Transforming Heritage Minutes

by | February 20, 2012
filed under Can-Con, Politics, Pop Culture

Heritage Minute Same Sex Marriage Canadaby Jarrah Hodge

This is the third part in my anti-racist feminist analysis of Canada’s Heritage Minutes ads. Click here for Part I or Part II.

While not all Canadian kids of the 80s and 90s can tell remember the name of the guy who screened new designs for Canada’s flag, or the one who made the woman smell burnt toast when he poked her brain, most of us remember at least something from the Heritage Minutes, as indicated by this video:

Heritage Minutes have become the subject of acting impressions, high school history classes, and even drinking games. And they’ve provided great source material for political satirists and other artists looking to comment on Canadian culture and identity. Here are a few of my favourite take-offs that define “A Part of Our Heritage” in creative new ways:

First, I love Dominic Poliquin’s “Part of Our Heritage” on Canada marriage equality:

Rick Mercer has been one of the best at converting the Heritage Minute format into biting political satire:

And the Comedy Network came up with a few gems as part of their “Canadian Sacrilege Moment” series, including this one where Jennie Pike (spoofing Jennie Trout’s ad) takes it a step further in telling off Dr. MacFarlane:

Now all that’s missing are some more parody ads that help correct some of the imbalances and issues I mentioned in Part I and Part II of this series, which looked at representations of women’s history and the history of First Nations and Canadians of colour. Most of the parodies I found were by white men. While they’re great, it would be nice to see some by the people who are most under or misrepresented. If anyone knows of some I missed, please post in the comments below!


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