Defining Moments Canada Brings Stories of Canada’s Spanish Flu Pandemic to Life

A National Online Commemorative Research Project
for Teachers, Students, Heritage Organizations and Community Groups Across Canada

TORONTO, May 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada, a heritage education organization, today announced the launch of its innovative new digital platform commemorating the centenary of the Spanish Flu pandemic in Canada, in partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage.

At an event held at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto, key government officials, historians, educators, students and media gathered to preview the technology and launch the innovative, new national storytelling platform. The goal of the national commemorative initiative is to engage Canadians young and old in the creation of an online, historical mosaic memorializing the heroes of this pandemic via the platform of stories, photos, and videos from across the country.

The Spanish Flu pandemic commemorative project platform is designed to encourage students and community groups to actively explore, research and re-tell the untold stories of how this pandemic affected Canadians coast to coast in 2018-19, the centenary years of the Pandemic.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, describes the project as “innovative” and notes that “using inventive teaching methods, the project encourages students to explore untold stories and seek out connections that capture the devastating impacts that the pandemic had on individuals and their communities.”

“The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic was one of the deadliest health disasters in all of human history,” added the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. “We’ve come a long way since then, thanks in large part to developments in modern medicine like safe and effective vaccines. This anniversary is a chance to reflect on the importance of these live-saving developments and recognize those helped get us to where we are today."

Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada is the shared vision of Neil Orford and Blake Heathcote, creators of a new and innovative way to teach and commemorate Canada’s history using twenty-first century digital tools and storytelling skills.

“The Spanish Flu pandemic had a massive impact on the shared history of Canadians,” says Neil Orford, Project Leader for Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada. “The participants are the driving force behind this commemoration and our hope is to shine a light on the importance of this historical event and uncover stories untold from voices unheard.”

Working in collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Huron College, Western University, and dozens of Canadian school boards, organizations, and institutions, Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada uses this innovative, twenty-first century digital medium to honour and share historical events, illuminating the untold stories of ordinary Canadians in communities across the country.

As a 'capstone' event in the commemoration of the Pandemic centenary, work has also begun on a National Symposium scheduled for May 2019, at which the 'best' of the commemorative projects from across Canada will be featured and honoured.

For more information, digital images or to set up an interview, please contact:

Media Contacts:  
Christine MulkinsorJenny Mulkins
boostPR boostPR
647-242-3686  416-801-1014
Tatiana Zamozdra 
Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada