The 10 Best Canadian Heritage Minutes of All Time
January 30, 2016 2:50 PM   Subscribe

"Heritage Factor (how much does it feel like a Heritage Moment?): 9.1. We’ve got period costumes, some clunky exposition/dramatic devices to ensure everything is explained in a minute, and a dramatic ending. Most importantly, we’ve got lots of historical half-truths in order to service television drama....I’m not saying we have a national fetish for comparing ourselves favourably to America. I’m just noting a full 10% of Heritage Minutes are based around that theme." Vancouver journalist Justin McElroy presents The 10 Best Canadian Heritage Minutes of All Time.

The Top Ten list is part of McElroy's larger project to rank all 78 Canadian Heritage Minutes.

Canadian Heritage Minutes previously on Metafilter (includes CBC and Maclean's top 5 and top 10 lists, respectively. For those of you who were sad that "I smell burnt toast..." didn't make the cut on those lists, McElroy's got you covered).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl (34 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
posted by bitteroldman at 3:17 PM on January 30, 2016

Winnie the Pooh is far too highly ranked.
posted by jeather at 3:30 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

And still, I didn't find out if "I Need Those Baskets Back" Guy in fact got his baskets back.

Twenty years I've been waiting for resolution. Guy was just trying to work, work with baskets, and all James Naismith wants to do is saw baskets and play games. Asshole.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:36 PM on January 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

Jacques Plante inventing the mask coming in at a lousy 38th place?

What could be more Canadian than taking vulcanized frozen rubber to the bare face for decades before deciding to do something about it?

And, it should have been the Forum in Montreal, not Maple Leaf Gardens.

That is all, and thanking for posting this.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 3:40 PM on January 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

Can someone tell me where "Ma mere me le dit we have to keep our Irish names!" ranked so I don't have to go searching for it?
posted by jacquilynne at 3:48 PM on January 30, 2016

jacquilynne: "Orphans" is #65.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:54 PM on January 30, 2016

Wow, Wikipedia definitely needs a Justin McElroy disambiguation page.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:58 PM on January 30, 2016 [5 favorites]

To me, there is no better one than the PEI schoolteacher talking about how her illicit reading lessons came from the Bible, and the one bearded dude with his "Why don't you just reeeeeeeeead it, then?", and the other bearded dude saying "both of you men know I cannot read a wordt", and his hand slowly clenching, and the scene fading into a painting of that exact thing, as though to say 'see, SEE?!?'

posted by Capt. Renault at 3:59 PM on January 30, 2016 [7 favorites]

I was going to argue about Rural Teacher (#19) not ranking higher on the strength of its meddling old man getting his comeuppance and the classic line "Both of you know I cannae read a word!", but I acknowledge that there's nothing uniquely Canadian about it. But those beards are truly fantastic!
posted by atropos at 4:02 PM on January 30, 2016

My favourite Canadian Heritage Moment is the one where that mediocre band that gets insane radio airplay because of CanCon rules comes to play at your high school and your girlfriend no longer thinks you are cool.
posted by srboisvert at 4:02 PM on January 30, 2016 [6 favorites]

I guess it makes me not only Canadian, but old (enough to remember the Canadian comedy duo Wayne and Shuster) in that I noticed that as Joe Shuster climbs aboard the train, Lois tells him to talk to his cousin Frank in Toronto.
posted by angiep at 4:03 PM on January 30, 2016 [8 favorites]

My favourite heritage moment from the past year.
posted by thecjm at 4:10 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

To be very clear, this seems to be a different - entirely different - Justin McElroy than Huntington, WV's own Justin McElroy, yes?
posted by Navelgazer at 4:16 PM on January 30, 2016

11. Heritage Minute - The Donair
posted by standardasparagus at 4:27 PM on January 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

Completely different--this one works for Global TV in Vancouver.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:29 PM on January 30, 2016

Thanks for posting, looking forward to reading the commentary on all of these!

(I always got the house hippos confused with Heritage Minutes for some reason...)
posted by invokeuse at 4:54 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Once, I was having one of the endless series debates with my American husband about whether all Canadians know each other or not while the television was on.

The Winnie the Pooh commercial came on suddenly, and I absently said, "oh, hey, that guy playing A.A. Milne substitute taught my drama class in Grade 10."

I lost the debate that evening.
posted by ilana at 4:55 PM on January 30, 2016 [8 favorites]

I could never figure out how they got Harry Shearer to play the old Iroquois guide in the Jacques Cartier one. And I never realized how much Agnes MacPhail looked like Minnie Driver.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:58 PM on January 30, 2016

Where's the one where Zanta gets fat and happy because he gets state-funded treatment for his mental health issues?
posted by GuyZero at 5:11 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Capt. Renault, you might like this: "Why don't you just reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeead it then?"
posted by good in a vacuum at 5:13 PM on January 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

feel that i have learned a great deal about Canada today. I feel, I think, that I have seen into that northern nations very soul! Hurrah, Canada, hurrah!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:32 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

The takeaway: Americans think of nothing but shooting people.

To be entirely fair, this is a pretty true statement, if you also include "...or are afraid of being shot."
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:35 PM on January 30, 2016

I'm confident that "It's only another mile!" has been said by many a drunk Canadian trekking through the snow to a bar.
posted by ghost dance beat at 5:48 PM on January 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'd like to see an alternate set of minutes to feature things like the Shelburne race riots, where all the black loyalists were chased out of town, their homes burned down and they had to spend the winter in makeshift shelters in the forest. I'm sure there's a ton of interesting stuff we'd really like to forget about.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:50 PM on January 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

These are fine and all, but they're no Hinterland Who's Who.
posted by mhoye at 5:58 PM on January 30, 2016 [10 favorites]

The first few notes of the Hinterland Who's Who theme are deeply imprinted in my brain. That and the TTC subway closing doors chime.
posted by atropos at 6:16 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think I smell burnt toast! (Fantastic.)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:33 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Funny. They're not including the one where Red Green builds a backyard garbage compactor out of a ladder and an oil drum.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:24 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

"But...I need these baskets back!"

Ever notice that they jumped from that scene where the old man is feebly trying to save his baskets to them playing with the bottoms all cut up to hell? Like they cut a line where Naismith responds to him "Fuck your baskets old man and get me a saw!".
posted by beau jackson at 7:58 PM on January 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

So, according to this youtube playlist, there are 81 Heritage Minutes videos. Unfortunately for the Plex (and Kodi, etc) loving world, only 26 of them are listed on
posted by el io at 10:09 PM on January 30, 2016

If they could just make a heritage moment about the log driver's waltz then the circle would be complete.
posted by furtive at 10:39 PM on January 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

jacquilynne: "Orphans" is #65.

Pah. This list is clearly bullshit then.

11 years of public school french, and this is the only French sentence I know.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:00 PM on January 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

A new Heritage Minute honours Viola Desmond, Nova Scotian civil rights pioneer.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:55 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

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