Historian Andrew Ross on Canada’s National Hockey Team

1 12 2009

Image Source: Library and Archives Canada, via Wikimedia Commons

The image above is of boys playing hockey in Sarnia, 29 December 1908. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Andrew Cohen, Ottawa-based public intellectual

Historica-Dominion Institute, the Canadian history think-tank, recently published the results of a survey on Canadians and hockey. The poll reveals that a third of Canadians believe that the Montreal Canadiens best represent Canada’s sport. Andrew Cohen, the representative of the institute, was interviewed about the results of the study. Interviewed by CBC Montreal, Cohen said he actually thought support for the Habs would be higher. “A third of Canadians — which is still higher than any other team — is still a substantial number of Canadians,” he said. “It may be because the Canadians haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1993, and when you’re not winning, as it were, you’re not top of consciousness.” In an interview with Montreal’s La Presse, Cohen attributed the popularity of the Canadiens to “le populaire livre pour enfants «Le chandail de hockey» de Roch Carrier”.

Andrew Ross, Canadian Historian

Andrew Ross of the Department of History, University of Guelph has some thoughts about this poll on his blog. Dr Ross has written about the history of the NHL and is probably the leading academic historian of professional hockey in Canada. Ross is also an economic and business historian and is currently working on a business history of the NHL. His other publications include  “Arenas of Debate: The Continuance of Commercial Hockey in the Second World War,” in John Wong, ed., Coast to Coast: Hockey in Canada (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming);  “The Paradox of Conn Smythe: Hockey, Memory, and the Second World War,” Sport History Review 37 (May 2006), 19–35; “‘All this Fuss and Feathers’: Plutocrats, Politicians and Changing Canadian Attitudes to Titular Honours,” in Colin M. Coates, ed., Majesty in Canada (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2006), 119–141; and “Hockey Capital: Approaches to the Study of Sports Industry,Business and Economic History On-Line 3.

Merger of the Dominion Institute and Historica

9 11 2009

The National Post recently carried a story on the merger of the Dominion Institute and Historica, two rival charities devoted to increasing public knowledge of Canadian history. Historica is well-know for its Canadian history TV PSAs. Here is an example:

The NP story explains why the organizations were separate for so long and how they were recently able to overcome their differences. The article recounts how Historica’s establishment was sparked by the publication in 1999 of historian Jack Granatstein’s book Who Killed Canadian HistoryLynton “Red” Wilson, a prominent business leader, read Professor Granastein’s book and decided to fund an organization to promote awareness of Canada’s past, Within six months of Historica’s foundation, however,  Granatstein had left its board of directors. He had come to the conclusion that the organization had been taken over by social historians. Granastein: “Historica had been taken over by the people I thought were the killers of Canadian history”. Granastein then joined the Dominion Institute, which promoted a more conservative interpretation of Canadian history. The future direction of the merged organization remains to be seen.