A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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EPISODE 23: Opening Night
Directed by Marie-Claude Harvey

SYNOPSIS

George Farhood, a Lebanese immigrant, arrived in Montréal in 1889. After years of peddling, he and his son established one of the first Francophone theatres in Québec.


KEY IDEAS

  • Adaptability and entrepreneurism
  • Ethnic and Canadian culture
  • Family cohesion

KEY TERMS

  • Lebanese
  • Francophone
  • Peddler
  • Chanteclerc Theatre
  • Clergy

OBJECTIVES

  • To appreciate the Farhood’s perseverance and vision in creating their new life in Canada
  • To understand how a mixture of cultures, such as French and Lebanese, collectively makes up the Canadian cultural mosaic
  • To learn about the importance of family in surviving hard times and working together towards a common goal

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

  1. Draw an oversized map of Québec, labeling the major cities as well as the smaller villages that you think peddlers like the Farhoods might have frequented. Make a list beside each place of what a peddler might be able to sell to these customers, and why.

  2. Research the religious practices of Lebanese Canadians by visiting a church, or inviting a Lebanese priest or church member into the class. Write a three page essay on the role and importance of the church for the Lebanese community.

  3. Research the history of a theatre in your area, tracing who owned it and what sort of productions it put on, from its beginning to the present day. Explore the power of the theatre, how it was, and is, used to express local and national issues, lifestyle and culture.

  4. Plan a class trip to a local theatre. Inquire about getting a tour of the theatre house, taking in a performance and getting a back-stage pass for a behind-thescenes look at how theatre works.

  5. Invite a local theatre owner, playwright or actor to visit your class for a discussion about Canadian culture, what it is and how it has grown and changed over time.