rfmcdonald: (photo)
Provincial Administration Buildings from the west #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #architecture #brutalism #latergram


Looking east from the driveway of Fanningbank on Terry Fox Drive, the Sullivan Building is visible to left in beige, while the Jones Building is visible in red at right. The Shaw Building, the third building of the Provincial Administration Buildings, lies further east, and is hidden by the Sullivan and Jones buildings.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
The formal garden of Fanningbank seemed to be somewhat past its peak at the end of July, but it was still carefully manicured, and still enjoyed the benefits of its location between the cool blue of Charlottetown Harbour and the dense green trees of Victoria Park.

Garden of Fanningbank (1) #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden


Garden of Fanningbank (2) #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden


Garden of Fanningbank (3) #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden


Garden of Fanningbank (4) #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden


Garden of Fanningbank (5) #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden


Garden of Fanningbank #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden


Garden of Fanningbank (6) #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden


Garden of Fanningbank (7) #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden #victoriapark


Garden of Fanningbank #pei #princeedwardisland (8) #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden #victoriapark


Path beyond #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #fanningbank #garden #victoriapark
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Charlottetown's Fanningbank, officially known as Government House and home to the lieutenant-governor of Prince Edward Island, takes it name from the parcel of land it was built on, set aside by the Loyalist administrator Edmund Fanning. A modest mansion built in wood in the Georgian style of the 1830s, Fanningbank for me marks the western end of downtown Charlottetown. To its west lies Victoria Park, the neighbourhood of Brighton, and the North River beyond.

Fanningbank (1)


Fanningbank (2)


Fanningbank (3)
rfmcdonald: (photo)
The Sullivan Building in its setting #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #sullivanbuilding #latergram


Charlottetown's Sullivan Building is part of the Provincial Administration Building complex located in the extreme west of the downtown between Kent and Fitzroy streets, home to the various offices and bureaus and ministries of the provincial government of Prince Edward Island. The brutalism of the building, and its neighbours, is characteristic of Charlottetown's official architecture in the decades after the Second World War.
rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Dangerous Minds points readers to Cindy Sherman's Instagram account. ("_cindysherman_", if you are interested.)

  • Language Hat takes note of a rare early 20th century Judaeo-Urdu manuscript.

  • Language Log lists some of the many, many words and phrases banned from Internet usage in China.

  • The argument made at Lawyers, Guns and Money about Trump's many cognitive defects is frightening. How can he be president?

  • The LRB Blog <"a href="https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/08/03/lynsey-hanley/labour-and-traditional-voters/">notes that many traditional Labour voters, contra fears, are in fact willing to vote for non-ethnocratic policies.

  • The NYR Daily describes a book of photos with companion essays by Teju Cole that I like.

  • Of course, as Roads and Kingdom notes, there is such a thing as pho craft beer in Vietnam.

  • Peter Rukavina notes
  • Towleroad notes a love duet between Kele Okereke and Olly Alexander.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy seems unconvinced by the charges against Kronos programmer Marcus Hutchins.

rfmcdonald: (photo)
Golden Work, 51 Grafton Street #pei #princeedwardisland #graftonstreet #goldenwok #restaurant #chinesecanadian #latergram


Charlottetown's Golden Wok Restaurant on 51 Grafton Street, just a couple of blocks west of the downtown, is typical of the Chinese-Canadian restaurants of smalltown Canada.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Confederation Centre of the Arts, southeast #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #confederationcentreofthearts #queenstreet #graftonstreet


I took this photo on the northwest corner of Queen and Grafton in downtown Charlottetown, looking southeast towards the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Of note is, visible in the lower half of the photo, the rainbow painted on the sidewalk. Pride happened to coincide with my visit to the Island this year.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Space Marine Primaris Intercessor #pei #princeedwardisland #charlottetown #warhammer40k #wh40k


The new generation of the Imperium's Space Marines, the Primaris Intercessor, has made it to Charlottetown's excellent store The Comic Hunter.
rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • As described in The Guardian, this Summerside project to make the old train station into a restoration evokes Toronto's Summerhill station to me.

  • CBC notes how Prince Edward Island's dry summer might lead to a drought.

  • The Guardian reports on a community effort to preserve Covehead Bay. I only hope that Covehead Bay, like the other vulnerable estuaries of the Island, will be protected.

  • News that coyotes are in Charlottetown's East Royalty not more than a couple hundred metres from home is unshocking.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • The Globe and Mail describes a salvage archaeology operation in Cape Breton, on the receding shores of Louisbourg at Rochefort Point.

  • Katie Ingram at MacLean's notes
  • The National Observer reports on how Québec has effectively banned the oil and gas industry from operating on Anticosti Island.

  • This La Presse article talks about letting, or not, the distant Iles-de-la-Madeleine keep their own Québec electoral riding notwithstanding their small population.

  • Will the Bloc Québécois go the way of the Créditistes and other Québec regional protest movements? Éric Grenier considers at CBC.

  • The National Post describes the remarkable improvement of the Québec economy in recent years, in absolute and relative terms. Québec a have?

  • Francine Pelletier argues Québec fears for the future have to do with a sense of particular vulnerability.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • CBC reports on the recent commemoration of Captain John MacDonald of Glenaladale, pioneer of Scottish Catholic settlers on PEI.

  • CBC reports on the growth of the shoulder, non-summer, tourist seasons in Prince Edward Island.

  • Mitch MacDonald's article in The Guardian looking at the invasion of Nova Scotia by PEI businesspeople is interesting.

  • After a recent period of convergence, CBC notes PEI wages have declined to about 85% of the Canadian average.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • CBC Prince Edward Island notes that, although down from its 1999 peak, PEI is still Canada's top potato producer.

  • Strong demand and limited supply means that the Island's real estate market is tight, with rising prices. CBC Prince Edward Island reports.

  • Meagan Campbell writes in MacLean's about two of the Island's newest migrant groups, Amish from Ontario and Buddhist monks from East Asia.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • CBC reports on how the Hudson Bay port of Churchill could profit from global warming opening up sea lanes but suffer from heaving land wrecking infrastructure.

  • Brett Bundale reports on how Halifax, Nova Scotia, is booming, unlike the rest of the Maritimes.

  • This article describing how the London police remain vague about the number of dead in Grenfell Tower is horrifying.

  • Global News reports on how many in Harlem dislike the idea of renaming their neighbourhood's south "SoHa".

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Ars Technica recommends five sights on the British coast to see before they are erased by global warming.

  • This Syracuse.com report about the upstate New York town of Sandy Creek, beset by Lake Ontario flooding, is alarming.

  • VICE's Kate Lunau notes the serious threat posed by sea level rise to coastal Canadian centres, from Halifax to Vancouver.

  • Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic notes that the US South, already badly off, will be hit hard by global warming.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
This afternoon, I dropped by the Toronto Reference Library to browse its shelves. As one would expect, Toronto's central library has a very large collection of materials in languages other than English, ready for lenders to pick up. Out of curiosity, I stopped by to see what the Scots Gaelic collection looked like.

The Scots Gaelic shelf at the Toronto Reference Library


There were two shelves of Frisian-language materials above the shelf of Gaelic books, and the Frisian shelves were packed.

This is a sort of afterthought to the death of Gaelic as a living language in Canada. I grew up in the Maritimes, in the province of Prince Edward Island. In that province, now overwhelmingly populated by speakers of English, Canadian Gaelic was once very widely spoken. It was even the main language of, among others, my maternal grandmother’s family. She did not speak the language, though, her parents choosing not to teach it to her. They said that they did not want their many children to learn their neighbourhood gossip.



(The Matheson family lived in the east of what this map calls Eilean Eòin.)

Canadian Gaelic did not persist, not even in the Atlantic Canadian territories where it had been most successfully transplanted, even though it was a (distant) third among European languages spoken in Canada. My feeling is that the speakers of the language did not value it. Part of this may have had to do with the very different statuses of the French and Gaelic languages internationally. French was a high-status language that was a prestigious and credible rival to English, while Gaelic was a much more obscure language looked down upon by almost everyone--including many speakers of Gaelic--with at most hundreds of thousands of speakers. Canada’s Francophone minorities did face oppression, but their language and their community’s existence was something their Anglophone neighbours could more easily accept as legitimate, and that Francophones themselves accepted as legitimate.

This leads to the tendency of speakers of Canadian Gaelic were not committed to the survival of their language. I mentioned above that my maternal grandmother’s parents decided not to transmit the language to their children. In this, occurring soon after the turn of the 20th century, they were far from alone. Speakers of Canadian Gaelic were generally quick to discard this language for an English that was seen as more useful. The survival of the language was not seen as especially important: For a Gaelic-speaking Protestant, for instance, the bond of Protestantism that united them with an Anglophone Protestant was more important than the bond of language that united them with a Gaelic-speaking Catholic. In Gaelic Canada, there was just nothing at all like the push for survivance across the spectrum in French Canada that helped Canadian Francophones survive in a wider country that was--at best--disinterested in the survival of its largest minority.

Fragmented, without any elite interested in preserving the language and its associated culture or a general population likely to support such an elite, the Canadian Gaelic community was bound to go under. And so, in the course of the 20th century, it did, the smaller and more isolated communities going before the larger ones. There are still, I am told, native speakers of Gaelic in Cape Breton, long the heartland of Gaelic Canada, and there is a substantial push to revive the language’s teaching and use in public life in Nova Scotia. I fear this is too little, too late. The time for that was a century ago, likely earlier. If that incentive to give Gaelic official status and a role in public life had been active in the mid-19th century, who knows what might have come of this?

(For further reading on the history of Gaelic in Prince Edward Island, I strongly recommend Dr. Michael Kennedy’s preface (PDF format) to John Shaw’s 1987 recordings of the last creators of Gaelic on Prince Edward Island.)

Was the death of Gaelic as a widely-spoken language in Canada inevitable? Or, was there any possibility of a revival movement, of a renewed valorization of Scots Gaelic? I have wondered in the past if having Cape Breton remain a province separate from Nova Scotia, thus creating a polity populated mainly by Gaelic speakers, might create some kind of incentive for Gaelic to be politically useful.

Thoughts?

(Crossposted to alternatehistory.com.)
rfmcdonald: (obscura)
I was given a challenge by Facebook's Paul: "The idea is to occupy Facebook with art, breaking up all the political posts. Whoever 'likes' this post will be given an artist and has to post a piece by that artist, along with this text." He gave me Alex Colville, and for me, after a certain amount of consideration, there was only one artist I could pick.



Alex Colville's "To Prince Edward Island" is my favourite work by the man. I was so pleased to see it in the AGO's 2014 Alex Colville exhibit--I even have a picture of me before it. What is the central figure looking at, and how did the ferry to the mainland (from the mainland?) get to be so exciting?
rfmcdonald: (Default)
CBC News notes impending labour shortages in the Island's construction industry, particularly in the skilled trades.

The Construction Association of P.E.I. is concerned about an industry forecast that predicts a growing shortage of construction workers for the Island.

BuildForce Canada is estimating 300 more workers will be needed in the next decade, and currently more skilled workers are retiring than being hired.

Sam Sanderson, the general manager of the Island's construction association, says there's already a shortage of workers, and work in all areas of construction are expected to increase.

"Moving forward, we have some of our local contractors finding it almost impossible to find skilled people in different trade sectors presently," he said.

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