A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: The Shumiatcher Saga

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Franšais

A muster- familie tsvishn russishe immigrantn in Kanad a hot mit zich forgeshtellt di mishopoche Shumiatcher, geroidefte yidn fun russland. S'iz zey gelungen nit nor tsu shaffn a nay lebn far zich nor oich oif boien a yishuv vos bliht bizn hayntikn tog - nit gekukt oif dem vos a kanadisher immigrartzie baamter hot tzey ge-eytzed tsu farkirtsern dem nomen aff "Smith"

Quintessential Canadian immigrants, the Shumiatcher family were persecuted Russian Jews who not only succeeded in building a new life for themselves, but established a community that continues to thrive in the Canadian West - despite the Canadian immigration officer who suggested they change their last name to Smith.

Of Judah and Chasia Shumiatcher's eleven children, it was Morris who started the Smithbilt Hat Company two generations ago. The Smithbilt hat is a great triumph, having become the official white cowboy hat of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and a symbol of western hospitality. It is one of Canada's most recognized trademarks.

The Shumiatcher family, whose history almost parallels that of Calgary, boasts lawyers, judges, businessmen, architects, artists, filmmakers, musicians, scientists and educators, all of whom continue to play a leadership role in Calgary and in communities across North America.

Whether celebrating a bar mitzvah, trading anecdotes or reliving tales of tragedy, the grandchildren of Judah and Chasia offer fascinating glimpses into their family's past, present and future. One of the grandsons is Judah Shumiatcher, the current owner of Smithbilt Hats. Judah narrates the Shumiatcher Saga, presenting a very personal perspective on the legacy of this very colourful family.

Academy Award nominee, David Paperny (The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter, Prisoner 88, Whisky Man, Mordecai) is the great-grandson of Judah and Chasia and intimately traces the diverse branches of the Shumiatcher family and their contribution to the growth of the City of Calgary.


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