seminar title 1967: Whose Centennial Was It Anyway?

This tour will explore the realities and myths of Canada’s centennial festivities in Ottawa.  Our
reflection on both the merriment and discord of Ottawa’s 1967 celebrations provides an
opportunity to consider the meaning and uses of official “birthday” celebration in the midst of
the Canada 150 party.  Currents of fundamental social, political and cultural change lay just
beneath the surface of Canada’s 100th anniversary party and we will visit sites that are
demonstrative of these transformations throughout downtown Ottawa.   Participants will be
encouraged to consider the past and present struggles for women’s rights, Canada’s
duplicitous role in the Vietnam War, the ideals and failures of urban development and
revitalization plans, the oddities of public infrastructure spending, artistic expressions of
left-wing Canadian nationalism, and sexuality and state security in 1960s Ottawa over the
course of the tour.
Blocker HeadshotAbout your tour guide: David Blocker is finishing a PhD in
History focusing on the Waffle movement, the NDP and
Canada’s New Left from 1965-1975.  Utilizing a combination of
traditional archival sources and oral history interviews, this
project examines the links between New Left social movements
of the Sixties and the NDP through the lens of the Waffle, a
nationalist and socialist faction active in the party in the late
1960s and early 1970s. Other research interests include protest movements and political
parties in Canada, women’s and gender history and labour history. David is passionate
about urban spaces, politics and Ottawa’s history. Despite being born much too late,
David occasionally grows wistful and nostalgic for the 1960s.
Further details:
Meeting place: Centennial Flame in front of Parliament
Ending place: Lord Elgin Hotel (with optional post-tour discussion over drinks — do ask about this
option when booking)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Total distance covered: approx 2 km
Ease of terrain: flat terrain
Accessibility: alternative route available to accommodate wheelchair accessibility, please ask
On-demand: David may also be able to offer this tour on demand to groups of 3+ (at flexible times).
Please get in touch with us at info@ottawadetours.ca for more information about this option. 
  • walking seminar guide - 1967: Whose Centennial Was It Anyway?
  • availability - Runs Saturdays (3:00pm start), Tuesdays (1:00pm start) and Thursdays (6:00pm start)
  • meeting place - Centennial Flame in front of Parliament
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