Remember those Heritage Minutes that Historica Canada puts out every once in a while to teach us Canadians about important events and people in our history like the War of 1812 and Bobby Orr? They are as much a part of Canadian identity as maple syrup and while we all tend to make fun of them–so much so that Historica put together a parody playlist–their most recent offering is an incredible piece of artwork.
This week, Historica released their first animated minute about the history of Toronto’s Kensington Market. The video shows how the area grew from a small Jewish market in the 1940s to the bustling diverse center of culture it is today. The narrator talks about how ‘neighbourhoods like Toronto’s Kensington Market helped shape Canada by bringing newcomers shoulder to shoulder to build new lives.’ It’s the perfect message in the wake of all the division we’re seeing south of the border (and, admittedly, in our own country too).
— Historica Canada (@HistoricaCanada) October 25, 2017
The Minute was created and written by filmmaker Michael Goldlist and it begins with an illustration of the little chicken shop that was run by his grandfather in the Market for decades. Charles Goldlist was a holocaust survivor who relocated to Canada from Poland in 1948. Each of the businesses that the shop turns into throughout the Minute are based on real stores and people from the Market over the 70-year history depicted.
Historica Canada’s CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith, says the Minute is supposed to represent the immigrant stories that are common in large Canadian cities like Toronto.
‘The markets are the motors of the country, the motors of communities where everybody meets and greets,’ he said, ‘It’s where cultures that might not otherwise come together find themselves side by each.’
Canadians are in love with the new addition to Canada’s history.
— Jacob Glick (@jacobglick) October 25, 2017
— Daniel Rotsztain (@theurbangeog) October 25, 2017
— Amanda Stock (@StockAJ) October 25, 2017