Daily Archives: April 14, 2011

Linda & Reid Remember Plug-In Gallery in 2002

          Plug-In Gallery in Winnipeg offered several DickTool Co works to the public starting about 1975 including video, performance and music. In 2002, as a celebration of Plug-In’s 30th anniversary, one of its founders of Plug-In, Suzanne Gillies, created a retrospective of some of the artists who showed there.  

           We were interviewed in our home for Back in the Day 1972-2002. Suzanne introduces the show and our interview follows. It begins with a discussion about video art and VPW’s reaction to our TV show. Click pic to play the 7-minute interview.

            The camera operator for this interview was a rookie named Nicole Shimonek. Eight years later, when I approached Video Pool about creating The DickTool Kit, who should be available but Nicole Shimonek, now with years of advanced technology training and experience. Nicole’s ability made The DickTool Kit look and sound great.

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Filed under Art Actions, BEAUTY, Linda, Video

Filling Up The West – 1923 Canada West Promo Cover

        Watch my short video on free farms

          Clifford Sifton, the Minister of the Interior from 1896 to 1905, was the driving force behind the greatest immigration scheme in Canadian history. Through his efforts, the Department of the Interior distributed tens of thousands of pamphlets similar to this 30-page atlas on western Canada. The atlas describes the opportunities and the free homesteads that were available for prospective immigrants in western Canada. The style is flamboyant and spectacular  –  not to mention overstated  –  and had some similarities to a travelling “medicine show.”

         Through an aggressive propaganda campaign, Sifton hoped to saturate the United States and Europe with positive opinions about the Canadian West. Canadian immigration agents were sent to important European centres, and overseas journalists were given expense-free trips to see for themselves the “Last Best West” and its great promise.

         Sifton’s sole objective was to populate the West and his policy was simple: “only farmers need apply.” For Sifton, agriculture was the backbone of the Canadian economy and everything else depended on its success. The best European agriculturalists, Sifton believed, came from northern areas  –  Britain, Scandinavia, western or eastern Europe  –  while the least desirable came from the south. Sifton disdained southern Europeans, especially Italians, because as migratory labourers, they preferred to settle in the urban centres rather than venture into the countryside. However, Sifton encouraged east-European immigration. He considered east-European immigrants to be hard-working, obedient, agricultural people. Stated Sifton, “I think a stalwart peasant in a sheepskin coat, born on the soil, whose forefathers had been farmers for ten generations, with a stout wife, and a half-dozen children, is good quality.”


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Filed under Pioneers, Prairie People