The Lakehead in Frame

Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm EDT
Event Location: 
Event Contact Name: 
Ron Harpelle
Event Contact E-mail: 

The Department of History welcomes the Lakehead University community to an online presentation of the Reel Memories of the Lakehead Project.

Television arrived in Canada in 1952 and at the Lakehead in 1954. Early television was shot on 16mm film and this served the industry until the late 1970s. Fortunately, local news footage from the first 20 years of broadcasting at the Lakehead was donated by CKPR to the Thunder Bay Museum several decades ago. Approximately 250,000 feet or about 120 hours of footage from this period exists.

What makes this collection significant is the fact that the cities of Port Arthur and Fort William were microcosms of the country as a whole. Therefore, the news at the Lakehead was a reflection of the news from across the country and the collection speaks to all aspects of life in Canada at the time. This archival footage is also extremely rare because most television stations disposed of film when video technology replaced it. Recent innovations in Digital technology have finally provided a cost-effective way of freeing the film from its celluloid prison in order to make it available to researchers.

Reel Memories is a public history project dedicated to the preservation and exposition of the visual history of the Lakehead region through this historical film footage.

Join members of the Reel Memories team, Dr. Ron Harpelle, along with Lakehead alumni Katie Green, Dr. Tom Peotto, for a presentation on their research into the first 20 years of the local television news at the Lakehead. The presentation will take participants through the process involved in the preservation of the footage and provide glimpses into daily life at the Lakehead in the 1960s and 70s. Participants must register on the website below.

To learn more and for the link to watch the lecture virtually visit this webpage:

This lecture session is part of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society's long tradition of holding free public lectures.