[an error occurred while processing this directive] FactsCanada.ca -- Sunday Newsletter 2001-38Su
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Sunday Newsletter 2001-38Su.

September 23, 2001.

[John] Writing this introduction a week or so in advance of its actual transmission is usually a pretty safe endeavour. Last week I commented on the war that is brewing against terrorism. As one would expect, the political, military and public stances change almost daily, making my opinions (presented to you, our avid reader, a week after they are written) seem out-of-date by the time you read them. If I comment on a particular course of action that America and its citizens may take, and then the process fails to manifest itself or alters its direction, I look like an uniformed idiot ranting like most of the daily newspapers of North America. These same newspapers seem to try to develop stories which are based mostly in fact, but which are also based on conjecture. This conjecture is often manipulated the very next day by publishers and editors to conform to their wishes and opinions.

Please note that I neither condone nor ridicule this process — it is merely a process to which we have become accustomed over the past generation as we watch the print media try to compete with the likes of CNN and other instant-news services. We can watch CNN on any given night when there is a major event happening and we accept its reports as gospel... only to arise the next morning to a totally different scenario which we just as readily accept! My conclusion is that we are relatively suspicious of the printed word (which, if used properly, should be the most accurate source of news, if not the quickest) when compared to what is happening this minute, brought to us by live reporters with real sound and pictures to reinforce their statements. Remember, in many cases it is not the reporters who write the scripts they read. Rather it is the "higher ups" in the news organization orchestrating a promotional ploy to embellish a 15-second video account with five minutes of carnage or outrage for fodder.

With that out of the way, I hope most of you understand the frustrations of letting a mass of people, like yourself, into my thoughts, regardless of whether you agree with them or not. I can't appear on your television screen with a video running behind me. I also don't have a bevy of writers trying to construct a message that will neither offend nor be misinterpreted — I have only Craig to make my vociferation that much more understandable. I would love to read your thoughts... each and every one of you. I do read everything that crosses my desk or, I should say, that appears on my screen, but I don't always have the time to respond. If you have something to say — anything — please send it to me at john@factscanada.ca. Craig also appreciates feedback, and you can harass him at craig@factscanada.ca.

Until next week. I hope the world travels down the intellectual road as opposed to the emotional one, and each and every one of you is relatively happy and can enjoy your next issue of FactsCanada.ca.



\ Question of the week
\ Biography — Glenn Herbert Gould
\ Quote of the week
\ Fact of the day
\ Also born this week
\ It happened this week in history
\ Place names — Belcher Islands, Nunavut
\ Answer to this week's question
\ Preview
\ Links and resources
\ Legal and subscription information



As usual you can find the answer to the following question near the end of the newsletter. I will make it short and sweet.

He started his musical career as lead singer for a rock group in the 1970s, then he launched a successful solo career that included the albums "Shakin' Like a Human Being" and "Rockland". Who is he?

Hint: Think of the group Max Webster.



Glenn Herbert Gould

Although Gould's musical gifts were apparent by the time he reached the age of three, he was not cursed with the mantle of a child prodigy. This was because he continued to refine his skills during his early life, rather than perform.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, on September 25, 1932, Gould studied piano under his mother when he was two-years-old. By the time he reached the ripe old age of three, his prodigy status had manifested itself, but only within the realms of the Gould family. His talent was only natural — after all, he came from a very musical background. His mother was a music teacher specializing in the piano, while his father was an amateur violinist. His lineage includes the famous Norweigian composer Edvard Grieg (known for the two Peer Gynt Suites, his most famous works), who was a first cousin of Gould's grandfather on his mother's side of the family. The young Gould also was born with two other traits essential to his musical development: Absolute pitch, and the ability to read staff notation (music) before he was five years-of-age. Absolute pitch perception is the identification of the pitch of a single note without relating it to another note. Some performers only have what is termed relative pitch.

Gould first attended a live musical performance at the age of six. He recalled later that this was the last performance of the Polish-born, American pianist named Josef Hofmann. This performance created a lasting impression and the encouragement for Gould to pursue the career path he was born to follow. If one word could possibly summarize Gould's life from this point on, it would be "passion" — for Gould isolated himself and worked towards being what many consider the greatest musician ever born in Canada and perhaps the most masterful, if not eclectic, pianist the world has ever known. By the age of ten he had a tremendous feeling and loving affection for music — it was a total and almost all-consuming passion. He knew what he wanted to accomplish in his life and the sacrifices he would need to make to accomplish these goals. At this time (remember he was only ten) Gould began lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He competed in and won piano competitions at the age of 12 and the next year (in 1945) passed the associateship examination for a solo performer with the Royal Conservatory. The next year (1946) he passed his music theory examination and was awarded a diploma with the highest honours at 14.

Although Gould become a legend, he stopped performing live concerts by his early 30s. What mattered to him then was the redirection of his energies towards innovative ways to communicate music through the mass media. When he stopped giving concerts in 1964, at the age of 32, his friends and closest colleagues feared he would lose his eminence in the international music world. With extraordinary foresight, however, he consolidated his career's work through his recording label (CBS Records) and influenced a whole new generation of performers and listeners. Through his illuminated and stimulating interpretations of the music of a variety of composers, in particular that of Johann Sebastian Bach, Gould probed and investigated the sometimes controversial nature of his extensive musical repertoire, which resulted in intensely personal recreations of classical works that became milestones in the evolution of musical interpretation and performance.

Gould's passion for using media technologies to communicate his ideas began at the outset with his association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In addition to his numerous performances on the CBC, Gould broke new artistic ground with his documentaries, radio and television essays, and performances. Now republished, his writings reveal a profound musical insight and a stimulating area which is of interest among new audiences, for Gould was one of the most unconventional classical musicians (or entertainment personalties) of his day. He was also an accomplished writer, authoring or inspiring plays, novels, musical compositions, arrangements, scripts, interviews and poems that numbered in the hundreds. He did not confine himself to the English language, but published these works in French, German, Italian and Japanese, lending credence to the notion that music is indeed the language of all nations.

During his life, Gould received hundreds of awards and prizes. Many more were bestowed on him posthumously, including awards and tributes from every cultural institution and from many levels of government. Glenn Gould died suddenly at the age of 50 at his birthplace (Toronto, Ontario) on October 4, 1982. It was only his second week at the age of 50, and he died of a massive stroke.

Glenn Gould on Mozart
Glenn Gould Archive
Short biography of Edvard Grieg
Short biography of Josef Casimir Hofmann
J.S. Bach Bibliography



"From the first, critics had no difficulty recognizing his talents: 10 omnipotent fingers at the command of a musical intelligence that made light of the most fearful musical challenges." —Alan Rich on Glenn Gould after his death.



The assistance and aid offered by Canada and its citizens during the recent attacks on America and its way of life is not an isolated event. There have been many times in the past where Canadians have opened their homes, arms, hearts and even pocketbooks to help America and Americans in need. I am reminded by long-time reader Cynthia of Canada's role, albeit one that was not planned, which saved six Americans (four men and two women) from 358 days in captivity.

On November 4, 1979, the American embassy in Tehran, Iran, was overrun by what can be described as 3000 people, mostly students, who were at best confused by the messages they were receiving from both the American media and their own authorities. Initially they held 66 American citizens hostage. Blacks and women were released, leaving 52 hostages, because the students felt that blacks had suffered from oppression in the United States, and because they did not wage war against women. There were no plans in place to have this ordeal last more than a couple of days, but it became evident as 1979 ticked over into 1980 that this was to be a long, drawn-out affair.

Kenneth D. Taylor was Canada's ambassador to Iran during the occupation of the American embassy, and oversaw the rescue of six American citizens by seeing to it that they were supplied with Canadian documentation. These six, by a stroke of luck, had managed to simply walk out of the American embassy during the confusion of the hostage taking. They hid for four days before making their way to the Canadian embassy and asking for sanctuary.

The situation in Tehran was very tense. Ken Taylor knew that if the Iranians found that Americans were being hidden in the Canadian embassy, Canada would be perceived as an enemy and the Canadian Embassy would be next. He made contact with Ottawa and told them of the situation. Ottawa agreed with Taylor's decision to grant sanctuary and immediately set to work on a plan to get them out. This involved issuing Canadian passports to the Americans, and 79 days of waiting as the Americans pretended to be visitors. Finally, on January 28th, 1980, the six Americans flew away to safety, about a year before the rest were released. On January 20, 1981, after 444 days in captivity and on the last day that Jimmy Carter was President of the United States, the remaining hostages were released.

This fact about the six Americans rescued from the hostage ordeal is one of the highlights of Canada's political past. It remained a secret for some time — to this day many are still not aware of the freeing of this half dozen early in the hostage crisis. To them, however, I'm quite certain that the extra year of freedom has made a great deal of difference to their lives. There is much more to be remembered of this incident, and I encourage all of you to look into some of the history. You can begin by accessing the link provided below.

US-Iranian Relations and the Hostage Crisis



John James Kinley, engineer, businessman and lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia (1994-2000), born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, September 23, 1925.

Louis Rubinstein, athlete, early figure-skating star and sports administrator, born in Montreal, Quebec, September 23, 1861.

Nancy Ellen Garapick, swimmer and Olympic medalist, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 24, 1961.

Joseph-Adelard Godbout, agronomist, professor and premier of Quebec (1936 and 1939-1944), born in St. Eloi, Quebec, September 24, 1892.

Joseph Martin, lawyer and premier of British Columbia (1900), born in Milton, Canada West, September 24, 1852.

Henry Robert Emmerson, lawyer and premier of New Brunswick (1897-1900), born in Maugerville, New Brunswick, September 25, 1853.

Ian Dawson Tyson, part of folk-rock duo Ian and Sylvia, born in Victoria, British Columbia, September 25, 1933.

Ron Stewart, athlete and Canadian Football Hall of Fame member (June 25, 1977), born in Toronto, Ontario, September 25, 1934.

Sir Louis-Olivier Taillon, lawyer and premier of Quebec (1887 and 1892-1896), born in Terrbonne, Quebec, September 26, 1840.

William Pugsley, lawyer, premier (1907) and lieutenant-governor (1917-1923) of New Brunswick, born in Sussex, New Brunswick, September 27, 1850.

Herbert Alexander Bruce, surgeon, military officer and lieutenant-governor of Ontario (1932-1937), born in Blackstock, Ontario, September 28, 1868. Bruce founded Toronto's Wellesley Hospital, and was appointed special inspector-general of the Canadian Army Medical Corps overseas in 1916. He died on June 23, 1963, just short of his 95th birthday.

Catherine Robbin, opera singer (mezzo-soprano), born in Toronto, Ontario, September 28, 1950.

Jean-Claude Lauzon, director, script-writer and filmmaker, born in Montreal, Quebec, September 29, 1953. Tragically he died in a plane crash near Kuujjuaq (or Kuujjuak), Quebec, on August 10, 1997, one month shy of his 44th birthday.

FactsCanada.ca map of Kuujjuaq, Quebec



September 23, 1877 — Indian Treaty 7 was signed by Indian Commissioner David Laird, Commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police James Farquharson Macleod, Chief Crowfoot of the Blackfoot tribe, and many other chiefs. This treaty went a long way to solidifying the respect and unification of all factions.

September 24, 1984 — Although New Brunswick's coat of arms were granted by Queen Victoria on May 26, 1868, the crest, supporters, compartment and motto were not granted until this date by Queen Elizabeth II.

September 25, 1926 — Although his first and second terms were interrupted by only a few months, Mackenzie King began his second of three tenures as this nation's prime minister on this date.

September 25, 1985 — The Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology opened to the public. It was later (June 28, 1990) that Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the "royal" title on it.

September 26, 1867 — At a convention in Kingston, Ontario, the National Lacrosse Association was formed — the first of many sports organizations whose origins can be traced back to the 19th century.

September 27, 1995 — Acting on a tip, Vancouver RCMP raided an East End house and seized 150 kilograms of cocaine and nearly $200 000 in cash. A drug trafficker named Eugene Uyeyama becomes an informant. On December 21, 1995, Uyeyama and his wife Michele were brutally murdered in their Burnaby home just east of Vancouver. Colombia's Cali cartel are suspected.

September 29, 1972 — The final game in the Canada versus Soviet Union hockey series of 1972 was played. Better known today as the "Summit Series", it was the eighth and final game played on this date that gave Canada the series victory, albeit by the smallest of margins. Losing 5-3 going into the third period, Phil Esposito and Yvan Cournoyer tied the game at five goals each, opening the door for one of the most cherished sports memories in Canadian history. It was Canada's Paul Henderson who scored the final goal with only 34 seconds remaining in the game, giving Canada four wins, three losses and one tie in the series. It was also an eye-opener, as Canadians realized they were no longer the world's unchallenged bastion of hockey supremacy. (For a brief article on the "Summit Series", please see FactsCanada.ca issue 2000-13Su.)



Belcher Islands, Nunavut

Once a part of the Northwest Territories, The Belcher Islands now fall within the borders of Canada's newest territory, Nunavut. Actually, all islands located in Hudson Bay now fall within the jurisdiction of Nunavut. Despite being located in Hudson Bay some 1100 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle (and about 140 kilometres west of Quebec), the islands definitely display all the signs of an arctic environment. With a total area of around 3000 square kilometres, they are the largest land masses located in Hudson Bay.

Although composed of about 1500 islands, most of them very small, Flaherty, Tukaruk, Weigand and The Bakers Dozen Islands are the most prominent of the lot, with Flaherty being the largest. Sanikiluaq is the only permanent settlement on the islands, and is located on the northern section of Flaherty Island. Although the Inuit have inhabited the islands for as many as 1000 years, they are most certainly descendants of the Thule culture. Without getting too far into this Pandora's box of information, the Thules were people who migrated from its namesake in Greenland, and are descended from the Norse and the Vikings.

The Inuit inhabitants of the Belchers are the last group of Inuit to gain knowledge of the existence of life elsewhere — they have simply not been in contact with Canadians from the mainland.

FactsCanada.ca map of Belcher Islands, Nunavut
Population Trends of Gulls and Arctic Terns in the Belchers
Legal description of the Nunavut Settlement Area
Information on Sanikiluaq, Nunavut



Above I posed the question: "He started his musical career as lead singer for a rock group in the 1970s, then he launched a successful solo career that included the albums "Shakin' Like a Human Being" and "Rockland". Who is he?"

Answer: Kim Mitchell.

Originally born in Sarnia, Ontario, on July 10, 1952, Kim Mitchell won Juno Awards for the most promising new artist in 1983, and won the male vocalist of the year in 1990. His hit, "Go for Soda", was the theme song used by Mother Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) in the United States in 1985.

Kim Mitchell
Max Webster



Next Sunday I'll ask you a question about suffrage, and profile James McGill and Longueuil, Quebec. Of course, my usual features will also be included.


[Craig] There's not much for me to add this week. This newsletter is the one you should have received on the Sunday just gone. John has already submitted this Sunday's Newsletter to me for editing so, as long as I get my act together, I should have it to you this Sunday (which would be a radical concept).



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