They're some of the most memorable moments in Canadian movie history.
'I can smell burnt toast.'
'Come on, acknowledge!...'
'They say there is one dead Chinese man for every mile of that track.'
And no, those lines aren't from classic Canadian comedies like 'Porky's' and 'Meatballs' or Genie-winning dramas.
Instead, some of our most quotable and fondly remembered lines come from those 60-second-long 'Heritage Minutes' that started airing in 1991.
Although no new Minutes have been produced in nearly a decade, the keeper of the Minutes, the Historica-Dominion Institute, is planning to revive the format with new films! Details are under wraps, but the big reveal is planned for this Monday, October 15.
To celebrate the relaunch, they've got a new online poll asking you to choose your favourite moment from the more than six dozen movies.
The Institute's Facebook page is currently taking your vote. From neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield to train dispatcher Vincent Coleman to Chinese immigrants who risked their lives to build the Canadian Pacific Railway (the three examples that began this article), they want to know which Heritage Minute has stuck with you.
And there are many Minutes to choose from.
From medical pioneer Jennie Trout (who is told 'There's no place for women in a medical school') to Superman creator Joe Shuster ('No one's going to read a comic strip about a strongman in tights, Joe, it'll never fly'), the Minutes have been indelibly etched into our minds thanks to solid production values, memorable performances, and many repeated viewings as Canadian networks used the spots to bolster their Canadian Content requirements.
In fact, the movies, which end with the on-screen tagline "A Part of Our Heritage," have themselves become so ubiquitous, that they've become a part of our heritage themselves.
Aside from the endless screenings on TV and in movie theatres before the trailers, they have been used in classrooms to help bring Canadian stories to life.
Interesting, too, that rather than take the documentary approach - which Canada does so well -they went the dramatic re-enactment route, putting time and money into crafting some pretty good-looking spots.
And although many actors pass through the films, sometimes you'd catch a familiar face playing a famous historical figure, such as Pierce Brosnan as Grey Owl, Kate Nelligan as Emily Murphy, Graham Greene as Sitting Bull, or Colm Feore as John McCrae. (Stephen McHattie appears in the video above.)
The movies touch on such varied topics as sports (Jacques Plante, James Naismith), arts and culture (Emily Carr, the Stratford Festival), historical figures (Jacques Cartier, Louis Riel), military battles (Vimy Ridge, Juno Beach), and much more.
In fact, they've also been parodied by everyone from 'Royal Canadian Air Farce' to 'Rick Mercer Report' to promos for the Comedy Network.
The Minutes were the brainchild of legendary Canadian broadcaster Patrick Watson, who has made a career out of making our nation's history accessible, especially through his series 'Witness to Yesterday' and 'Titans,' where he interviewed actors playing historical figures.
So don't listen to Nellie McClung's detractors, who told her, 'Nice women don't want the vote.' Men and women alike, click here and pick what you feel is the best 'Heritage Minute,' and check in next week to see the newest moment chosen to become Part of Our Heritage.