Sunday, August 6, 2017

Iconic Moments In History

Before heading into the third gallery in Canada Hall, I paused for another look at the central hub and its map of Canada.

These items date back to the early 20th century, including a bust of Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier.

Alfred Bastien painted this oil painting, Gas Attack, Flanders 1915, in that same year.

This crucifix was fashioned out of the burned cross in a church at Passchendaele, Belgium, the site of a major World War One battle involving Canadian troops.

Here are two paintings by members of the Group of Seven, the Canadian landscape artists well renowned in the country. On the left is an untitled fall landscape by A.J. Casson around 1930. On the right is Eskimo Summer Camp, by A.Y. Jackson, done around 1927.

This view from this level looks down on some of what we've already seen, and also plays to the circular effect that is so prevalent in Douglas Cardinal's designs.

These photographs are from the Second World War. At top is one taken during the First Quebec Conference in August 1943. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill are standing at this spot overlooking Quebec City. American President Franklin Roosevelt is sitting before them with the Canadian Governor General at the time, the Earl of Athlone. The second shot features King after his address to the nation on VE Day.

Canada had, for many years, used the Red Ensign as its flag. By mid century, there was a movement for a new flag. Some of the basic ideas can be found here, along with background for the debate about the issue.

The background image here dates to 1982, with the signing by Queen Elizabeth of the Proclamation of the Canadian Constitution, which built upon the British North America Act of 1867. Pierre Trudeau, the prime minister of the day, is at the left. The table used for the occasion is present here.


  1. I like the look of the smaller galleries. It seems less overwhelming, more intimate. So much to see!

  2. Interesting photo series. Have a beautiful day!

  3. I love seeing flags and learning about them. It seems like while the design may change a little bit, the flag is red & white, featuring a maple leaf. Beautiful.


  4. ...I've always thought the design of the Canadian flag was a good choice.

  5. Hello, wonderful photo from the museum. I always loved the Canadian flag.
    Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week ahead.

  6. Fantastic images William. They made a wonderful choice for the design of the Canadian flag.

  7. @Linda: thank you!

    @Kay: there is a lot here.

    @Nancy: thank you!

    @Janis: it could have been quite different!

    @Tom: it really is good.

    @Eileen: its design is distinctive.

    @Bill: they did indeed.

  8. The central hub with it's map of Canada is a real show stopper William. Another series of excellent details.

  9. When I see the old maps, I always wonder why the boundaries were set where they were?

  10. Thank you for posting about Canada's history

  11. The map is impressive. And I really like the current Canadian flag.

  12. I loved seeing those ideas of Canada's flag.

  13. Hi William, thanks for this series and your clear descriptions. The WWII photo of the First Quebec Conference, I've seen in a biography of Queen. Your posts are very interesting. Jo

  14. We are interested in the background of your well designed flag!

  15. @Grace: it is a great redesign.

    @Red: sometimes geography, sometimes someone a thousand kilometres away decides.

    @Maywyn: you're welcome.

    @Norma: me too!

    @Sharon: there were quite a few ideas out there.

    @Jo: it seems they got on well together. If De Gaulle had been around, it would have been tense.

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Cloudia: thanks!

  16. Lots of our history in this post, William!

  17. Very interesting post. Your handsome Prime Minister is very similar to his father. It's probably because of the nose :)

  18. I cannot conceive of how one human being would gas another. Awful!

  19. Love that central hub with it's map of Canada ...

    All the best Jan

  20. Great exhibits. It's interesting to read about the flag.

  21. Interesting post again, William. It's quite special to see that burned cross from a church at Passchendaele in that museum. Last week the batlle of Passchendaele was 100 years ago, so there was a big international commemoration.

  22. Lots of interesting photos in this post especially the Passchendaele cross.

  23. Very nice and informative. I have heard so many stories about WW2, but rarely about the Canada connection.

  24. @RedPat: very much so.

    @Klara: there is a resemblance.

    @Revrunner: and yet it was done.

    @Jennifer: definitely.

    @Jan: I do too.

    @Tamago: it is.

    @Jan: it was a horrendous battle.

    @Fun60: I think so too.

    @Eve: we were involved from the start.