November 22, 2013

Peter Lockyer of History Lives Here

Ten more short stories drawn from the rich past of the Quinte region premiered last night at The Empire Theatre in Belleville.

The History Moments series showcases local history stories.  The 2013 edition – the fifth in this “popular history” series – told the story of medical researcher Dr. James Collip, a Belleville native who helped discover insulin, one of the great medical breakthroughs of the 20th century. Canadian Prime Minister, the Honourable Sir Mackenzie Bowell, the owner/publisher of the Belleville Intelligencer, was another of the features together with the stories of the heady days of the movie industry in Trenton (1917-1934), pioneer settler Asa Weller of Carrying Place, and the history of the area’s maple syrup industry. History Lives Here Inc., a heritage communications firm in Picton, produces the series.

The City of Belleville and its community heritage partners hosted the evening and Mayor Neil Ellis welcomed the over 200 people who attended by outlining the importance of preserving local history and heritage. Telling stories from the past is one part of the city’s communication plans for its downtown revitalization program.

Mayor Neil Ellis

For Richard Hughes, the President of the Hastings Historical Society, the evening was an opportunity for heritage organizations to work collaboratively to celebrate the past.

“Everyone I talked to last night was full of praise – and I talked to a lot of people.  Even before the films were shown, the mood was almost like a party,” says Hughes. “ A great deal of networking was done with different branches of the heritage and political families mixing.  This is an important side benefit of the occasion. The films were so well done, I am sure if you had asked the audience if they wanted a second showing, it would have been unanimous. “ 

Series producer Peter Lockyer introduced the History Moments noting that the Quinte region was once the epi-centre of Canada and a driving force within the economic, social and political life of the country.

“We may never again be regional power brokers within the country,” says Lockyer, “but we can re-tell these stories of another time when we were a dominant factor in shaping Canadian history. History is a big business in many communities throughout the world and it can be here. We should explore these opportunities so that history and heritage are not just vague cultural assets. They are economic drivers in communities throughout the Quinte area.” 

The Empire Theatre in Belleville and the Aron Theatre in Cambellford will soon begin playing the History Moments vignettes before movies. The series is currently shown before movies at The Regent Theatre in Picton, on TVCogeco in Belleville and CKWS Television in Kingston, online on community partner websites, and is made available as learning resources to area schools, museums and libraries.

 For more information, contact History Lives Here Inc.