thumbnail of Canada: True North; No. 102; Where is Here?
Hide -
<v Speaker>Major funding for Canada. True, North is provided by the Corporation for <v Speaker>Public Broadcasting, this station and other public television stations. <v Speaker>And the William H. Donner Foundation. <v Speaker>New York. New York. <v Robert McNeil>I'm Robert McNeil, and this is the town where I grew up. <v Robert McNeil>Halifax, Nova Scotia. <v Robert McNeil>One thing I did not grow up with was a very strong sense of Canadianism <v Robert McNeil>of Canadian identity. <v Robert McNeil>It wasn't fashionable. Canadians didn't pledge allegiance to a flag. <v Robert McNeil>They didn't have a real Canadian flag until 1965, and they didn't miss it. <v Robert McNeil>We saluted the British flag and sang God Save the King. <v Robert McNeil>The one thing Canadians knew, the one thing that made this a separate country in the
<v Robert McNeil>first place is that they weren't Americans. <v Robert McNeil>But what else? What the difference is, has become a much bigger issue in this generation, <v Robert McNeil>because some people fear that American culture is so dominant that it will wipe <v Robert McNeil>out the fragile Canadian culture. <v Robert McNeil>And there is no Canadian culture to be anxious about. <v Robert McNeil>I'll tell you a story about that. <v Robert McNeil>Right at the end of the First World War, an ammunition ship collided <v Robert McNeil>with another ship right over there and blew up. <v Robert McNeil>It was the biggest manmade explosion until Hiroshima. <v Robert McNeil>Nearly 2000 people were killed and the whole north end of the city was wiped <v Robert McNeil>out. A generation later, a Canadian writer, Hugh Mclennan, wrote a novel about <v Robert McNeil>the Halifax explosion called Barometer Rising. <v Robert McNeil>When he sent it to New York, his agent said, well, couldn't you set it somewhere else? <v Robert McNeil>Some American city. In other words, Canada wasn't a place you wrote about. <v Robert McNeil>Well, it is now. This last generation has produced a flock of good writers <v Robert McNeil>who are defining the Canadian psyche.
<v Robert McNeil>You'll meet some of them in tonight's program as they search for the essence of Canada <v Robert McNeil>in articles for the magazine Saturday Night. <v Robert McNeil>Now, Saturday night is a kind of keeper of Canada's intellectual <v Robert McNeil>conscience, but it has a hard time surviving economically in <v Robert McNeil>the magazine's struggles. Tonight's program finds a metaphor for Canadian <v Robert McNeil>culture. <v Speaker>Let me tell you about a place called Saturday Night. <v Speaker>It calls itself Canada's most important magazine. <v Speaker>The last year I worked there, it was celebrating its one hundredth anniversary <v Speaker>and nobody was paying much attention. <v Speaker>Well, do you think- like, is there any chance is there any way that I can give you a <v Speaker>paragraph of a wonderful sales pitch?
<v Speaker>I understand you're an American, right? <v Speaker>Well, from one American to another, this is Canada's biggest number. <v Speaker>And I mean, there's not going to be another one for a hundred years. <v Speaker>You know, like we're gonna be dead and gone by the time this thing comes down again. <v Speaker>Right. And it's a first. <v Speaker>I mean. And wouldn't you like to be in the same book that Mulrooney is gonna tote? <v Speaker>Good morning Saturday Night group. <v Speaker>Thank you, one moment please. <v Speaker>Saturday Night publishes substantial articles on Canadian politics, business and <v Speaker>culture. <v Speaker>Like the country it writes about, it's never made much economic sense, but <v Speaker>over the years it has become one of the most respected journals in the country. <v Speaker>The color of the people <v Speaker>in the issue are dominant. <v Speaker>It's never made any money, but for its birthday, it's going to risk a costly special <v Speaker>issue. <v Speaker>But I'll accept the piece and say I think it's the anniversary issue. <v Speaker>Just giving myself an out there. <v Speaker>He's given me a large out in his covering.
<v Speaker>Gary Ross has commissioned the stories that will appear in the anniversary issue that <v Speaker>he expects them to reflect a peculiarly Canadian theme. <v Speaker>Canadians tend to be a people whose whose critical question of self identity <v Speaker>is not who am I? But rather where is here? <v Speaker>Where am I? <v Speaker>What am I in the middle of? What is this place? <v Speaker>So that inspired us to think specifically of an issue that took <v Speaker>in which the articles took as their starting points. <v Speaker>Particular places. <v Speaker>Saturday nights places Toronto, Canada's largest, most affluent city, <v Speaker>its intellectuals often feel compelled to explain Canada to Canadians. <v Speaker>Usually Canadians ignore them. <v Speaker>Ever optimistic? Saturday night dispatches 21 writers to write stories <v Speaker>inspired by 21 places across the country.
<v Speaker>Robert Lee is one of the first writers Saturday night commissions. <v Speaker>He was born in the West, but now he works as a journalist on Parliament Hill. <v Speaker>The place he writes about is in the interior of British Columbia, 200 kilometers <v Speaker>from the Pacific Coast. <v Speaker>It's not quite the House of Commons. <v Speaker>No one gets too worked up about the national anthem. <v Speaker>But he thinks it's a good place to look for a Canadian story. <v Speaker>He grew up with rodeos and he believes that one event above all others <v Speaker>is what the rodeo was all about.
<v Speaker>Lee writes about a good looking kid who hitched a ride into town and drew the toughest <v Speaker>bull on the circuit. <v Speaker>The kid's name is Clayton Kealey, and he's heard about the they <v Speaker>call confusion. <v Speaker>The cowboy has to ride the bull for eight seconds. <v Speaker>Most cowboys hit the ground long before the here. <v Speaker>At the time this was.
<v Speaker>An American magazine would have made a hero award for Cowboy, Canada's <v Speaker>magazine features the bold. <v Speaker>We're going to bring a large backdrop and lower that into the pan. <v Speaker>We're thinking of shooting the ball from the front, from the side and from the back. <v Speaker>So it's almost like a car instead of a human. <v Speaker>Confusion reigns if we use that title. <v Speaker>Let's see. Confusion head on. <v Speaker>The. <v Speaker>First, we heard it was a very friendly, urbane and clever. <v Speaker>The staff of Saturday Night work for a magazine whose standards have been set by one man, <v Speaker>Bob Fulford has been the editor for 19 years, and for 19 years <v Speaker>he's been thinking about Canada. <v Speaker>Why try to sum up Canada in terms of places? <v Speaker>Because that's how Canadians think of their country. <v Speaker>An American may think of the founding fathers and the Declaration of Independence
<v Speaker>as the key element. The very thing that makes America America not something else. <v Speaker>Canadians don't think of the BNA Act that way, nor do we think of the <v Speaker>battle on the plains of Abraham in that way. <v Speaker>What we think of is our relationship with this part of Canada or that part in some <v Speaker>cases with a pan-Canadian are really completely enthusiastic country <v Speaker>covering Canadians. It may be 25 places in the country that he thinks of when <v Speaker>somebody says Canada. <v Speaker>Canada is the second largest country in the world. <v Speaker>It contains a smaller population than the state of California. <v Speaker>Fireplug Radio. <v Speaker>No traffic, no traffic. <v Speaker>The Arctic is a place that southern Canadians think of as a barren land,
<v Speaker>but Eddie Grubin isn't in it for ten thousand years. <v Speaker>The union would have known it is a land of plenty. <v Speaker>There's an old pleasure. <v Speaker>Large, urban, broad and displays displace good <v Speaker>cropping country Martin. <v Speaker>Full range boxes. <v Speaker>Dishes are buried there is full, officially loaded with Christmas space. <v Speaker>Now, the Intuit's home has become a place where southerners dream of plenty, <v Speaker>plenty of oil. <v Speaker>Saturday night sends a business writer, Peter Foster, to the Arctic. <v Speaker>He's a pessimist by nature and he's come to witness the collapse of the Canadian <v Speaker>government's most optimistic driven, they dream <v Speaker>that Canadians might someday control Canadian oil. <v Speaker>And they spent billions to push back the frontier of Arctic technology.
<v Speaker>And the price of oil fell. It's ironic that you've got people up here with tremendous <v Speaker>sort of technological skill and tattled. <v Speaker>You could plop them in the middle of nowhere and they will build things like this. <v Speaker>But if you get the wrong economic signals, then they're here and nothing comes out of the <v Speaker>end of it. You know, there are technological advances, but. <v Speaker>It hasn't always been for nothing. <v Speaker>You know, Canada was built was public money. <v Speaker>But Foster's chosen to write about failure, the rigs in the Beaufort Sea are <v Speaker>closing. <v Speaker>The men he interviews are going home to drop the rudder and check <v Speaker>the rudder stock. Pull the tail shaft. <v Speaker>We have done readings on Barry. <v Speaker>He's come to watch a multi-million dollar dry dock lift its last ship from the Arctic <v Speaker>Sea. <v Speaker>For a conservative like Foster, it's a perfect symbol of what's wrong with the Canadian
<v Speaker>government's involvement in business. <v Speaker>They said, you know, we will give you 80 percent of your costs. <v Speaker>And they came up with an estimate. <v Speaker>And then they then they found it unusual that when they offered these things, people were <v Speaker>actually bashing down the door to get the money, because it was it was perverse <v Speaker>because it was reward not for finding oil or for being successful. <v Speaker>It was 80 percent of your costs just for activity. <v Speaker>Just get out there and do it and be Canadian doing it. <v Speaker>And we will give you lots of money for doing it. <v Speaker>When oil money came to a cariboo crossing at the top of the planet, business picked <v Speaker>up for Eddy Grubin and he didn't use a dog sled to do the hauling. <v Speaker>She owned the yard here. The whole yard a whole lot. <v Speaker>You know, you give me a contract over four million dollars that I was completely dodging <v Speaker>for months, hauling gravel 60 miles away from here. <v Speaker>They're the ones that really boosted my business. <v Speaker>This poor girl here.
<v Speaker>The Inuit made money when there was money to be made. <v Speaker>It helps subsidize their hunting. <v Speaker>But they'd seen southerners come and go before. <v Speaker>They weren't surprised when a newly elected government decided to cut its losses and shut <v Speaker>things down. <v Speaker>As far as this is concerned as a whole, we feeling depressed inevitably <v Speaker>because talk is a kind of a depressed place, but also because of so <v Speaker>much technology has been there's been the frontiers of technology being pushed out here <v Speaker>and now it's it's really all going to be lost along with the men who pushed it out, like <v Speaker>these characters who are coming out now are going away perhaps for the last time. <v Speaker>There's hundreds of years of combined engineering and drilling and <v Speaker>marine technology and all kinds of experience here. <v Speaker>And these guys won't be back and they won't even have jobs when they get back down south. <v Speaker>And that's that's a big tragedy there. I think.
<v Speaker>Foster leaves the north and the last charter jet out of touch to actor. <v Speaker>A realist to the end, he doubts his story will cause much of a stir. <v Speaker>Yeah, I mean, you know, you're right something because I guess you think you're writing <v Speaker>something that's true and you're hoping lymphoid, some supporters, <v Speaker>some feelings or, you know, cause people to do things differently, but you to be totally <v Speaker>sure that it will. <v Speaker>So we've got to get right. <v Speaker>Certainly it isn't going to change the way they do things and talk to the. <v Speaker>For or heading down to the beach now Yeah, <v Speaker>Maybe we should wait till we get to there. <v Speaker>Swimming. In these 20 to.
<v Speaker>You weird? <v Speaker>Know how many? <v Speaker>Just him to this little man standing in the midst of all that hardware, <v Speaker>all that hardware that's now next to useless. <v Speaker>The Canadian flag flying proudly. <v Speaker>What do you like him here? <v Speaker>This series of national dreams always risk failure in Canada. <v Speaker>So the national magazine's publisher, John McFarlane, faces stiff <v Speaker>American competition in a tiny domestic market. <v Speaker>The odds aren't good if we get a quarter of the strong potentials. <v Speaker>That's another 10 to 30 pages practically there. <v Speaker>So Macfarlane has staked the future of Saturday night on the success of the anniversary
<v Speaker>issue, and he's depending on his sales manager, Vicki, mongered to sell 100 <v Speaker>pages of advertising pages as actual, not 100 clients. <v Speaker>Right. They're nowhere near. Their goal was to drum up business. <v Speaker>McFarland has recently announced that sales are strong and space <v Speaker>is running out. <v Speaker>Say yes, because we know we're going to have 50 percent of the 50s. <v Speaker>We always do. <v Speaker>So you better know. <v Speaker>You better by no means you are in competition asking. <v Speaker>I'm not. You know. <v Speaker>And you can see it's none of your business but there. But they're going to say, well, <v Speaker>you're right. And don't say that. Say yes. <v Speaker>Well, I have to say yes. Writing all over the place. <v Speaker>I don't. I got to say that. I know I know that even <v Speaker>if you want me to like all like I just wanted a real <v Speaker>winner when it shooting distance of 70 today, my assumption is by Monday will be will be <v Speaker>close to seventy five. <v Speaker>So what we had to we had to run we had to pick the number before we ran
<v Speaker>the ad and we picked up. We were pretty damn close. <v Speaker>Optimistic. Yeah. <v Speaker>The photographer is driving up with her from Toronto. <v Speaker>Who's shooting her? Robert Nelson. <v Speaker>Who did? Charles Richie. <v Speaker>She might try and more or less dictate the photograph. <v Speaker>So he may have to resist that. <v Speaker>Yeah. You know, she always says, for example, why don't you let Graham do it? <v Speaker>Her husband, who is a photographer and who does your jacket, photographs and so on, <v Speaker>and is often quite, you know, almost insistent. <v Speaker>Margaret Atwood is always insistent. <v Speaker>She was born in a country that ignored its poets. <v Speaker>Now her work is internationally acclaimed and in Canada she makes sure <v Speaker>she's never ignored. <v Speaker>For Saturday night, she drives eight hours north from Toronto to write about what <v Speaker>makes Canadians.
<v Speaker>Every country has its own conception of itself, its geographical mythology, <v Speaker>if you like, a place that represents the unconscious <v Speaker>or the mysterious place or the place of adventure or the place you go to <v Speaker>encountering your deepest self in England <v Speaker>in the 19th and early 20th centuries. <v Speaker>That place was Africa, hence Joseph Conrad. <v Speaker>Heart of darkness. <v Speaker>For some people, it's the desert. <v Speaker>You know, you go out into the desert to make this spiritual journey. <v Speaker>And for Canadians, it's the north. <v Speaker>No doubt about it. <v Speaker>I would spend summers here as a child. <v Speaker>Now, whenever she can get away, she comes back to the place she trusts. <v Speaker>When we face south, as we often do, our conscious mind may be directed <v Speaker>down there towards crowds, bright lights, some Hollywood version
<v Speaker>of fame and fortune. But the North is at the back of our minds. <v Speaker>Always there's something, not someone looking over our shoulders. <v Speaker>There's a chill at the nape of the neck. <v Speaker>It's tangling in there and dim and one tree does begin to look remarkably <v Speaker>like another, believes the needles blow it up sound and you begin to <v Speaker>feel watched not by anyone, not by an animal even <v Speaker>or anything you can put a name to. <v Speaker>Just watched you begin to feel judged. <v Speaker>It's as if something is keeping an eye on you just to see what you will do. <v Speaker>Atwood wrote a book called Survival. <v Speaker>It sold well in Canada. <v Speaker>Survival is something Canadians understand. <v Speaker>Part of being Canadian is knowing that few foreigners know who you are or <v Speaker>what you value.
<v Speaker>Bad hunters, bad fishers, everyone has the story. <v Speaker>You come upon a campsite way in the back of beyond. <v Speaker>No roads into the lake. They must have come in by floatplane. <v Speaker>And there it is, garbage all over the place. <v Speaker>Beer cans, blobs of human poop flagged by melting toilet paper <v Speaker>and 22 fine pickrell left riding on a rock. <v Speaker>Business executives who get themselves flown in during hunting season with their high <v Speaker>powered rifles shoot a buck, cut off the head, fill their quota, <v Speaker>see another one with a bigger spread of antlers. <v Speaker>Drop the first head, cut off the second. <v Speaker>The woods are littered with discarded heads. <v Speaker>And who cares about the bodies? <v Speaker>Canadians don't live in the wilderness. <v Speaker>Most live in cities near the U.S. border. <v Speaker>But Atwood believes that what makes them Canadian is the knowledge that wilderness lies <v Speaker>just to their north, even
<v Speaker>as far back as the beginning of the 20th century. <v Speaker>Canadians are writing animal stories in which the animal, the hero <v Speaker>and the person hunting the animal was the villain. <v Speaker>There does seem to be this collective feeling for animals. <v Speaker>Notice what we put on the money so that on the one hand, although <v Speaker>Canada was built on dead beavers, you know the fur trade, <v Speaker>on the other hand, we seem to have developed as a fellow feeling <v Speaker>for nature, not as a big awesome thing that is going to do you in, <v Speaker>but as something that needs your help. <v Speaker>The industrial heartland of America lies just south of the Canadian border. <v Speaker>And if the North is central to Canadians view of themselves, then nothing says more <v Speaker>about their relationship with the United States than acid rain. <v Speaker>So instead of thing, if thinking in terms of always, there will always
<v Speaker>be trees. There will always be resources. <v Speaker>There will always be nature. <v Speaker>We think in terms of yet it hasn't disappeared yet or we think in <v Speaker>terms of still we still have it. <v Speaker>Those two words have entered the vocabulary and we tend to unconsciously <v Speaker>or consciously stick them into every pronouncement we make about the north. <v Speaker>It's still there. <v Speaker>It hasn't gone yet. <v Speaker>Saturday night commissionʼs A Story on Canada U.S. <v Speaker>relations. The word is no name. <v Speaker>Generally, I don't think that my essays work particularly well when they've chosen a <v Speaker>writer who was born in Canada. I take your point. <v Speaker>He's a famous American now just to see. <v Speaker>They've asked for revisions and they're not surprised by John Kenneth Galbraith <v Speaker>reply. <v Speaker>I do have a slight reservation as to your suggestion. <v Speaker>The piece as it stands, subject 20 needed editorial corrections
<v Speaker>is very much in the style with which I'm comfortable. <v Speaker>Perhaps excessively so, and I am uneasy about <v Speaker>the slight artificiality in the suggestion you make. <v Speaker>The problem is not that he's using his usual style. <v Speaker>The problem is that he's not putting into it any effort [exactly] his pieces, much <v Speaker>less good than his run of the mill reports for The New York Review of Books. <v Speaker>When you look at that piece, you see a problem we have <v Speaker>in commissioning people outside Canada because outside <v Speaker>the country, few people read Saturday night. <v Speaker>You write for Saturday night-. <v Speaker>It's a magazine about Canada. <v Speaker>And what happens in Canada isn't uppermost in the mind of an American economist <v Speaker>saying something. <v Speaker>But basically, I mean, when he speaks in New York Review, he's speaking to <v Speaker>most of the people he knows in the world. <v Speaker>In a speech on Saturday night, he's speaking to a few people who used to know one and a <v Speaker>few people he still knows. And it doesn't really matter. <v Speaker>Few people are likely to recognize Galbraith in Saturday night's photograph.
<v Speaker>The photographer Owen Carey illuminated him with a yellow gel on this side and <v Speaker>a red gel on that side. I don't know what his colors mean. <v Speaker>I mean, it's aesthetic to look at. <v Speaker>But there was a problem because she thought that the Canadian flag colors like red and <v Speaker>green. <v Speaker>Is she a New York photographer? <v Speaker>She's from New York. <v Speaker>But then she defended it by saying that Green was perhaps like the freshness of the <v Speaker>pine trees of Canada. That's [ right.] It doesn't quite work for me. <v Speaker>Living next to the United States sometimes requires a sense of humor. <v Speaker>One of Canada's funniest writers, Mordecai Richler, submits a story <v Speaker>set in the townships east of Montreal. <v Speaker>I didn't think you put anything like that in there. <v Speaker>Well, you want me to read it to you? [ Yeah] you sure. <v Speaker>[ Yeah, read it] I'm feeling so horny.
<v Speaker>Even the crack of dawn, looks good to me. <v Speaker>[ Read it, I got to read it]. <v Speaker>Richler doesn't worry much about where to find Canada. <v Speaker>But he thinks if it can be found anywhere, it's in a place like this. <v Speaker>Well, because it's really still small settlements <v Speaker>strung together, you know, huddling <v Speaker>against that tundra. <v Speaker>The urban culture and cities like Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver <v Speaker>is almost separate from the large sprawl of <v Speaker>small towns and villages with their legion halls and bowling <v Speaker>alleys and Chinese Canadian restaurants and little birds like this. <v Speaker>Richler writes about Canadian places for readers all over the world. <v Speaker>But if he wants to speak to Canadians about Canada, he doesn't necessarily publish <v Speaker>in Saturday night. <v Speaker>Well, I think it's really the best magazine <v Speaker>we have. And that put in American
<v Speaker>terms that sort of the equivalent of Atlantic or Harper's. <v Speaker>But Canadians are very curious people. <v Speaker>They're much more intimidated by what appears elsewhere. <v Speaker>So that the last very long pieces I've written about Canada, <v Speaker>we're an Atlantic Monthly and <v Speaker>attracted far more attention here than had they appeared on Saturday night, had <v Speaker>I written the same things on Saturday night. <v Speaker>Because Canadians are very self-conscious and anxiety-ridden <v Speaker>and tend to worry about what appears in America. <v Speaker>Ad sales are going slowly. <v Speaker>Even John McFarland's worried he's got a lot riding on the anniversary <v Speaker>issue. <v Speaker>And what does it say about this country if a magazine like Saturday night
<v Speaker>ceases to exist? And indeed, I think that's why the magazine has survived, <v Speaker>because no one can, can, can bear the thought that Canada can't <v Speaker>have a magazine like Saturday night any more than they can bear the thought that we can't <v Speaker>have the CBC, the National Gallery or. <v Speaker>That may seem to inflate what Saturday night is, but in its own small way. <v Speaker>I think it it it's it's like those <v Speaker>institutions, if we don't have those institutions, if we're simply the consumers <v Speaker>of other people's art galleries and art collections and other <v Speaker>people's films and movies, and if we're can if we're <v Speaker>condemned to read The Atlantic and Harper's and not to have our own journals <v Speaker>like this, then what's the point? <v Speaker>Right. OK, well, listen, I appreciate you reconsidering it. <v Speaker>Don't have to beg too often, but once it comes out, I'll make sure you get a copy. <v Speaker>I think you'll really like it.
<v Speaker>What are you going to do if we don't get to 100? <v Speaker>Because I'm running out fast. <v Speaker>Ok you gotta get me a list. pick uh, get together an advising. <v Speaker>Things don't look very good. <v Speaker>But McFarland's hoping the Royal Bank will buy 16 pages. <v Speaker>Hello. Hiya. <v Speaker>Good, how are you? <v Speaker>Really? Oh, that's too bad. <v Speaker>The largest bank in the country and thinks ten thousand dollars a page is just <v Speaker>a little steep. OK. <v Speaker>Thanks. Bye. <v Speaker>It's hard to do business in a country that lacks a consensus about itself. <v Speaker>But some people believe that might just be Canada's greatest strength.
<v Speaker>I think Canadians have built a pretty good nation state, one <v Speaker>that mostly keeps out of their way. <v Speaker>It provides the services they want and it doesn't demand blind allegiance. <v Speaker>It doesn't demand a quasi religious devotion. <v Speaker>It asks us to be good citizens to it, to pay <v Speaker>our bills, pay our taxes and so on. <v Speaker>And then it it says that within this context you can believe what you want to believe. <v Speaker>You don't even you can believe in anything. <v Speaker>And you don't have to believe in Ottawa. You don't have to believe that there is a super <v Speaker>natural quality to the Canadian federal state. <v Speaker>There isn't. It's a political arrangement. <v Speaker>And within that political arrangement, any kind of regionalism <v Speaker>or localism can flourish. <v Speaker>A quarter of Canada's population speaks French.
<v Speaker>But the anniversary issue doesn't have much to say about Quebec. <v Speaker>It concentrates on a smaller place. <v Speaker>A tiny French speaking world in the province of New Brunswick clings to the Atlantic <v Speaker>coast. <v Speaker>For Saturday night, Anthonine m.i.a. <v Speaker>writes about Acadia. <v Speaker>She was born here in bucktoothed. <v Speaker>Now she is one of the most celebrated writers in the French speaking world. <v Speaker>For Saturday night, she comes back home and writes about discovering buried <v Speaker>treasures, treasures and stories from Acadia, and they were <v Speaker>passed on to her by her aunt. <v Speaker>Eventually, she would say aunt <v Speaker>Evangeline that she has seen many men <v Speaker>gone in the morning and not come back in her long life because Aunt <v Speaker>Evangeline lived for, I think, ninety five years and her- in her life. <v Speaker>She has seen many. <v Speaker>She has seen some of her sons that she thought were not coming back.
<v Speaker>One of these sons, Ivan, right here. <v Speaker>He was declared dead. He wouldn't come back. <v Speaker>Tante Evangeline wouldn't believe that. <v Speaker>And she refused to go to the funerals, to the mass <v Speaker>that was said for the lost boy, she said no. <v Speaker>Something tells me that he's going to come back and he did. <v Speaker>One day he just came back, he was alive. <v Speaker>So tante Evangeline was that type of woman that would not believe that <v Speaker>death could be stronger than her own instinct of life. <v Speaker>She had felt life in her bosom, in her body, and she knew the son is <v Speaker>still alive. <v Speaker>Long ago, it was instinct that kept the Acadians together. <v Speaker>When the British forced them from their land. <v Speaker>They fled south and wandered through America for years. <v Speaker>Some stayed and became the Cajuns.
<v Speaker>But Evangeline loved to tell the stories of the few who were determined to come back <v Speaker>before they died and the stories of a struggle to return to the difficult land <v Speaker>they called their home. <v Speaker>Here she raised her 15 children, spinning tales of her people's history <v Speaker>from the events of ordinary lives. <v Speaker>Looking at a thing like that where the kids look at the ball going away. <v Speaker>That would inspire eventually and say, well, it's not <v Speaker>a ball that we had. We had men and we couldn't reach <v Speaker>them. And the women were here on this side of the ocean <v Speaker>and they were getting up to their knees in the water, having their arms like that. <v Speaker>Trying to tell the men how to cross the gully. <v Speaker>And they would see the boats rolling, tipping, <v Speaker>see some men drowning, see others go further. <v Speaker>And they were trying to tell them, go, don't try to come.
<v Speaker>Just go beyond, Go as far as Prince Edward Island and go as far as England. <v Speaker>But don't come back because you can't make it. <v Speaker>Aunt Evangeline past the treasures of Acadia onto Antonine Myia. <v Speaker>Now the stories are acclaimed in Paris and Montreal. <v Speaker>But Evangeline wouldn't be impressed. <v Speaker>For her, stories were just a way of remembering. <v Speaker>Evangeline tante Evangeline. <v Speaker>Oujourdhui c'est vous le symbol de l'Acadie. <v Speaker>C'est vous que m'avais dit, une Evangeline c'est pas fait pour être debout sur un <v Speaker>socle au train de garde l'occident, une vierge de 18 ans. <v Speaker>La vrais Evangeline, c'est vous, qui avait vécu jusqu'a 95 <v Speaker>ans. Qui avait eu 15 enfants. <v Speaker>Qui avait sortie des enfants de la mer. <v Speaker>Qui avait etait celle qui a regardez vers l'avenir, qui avait le país, <v Speaker>il est a nous.
<v Speaker>Move that flag further this way. Yeah. <v Speaker>It's a it's a very unusual way to present somebody that, you know, <v Speaker>flat out and becoming part of the landscape with with the newness of <v Speaker>of the future sort of growing out of her face. <v Speaker>It's it's really something that um. <v Speaker>Art directors like to pursue unusual images. <v Speaker>They aren't always what editors have in mind. <v Speaker>Fortunately, Saturday night's subject is Canada and few people share the same <v Speaker>vision of what Canada is. <v Speaker>Canada is a place that. <v Speaker>Cannot be said to have developed a consensus about even its own past. <v Speaker>Even the most important moments in its past in certain <v Speaker>countries, many countries, there are key moments in the national <v Speaker>past which everyone agrees upon. <v Speaker>Everyone is expected to agree about the French Revolution.
<v Speaker>For example, it would be a good example. <v Speaker>Britain's victory over Hitler would be another example. <v Speaker>The Revolutionary War in the United States. <v Speaker>Another example. Most countries have these key moments. <v Speaker>Which provide them with an ideology unifying point <v Speaker>of view, a something to begin with, when they begin talking <v Speaker>about their history or their life or why they are doing what they're doing. <v Speaker>We haven't got that. <v Speaker>Canadians don't even mythologize their wars. <v Speaker>They don't expect to be remembered as heroes. <v Speaker>They keep their own memories. <v Speaker>They hold their parades, not to celebrate victories, <v Speaker>just to remember their dead. <v Speaker>Saturday night commissionʼs a story about the fading memories of a legion hall in <v Speaker>the Atlantic province of New Brunswick.
<v Speaker>Purley Haines has lived here all his life. <v Speaker>He was 16 when he enlisted. <v Speaker>Every year on November 11th, Purley drives to the Royal Canadian <v Speaker>Legion Hall in Fredericton to mark Remembrance Day with his friends. <v Speaker>For 40 years, the ritual hasn't changed. <v Speaker>There was a time when Canadians fought for England, but after two <v Speaker>world wars, the British Empire is just a memory. <v Speaker>Now poppies grow on the graves of Canadian soldiers who died in Uganda.
<v Speaker>It's very often a lot more of a case for more <v Speaker>than. <v Speaker>Yesterday, all the candidates. <v Speaker> play our part <v Speaker>here. Oh, it's a male. <v Speaker>He admits that many junior.
<v Speaker>After the parade, Purley visits his old friend Lloyd in the veterans hospital <v Speaker>where he's been for more than 20 years. <v Speaker>Well, here. <v Speaker>Now you will reptile's on D-Day. <v Speaker>They landed on the beaches of Normandy, along with 20000 other Canadians. <v Speaker>They fought through France, Belgium and Holland. <v Speaker>For Lloyd, those were the good old days. <v Speaker>Would you go back? Loved it. <v Speaker>Loved it, loved it. Why Jesus Christ. <v Speaker>You know, if we had the same bunch. <v Speaker>We lost quite a few to the con and called Bel Air. <v Speaker>We had a pretty good bunch, we had a good bunch. <v Speaker>There's a name from that bunch. Lloyd can't remember. <v Speaker>It's Remembrance Day in France and memories are all he has left. <v Speaker>I just lost me.
<v Speaker>I know that. A death panel. <v Speaker>Oh, Jesus. <v Speaker>Oh, they worked there. <v Speaker>Jesus Christ. <v Speaker>Worked towards. <v Speaker>Oh, shit. No, please. <v Speaker>Yeah. <v Speaker>Yeah. <v Speaker>Well, we could transfer it in my mind. <v Speaker>I could probably tell you who. <v Speaker>I can't say I <v Speaker>no. <v Speaker>You feel real good to see some of your old comrade again. <v Speaker>If you feel real bad when you see someone who are
<v Speaker>less fortunate, you are. <v Speaker>You feel bad for them. <v Speaker>Purloin. We are here. <v Speaker>Here and here. <v Speaker>You know, I don't know what maybe man, probably better off dead, <v Speaker>but they don't look out that way. <v Speaker>Life is just sweet. Delivers it to you and I guess. <v Speaker>I didn't expect it. My name's Robertson Davis. <v Speaker>English Canada's finest novelist, has written an essay for the anniversary issue. <v Speaker>Gary Roth's reception inspired by a cathedral in
<v Speaker>downtown Toronto. <v Speaker>The essay is concerned with the Canadian soul. <v Speaker>Canada is a country which has to be viewed psychologically if you're going to understand <v Speaker>it at all, because externally it is not <v Speaker>a country of remarkable differences from the United States or indeed from any other, <v Speaker>in a broad sense, civilized northern country. <v Speaker>But psychologically, it has its own individuality and it's a very important <v Speaker>one. It's the soul of people comfortable. <v Speaker>I think it's far more to the Scandinavians. <v Speaker>And if I did say it to an American audience, to the Russians, <v Speaker>than it is to Great Britain or to the United States, it is introspective. <v Speaker>It is a very sober, very quiet, very introverted <v Speaker>and full of strong feeling. <v Speaker>The editorial deadline is fast approaching, satisfying look after the war. <v Speaker>Oh, listen, I get your or I'm going to see if it occurs to
<v Speaker>me. <v Speaker>I'm going to say what the other are the words as exceptional as the design. <v Speaker>Boy, those are fighting. Those are fighting words. <v Speaker>Hey. <v Speaker>We've already gone around this whole question of are the lines sucky or <v Speaker>the lines form or that was the headline, etc.. <v Speaker>What was the headline? And also the underlying using the phrase a celebration and so <v Speaker>on. <v Speaker>I think this case is closed, Sergeant, since. <v Speaker>The ad deadline is today. <v Speaker>It's really great. He says he hasn't any money now. <v Speaker>They're only really after a ball. Sure. <v Speaker>OK. <v Speaker>That's one page, one more page. <v Speaker>Macfarlane is within the reach of his goal. <v Speaker>They've sold almost 100 pages of advertising to pick up, but editorial <v Speaker>keeps spending money. I know it's having problems with its last story.
<v Speaker>I'm less happy with it. And I think perhaps the others are. <v Speaker>And I think David has to go back one more time and rework it. <v Speaker>It's such a dicey thing. <v Speaker>The themes are so need to be so delicately handled or they're <v Speaker>banal in a way that is the cycle of life and death, the country values <v Speaker>versus urban values. The man or men and the women are women in a traditional way that <v Speaker>they aren't cities. <v Speaker>David McFarland had never set foot on a farm before he came from downtown Toronto <v Speaker>to Red Deer, Alberta, to write about Bob La Grange. <v Speaker>You know, some of the best land in the world here. <v Speaker>Rich black loom.
<v Speaker>La granges work 900 acres, growing barley to feed their pigs. <v Speaker>Saturday night's editors expected an article on the economics of farming. <v Speaker>What they got was a little more earnest. <v Speaker>If they had been described to me before I came out here, I'm not sure that <v Speaker>I would have said perhaps I wouldn't have liked them or I wouldn't have ended up <v Speaker>respecting them as much as as much as I have, because our lives are so <v Speaker>different. Our values are so different. <v Speaker>What I admire and respect most about them, I think, is that <v Speaker>they're so firmly committed to them, they really understand what their values <v Speaker>are and they live by them. <v Speaker>Mcfarlin thought he'd learn a few things if he helped with the chores. <v Speaker>That's pig language. All right. <v Speaker>But women La Grange has let him work in the Barnes.
<v Speaker>It wasn't the price of hogs that caught his attention. <v Speaker>Now, this is a male and he has two little testicles that have to come <v Speaker>out and a very simple surgical procedure. <v Speaker>Care of that? <v Speaker>And we're even so good to him that we don't see any blood. <v Speaker>Very clean cut. They're gone forever and the animal doesn't even miss him anymore. <v Speaker>He's gonna go right back to his mother and nurse. <v Speaker>He learned that the Lagrange is a devout Catholics and that for them, God can <v Speaker>be seen in the cycles of birth and death that they live by. <v Speaker>Well, I love the miracle. I love to watch. <v Speaker>I love to watch it. I never get tired of watching it. <v Speaker>It's beautiful. <v Speaker>And it's very simple. It's the way God intended it to be <v Speaker>very uncomplicated and very beautiful.
<v Speaker>Every fall, the La Grange is harvest their barley. <v Speaker>Everything they have depends on the weather. <v Speaker>But this fall, the rain hasn't stopped long enough for the grain to dry. <v Speaker>How bad the harvest is the latest it's ever been. <v Speaker>And the is cannot wait much longer. <v Speaker>Three. Yeah. Hey. <v Speaker>Okay. Yeah. <v Speaker>That would be dry. No, it doesn't feel right. <v Speaker>You just slip through your fingers at home. <v Speaker>Macfarlane learned that for the La granges farm, life is more than just agriculture. <v Speaker>Public greens moved his family here so they could live by the values he believes in. <v Speaker>18 years old when I married her. <v Speaker>There were never been on a farm in her life. <v Speaker>But she's the kind of a gal that was willing to follow her man anywhere he <v Speaker>went. She's a mother of seven children.
<v Speaker>Grandmother of four. She runs that combine just as good as any man. <v Speaker>She cooks, she can sew. <v Speaker>I don't think she'll ever get old. <v Speaker>Keeps me young, too, but the heck else can I ask for it, eh? <v Speaker>I'm a lucky guy. <v Speaker>Going don't think she's just as lucky. <v Speaker>She married a young Mountie. And in those days, Bob looks like Elvis Presley. <v Speaker>Oh, it was great. It was really great. <v Speaker>I was the envy of everybody at school, especially. <v Speaker>I think the fact that he had a bright red uniform that was going <v Speaker>to be of all the girls. <v Speaker>But no, those were the good days. <v Speaker>They're still good. I think I did very well. <v Speaker>Yes, could I have a long range weather forecast, please?
<v Speaker>OK, I've got it. <v Speaker>My teacher said that you're going <v Speaker>to have cold Arctic low come in and <v Speaker>she's going to have snow close to the foothills. <v Speaker>I think we'd better go. <v Speaker>That means we only got about four days left <v Speaker>already at this time of the year and it's just late in October. <v Speaker>You don't wait. You move. <v Speaker>We had winter set in on the 9th of October one year and died. <v Speaker>You just don't take any chances. <v Speaker>It could be beautiful like this. <v Speaker>And then within an hour, everything turned black and snow. <v Speaker>You just don't wait.
<v Speaker>Time is running out on the La granges firm, faith and Family Values <v Speaker>or a matter of survival. <v Speaker>I don't care who you are, you're going to be faced with a trauma, a crisis in your <v Speaker>life sooner or later. <v Speaker>You just can't escape, it doesn't matter what kind of a family you have, <v Speaker>how strong and impregnable you think you're your walls are, <v Speaker>you're going to have a crisis or a trauma, something sad. <v Speaker>And you need you need other people or you need a faith, you need something to hang <v Speaker>on to. <v Speaker>When I come to a place like this and meet people like the La granges. <v Speaker>They affect me in a way, perhaps in a way that's surprising to me. <v Speaker>I don't expect them to have that effect on me. <v Speaker>I have to go back home and think hard about things that either I've taken <v Speaker>for granted or haven't thought hard enough about. <v Speaker>It's pretty easy to go through life without ever really deciding whether you believe in <v Speaker>God or not. They've decided. <v Speaker>They've they've really decided.
<v Speaker>As the Arctic front approaches, half their crop is still lying in the fields. <v Speaker>The next day, winter arrives in Red Deer. <v Speaker>Before he returns to Toronto, McFarland decides to show the La Grange as his <v Speaker>story. It's a serious piece about life and death <v Speaker>and he's anxious to know what they'll think. <v Speaker>I'll tell you for an eighth till when we might not get our crop <v Speaker>and sure, this is sure good entertainment, <v Speaker>it should be said. And but I'll tell you everything. <v Speaker>Oh, isn't that nice? That's fantastic. <v Speaker>That has a beautiful story. That's a beautiful story. <v Speaker>That, is really beautiful.
<v Speaker>I just can't imagine. <v Speaker>To put in such a way that would be so funny with what we think is rather just a routine <v Speaker>life, too. <v Speaker>That's what writers do. <v Speaker>A year after the first writer was commissioned, the anniversary issue rolls <v Speaker>off the presses. <v Speaker>Wait a minute, there's some mistake. These are too heavy. <v Speaker>John McFarland thinks his gamble has paid off. <v Speaker>Now he has even bigger plans for Saturday night. <v Speaker>All the time, maintaining a high standard of leader in the field. <v Speaker>I know they believe you think Vicki <v Speaker>Monger suspects that whatever he has in mind, it will be a hard sell?
<v Speaker>Yeah, yeah, sure. Bruce was sure. <v Speaker>Any easy knocking cover up Bob Fulford <v Speaker>is pleased to note that the anniversary issue arrives at no consensus about <v Speaker>what Canada is. <v Speaker>I just love touching. <v Speaker>I have never enjoyed touching a magazine quite as much as this one. <v Speaker>But this issue was one of his last. <v Speaker>Six months later, Saturday night sold. <v Speaker>John McFarland was replaced as publisher. <v Speaker>After his first meeting with the new owners, Bob Fulford resigned. <v Speaker>Somehow we never imagined it could be run by anyone else. <v Speaker>When we were all working together at Saturday night, we believed we were telling <v Speaker>important stories about our country. <v Speaker>Maybe we were.
<v Speaker>It just never occurred to us that it might slip away.
Canada: True North
Episode Number
No. 102
Where is Here?
Producing Organization
WTVS-TV (Television station : Detroit, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-526-v40js9jh5q).
Episode Description
"Few countries in the world are more vital to each other's interests than the United States and Canada. Historic agreements on free trade, strategic defense and trans-border environmental issues are currently taking place between the two nations. Yet most Americans know little about their northern neighbor. 'Where is Here' is one of a four-part series of documentaries on Canada that seeks to fill that information gap. "For the 100th anniversary issue of Canada's only national cultural and literary magazine, Saturday Night, 21 Canadian writers were invited to visit their choice of the most dramatic locales in the nation and consider its people. Combined with the magazine's own story of its struggle for survival, nine writers' observations are documented in 'Where is Here'' "Internationally acclaimed author Margaret Atwood thinks that Canadians have developed a 'fellow feeling' for nature. She notes that Canadian literature is full of stories in which the animal is the hero and the human hunter the villain. "One of Canada's most irreverent writers, Mordechai Richler, submits a story set in the townships of east Montreal. Canada, he says, is still small settlements huddling against the tundra. "English Canada's finest writer, Robertson Davies composes an essay about the Canadian soul, claiming that it is 'introspective' - very sober, very quiet, very introverted, and full of strong feeling.'" He likens Canadians to Scandinavians or Russians, rather than Americans or the British. "But the most pressing story is back at Saturday Night in Toronto, where publisher John MacFarlane is fighting off failure. The magazine has never made money and he is staking its future on the success of this issue. The pressure is on the sales department, as well as the editors."-- 1988 Peabody Awards entry form.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: WTVS-TV (Television station : Detroit, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-bb68252a49e (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 1:00:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Canada: True North; No. 102; Where is Here?,” 1988, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Canada: True North; No. 102; Where is Here?.” 1988. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Canada: True North; No. 102; Where is Here?. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from