What is this Project?

Thanks to generous grants from Heritage Canada and sponsors, the History of Social Change (HSC) launched as a multimedia project documenting 10 social change movements in Canadian history that have impacted how we live today. Using digital stories, full-length interviews and an e-book, we explored social movements like Cooperatives, Medicare, Marriage Equality, Women’s Right to Vote, Environment, Immigration, Indigenous Rights and the Social Economy through the lens of social change.

Today, with the ongoing support of Heritage Canada and SEE Change Magazine, HSC continues to focus on social movements but also highlights significant milestones in Canadian history and the changemakers who play a role in effecting change. We do that through digital stories, roundtable conversations and school outreach (lesson plans, workshops).

Along the way, we ask some very important questions, such as: How did this movement or event come about? Who are its key players? What were their challenges, their struggles, their successes? Where are they now? Where are we now? The answers and stories may surprise you, offering a fresh perspective on the country you call home.

Why Explore Social Change Movements?

We strongly believe that a country is largely defined by the rights, freedoms and social circumstances of the people living within its borders. It’s defined as much by the achievements as the struggles, by the dark times as by the light, and by the activists who fought for change as much as the naysayers who opposed it. Our goal is to offer a valuable overview of the diversity of issues, people and social causes that define our country.

Social change is not an easy process. It takes effort, stubbornness and the ability to persevere in spite of all obstacles and opposition. Once achieved, social change and any newfound rights and freedoms should never be taken for granted, yet they often are. When that happens, we not only lose our sense of who we are, we lose sight of how we got here, which makes looking forward that much more challenging. After all, to achieve the social change we still aspire to today, it’s important to know where we’ve been.

By providing an in-depth exploration of the changemakers who fought to bring about change and the movements that illuminate our rich, multidimensional tapestry we hope we can offer an important look at who we are and the values we hold close to our Canadian hearts.

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