Discover Library and Archives Canada

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In this episode, we consult a panel of experts about the massive immigration of Irish settlers to Quebec in the 1800s, the journey they undertook to establish their new lives on foreign soil, and the cultural bond that formed between the Irish and the Québécois.
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 on today’s episode, Dr. Zac Robinson and Dr. Alison Criscitiello, talk to us about the goal of their expedition which is to drill ice core samples from the summit plateau, and to re-take landscape photos from previous climbing expeditions, many of which are held here at LAC. Our colleague Jill Delaney also discusses repeat photography and gives us more details as to how LAC’s photography collection can be used by the public.
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. Roe to design a new plane: a supersonic jet that could engage and destroy enemy interceptors before they reached their targets in North America. That supersonic jet was the Avro Arrow. It was intended to serve as the RCAF’s primary interceptor, and was one of the most advanced aircraft of its era with the potential to establish Canada as a world leader in scientific research and development. Unfortunately, the project was ultimately cancelled. In part one of this two-part episode, we talk with Palmiro Campagna and two LAC employees about the Avro Arrow and the documents held at LAC.
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. Roe to design a new plane: a supersonic jet that could engage and destroy enemy interceptors before they reached their targets in North America. That supersonic jet was the Avro Arrow. It was intended to serve as the RCAF’s primary interceptor, and was one of the most advanced aircraft of its era with the potential to establish Canada as a world leader in scientific research and development. Unfortunately, the project was ultimately cancelled. In part two of this two-part episode, Palmiro Campagna talks about the cancellation of the Avro Arrow project and some rumors surrounding the aircraft.
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 patients, earned them public respect and serves to measure their contribution to the Canadian war effort.
2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least. Due to the current circumstances, we haven’t been able to release much new content, but we wanted to give you a quick rundown on some of the things we have planned for the upcoming months.
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, expressive singing style, talent and boldness allowed her to shape modern music in North America.
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 it against an African American. Burns had many contests with black boxers before his fight with the legendary Jack Johnson, and is credited with being the first white heavyweight to give a black man a chance to win the title.
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 five minutes, to his death-defying service in the First World War, he lived an extraordinary life.
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 five minutes, to his death-defying service in the First World War, he lived an extraordinary life.
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 memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions. On today's episode, we will explore how LAC acquires this documentary heritage through donations, purchases and through the transfer of government records, by focusing on some Second World War items recently acquired by LAC.
2019 has been an exciting year for us as we continue to work for you, showcasing the amazing items in our collection and the fascinating stories behind them. We wanted to give you a quick rundown on some of the things we have planned in the upcoming months.
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 the safe containing 35,000 dollars in gold had been mistakenly left behind in the second express car, which was still attached to the main passenger cars, they started going through the mail sacks. Overlooking a bag containing over 40,000 dollars in cash, they ended up with only 15 dollars and 50 cents, and a bottle of liver pills. The holdup set off one of the largest manhunts in Canadian history. One of the men being hunted, was the notorious Bill Miner, the last of the old-time bandits… On today’s episode, we discuss the life and times of the legendary criminal with author and historian John Boessenecker. John’s 1992 book, The Grey Fox: The True Story of Bill Miner, Last of the Old Time Bandits, co-written with Mark Dugan, stands as the definitive biography of Canada’s best-known outlaw.
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 employees Madeline Trudeau and five time podcast guest Meaghan Scanlon, weaves artwork, artifacts, documents, objects, portraits and photographs together to reveal a less formal, but equally fascinating side to our former Prime Ministers. The exhibition is on right now at 395 Wellington in Ottawa. It runs until December 3rd, 2019.
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 away at a quartz vein he has found. The cackling of some geese nearby, obviously frightened by something, startles him. He looks up, and see’s two glowing objects descending towards him. In the second part of this two-part episode, we discuss the evidence and investigation into the Falcon Lake Incident. Stefan Michalak’s son Stan and researchers Chris Rutkowski and Palmiro Campagna once again join us to discuss Canada’s most infamous UFO case.
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 away at a quartz vein he has found. The cackling of some geese nearby, obviously frightened by something, startles him. He looks up, and see’s two glowing objects descending towards him. In part one of this two part episode, we unravel Canada’s most infamous UFO case with the help of Stephan Michalak’s son, Stan, and Canadian UFO expert and author, Chris Rutkowski. Also, Palmiro Campagna, an accomplished author and a ‘regular’ in the research rooms at LAC, will take us through some of the extensive records surrounding the case.
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 devastation of war but also signs of hope and renewal. At great cost to her health, this artist created one of the few authentic collections of paintings of war-torn Europe. She considered her work to be a gift to Canada. In 1926 she donated the majority of the collection of paintings to the Public Archives of Canada, now Library and Archives Canada. We sit down with retired assistant professor of history at the University of Manitoba, Kathryn Young, and Dr. Sarah McKinnon, former vice-president at the Ontario College of Art and Design, and former curator at the University of Manitoba.
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 explosion until the invention of the first atomic bombs, levelled the Richmond district of Halifax, parts of Dartmouth, and wiped out the Mi’kmaq community of Turtle Grove. On today’s episode, we talk with retired teacher and author Janet Maybee. Her book Aftershock: The Halifax Explosion and the Persecution of Pilot Francis Mackey attempts to clear Mackey’s name and restore honour to the Mackey family.
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. On today’s episode, we speak with Joseph Trivers who elaborates on Christmas and holiday music in LAC’s collection.
We're currently working on a number of exciting episodes for you! Here's a sneak peek at what we have lined up: Christmas and holiday songs, Francis Mackey and the Halifax Explosion, the life and work of Mary Riter Hamilton, and Canada’s most infamous UFO case.
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 heart of that experience. In this episode, we pay a visit to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario, and get a behind-the-scenes tour of its incredible canoe collection with curator Jeremy Ward.
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 summer months. In the second of this two-part episode, we talk with the TD Summer Reading Club French author for 2018, Camille Bouchard. Camille has been a children’s author since the 1980s, and has written over 100 books! He has also won multiple awards, including a 2005 Governor General’s Award for his book, Le Ricanement des hyènes. We also talk with a special surprise guest during this episode: a famous Canadian writer who was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and once served as Canada’s National Librarian.
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 during the summer months. In part one of this two-part episode, we sit down to chat with Kevin Sylvester. Kevin is an award-winning writer and illustrator, and the 2018 TD Summer Reading Club English author. We also have a special co-host for this episode, Presley. He’s 9 years old, and a big Kevin Sylvester fan. Check out the dynamic conversation as our host, Presley and Kevin talk books at the Cumberland branch of the Ottawa Public Library.
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 Collection, Michael Kent, who gives us a guided tour of some of the incredible items in the collection and shares the stories surrounding their journey.
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 society. On today’s episode, we travel to Saint-Bruno, near Montréal, to speak with Anne-Marie Sicotte, granddaughter of Gratien Gélinas, who tells us about his life and legacy.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Library and Archives Canada
Podcast Status
Idle
Started
Feb 9th, 2012
Latest Episode
Jan 12th, 2021
Release Period
Monthly
Episodes
67
Avg. Episode Length
40 minutes
Explicit
No
Language
English

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