This collection of articles, exhibits, images and quizzes explores francophone Canada in all its complexity, bringing its communities, institutions and struggles for language and education rights into focus. It also showcases francophone culture in Canada, from arts, literature, music, folklore and symbols to the identity and heritage of these communities. Above image: Saint Boniface Cathedral, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Nov. 2013. 38962960 © Wwphoto | Dreamstime.com
For Canada, Asia does not exist “over there.” It is, has been, and will continue to be, right here, contributing to and shaping our country. Canada’s citizenry includes over 6.7 million people — 20 percent of the population — who were born outside Canada. Recent immigrants to this country are more likely to have come from Asia and the Middle East than from Europe (Census of Canada, 2011).
Canada has its roots in immigration and remains a nation formed of many different communities. From European colonization of Aboriginal territory to the recent arrival of refugees from Syria, the laws and regulations governing immigration to Canada have long been marked by discrimination. On the other hand, Canadians have shown their humanity by welcoming several hundred thousand refugees with open arms over the course of the country’s history. As a result, diverse cultural, religious and linguistic communities have established themselves here and integrated into Canadian society — some with relative ease, others with greater difficulty. Through articles, features, exhibits and timelines, this collection explores the diversity that defines Canadian society today. Image below: Vancouver's Chinatown, ca. 1955. © Rolly Ford/Heritage Vancouver.
From the mid-19th century to around 1930, over 900 000 francophone Québecois emigrated to the US. They migrated in waves, especially after the American Civil War, and around 1890 managed to feel at home and, in a few generations, adopted the habits and customs of their new surroundings.
During the 1920s Oppenheimer Park, also known as the Powell Street Grounds, was home to the best baseball team in the city. The Asahi drew its members from the surrounding Japanese-Canadian community. It all ended with the outbreak of World War Two.
Benjamin Hart, businessman (b at Montréal 10 Aug 1779; d at New York, NY 27 Feb 1855). Brother of Moses Hart and son of Aaron Hart, a prominent Trois-Rivières merchant, Benjamin followed his father's occupation, first at Trois-Rivières and Montréal, then almost exclusively in Montréal.
Maurice Ruddick, coal miner, musician (born 1912 in Joggins, NS; died 1988 in Springhill, NS). After a mine shaft caved in on Ruddick and six other workers, he helped keep his companions’ spirits up by singing and leading them in song and prayer. He later described the experience in "Spring Hill Disaster," the song he wrote about the event. Ruddick and the other "miracle miners" enjoyed public attention briefly after the disaster. For Ruddick, the only Black person in the group, racism dimmed his moment in the spotlight.