Anniversary of Spanish Flu in Canada

On this day in 1918, the first case of the Spanish Flu was recorded in Canada.   The Spanish Flu Pandemic killed anywhere between 50 and 100 million people. We will never know the true toll. It's thought that a third of all humans alive at the time were infected. Three percent of the global population died.  Today, 7.8 billion humans are alive. If Covid-19 became as bad as...

Wishing Joe Fortes a happy birthday with our first video

Today, February 9th, is the birthday of one of Vancouver's early heroes, and the man voted "Vancouverite of the Century" in 1986 by the Vancouver Historical Society. Joe Fortes was a Caribbean-Canadian lifeguard, swim teacher, and bartender who saved hundreds of lives during the thirty-four years he spent watching over the waters of English Bay. In On This Spot's new video, you can learn more...

What Museums Mean to Us (or rather, Me, Andrew)

I recently took the Museums For Me survey, and it made me ponder the significance museums have to me and the society in which we live.  The dire threat COVID-19 poses to the survival of many museums makes these questions especially timely. 90% of the world's 85,000 museums temporarily shut this year, and UNESCO fears one in eight--some 11,000 of them--may never reopen.  If museums are...

Reevaluating Canada’s Past in the age of Black Lives Matter

This Canada Day we look inward at the way we understand national history of racism, and ask how public historians can change our society for the better. This Canada Day comes at one of the most perilous moments in this nation's history. The jubilant parades, firework shows, and breathless round-the-clock CBC coverage have been tempered by the ongoing pandemic, and given way to virtual gatherings...