23 January 2020 at 6pm
Steve McQueen on a Motorbike: The Great Escape & Popular Culture
2020 Speaker Series at The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum with Professor Jonathan Vance.
Steve McQueen’s mad scramble through the Alps on a motorcycle, from John Sturges’ 1963 film The Great Escape, is one of the most iconic scenes of any war movie. It’s also the only scene in the film that has no basis in historical fact. So why was it there? By looking at events in Nazi Germany in 1943-44, and in Hollywood in the 1960s, we can begin to understand why reality is never good enough for the movie industry – and how history makes it to the big screen in the form that it does.
Jonathan F. Vance is a Distinguished University Professor and J.B. Smallman Chair in the Department of History at The University of Western Ontario, where he teaches military history, Canadian history, and social memory. A native of Waterdown, Ontario, he holds degrees from McMaster University, Queen’s University, and York University. He is the author of many books and articles, including Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War (1997), Unlikely Soldiers: How Two Canadians Fought the Secret War Against Nazi Occupation (2008), Maple Leaf Empire: Canada, Britain and Two World Wars (2011), and A Township at War (2018).
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15 February 2020, 9am to 3pm at HMCS Prevost: "Remembering Their Sacrifice"
We will be part of the 8th annual heritage fair organized by the London Heritage Council. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the Battle of the Atlantic, Heritage Fair 2020 will focus on “Remembering Their Sacrifice.” The event will feature prominent guest speakers, interactive activities, an Antique Road Show featuring Second World War memorabilia, a service acknowledging our veterans as well as an informative “Exploration Zone” featuring local museums, heritage organizations, and veterans’ associations all showcasing Canada’s contribution to the Second World War. For details, see 2020HeritageFairBrochure.
The RCR Museum on Virtual Museums Canada Network
"Topography of Grief. Mapping the Great War Dead in London, ON (1914-1921)" is live on Virtual Museums Canada, Community Stories. This exhibition has been developed in partnership by the museum and MA Public History Program at Western University, 2017 Class.
Like many other Canadian cities, London, Ontario, suffered the impact of the trench warfare fought in Europe between 1914 and 1918. This exhibit explores collective memory and individual grief, by mapping homesteads in mourning, along with official commemorative sites throughout the city today. While unveiling some of the artefacts produced to commemorate or acknowledge the sacrifices, our research also brought forward the next-of-kin, who were subject to a more personal experience of loss.
The exhibition is available in bilingual format.
For past events, click here.