Published September 13th, 2012
The last time I attended TIFF was in 1983 because a friend of mine had helped a friend of his out by appearing as an extra in a movie! It was not a particularly memorable film.
TOMORROW'S (FRIDAY) EVENT WILL BE BETTER THAN THAT AND BETTER THAN SCRAMBLING FOR TIFF TICKETS - come to Nat Taylor Cinema (Ross North 126) tomorrow night, for an event organized by Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, and supported by IRIS, to see Return of the Far Fur Country, featuring rare archival footage shot in Inuit and First Nations communities in 1920, by cinematographers from the Hudson's Bay Company, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the venerable company (founded in 1670). As the arctic melts, these records and stories constitute the legacy of what was once there and what will, in all likelihood be much reduced or radically altered.
Whether or not you are a fan of the current incarnation of HBC, which was bought in 2008 by a USA-based company - the parent of Lord and Taylor, every Canadian should be aware of the hugely important role that the Hudson's Bay Company played in the history of Canada. Peter C. Newman's 1985 book, the Company of Adventurers, is a fascinating read. It was followed by two other books and a PBS tv series, Empire of the Bay.
Personally, I have been very impressed with how an American company has marketed and merchandized the iconic Hudson's Bay logo and products such as the classic Hudson Bay pure wool blanket. My sister is an archaeologist, and a couple of years ago, we gave her a small version of the blanket and the accompanying book about its history as a gift. She loved it.
Photo from the HBC archive, of a 1920 cinematographer