"Canadian Heritage Moments"
Canadian history is back after a seven-year break.
To celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Canada's Historica-Dominion Institute is bringing back the popular "Heritage Minutes."You may remember the 60-second ads that aired during the '90s and were inspired by great moments in Canadian history, such as the creation of Superman by Toronto-born comic book artist Joe Shuster, not to mention the famous Dr. Wilder Penfield "I can smell burnt toast" spot, which celebrated the Canadian brain surgery pioneer.
Two new "Heritage Minutes" are reportedly being produced about the War of 1812, and they will be added to the roster of 66 original ads (first produced by the CRB Foundation and then the Historica-Dominion Institute) that aired on TV and in cinemas up until 2005.
"They have become their own nostalgia," Jeremy Diamond, director of the Historica-Dominion Institute, told Maclean's of the spots.
In their heyday, Heritage Minutes were so popular they inspired The Comedy Network to come up with the satire, "Canadian Sacrilege Moments." Spoofs like "I Can't Read" parodied the spots' iconic cinematography as well as the dramatic and somewhat over-the-top portrayal of historical figures.
"This Hour Has 22 Minutes" produced a parody video riffing on Canadians' penchant for, "saying sorry for no good reason," calling it a part of our heritage.
Canadian comedian Rick Mercer also spoofed Heritage Minutes several times on his show, "The Rick Mercer Report." In "A Part of Our Questionable Political Heritage," for example, he plays a character who takes the term "whipped voting" literally.
Finally, "The Royal Canadian Air Farce" took an actual "Heritage Minute," the Laura Secord spot, and recreated it in farcical form.
The new "Heritage Minute" spots are set to debut on Canadian television on Oct. 15.