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Barris brings Fire Canoe story to Oshawa SCC
January 13 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
In the year just past, Canada celebrated 150 years of Confederation. One question Canadians continue to ask is: What sparked Canada’s rapid expansion from coast to coast? Among the catalysts for Confederation were steamboats, or “fire canoes,” as aboriginal people called them. In large measure, the national dream of a Canada from sea to sea was realized aboard Mississippi-style paddlewheel steamers that plied western waterways on the eve of Canadian Confederation.
On January 13, historian Ted Barris visits the OSCC and offers stories from his book Fire Canoe, describing why & how steamers hastened Canada’s Confederation. There are tales of American mercantile interests invading the West, answered by the age-old Hudson’s Bay Co. with a fleet of steamers of its own. Steamboats propelled federalist forces against two rebellions in 1870 and 1885. And for 25 years paddlewheelers brought waves of immigrants to settle on the Prairies.
Ted Barris is an author, journalist and broadcaster. For over 40 years he has appeared regularly on CBC Radio and made contributions to the National Post and Legion, Air Force and Zoomer magazine. He’s a recently retired professor of journalism and broadcasting at Centennial College in Toronto. He has authored 18 published, non-fiction books.
In 2011 he received the Canadian Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Commendation and in 2012 the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. His book The Great Escape: A Canadian Story received the 2014 Libris Best Non-Fiction Book Award.