The Government of Canada supports various projects commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic
OTTAWA, May 17, 2018 /CNW/ - The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, today announced a total of $854,500 in funding to two organizations for projects marking the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic.
This support will allow the organizations Testaments.ca ($399,500) and Sound Venture Productions ($455,000) to implement their projects commemorating this sad episode in our history. The projects will include an innovative digital platform for students and a documentary on the devastating effects of this pandemic on the Canadian population, including First Nations.
The projects will allow Canadians to learn more about this deadly virus, which killed at least 50,000 people in Canada. They will also help highlight the exceptional courage shown at the time by those dealing with this tragedy.
"One hundred years ago, Canada experienced one of the worst tragedies in its history: the Spanish Flu Pandemic. Many families were hard hit by this scourge, which claimed tens of thousands of lives. More than ever before, this sad and little-known episode deserves to be told. That is why the Government of Canada is proud to support the efforts of organizations like Testaments.ca and Sound Venture Productions to help Canadians—particularly young people—better understand this important chapter in our history."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
"The 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 20 to 50 million people worldwide, including an estimated 50,000 Canadians. This flu strain was particularly lethal in attacking the young and healthy. Thankfully, the influenza vaccine now saves many lives each year, and rapid pandemic vaccine development can save countless more."
—The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health
"The 100th anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic is an opportunity to reflect on the historical impact of the pandemic, and to highlight Canada's significant progress in pandemic preparedness—starting with enhanced surveillance, laboratory diagnoses and the development of flu shots. Thanks to our current ability to genetically characterize influenza viruses in the laboratory and rapidly develop a new vaccine against the pandemic virus, we can now save countless lives."
—Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer, Public Health Agency of Canada
"With the generous support of Canadian Heritage, we are extremely excited to bring Testaments.ca's innovative crowd-sharing commemorative experience to all Canadians. Defining Moments Canada will honour the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic: the greatest Canadian story never told. Join us at DefiningMomentsCanada.ca or MomentsDeterminants.ca on May 2 for full details of how everyone can become a part of our nationwide storytelling collaboration."
—Neil Orford, Project Manager, Testaments.ca
"The 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu is a timely reminder that Canadians must be prepared for the possibility of a similar event occurring in the future. Through the wide range of academic research and knowledge gained over the past century, our project looks to deliver a lasting legacy of innovative learning resources, along with a greater awareness and understanding of pandemics and the crucial role vaccines have in modern society."
—Tim Joyce, President, Sound Venture Productions
The Government of Canada has provided $399,500 in funding to Testaments.ca for its project "Defining Moments Canada," which commemorates this anniversary. The funding will allow the organization to launch its innovative digital platform to give young people an overview of the devastating effects of this pandemic on Canadians and their communities.
Sound Venture Productions also received $455,000 from the Government of Canada ($350,000 from Canadian Heritage and $105,000 from Health Canada) for its project "The 1918 Spanish Flu in Canada: Behind the Mask." With this funding, the organization will produce a documentary, an educational website, an exhibition in Ottawa and a poster map that will be distributed in Canadian Geographic and Géographica magazines.
The influenza pandemic led to improvements in public health care systems and the development of vaccines, an area in which Canada is a world leader today.
Canadian Heritage's Commemorate Canada program provides funding to initiatives that commemorate and celebrate historical figures, places, events and accomplishments of national significance, such as the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu pandemic.
Images and Media
Spanish flu epidemic: Library and Archives Canada
Spanish Flu Epidemic
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: (media only) Simon Ross, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 819-997-7788; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, firstname.lastname@example.org