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England '1990 : garden party

Item consists of a Jamaican-Guyanese family’s home movie featuring two women and a girl dancing; panning shots of the garden, street, and views of the city; and the family chatting around a table in the backyard with music playing in the background.

Project and donor(s) contributed description follows: "'The year is 1990, and the Burke Family is on vacation in Bristol, England. This is filmed where Leah's father, Sam grew up. All of Leah's aunts and uncles had houses in the same neighbourhood, and this is a family reunion of sorts. Here, Leah, age eight or nine, dances to ska and lovers rock with her mother, Rita and Great Aunt Sweeney, while her dad is seen off in the background, and her older brother, Jason, films.

Her dad has roots in Jamaica and her mother has roots in Guyana. At different points in their lives both immigrated to England, and later met each other there. Her parents then set off to Canada during the Pierre Trudeau years in 1972 to raise a family. The Burkes now call many places home.'"

Cityscapes of Iraq

Item consists of an Iranian-Canadian family’s home movie featuring cityscapes of Baghdad including footage of traditional architecture.

Donor(s) and project contributed description follows: “Although Aeyliya was born in London, England, she spent a year of her childhood in Baghdad, Iraq, a place in which she does not have too many strong memories of, yet finds fascination with when she watches her footage. “My grandmother, mom, brother, and I are in the footage. It’s very interesting to see this place that kind of has a memory for me, and then seeing family members like my grandfather who’s no longer alive, and then seeing my mother as a ‘young mother.’” Aeyliya describes having memories of eating certain candy in Iraq, and specifically in the footage she speculates that her mother was going to the mosque perhaps to pray, while she and her brother were running around in the courtyard. “[It’s] very surreal to see your past, to see yourself and your history. When I first watched the footage I thought ‘oh, this is kind of a weird feeling, strange, but still good.’” There are a number of ways ones life could’ve been dramatically different. “Where is home?” She ponders. Aeyliya’s family came to Montreal “literally” by boat. “We left London to Montreal and took the QE2, and then settled in St. Catherines, Ontario. “One decision that you have no control over could dramatically change your life,” Aeyliya adds, describing her thoughts behind her parents decision to live in Iraq for a year, nearly settling there, before plans changed and then moved from London to St. Catherines instead, “I look at the footage and think of that sometimes.””

Shoveling snow

Item consists of a home movie featuring a children in the snow.

Project and donor(s) contributed description follows: “Terry Watada became interested in his family history when he realized his parents were forced into internment camps by the Canadian government during World War II. The youngest of two boys and with an 18-year age gap, he only came to know this history in his late teens. The footage selected shows glimpses of Terry’s childhood and features community members with whom he grew up. A small clip shows Terry wearing his cub scout uniform. In 1959, he was eight-years-old and was part of the 45th cub scout “wolf pack”; he later became a scout until the age of 17.

The families on the farm near the beginning of the footage feature the Watada family visiting the Itos in Cooksville, Ontario. Mr. Ito had connections with Terry’s father when he lived in BC; Mr. Ito was a former employee of Matsujiro Watada. Because his father helped with the down payment of their farm, the Watadas would receive bushels of vegetables every season during Terry’s childhood.

A prominent feature of his childhood, Terry and his family attended organized community picnics along with other members of the Japanese Canadian community in Toronto. A game played was the catching of mochi balls. A coveted gift since the process to make it by hand was time consuming. The picnic near the end of the selected home movies depicts a Shinto lion dance (around 68’ or 69’). There were always religious undertones at these picnics, either Buddhist or Shinto along with the Obon festival that would take place every year. The religious undertone would shift as they became an event that no longer only catered to a Japanese audience.”

Azada Rahi 1/1 C

Item consists of a video clip recording from 1996 consisting of children and teenagers from the Raptors Junior Dance Pak line dancing on stage behind Six Nations country singer Rebecca Miller singing "Listen to the Radio" at the YTV Achievement Award recipients.

Project and donor(s) contributed description follows: "In 1996 the Pak was hired to perform at the YTV Achievement Awards. Dawning matching plaid and denim ensembles, the Pak backup danced for Indigenous Canadian country singer, Rebecca Miller. This country line-dancing number was one of three performances they did at the Awards that evening, including one with Aashna Patel."

Azada Rahi 1/1 A

Item consists of a video clip recording from 1995 consisting of children and teenagers from the Raptors Junior Dance Pak rehearsing a dance routine at the SkyDome.

Project and donor(s) contributed description follows: "Here, November 2nd ,1995, at the SkyDome (presently the Rogers Centre) the Pak rehearses the same routine over and over in preparation for the opening performance at the first-ever Toronto Raptors game. On the day of the performance, Azada recalls pushing through the stomach flu to perform, her hard work could not go to waste, and it was a very exciting time. They had already performed at the Toronto Raptors opening dinner gala the previous summer. The Junior Dance Pak continued to dance at games and other functions for some time, though Azada only stayed with them for about a year and a half to two years."

Azada Rahi 1/1 B

Item consists of a video clip recording from 1996 consisting of children and teenagers from the Raptors Junior Dance Pak dancing on stage behind Six Nations country singer Rebecca Miller singing and introducing the YTV Achievement Award recipients.

Project and donor(s) contributed description follows: "In 1996 the Pak was hired to perform at the YTV Achievement Awards. Dawning matching plaid and denim ensembles, the Pak backup danced for Indigenous Canadian country singer, Rebecca Miller. This country line-dancing number was one of three performances they did at the Awards that evening, including one with Aashna Patel."

Sunrise

Item consists of a video clip recording representing a portion of a VHS cassette from Christmas Day in 1992 featuring the narration of a sunrise and featuring panning shots of a snowy street and building in Peterborough.

Project and donor(s) contributed description follows: "'This is Friday, Dec 25th, 1992,' Leah's dad, Sam, begins the voice-over in this clip made in the Burke's family home in Peterborough, ON. Her father describes the beautiful sunrise that clear Christmas morning. It contrasts the weather from just a week prior when there was a record breaking 70 cm of snow, which was the worst snowfall in the province in 90 years. This filming style and voice-over in the Burke's home movies was characteristic of her father, Leah says, 'He wouldn't wait for anybody, he would just start filming.'"

Singing

Item consists of a video clip recording representing a portion of the VHS cassette from 1992 consisting of a brother cooking breakfast on Christmas and a sister filming a tour of the house.

Project and donor(s) contributed description follows: "It's Christmas, 1992, and within the short span of this clip the presence of almost Leah Burke's whole family is felt. From her dad offscreen singing along to gospel (Mahalia Jackson's 'Go Tell It On the Mountain), to her brother, the then sullen teenager, seen cooking pancakes for family breakfast, to finally Leah, who weaves through the house filming. She reveals herself as the documentarian in a mirror reflection waving ‘Hi'. In present day, Leah recalls, 'This is a typical Burke house family moment'."

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