Curious Canadian History

Wild, wacky, weird, wonderful and downright dark stories of Canadian history

Historian David Borys dives deep into the fascinating world of Canadian history in this bi-weekly podcast exploring everything from the wonderful to the weird to the downright dark.

S8E5 Stanley Thompson and Golf in Canada

There are many ways in which Canadians express their national identity. Through song, poetry, tattoos, pride over historic and international achievements, the celebration of multi-culturalism, the singing of the anthem, voting in an election, and so many other expressions large and small help us define who we are and who we think we are as Canadians. Sport has always played a central role in this search for identity. From cheering for Team Canada at the Olympics, to fanatically following your local sports team, sport has always been a way to unite Canadians. But sport has also played a role in helping to express the Canadian experience, especially when that Canadian experience is one that embraces Canada’s rugged, hostile and beautiful environment. In the 1920s and onwards the famous painting cabal known as the Group of Seven created an international sensation by painting Canada’s landscapes, presenting to the world what has been considered Canada’s first true school of art. At the same time that these great painters were presenting their material to a world fascinated by Canada’s landscapes, Stanley Thompson was doing the same thing...with golf courses. Thompson embraced the Canadian terrain and built golf courses into it that celebrated the unique and rugged nature of the Canadian landscape. In many ways, Thompson too was an artist who was also, like the Group of Seven, celebrating the Canadian experience through expressions of nature.In this episode we chat with past guest Jordan Goldstein. Jordan has a Ph.D. in Sports History and 7+ years teaching sports philosophy, sociology, and history. He published his first book entitled "Canada's Holy Grail: Lord Stanley's Political Motivation to Donate the Stanley Cup" in 2021 through University of Toronto Press. His book investigates the political motivations of Lord Stanley's donation of the Stanley Cup as an act of Canadian nation building. ​He recently quit academia to build a coaching and consulting business, Phya Academy, and to work on curriculum development at Synthesis School.