Canadian Snapshots: Summer in a vacation treasureland
Just three years after the debut of CBC Radio, Canadian Snapshots "turned the lens of the radio camera" to the wonders and oddities of Canada in half-hour episodes airing weekly on the national network. Chock full of skits and short dramatic pieces, and augmented with actualities (the relatively new phenomena of onsite reporting), Canadian Snapshots brought the "vast panorama" of the country to the airwaves to tempt the tourist's taste. Unabashed in their boosterism, several programs also featured Canadian composers and highlighted their original works with a performance by the CBC Orchestra led by Samuel Hersenhoren. Although the program aired in 1939 and 1940, only six episodes of Canadian Snapshots survive in the CBC archives. All six are presented here; they were broadcast between January and June of 1940. The announcers are renowned CBC personalities Lorne Greene and J. Frank Willis.
• Poet Pauline Johnson wrote Shadow River, read in this episode's segment on Muskoka. The daughter of a Mohawk chief and an English mother, Johnson was born in 1861 and grew up on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. As a child, she learned the legends and history of her Mohawk family at that same time that she read the classics of Victorian literature. Both deeply influenced her own writing. She began publishing poetry as early as 1883, but did not start to earn a living from her writing until she began giving recitations of her work across Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. • Emphasizing her mixed heritage, Johnson took on her great grandfather's name, Tekahionwake, and often performed the first part of her program in traditional First Nations clothes and the second part in traditional Victorian attire. She published widely, including collections of poetry and prose that sold well. Johnson left off touring in 1910 and retired to Vancouver. She died of breast cancer in 1913, and after a large public procession, her ashes were buried in Stanley Park. In 1961, she became the first Canadian woman (not including the Queen), First Nations person and writer to be honoured with a postage stamp. • For more than two hundred years, the lure of Captain Kidd's treasure has kept a steady stream of prospectors and excavators digging on Oak Island, N.S. In 1795, local teens discovered a strange clearing laid with buried flagstones and a man-made shaft descending deep into the island's soil. Several expeditions have since been mounted to recover what's purported to be two million pounds in gold buried by Captain Kidd in the 1600s. Over the years, digs revealed multiple levels made with different materials, shards of porcelain, a small gold chain, and an elaborate booby trap to flood the shaft with sea water. But after millions of dollars spent and several lives lost in pursuit of the treasure, the Oak Island "money pit" remains a mystery, and one that has yet to yield any pirate booty. For more on the Oak Island treasure hunt, please see Nova Scotia's Oak Island Mystery.
Program: Canadian Snapshots
Broadcast Date: June 4, 1940
Announcer: Lorne Greene, J. Frank Willis
Photo Credit: Albertype Company/Library and Archives Canada/PA-032241
Last updated: October 9, 2013
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
All Clips from this Topic
Canada in snapshots includes ladies' winter sports, the country's firs...
Natural and man-made phenomena keep Canadians and their visitors marve...
From the Bay of Fundy to the badlands of Alberta, the radio lens of
Canadian Snapshots beckons listeners to the sights and sounds of the N...
The jewels of Canada's vast landscape offer visitors a summer wonderla...
Glorious sights and great men on the Cabot Trail.