SHOWTIME!Montreal’s Jazz CommunityPart 4 – Sound Solutions
For boom-time Montreal entertainers, the bottom line was always keeping the show on the road with polished and versatile stage presentations. But unanticipated events with the potential to spoil a performance would often crop up, and it took experience, mastery and many tricks of the trade (often learned from colleagues) to conceal them from audiences.
SHOWTIME!Montreal’s Jazz CommunityPart 3 – Making Music
At its peak, the Montreal entertainment scene offered full employment for local musicians in the city's nightclubs, lounges, bars and supper clubs, which numbered well over a thousand on the island alone during certain years. The town’s top jazz players emerged from this infrastructure of nightlife venues, and some of their stories are told in this episode.
SHOWTIME!Montreal’s Jazz CommunityPart 2 – The Show Girls
SHOWTIME, Part 2 explores a key “infrastructure” element in the Montreal jazz scene: show girls. Three women share how they overcame limited career options by singing and dancing in the city’s legendary nightclubs, often working seven days a week and having to deal with zealous male advances and other after-dark annoyances. But they loved every moment of their performing lives, revelling in the stage lights and audience approval as they made their mark on jazz history.
SHOWTIME!Montreal’s Jazz CommunityPart 1 – Bonjour Montréal!
Making it swing was the thing, and in what better metropolis than Montreal, 500 miles north of New York City and accessible to fun-seeking crowds from all over. The hours weren't counted when performers took to the stage to dance, play or sing, and in this Historians Recount episode, lovers of the live entertainment of the day tell their stories of Montreal's contribution to the history of jazz.
Improvisation and Culture:The Raga Mala Society
In this episode, Historians Recount tells the story of The Raga Mala Music Society, based in Calgary and established in 1975. Raga Mala promotes cross-cultural appreciation and mutual understanding of traditional music and dance from India. The goal is to host Western classical music concerts among people of Indian origin and provide classical Indian music for Canadians.
SHOWTIME!Montreal’s Jazz CommunityPreface – The Nightclubs
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the migration of black workers to Montreal increased from Nova Scotia, the U.S. and the Caribbean. During the prohibition of alcohol in the States and nearly all of Canada, Americans and Canadians travelled in large numbers to Montreal, a city where alcohol was plentiful, the nightlife affordable and quality entertainment everywhere.
The Importance of Ceremony
Language, song and ceremonial artefacts preserve heritage in ways that allow for cultural continuity. When upheavals occur in a society, traditions are altered in ways often traumatic to the affected peoples. To ensure the survival of her own cultural heritage, Native historian Vera Newman explains her struggles attempting to provide hope and a sense of connectedness to future generations.
Justice For All
Black sleeping car porters serving passengers traveling by train across Canada endured unjust working conditions for many years. This Historians Recount episode explains how they overcame adversity and achieved positive employment benefits for all railway workers.
Sylvia Stark: A Former Slave Finds Peace In Canada
Searching for paradise can be a lifelong pursuit. Sylvia Stark, born a slave in the United States, dreamed of finding it, and this Historians Recount episode tells the story of how, through determination and sacrifice, Sylvia managed to distance herself from slavery and live to a ripe old age on Canadian soil – a place she considered to be heaven on earth.
Stuck in a Snowbank
During the 1940s, Black and white American military battalions were stationed together in the Northwest Territories, one of the coldest and most desolate parts of Canada. The soldiers’ interactions across racial lines generated friction and hostility, in sharp contrast to the nurturing attitude offered by the Aboriginal peoples of the region.
Slavery in Canada
This leading episode of Historians Recount introduces Marcel Trudel, the first university professor of history in French-speaking Quebec. From researching church records he discovered that slavery existed in Canada, and reveals how slaves were obtained, who they were, how many and who owned them.