Online archive to document Canadians' everyday stories during the pandemic

Jun 1 2020, 4:34 pm

Immersing yourself in a documentary or history book allows you to imagine what life was like for the people living at that time and how they overcame hardships.

What we don’t typically think of is the impact that our personal stories will have for the generations to come. Over the past few months, we’ve all quickly adapted to a new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic — something that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.

But how will historians remember this time in history? Historica Canada has devised a solution. The registered charity offers programs to explore, learn, and reflect on Canada’s history, and what it means to be Canadian. Now, to capture life in Canada during this unprecedented time, Historica Canada is building an online archive.

Filled with unique, everyday stories of experiences and perspectives, the public archive documents the complete picture of #CanadaDuringCovid. It’s a creative project that will build connections for the future across the country, and you’re invited to share your story via Instagram.


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Shopping at Costco in #canadaduringcovid means hotdogs in the back of the truck for @butchikebunch in Edmonton, Alberta.

A post shared by Canada during/pendant COVID-19 (@canadaduringcovid) on

While we practice social distancing and spend more time at home, we’re celebrating little wins and moments of joy in our own ways. This could be anything from baking bread, to creating art with your family, walking through your neighbourhood and admiring the scenery, or giving an adorable animal a new home.


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“Fostering a quarantine buddy.” @elenajp13

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Historica Canada wants to learn how you are adjusting and what matters most to you amid the ongoing crisis. The organization’s goal for its Canada During COVID-19: A Living Archive project is to capture Canadian history as it happens.

It’s incredibly easy to participate in the project and have your story join the living archive. Simply post on Instagram and tag @CanadaDuringCovid using the hashtag #CanadaDuringCovid or #CanadaPendantCovid.

If you have a private account, don’t worry — you can submit your post by sending it as a direct message or by email to [email protected].


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“Quand les enfants sont loin…#canadapendantcovid #canadaduringcovid” @mamouniaduquebec

A post shared by Canada during/pendant COVID-19 (@canadaduringcovid) on

To help educators and parents who are currently homeschooling their children, Historica Canada has also created learning tools for junior (grades 4 to 6) and senior (grades 7 to 12) students.

These resources and activities invite students to think more deeply about primary sources as tools for historians, and about how to develop their own primary source based on their experience during the crisis.

Historica Canada is behind many programs that build awareness of Canadian history, culture, and citizenship.

You might already be familiar with the educational resource The Canadian Encyclopedia, or perhaps Heritage Minutes — a collection of bilingual short films that were first released in 1991 to tell the story of a significant event or person in Canadian history.

The newest 60-second film, Heritage Minute: Liberation of the Netherlands, launched earlier this month, showcasing Canada’s role in liberating the Netherlands.

For Historica Canada’s latest project, you have plenty of options when it comes to contributing to the online archive. All forms of submission are welcome: videos, GIFs, photographs, a written snippet about your day, art, painting, music, or poetry.

This is your opportunity to make a positive mark in history and foster a sense of community during a time when we are required to stay apart.

Explore the archive by following @CanadaDuringCovid and share your submission now.

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