26 January 2009 - Thunder Bay
Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu, is the 2009 recipient of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society's J.P Bertrand Award best scholarly article on the history of Northwestern Ontario. The J.P. Bertand Award is given out by the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society as part of its bi-annual Publications Awards. These awards are intended to help publicize such works, to recognize the excellence of local writers, and to encourage new authors to write about our history.
Michel's article, "'We did it just for Fun': Amateur Filmmaking at the Lakehead, 1929-1930," appeared in the autumn 2007 issue of Ontario History. Michel is a graduate of Queen's University where one of his areas of specialization was in the history of world cinema. His article is about Dorothea Mitchell and the Port Arthur Cinema Society, the people who made "A Race for Ties," Canada's first feature length amateur film. The work argues that the existence and success of this group in the then remote city of Port Arthur, Ontario, (now Thunder Bay), owes as much to the dedication of two people -- Dorothea Mitchell and Fred Cooper -- as it does to the growing culture of consumerism that was a hallmark of the early twentieth century.