First Nations and Europeans, citizens of the Métis Nation were related to both groups while not belonging fully to either. Their culture and nationhood were unique and resulted in an independent identity. Following the Métis resistance in 1869–1870 and in 1885, it became unwise and sometimes dangerous to publicly self-identify. As…
 
On February 3, 1916 at 8:37 p.m., the alarm was raised on Parliament Hill that a fire had broken out in the Centre Block. By the next morning, the building had been reduced to a smoking ruin, encrusted in ice. The exact cause of the fire was never determined. In this episode Johanna Mizgala, curator for the House of Commons, takes us back to that c…
 
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