Screenshot from The Winter March
Teen Canadian history buffs had the opportunity to show their love for our nation’s past with the Historica-Dominion Institute’s “Got a Minute?” contest, which called on young Canadian to use all their talents to make a new Heritage Minute. This year’s time period of choice was the War of 1812, and contestants had to pick an important event or person from that era to highlight in their videos. The winners of the senior category were Toronto teens Eamonn O’Keeffe and Patrick Y. Lee, for their Minute entitled “The Winter March,” about the 104th Regiment’s long winter march from New Brunswick to Kingston, Ontario in early 1813 to help reinforce troops during the War of 1812.
O’Keeffe relied heavily on the journals of eighteen-year-old soldier Lieutenant John Le Couteur to make sure his submission was as historically accurate as possible. As a volunteer of the Fort York Summer Guard and the Fife and Drum Corps, they were allowed to film at Toronto’s Fort York and also use accurate reproductions of the uniforms the 104th would have worn. The short film also (adorably) features some of the super modern glass condos that now blanket the area near the Lakeshore, as well as a car or two.
The 104th Regiment traveled more than 1100 kilometres in only 50 days (by foot) in order to reinforce British soliders guarding the border in Upper Canada, and were crucial to Canada’s defense throughout the war. However, this achievement is rarely talked about by historians or known by most Canadians, which is why O’Keeffe chose it for his entry, he told the CBC.
Check out the winning entry below, and check out the rest of the winners and finalists at GotaMinute.ca.