Episode 12 - A Part of Our Heritage

September 4, 2018

About the Episode

“A Part of Our Heritage.” Those are iconic words in the Canadian psyche.

Do you remember: “There are 700 people aboard it, I’ve got to stop it!”  Or, “With respect, Sir.  I was born a free man, and I intend to die one.”

How about, “Dr. Penfield, I can smell burnt toast”? Or another favourite, “He never drew no gun.  I could have shot that guy right there!”

There are so many quotable phrases.

In 60 minutes or less, Heritage Minutes sought to introduce Canadians to our history and heritage. They had to be poignant, educational, and interesting.  With this simple mandate, these films that sought to teach us Canadian heritage, became part of our heritage.

How much do you know about Heritage Minutes?  When did they first air? How many have been made to date?  How do they choose which stories to tell?

Guest host Alice Glaze joins Robin Mullins and Keely McCavitt as they notice the history of those 60 second history lessons.


  1. You can view all 80 Heritage Minutes on Historica’s website.
  2. Check out the Heritage Minutes and Drake mash-up, “A Part OVO Heritage.”
  3. The “Lost Heritage Minute” about Canadian peacekeeping is available here. 


Annett, Evan, “Black History Month in 60 seconds: Canada’s Rosa Parks gets her due in new Heritage Minute.” Globe and Mail. March 24, 2017, updated November 12, 2017. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/black-history-month-how-do-heritage-minutes-stack-up-on-diversity/article28505721/?utm_source=Shared+Article+Sent+to+User&utm_medium=E-mail:+Newsletters+/+E-Blasts+/+etc.&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links.

The Canadian Encyclopedia. “A Part of Our Heritage.” Historica Canada. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/exhibit/25th-anniversary-of-the-heritage-minutes/

Csanady, Ashley. “New Heritage Minutes tackle ‘some hard truths about residential schools and treaties’ as part of reconciliation.” National Post, June 21, 2016. http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/new-heritage-minutes-tackle-some-hard-truths-about-residential-schools-and-treaties-as-part-of-reconciliation.

Friend, David. “How Canadian filmakers are trying to make Heritage Minutes fresh again.”  The Toronto Star, January 16, 2017. https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2017/01/16/how-canadian-filmmakers-are-trying-to-make-heritage-minutes-fresh-again.html.

Heritage Minutes. Historica Canada. https://www.historicacanada.ca/heritageminutes.

O’Kane, Josh. “ How Canada’s Heritage Minutes got their Swagger back.” Globe and Mail, March 25, 2017. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/how-canadas-heritage-minutes-got-their-swagger-back/article24398073/?utm_source=Shared+Article+Sent+to+User&utm_medium=E-mail:+Newsletters+/+E-Blasts+/+etc.&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links.

Peterman, Michael A. “Just a minute of your time.” Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol 28, No 2 (Summer 1993): 3-4.

Thompson, John Herd. “‘Saving Floods of Useless Ink’: Academic Historians and Cinematic History.” Academic Matters. September 9, 2008. https://academicmatters.ca/2008/09/saving-floods-of-useless-ink-academic-historians-and-cinematic-history/.

West, Emily. “Selling Canada to Canadians: Collective Memory, National Identity, and Popular Culture.” Critical Studies in Media Communication, Vol 18, No 2, June 2002: 212-229.


Producers: Robin Mullins and Emily Cuggy

Hosts: Robin Mullins and Keely McCavitt

Guest Host: Alice Glaze

Researchers: Alice Glaze, Kirsty Walker, and Anna Kuntz

Audio Editing: Emily Cuggy

Web Content: Casandra Masse

Image Credit: A Meeting of the School Trustees by Robert Harris. Topley Studio Fonds / Library and Archives Canada / C-000625. This image inspired the Rural Teacher Heritage Minute.