[an error occurred while processing this directive] FactsCanada.ca -- Sunday Newsletter 2001-25Su
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Sunday Newsletter 2001-25Su.

June 24, 2001.

Yes, this is it! This is the last newsletter of our inaugural year! Next week we will begin our second July sending out newsletters to all of you interested in Canadian facts and trivia -- and we've come a long way. As I announced a couple of times over the last couple of weeks, we are holding our first anniversary giveaway contest this week. There are a total of nine prizes to be awarded and winning could not be easier. All you need to do is follow the instructions I have laid out below. Good luck!



= Question of the week
= Biography -- Stephen Charles "Steve" Fonyo
= Quote of the week
= First anniversary gift giveaway
= Place names -- Antigonish, Nova Scotia
= Also born this week
= It happened this week in history
= Canadian awards -- The Aurora or Prix Aurora Awards
= Answer to this week's question
= Preview
= Links and resources
= Legal and subscription information



Since I'm asking three more questions in our anniversary contest below, I will keep this spot short and sweet this week.

This gentleman worked with several of the founding members of the group of Canadian artists known as the Group of Seven. He died young, just one month shy of his 40th birthday in 1917, and three years before the Group's formation. Would they have been known as the Group of Eight? I believe so. My question to you is, can you name this artist?

As usual answer can be found near the bottom.



Stephen Charles "Steve" Fonyo

Steve Fonyo was born in Montreal, Quebec, on June 29, 1965. Fonyo has always displayed an ability to excel in whatever he set his mind to -- an ability, however, that has caused him some trouble in recent years.

Despite losing most of his left leg to bone cancer at the age of 12, Fonyo's stubborn determination led him to his historic run during 1984 and 1985. Inspired by Terry Fox (see FactsCanada.ca issue 2000-04Su for Terry's biography), and possibly inspiring Rick Hansen and his "Man in Motion Tour", Fonyo began his "Journey for Lives" run on March 31, 1984. It was in St. John's, Newfoundland that Fonyo dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean and began his remarkable, 7924-kilometre marathon west that lasted over a year. On May 29, 1985, using the equally symbolic dip, Fonyo placed his artificial leg into the Pacific Ocean in Victoria, British Columbia, officially ending this campaign.

It was only two months previous to this finish that Rick Hansen began his international "Man in Motion" tour via wheelchair, prompting the speculation that he may have been, in part, inspired by Fonyo's efforts as well those of his friend Terry Fox. (You can read a brief article on Hansen and his tour in FactsCanada.ca issue 2001-11Su.)

Fonyo's run initially attracted less attention than that of his predecessor, Fox. However, Fonyo was able to emerge from behind this shadow upon reaching and then passing the symbolic point outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, where a recurrence of cancer forced Terry to abort his attempted cross country odyssey. From that point on, Fonyo's "Journey for Lives" began to attract more media attention and public awareness through word of mouth. Soon thousands of people began lining his route and packing auditoriums to both cheer him on and contribute to a fund which eventually exceeded $13 million.

Early in 1986 Fonyo embarked on another fund-raising run for cancer research. This time the venue was Great Britain. It was in May 1987 that Fonyo completed this run and announced that he planned no further marathons. Fonyo was awarded the Order of Canada in 1987, and he slipped from the media's spotlight for almost a decade.

When he re-entered the world stage it was for a much different reason. Fonyo, considered a hero after raising millions of dollars for cancer research by running across Canada on an artificial limb, was so tortured by fame and depression that he eventually considered suicide and turned to cocaine use. This was the picture painted of Fonyo's fall from grace by his legal-aid lawyer, Mitch Foster, during Fonyo's sentencing hearing on sixteen charges, including assault with a weapon, fraud, theft and firearms offences.

Fonyo (who was now 31-years-old) simply stated, "I am very sorry for the crimes I have done." The result was that Fonyo avoided going to jail, but was given an 18-month, conditional sentence, meaning that he would stay out of jail unless he breached any of a lengthy list of court-ordered conditions. Fonyo, although plagued for a few years by alcohol abuse, is currently a very stable individual who seems to have overcome his quick rise to fame and the repercussions it caused a young man. He has studied aircraft engine maintenance and earned his helicopter pilot licence.

I wish all the best for Steve Fonyo. Although once down and out and tortured internally, he seems to have drawn on his inner strength enough to help him become a productive member of society. I still consider him a true Canadian hero!

In today's resources (linked to at the end of the newsletter) I have included Vancouver's Civic Merit Awards page, where both Fonyo and Hansen are included.



"I did what I did when I was 18 years old, it was something I really believed in. But sometimes I wonder to myself if it was the right thing to do. I've been living in the same place (Vancouver) for two years and I don't know my neighbours and I don't know what they I do. But they know who I am and what I did." --Steve Fonyo, on his seclusion and inner turmoil, circa 1997.



OK, in no particular order here are the prizes which you, as a subscriber, can win in our anniversary giveaway:
  • An 8" x 10", autographed, colour photo of Jim Carrey.
  • The 1996, first edition, hardcover novel "Alias Grace", signed by its author, Margaret Atwood.
  • A laminated 28" x 40", political wall map of Canada.
  • The director's cut of the movie "Spawn", on DVD. Todd McFarlane, its creator is a native of Calgary, Alberta.
  • A softcover book on the making of the "X-Files" movie "Fight the Future". For those unfamiliar with the show, the "X-Files" enjoyed many productive and profitable years being filmed in and around the Vancouver area.
  • Another softcover book entitled "Plenty: A Collection of Sarah McLachlan's Favorite Recipes", by the Canadian chanteuse herself.
  • The hardcover book "Trans Canada Trail: The 16 000 Kilometre Dream".
  • The hardcover, collector's edition of the book "20th Century Hockey Chronicle".
  • Finally, the hardcover book "Legend of Autumn: The Glory Years of Canadian Football", signed by both authors Denny Boyd and Brian Scrivner.
So, how can you win one of these nine gifts? You need to do a bit of research, but we'll make it easy for you. All you need is an Internet connection (my apologies to those that can not immediately access the Internet via the computer they are using to read this newsletter) and you have a week to accomplish this feat. Visit our ever-expanding Web site and use the site's search engine to find the answers to the following three questions:
  1. Where was David Suzuki born? You'll need to narrow it down to the city for your answer to qualify.
  2. Who was the first premier of Prince Edward Island? The full name (all three of them) is needed to qualify, and spelling counts.
  3. In what year did golfer Dave Barr amass over US$300 000 in earnings? Hint: It was way back in the 20th century.
Easy as one, two three. Right?

Send your answers to contest@factscanada.ca before noon on July 1, 2001, Pacific Standard Time. In your entry e-mail, please let us know your gift preferences. How many other contests do you see that allow you to pick your prize? Just list the gifts above in the order in which you would prefer to have them, with the gift you really want at the top. The sender of the first entry received with all three questions correctly answered, will receive their first preference, and so on down the line.

Please see our contest rules. Craig will be the judge of all replies and will announce the winners briefly in our July 1 issue on Canada Day.

Good luck!



Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Antigonish is a town of about 5000 people located within the county bearing the same name. The total population of the county is 20 000. Located on a small plain about 1.6 kilometres from Antigonish harbour, the town lies approximately midway between the cities of Halifax and Sydney on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island. It is also a university community centred around St. Francis Xavier University, which was relocated there in 1855. The town is also well known for its sporting and recreational facilities and its cultural activities. More information on two of these activities, the Highland Games (the oldest in North America) and the Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre, can be found in today's resources.

In 1784 a group of British soldiers, led by Colonel Timothy Hierlihy, first settled in the area. Although they called it Dorchester, historical notes and maps refer to the place being known as Antigonish or varying forms of the name as early as 1672. The post office adopted the more historic name in 1816, and from 1821 onward the town was known as Antigonish.

Although one can, with much research, find a variety of translations and derivations of the name, three have come to be the most likely. The first claims that the name derives from the Micmac designation "Articougnesche", or "where the bears tear branches off trees" (also translated as "place where the branches are torn off by bears gathering beechnuts"). The second most likely origin comes also from the Micmac name of "Nalegitkoonech", which has been interpreted as meaning "flowing through broken marsh". Some local area residents also seem to hold onto the title "five-forked river of fish". The real truth of the origins have long since slipped away, as history tends to do. Today we will settle for Antigonish.



Jean J. Charest, politician, born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, June 24, 1958.

Melvin Hurtig, publisher, author, literary promoter, and Officer of the Order of Canada, born in Edmonton, Alberta, June 24, 1932.

Barbara Ann Underhill, figure skater and member of the Canadian Amateur Sports Hall of Fame (1985), born in Pembroke, Ontario, June 24, 1963.

Denys Arcand, filmmaker, born in Deschambault, Quebec, June 25, 1941.

Thomas Gerald Rideout, teacher and premier of Newfoundland (1989), born in Fleur-de Lys, Newfoundland, June 25, 1948.

Sir Robert Laird Borden, lawyer and prime minister of Canada (1911-1920), born in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, June 26, 1854.

George Hainsworth, goaltender and Hockey Hall of Fame Member, born in Toronto, Ontario, June 26, 1895.

Marion Mildred Dale Scott, painter, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 26, 1906.

Sylvie Frechette, synchronized swimmer and Olympic gold-medal winner, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 27, 1967. (Although she originally won the silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games, she was awarded the gold a year later after an investigation into a judging error.)

Daniel Lionel Hanington, lawyer, judge and premier of New Brunswick, born in Shediac, New Brunswick, June 27, 1835.

Arthur Lismer, painter, educator and founding member of the Group of Seven painters, born in Sheffield, England, June 27, 1885.

Frank Mills, composer, arranger and pianist, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 27, 1942.

Victor "Vic" Emery, bobsledder and Olympic gold-medal winner, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 28, 1933.

George Knudson, golfer and Member of the Order of Canada, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 28, 1937.

Carlyle Smith Beals, astronomer and Member of the Order of Canada, born in Canso, Nova Scotia, June 29, 1899.

Pierre Perrault, film director and poet, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 29, 1927.

Charlie Watt, Inuk leader, born in Fort Chimo (now Kuujjuak) Quebec, June 29, 1944.

James Howden MacBrien, soldier, policeman and commissioner of the RCMP, born in Port Perry, Ontario, June 30, 1878.

Sir Alexander MacKenzie, lawyer and railway magnate, born in Kincardine, Canada West, June 30, 1860.

Murray Edward McLauchlan, singer, songwriter, media personality and Member of the Order of Canada, born in Paisley, Scotland, June 30, 1948.

William Smithe, premier of British Columbia (1883-1887), born in Matfen, England, June 30, 1842.



June 24, 1604 -- The Saint John River is named by French explorers Samuel de Champlain and Pierre Du Gua de Monts.

June 24, 1813 -- Almost 500 American troops were ambushed by a party of Caughnawaga and Mohawk warriors, along an enclosed, wooded section of the trail near Beaver Dams (Thorold, Ontario) during the War of 1812. This was after the tables were turned on the Americans by a warning given by Laura Secord.

June 24, 1497 -- Italian navigator and explorer John Cabot (Giovanni Cabotto), sailing on behalf of British King Henry VII, landed somewhere on the North American coast. The actual place of landing was most likely either Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, or Cape Breton Island. Cabot claimed the land for England and returned to Bristol.

June 24, 1957 -- "Front Page Challenge", the CBC television program that is a cross between a game and an interview was first aired.

June 25, 1993 -- Kim Campbell's short tenure as Canada's first female prime minister began. It ended November 4 of the same year.

June 25, 1944 -- Aviator David Ernest Hornell, born in Lucknow, Ontario, died at sea. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for destroying a German U-boat while under extreme fire, and for fortifying his comrades in the ordeal after their flying boat crashed. Blinded and exhausted, Hornell died shortly after being rescued at sea.

June 26, 1947 -- Former Prime Minister (1930-1935) Viscount Richard Bedford Bennett, died in Mickleham, England.

June 26, 1958 -- Canada's first Olympic champion, runner George W. Orton, died.

June 26, 1959 -- The St. Lawrence Seaway (Great Lakes Waterway) officially opens with Prime Minister Diefenbaker, President Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II attending the festivities. It actually opened to commercial traffic April 20, 1959, but the official opening was delayed until this date.

June 27, 1862 -- Stump Town, Prince Edward Island, is renamed Alberton, in honour of Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales.

June 27, 1980 -- A mere 100 years after it was first sung, "O Canada!" was officially adopted under the National Anthem Act on this date making it Canada's national anthem. It's adoption had been approved by Parliament in 1967 (Canada's 100th birthday). [Editorial note from John: Now that's political progress!]

June 27, 1860 -- The "Queen's Plate", a stakes race for thoroughbred horses, was first run at the Carleton Race Track, Toronto, Ontario.

June 28, 1981 -- Terrance Stanley "Terry" Fox, "Marathon of Hope" runner, dies in New Westminster, British Columbia.

June 28, 1990 -- The Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology near Drumheller, Alberta, becomes the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology when the royal title was bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II.

June 29, 1926 -- Arthur Meighen begins his second term as prime minister of Canada.

June 29, 1965 -- Airline executive George William Grant McConachie dies. The main traffic artery into Vancouver's International Airport is named after him.

June 29, 1864 -- Canada's deadliest wreck occurred at St-Hilaire, Quebec. A Grand Trunk train with 458 passengers, most of them newly arrived German and Polish immigrants, was unable to stop for an open swing bridge over the Riviere Richelieu. The train plunged into the gap and the coaches piled on top of one another. Estimates of the deaths ran as high as 99, with another 100 injuries.

June 29, 1977 -- The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) was created by an Act of Parliament.

June 30, 1992 -- Toronto-born cartoonist Joe Shuster dies. In 1933, with writer Jerry Siegel, he created the "Superman" comic-book character. In the original version, Superman's mild-mannered alter ego, Clark Kent, worked for the "Daily Star", which was patterned after the "Toronto Star". The newspaper's name in the strip was changed later to the "Daily Planet".



The Aurora or Prix Aurora Awards

When the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association was started in 1980, there was only one Aurora award given out. Since 1991, however, awards have been presented in ten categories, including six professional awards (three English and three French), three fan awards, and the artistic achievement award (open to both professionals and fans).

The process of selecting award winner starts with a nomination phase to build a short list. Then there is a voting phase to pick the winner from the short list, with judges organizing their preferences from best to worst in each category. The eventual winners are tabulated from an accumulation of these preferences.

Each year a different convention or group has hosted the awards. The awards are financed by voting fees, by donations, and by the host convention. There is no permanent funding. The 2001 awards were held in Burnaby, British Columbia, last month on May 5, 2001. The winner of the Best Long Form Work in English (Best English Novel) was "The Snow Queen" by Eileen Kernaghan and released by Thistledown Press.



Above, I posed the question: This gentleman worked with several of the founding members of the group of Canadian artists known as the Group of Seven. He died young, just one month shy of his 40th birthday in 1917, and three years before the Group's formation. Would they have been known as the Group of Eight? I believe so. My question to you is, can you name this artist?

The answer is Thomas John "Tom" Thomson. On July 8, 1917, Thomson was last seen rowing his boat out on Canoe Lake in Ontario to do some fishing. His overturned boat was found late that day, but it was not until July 16 that his body was found.



Next Sunday, in addition to announcing the lucky winners of our first-anniversary giveaway, I will write short biographies of eight Canadians who were born on Canada Day, profile Trenton, Ontario, tell you about the Order of Canada, give you the usual lists of people born during the week and historical events, and answer a question about a former mayor of Winnipeg.


As mentioned above we will be sending out a newsletter next week, Canada Day, Sunday, July 1 -- Canada's 134th birthday and FactsCanada.ca's first! See you then, and remember to enter the contest.



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