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Unsung Canadian Heroes: The Volunteer

Unsung Canadian Heroes: The Volunteer

Unsung Canadian Heroes: The Volunteer

This installment of Unsung Heroes brings us the volunteer. Volunteering is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it.

Volunteers come in many different forms, each of them valuable and important in their own right. From firefighters to patrons of the arts, there’s a role for everyone to play. These films look at 5 of them.

this river

As we’re all aware, there is a horrifying epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada. Perhaps more horrifying is the lack of action being taken to stop it, or even investigate. As we’ve seen recently with Tina Fontaine and Coulten Boushie, justice for the Indigenous population isn’t exactly winning the day. So, when good people step forward and volunteer do something constructive, we can safely call those people heroes.

this river, Erika MacPherson & Katherena Vermette, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Call for Volunteers

There’s no denying that women really stepped up during World War II, not only entering the workforce in droves, but also in a volunteer capacity. This 10-minute film shows how the women of Winnipeg enlisted 7000 other women who served as volunteers as part of the war effort. Thanks to their tireless work, they extended and maintained many social services, proving you didn’t need to be at the front to be a hero.

Call for Volunteers, Radford Crawley, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Jean Giguère: The Measure of a Place

Here is a woman who learned from an early age the importance of being a volunteer. Taught by nuns, she was participating in the concept as early as grade school. Her love of the arts stems from growing up in an arts-and-culture oriented family. If she wanted to keep up at dinner, she had to know her stuff. As such, Jean Giguère dedicated her life to serving the arts. In my view, this makes her a big hero. She claims that the arts are the common link that hold us together, and views it as a privilege to serve.

Jean Giguère: The Measure of a Place, Deco Dawson, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Grasslands Project – After the Fire

When you think “hero” and “volunteer,” what’s the first thing to come to mind? Firefighters. These people must among the bravest human beings there are, and the most selfless. In this short, which is part of a larger series that looks at life across the southern prairies, we follow the Eastend Fire Department as they put out fires in barns and fields, and see firsthand the consequences that comes with the job.

The Grasslands Project – After the Fire, Scott Parker, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Los Canadienses

Between 1936 and 1939, 1200 troops from the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion joined together with 39,000 other soldiers in an effort to stop the threat of fascism in Spain. These are people who volunteered to go and fight in a country that was not their own, and did so to preserve peace around the world. Sadly, many of them did not return and this film pays tribute to them.

Los Canadienses, Albert Kish, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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