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April 11, 2008

Books, Conferences & Community Voices

Nipissing University History Conference a Success 

On Friday March 28 the History Department at Nipissing University held their annual conference where students and others present papers of interest.  It was held this year in the new Monastery Campus near the University.  The main purpose of the Conference based on Near North History was to give students from the Oral History course an opportunity to present their findings along with related presentations.  Dr. K. Srigley, the course professor did a fine job of chairing the event. 

Nipissing University V.P. Dr. P. Ricketts announcing new M.A. program in History at Nipissing Conference. Chair, Dr. K. Srigley on right.

Among the marathon event of a dozen 30 minute presentations were one by Francoise Noel the History Dept Head and presentations by local historians Wayne LeBelle and Doug Mackey.  Students from an anthropology course also made a presentation. 

Student Kyra Knapp presents her paper Northern Women's Social Organizations in the 1950s.

Some guests stayed all day and others, including parents and people interested in a specific topic came as they wished.  Representatives from the Nipissing Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and students from Chippewa Secondary School were in attendance.  Nipissing University President Dr. D. Mock and Vice President Dr. P. Ricketts joined the group for lunch.  Dr. Ricketts congratulated the staff and students who put on the event.  He also announced the establishment of a new M.A. in history for the University. 

Of the many excellent student presentations I was particularly interested in one on North Bay's long time Mayor Merle Dickerson by Ashley Watson and one on the infamous Donald Kelly by Peter Magill. 

Long time North Bay Mayor Merle Dickerson (L) unveiling Main St. redevelopment plaque 1983. 

The Conference was followed by another interesting Conference on the same site the next day - The First Annual Undergraduate Research Conference.  Congratulations to Nipissing for these progressive initiatives. 

Happy Birthday Community Voices 

Eight years ago on April 6, 2000 The Nugget initiated their Community Voices Regional Supplement which went free to 18,500 mail boxes outside of North Bay every Friday.  Along with the advertising people were encouraged to volunteer articles on their communities and on topics of interest.  Over the years many have and their work has been informative and entertaining.  The Nugget recently began to put the Community Voices in 11,000 mailboxes in North Bay for people who do not get the Nugget.  More North Bay material has been added and the paper now has 16 pages each edition.  It is now the largest paper of its kind in the North from Temiscaming, Quebec, to Sundridge. 

My Heritage Perspectives column appeared in the first edition and I recently had the pleasure of doing my 300th article.  Thirty six issues of my Art Scene column have also been included.  All have had 1-3 photographs.  My thanks to all of the people who have helped me put them together.  Special thanks to Editor Dawn Clarke who performs her magic every week putting the paper together.  Thanks for the feed back by phone, mail and email.

Penguin Canada Extraordinary Canadians Biographies Launched. 

New books on Extraordinary Canadians by Penguin Group (Canada)

Penguin Canada Books has launched a new series of 20 biographies on various interesting Canadians this week.  They have been written by well known Canadian authors.  For example the remarkable Charlotte Gray has written about famous feminist and politician Nellie McClung.  The Lord Beaverbrook (Max Aitken) book was written by David Adam Richards who grew up near where Aitken did in New Brunswick.  A book on artist Emily Carr will also be one of the first 3 and the others will come out in groups of 3.  A six-part T.V. series will accompany the series this fall and Macleans began giving excerpts from the books starting with their March 31 edition. 

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