Happy Halloween! ūüéÉ Plus, Canada as seen by expats; get your remembrance poppy!

An update from a fellow Canadian organization in the Bay Area.  We thank the Canadian Studies Program at UC Berkeley for being a poppy distribution site and for publicizing our annual Remembrance Day service.

Canadian Studies Announcements

In This Issue:

Upcoming Events

  • Panel: “Constructing Canadian Identity from Abroad”

Program News

  • Get your 2022 remembrance poppy

Canadian Culture

  • Happy Halloween!

Research Opportunities

  • Call for Papers: Context and Meaning XXII – Scandal


External Events

  • Canadian films at the 47th American Indian Film Festival
  • Remembrance Day service
  • Sin La Habana¬†at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival


Panel: “Constructing Canadian Identity from Abroad”

Wednesday, November 9 | 2:30 pm PT | 223 Moses | RSVP here

Celebrate 40 years of Canadian Studies at Berkeley with a lively discussion on how Canadian expatriates think about their home country, and contribute to Canada’s perception of itself. The conversation will feature contributors to the recently-published book¬†The Construction of Canadian Identity from Abroad, a collection of essays that explores the topic from both a theoretical and personal perspective.

The panel will be moderated by the volume’s editor,¬†Christopher Kirkey, director of the Center for the Study of Canada and Institute on Qu√©bec Studies at the SUNY Plattsburgh. Panelists will include Berkeley Canadian Studies Program director¬†Irene Bloemraad;¬†Richard Nimijean,¬†Undergraduate Supervisor of Canadian Studies at Carleton University;¬†Julie Burelle, an expert on Indigenous, Quebec, and performance studies at UC San Diego. Also joining the panel will be Berkeley Canadian Studies Advisory Board chair¬†David Stewart, who recently published his own memoir (see below).

Please note that this event takes place later than our normal Colloquium time.


Get Your 2022 Remembrance Poppy!


On October 28, the Royal Canadian Legion kicked off its¬†2022 National Poppy Campaign. Dating back to the First World War, the traditional red remembrance poppy honours Canada’s war veterans, and commemorates those who fell. Canadian Studies is proud to partner with¬†Royal Canadian Legion, US Branch #25¬†to serve as an official distributor of remembrance poppies for the Berkeley community.

Interested persons may pick up their poppies at our office in 213 Moses Hall on the UC Berkeley campus, weekdays between 9am-5pm. While the poppy is free, the Legion gratefully accepts donations towards their Poppy Fund, which directly supports Canadian veterans and their families through the Legion National Foundation.


Happy Halloween!¬†ūüéÉ

Today, children and adults across the United States and Canada will celebrate Halloween, a festive celebration of all things spooky. But while Halloween is often thought of as an “American” holiday, did you know that many of our most cherished holiday traditions may be more Canadian than you knew?

The celebration of Halloween originates in Scotland and Ireland. Scholars theorize that it has its roots in the ancient festival Samhain, which marked the start of winter. The ancient Celts believed that on that day, the boundaries between the worlds were thinnest, allowing fairies and spirits of the dead to enter our world and cause mischief. Some people left offerings of food to appease them, while others wore disguises to scare or fool evil ghosts. By the 16th century, these two traditions combined into “guising”, an early form of trick-or-treating in costume. (A similar Christmas tradition,¬†mummering, is still celebrated in Newfoundland.) After the Christianization of Britain and Ireland, Samhain was likely assimilated into the Christian feast of All Hallow’s Eve, from which Halloween draws its modern name.

Irish and Scottish immigrants brought these traditions to North America in the 19th century, and by the early 1900s the celebration was well -established across Canada. Many staple Halloween customs were actually reported in Canada before the United States. According to the¬†Canadian Encyclopedia, the wearing of Halloween costumes was first recorded in Vancouver in 1898, while the first recorded use of the term “trick or treat” was in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1927. Even first recorded practice of trick-or-treating (then still called “guising”) in North America was reported in Kingston, Ontario in 1911.

But what about that Halloween icon, the Jack-o’-lantern? While myths abound about its origin, the practice of carving vegetable lanterns with grotesque faces began in Ireland or Scotland, perhaps to ward off evil spirits. However, in Europe, these lanterns were usually made from turnips or other root vegetables. Immigrants to the Americas, lacking these vegetables, turned instead to the native pumpkin – giving us today’s crookedly-smiling Jack-o’-lantern.

Image: Halloween ghost vector by pikisuperstar on Freepik.com


Call for Papers: Context and Meaning XXII ‚Äď Scandal

Submission deadline: November 17, 2022

Conference Dates: February 2-4, 2023

The Graduate Visual Culture Association (GVCA) at Queen’s University is seeking submissions for a graduate research conference exploring the intersections of art and Scandal. Hosted by the Department of Art History and Art Conservation and the GVCA, this year’s hybrid conference will take place from Thursday, February 2nd to Saturday, February 4th, 2023.

This year’s conference engages broadly with the complex relationship between art and scandal. A scandal can be broadly defined as reactions, outrage, or shock, in response to people or events that are perceived to have deviated from socio-cultural norms. Scandals may be false, factual, or a combination of both. Sociologist and expert on scandal, Ari Adut, presents four main concepts associated with scandal: scandals are public events reliant on publicity; scandals have become so commonplace that it can be difficult to recognize them; artistic creativity is linked to scandal; and, scandals can provide opportunities for those who participate in them. While scandal is the revealing of wrongdoing, the act of covering them up can also itself be a scandal. Art world scandals may relate to methods of production, subject or style, contexts of display or lack thereof, and artistic personas, influenced by politics, society, religion, money, and morality.

If you are interested in participating in Context and Meaning XXII, please click here to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words with the title of your paper, and a 150-word bio. You will be prompted to indicate your preference to present either in-person or online. Presenters will be asked to deliver a 15-minute presentation that will be followed by a panel discussion period.

The deadline to submit an abstract will be Thursday, November 17th, 2022. In order to allow for the most applicants this is the last possible submission deadline. Thank you to all who apply!


47th American Indian Film Festival (AIFF)

November 4-12 | San Francisco

The Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco is pleased to support the 47th annual American Indian Film Festival (AIFF), November 4-12, 2022 in San Francisco. Since its inception in 1975, the mission of AIFF has steadfastly been the cultural exchange Рvia the power of film Рof Native American and Canada’s First Nations cultures. While the content is by, for and about Indigenous storytellers, AIFF remains a film festival for all audiences Рfrom filmmakers whose intent is to inform, educate, enlighten and entertain all viewers.

The Festival features several films from First Nations filmmakers:

To view the full film schedule and purchase tickets, click here.

Remembrance Day Service

Saturday, November 5 | 11:00 am | Petaluma, CA | RSVP here

Join US Branch 25 of the Royal Canadian Legion, representing the San Francisco Bay Area, for their annual Remembrance Day service from Liberty Cemetery in Petaluma. Guests are welcome at the cemetery. The service will also be streamed live and recorded through Zoom webinar. Please contact Michael Barbour at the Royal Canadian Legion if you plan to attend.

Sin La Habana at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival

Sunday, November 6 | 3:30 pm | San Francisco | Buy tickets

The Consulate General of Canada is supporting the screening of the Canadian narrative film, Sin La Habana on Saturday, November 6 at the Brava Theater in San Francisco, as part of the 13th annual San Francisco Dance Film Festival. The film tells the story of Leonardo, a classical dancer, and Sara, a lawyer, who are young, beautiful and in love. They’re also ambitious, but their dreams are trapped by Cuba’s closed borders. Their ticket to a brighter future lies with Nasim, an Iranian-born Canadian tourist with a taste for the exotic, but she has her own demons to face. Power, money, and creativity intertwine in a passionate love triangle with a hint of destiny, and cultures clash in a torrid dance between Quebec’s winter and Havana’s sultry Malecón.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
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Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

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