Canadian Forum

The Canadian Forum was a left-wing literary, cultural and political publication and Canada's longest running continually published political magazine (1920–2000).[1]

History and profile

Canadian Forum was founded on 14 May 1920[2] at the University of Toronto as a forum for political and cultural ideas. Its first directors were G. E. Jackson, chairman, Barker Fairley, literary editor, C. B. Sissons,[3] political editor, Peter Sandiford,[4] business manager and Huntly Gordon, press editor.[5] Throughout its publishing run it was Canadian nationalist and progressive in outlook.[1]

The magazine was published on a monthly basis.[2] As a cultural and literary publication it published the artistic works of the Group of Seven and Frank Carmichael as well as poetry and short stories by Irving Layton, Earle Birney, A. J. M. Smith, Harold Standish, Helen Weinzweig, Margaret Atwood[1] and Al Purdy.[6]

Politically, it was a forum for thinkers such as Frank Underhill, F. R. Scott, Ramsay Cook, Mel Watkins, John Alan Lee, Eugene Forsey[1] and Robert Fulford.[6]

In 1934, publisher Steven Cartwright purchased the periodical from J.M. Dent & Sons.[7] After owning it for about a year, Cartwright unloaded the money-losing venture for one-dollar to Graham Spry a member of the socially progressive think tank the League for Social Reconstruction (LSR).[7] It was printed using Spy's printing press company, Stafford Printers, which also printed the Ontario CCF's newspaper The New Commonwealth.[7] Spry purchased the press with financial help from both the LSR and English socialist Sir Stafford Cripps, hence the name Stafford Press.[7] in 1936, the LSR bought the Forum for one-dollar from Spry, and assumed all its debts.[8] University of Toronto Classics professor George Grube, a member of the LSR, became the editor in 1937.[9] During his tenure, the periodical was the LSR's official organ.[10] Grube stepped down as editor in 1941, about a year before the LSR officially disbanded.[9] It has also been operated at times as a co-operative and was owned for a number of years by James Lorimer and Co.[1]

Editors have included Mark Farrell,[11] G. M. A. Grube,[9] J. Francis White, Northrop Frye, Milton Wilson, Abraham Rotstein, Denis Smith and the final editor Duncan Cameron.[1]

The magazine suspended publication following its summer 2000 issue.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Granastein, J. L. (2011). "Canadian Forum". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Toronto: The Historica-Dominion Institute. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b Roy Macskimming (11 January 2012). The Perilous Trade: "Book Publishing in Canada, 1946–2006". McClelland & Stewart. p. 76. ISBN 978-1-55199-261-7. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  3. ^ Charles Bruce Sissons (1879–1965)
  4. ^ (1882–1941)
  5. ^ Canadian Forum, vol. 1, No. 1, Oct. 1920, p. 14 and No. 2, Nov. 1920, p. 45
  6. ^ a b c Fulford, Robert (2001-04-17). "The Canadian Forum: alive or dead?". National Post. Toronto. Archived from the original on 16 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d Horn (1980), p.129
  8. ^ Horn (1980), p. 130
  9. ^ a b c Podlecki (1994), p. 237
  10. ^ Horn (1980), pp. 14, 202
  11. ^ Horn (1980), p. 131


  • Horn, Michiel (1980). The League for Social Reconstruction: Intellectual origins of the democratic left in Canada, 1930–1942. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-5487-0.
  • Podlecki, Anthony J. (1994). Ward W. Briggs Jr., ed. Biographical Dictionary of North American Classicists. Wesport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-24560-6.

External links

  • Wikilivres has original media or text related to this article: The Canadian Forum (in the public domain in New Zealand)
  • Archival papers of Gilbert Edward Jackson, Editor (1920–1925), are held at University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services
Canadian Forum on Civil Justice

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) is a national non-profit organization that has been dedicated to advancing civil justice reform through research and advocacy since 1998. CFCJ strives to make the civil justice system more accessible, effective and sustainable by leading and participating in projects that place the citizen at the center of our civil justice system.

CFCJ was established in response to recommendations presented in the Systems of Civil Justice Task Force Report released in 1996 by the Canadian Bar Association. This report sought to "develop strategies and mechanisms to facilitate modernization of the justice system so that it is better able to meet the current and future needs of Canadians."

In 2011, CFCJ moved from the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta to York University where it is affiliated with Osgoode Hall Law School and the York Centre for Public Policy and Law.

Crash Vegas

Crash Vegas was a Canadian folk rock band which formed in 1988, and achieved moderate success in the early 1990s.

Devonshire Initiative

The Devonshire Initiative (DI) is a Canadian forum for leading international development NGOs and mining companies to come together in response to the emerging social agenda surrounding mining and community development issues. The DI was founded on the belief that the Canadian mining and NGO presence in emerging markets can be a force for positive change. The group came into being on March 5, 2007 at an initial workshop conducted at the University of Toronto on cross-sector partnerships, which featured a case study of the Kimberley Process on Conflict Diamonds.

Frank Underhill

Frank Hawkins Underhill, (November 26, 1889 – September 16, 1971) was a Canadian journalist, essayist, historian, social critic and political thinker.

Frank Underhill, born in Stouffville, Ontario, was educated at the University of Toronto and the University of Oxford where he was a member of the Fabian Society. He was influenced by social and political critics such as Bernard Shaw and Goldwin Smith. He taught history at the University of Saskatchewan from 1914 until 1927 with a long interruption during World War I during which he served as an officer in the Hertfordshire Regiment of the British Army on the Western Front. He also taught from 1927 until 1955 at the University of Toronto. He left the University of Toronto due to a dispute with the administration and later joined the faculty at Carleton University.During the Great Depression, Underhill joined several other left wing academics in forming the League for Social Reconstruction. He was also a founder of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and helped write its Regina Manifesto in 1933. He joined the editorial staff of the leftist Canadian Forum in 1927 where he wrote a column of political commentary called "O Canada" from 1929 on and served for a time as chair of that journal's editorial board. Despite these progressive leanings, Underhill had a conservative view of the historical profession and impeded the careers of several women historians.During World War II, Underhill moved away from socialism and became a left-wing liberal continentalist. He remained a committed anti-imperialist and was almost dismissed from the University of Toronto in 1941 for suggesting that Canada would drift away from the British Empire and draw closer to the United States. His struggle with the university became a landmark in the history of academic freedom in Canada.Underhill's most important writings are collected in the 1960 book of essays, In Search of Canadian Liberalism. In the essays Underhill covered many Canadian concerns such as politics before and after the Canadian Confederation, relations with the United States and Britain and assessments of the actions of Canadian public figures. The essays were praised in the Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature for their "iconoclasm and trenchant wit often bordering on sarcasm." Underhill's other notable works include Canadian Political Parties, 1957; The Image of Confederation, 1964; and Upper Canadian Politics in the 1850s, 1967.Underhill was a strong supporter of the United States during the Cold War. He also became a supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada, particularly once his long-time friend, Lester Pearson joined the government. In his later years, Underhill served as a lecturer and Chair of the Department of History at Carleton University in Ottawa. Carleton University has named a major reading room and the Underhill Graduate Student Colloquium—the longest running graduate colloquium in Canada—in memory of the former Chair.In 1967, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Gay Allison

Gay Allison (born 1953) is a Canadian poet, editor, and English teacher. She was the fiction editor of The Canadian Forum, poetry editor of Waves, founding editor of a feminist journal, Fireweed, co-editor of Landscape, and founding member of the Women's Writing Collective of Toronto. Additionally, Allison is an advisory board member of Tiger Lily, a journal by women of colour. Allison is also a full member of the League of Canadian Poets.She was the recipient of the Poetry Award from the Federation of Women Teachers' Association of Ontario (FWTAO) in 1982 and 1986.

George Grube

George Maximilian Antony Grube (3 August 1899 – 13 December 1982) was a Canadian scholar, university professor and democratic socialist political activist. Grube was a classicist and translator of Plato, Aristotle, Demetrius of Phaleron, Longinus and Marcus Aurelius. He was one of the founders of the New Democratic Party of Canada and ran unsuccessfully for election as an NDP candidate in Canadian federal elections.

He was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on 3 August 1899, and was educated in the United Kingdom. He served as a translator for the Belgium Army, attached to the British Expeditionary Force during the First World War. He attended Cambridge University's Emmanuel College, where he received his Master's degree in 1925.He moved to Canada in 1928, to begin his career as a professor of classics at the University of Trinity College in the University of Toronto (UofT). He became the head of the classics department in 1931. Grube was a socialist, and serving in World War I turned him into a passionate pacifist. During his tenure at the UofT, he was involved in the Toronto branch of the League for Social Reconstruction (LSR), serving as president from 1934-1935. When the LSR took control of the nearly bankrupt magazine, Canadian Forum, Grube became its editor from 1937 to 1941. It was during his tenure at the magazine that it became the main media outlet for the LSR's publications.From 1944 to 1946, Grube was the President of the Ontario Co-operative Commonwealth Federation's (CCF) executive, often acting as the public spokesperson for the party after its leader, Ted Jolliffe, lost his seat in the Ontario general election on 4 June 1945. He also ran unsuccessfully several times for the House of Commons seat in what was then known as the Broadview electoral district during the 1940s.In August 1961, he was one of the co-chairs presiding over the New Democratic Party's founding convention in Ottawa. In 1968, he won the Award of Merit from the American Philological Association (APA) for his 1965 book The Greek and Roman Critics. The APA gave him the award for "outstanding contribution to classical scholarship." Two-years later, while still the head of the classics department, he retired from UofT in 1970.He continued writing new translations of Plato's works until his death. In his later years, he had health issues, and he finally succumbed to them in Toronto on 13 December 1982.

Helen Weinzweig

Helen Weinzweig (1915–2010) was a Canadian writer. The author of two novels and a short story collection, her novel Basic Black with Pearls won the Toronto Book Award in 1981, and her short story collection A View from the Roof was a shortlisted nominee for the Governor General's Award for English language fiction in 1989.Born in Poland in 1915, she emigrated to Canada at age 10 with her mother, and married composer John Weinzweig on July 12, 1940. She published her first short story, "Surprise!", in Canadian Forum in 1967, and her debut novel Passing Ceremony was published in 1973. She came to be regarded as one of Canada's first important feminist writers. Her style was marked by experimental forms with some aspects of metafiction; in her short story "Journey to Porquis", a writer on a train trip realizes that all of his fellow passengers are characters in his novel.Weinzweig also wrote and produced a one-act play, My Mother's Luck, and several of her short stories in A View from the Roof were adapted for stage and CBC Radio broadcast by playwright Dave Carley.Weinzweig died in 2010, aged 96.

Herring Hunt

Herring Hunt is a 1953 National Film Board of Canada short documentary film about the operations of a herring boat off the coast of British Columbia, directed by Julian Biggs, written by Leslie McFarlane and produced by Guy Glover, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film at the 26th Academy Awards. The film's musical score was composed by Robert Fleming.The 10-minute 47-second film follows Western Girl, her skipper and crew as they race to get their catch before quota is reached and their fishing area closed. In addition to its Oscar nomination, the Herring Hunt received a special mention at the Canadian Film Awards and a Second Award in the Category: Agricultural and Industrial at the Yorkton Film Festival.

John Beckwith (composer)

John Beckwith, (born March 9, 1927) is a Canadian composer, writer, pianist, teacher, and administrator.

Born in Victoria, British Columbia, he studied piano with Alberto Guerrero at the Toronto Conservatory of Music in 1945. He received a Mus.B. in 1947 and a Mus.M. in 1961 from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music. From 1950 to 1951, he studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

He started teaching in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto in 1952. From 1970 to 1977, he was the dean of the faculty. He was founding director of the Institute for Canadian Music at the University of Toronto. He retired in 1990.

He has written over 130 compositions covering stage, orchestral, chamber, solo and choral genres.

In 1987, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Karen Mulhallen

Karen Mulhallen (born 1942 in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian educator, poet, essayist, critic and editor. She received her BA in 1963 from Waterloo Lutheran University, (now Wilfrid Laurier University) her MA (English) in 1967, and PhD (English) in 1975, both from the University of Toronto. She taught English at Ryerson University from 1967 to 2014. She served as the poetry review editor of The Canadian Forum from 1974 to 1979, and their features editor from 1975 to 1988. In 1973 Karen Mulhallen became editor-in-chief of Descant until its closure in 2015.

LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium

The LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium is a Canadian forum created through the joint effort of John Ralston Saul and the Dominion Institute. Founded in 2000, the Symposium's purpose is to stimulate debate about the historical antecedents and future shape of the Canadian democracy. Canada's existence and democratic foundation owes a great deal to the partnership of two 19th century political visionaries, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin, the first democratically elected Joint Premiers of the Province of Canada. The Symposium's annual venue honours these two great political reformers.

According to Jocelyn Létourneau, a history professor at Université Laval in Quebec City and senior researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Francophone Literature, Arts and Traditions in North America, "the myths we (Canadians) used in building our nation have made us victims of our past. And, it's not easy to break the cycle."

An annual lecture at the Symposium is broadcast on CBC Radio One's Ideas.

Michael Estok

Michael John Estok (1939–1989) was a Canadian poet. He was best known for his posthumous collection A Plague Year Journal, considered one of the crucial works of HIV/AIDS literature in Canada.Originally from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Estok studied at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto. He taught English literature at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Waterloo and Dalhousie University before joining the Université Sainte-Anne in Pointe-de-l'Église, Nova Scotia, where he taught for 18 years. He published his first poetry collection, Paradise Garage, in 1987. He completed A Plague Year Journal shortly before his death of AIDS in 1989, and the work was published after his death by Arsenal Pulp Press. His poetry also appeared in Canadian Forum and The Fiddlehead.His poems "Ordination", "As the Crisis Deepened" and "Hydrangeas" appeared in John Barton and Billeh Nickerson's 2007 anthology Seminal: The Anthology of Canada's Gay Male Poets. His poem "Let It Go" was recited in 2012 at The AIDS Quilt Songbook, a benefit concert in New York City staged in conjunction with the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Milton Acorn

Milton James Rhode Acorn (March 30, 1923 – August 20, 1986), nicknamed The People's Poet by his peers, was a Canadian poet, writer, and playwright.

Northern Review

Northern Review was a Montreal-based literary magazine published in Canada between 1945 and 1956. It resulted from the merger between two earlier magazines, Preview and First Statement, both of which were also Montreal-based. Poet and literary critic John Sutherland, who founded First Statement, became the managing editor of Northern Review. A number of well-known Canadian writers, including Patrick Anderson, A. M. Klein, Irving Layton, P. K. Page, F. R. Scott, and A. J. M. Smith also served as editors for various periods. In 1947, Sutherland's scathing review of Robert Finch's Governor General's Award-winning book, Poems, caused all of the latter-named editors, with the exception of Layton, to resign from the magazine's editorial board. Finch was a generally respected writer at the time who had co-published with Klein, Scott, and Smith in the 1936 poetry anthology New Provinces, so Sutherland's denouncement of Finch hit a sore spot with his elder colleagues.

In spite of the controversy, Northern Review was the most significant Canadian literary magazine of its day, providing a forum for new Canadian poets with an ear for modernism, a mode toward which many longer-established and conservative magazines, such as Canadian Poetry Magazine, were reluctant. Northern Review was also an important source for Canadian literary criticism, at a time when few critics, including Canadian ones, regarded Canadian literature as a distinctive and worthwhile body of achievement. For all his irreverence and bluster, Sutherland distinguished himself as a perceptive voice for literary development in Canada, as did many others who contributed articles to the magazine.

By the late 1940s, Sutherland had established a small press called First Statement Press as a sideline to regular issues of Northern Review. Layton's first book, Now is the Place, (1948) was among a handful of significant books published by the press, although Layton himself left the editorial board of Northern Review that same year. The Sutherland-edited Other Canadians: An Anthology of New Poetry in Canada, 1940-46, the first major collection devoted exclusively to modern Canadian poetry, was also issued by First Statement Press.

Sutherland converted to Catholicism in the early 1950s, and as a result Northern Review became more conservative in its editorial vision. Although Northern Review appeared destined for the more mainstream status and wider readership enjoyed by other Canadian magazines such as Canadian Forum and Macleans, Sutherland's early death from cancer in 1956 put an end to Northern Review. In total, forty issues of the magazine were published, enough to make it a relative success story in an era of short-lived Canadian periodicals.

S. H. Hooke

Samuel Henry Hooke (January 21, 1874–January 17, 1968) was an English scholar writing on comparative religion. He is known for his translation of the Bible into Basic English.

He was born in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. He was educated at St. Mark's school, Windsor and Jesus College, Oxford.

From 1913 to 1926 he was Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of Toronto, where he was a founder of and contributor to Canadian Forum. In 1930 he was appointed Samuel Davidson Professor of Old Testament Studies at the University of London. In 1951, Hooke was president of the Society for Old Testament Study.

Thoreau MacDonald

Thoreau MacDonald (April 21, 1901 at Toronto, Ontario – May 30, 1989 at Toronto) was a Canadian artist, book illustrator and art editor.MacDonald was the son of Group of Seven member J. E. H. MacDonald. He was mainly self-taught, but he did work with his father. MacDonald was colour blind and as a result he worked primarily in black and white.As an illustrator, MacDonald worked for the Ryerson Press and Canadian Forum magazine. His work is found in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Hart House at the University of Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection amongst other collections.

His former home and 4-acre (16,000 m2) garden in Vaughan, Ontario, which he inherited from his father, was donated to the City of Vaughan in 1974. The building and grounds have been restored and are open to the public.

Tom Marshall (poet)

Thomas Archibald Marshall (April 9, 1938 – April 28, 1993) was a Canadian poet, critic and novelist.Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, he grew up in the United States. He was educated at Queen's University in Kingston, where he received his MA in 1965, writing his thesis on poet A. M. Klein. Marshall taught at the institution from 1964 until his death.Marshall was the author of numerous poetry collections and novels, the poetry editor of Canadian Forum and the chief editor of Quarry.At the time of his death in 1993, Marshall had completed a final novel, The Adventures of John Montgomery. The novel was posthumously published in 1995, and was reissued in 2014 as part of a series of historical novels set in Kingston. The Essential Tom Marshall, an anthology of his poetry compiled by David Helwig and Michael Ondaatje, was published in 2012.

Tom Velk

Tom Velk (Thomas James Velk) is a libertarian-leaning American economist who teaches and lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is the chair of the North American studies program at McGill University and a professor in that university's economics department. His research interests are in monetary economics and public policy, specifically the de-regulation of money markets and the usefulness (or not) of central banks.Velk holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin. He has edited a number of books on Canadian and American public policy issues. Additionally, he has served on the Board of Governors of the American Federal Reserve System as a visiting professor and consultant (1969–72), and worked for the World Bank. In 1982-3 Velk was a visiting scholar at the department of economics at Dartmouth College and in 1974 served as a consultant to the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress.

Velk is a regular contributor to media coverage of economic issues, writing a recurring column, "From the Right", for CBC News Viewpoint in 2005-6. Velk has also written for The Wall Street Journal, the Canadian Forum, The Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Montreal Gazette, Le Devoir, and the CBC.He currently resides in North Troy, Vermont.

Wayne Clifford

Wayne Clifford (born 1944) is a Canadian poet.

Clifford began writing poetry at fourteen. His first collection, Man in a Window (1965), was the first volume published by Canadian literary publisher, Coach House Press. As a student at the University of Toronto (BA 1967), he shared the E.J.Pratt Prize with Michael Ondaatje. He attended the University of Iowa's International Writers' workshop (MA 1969, MFA 1969), where he worked with Harry Duncan of Cummington Press, and founded Living Series, which published work by colleagues as broadsheets and chapbooks (Michael Lally and Ray DiPalma, among others). Although he was invited as a delegate to the founding conference of the League of Canadian Poets, and helped organize the Kingston's Writers' Association, the Kingston branch of Canadian Artists' Representation, and The Monday Night Boys, Clifford has never allied himself with a school, group or faction. His work demonstrates this independence, moving between elegant, dense and often highly musical freer compositions to an unfashionable but exquisitely made formalism. Clifford has published in a broad range of journals, from The Canadian Forum, Queen's Quarterly and ARC to avant-garde magazines like bill bisset's Blewointment, bpNichols's ganglia, and Sheila Watson's Pelican.

In 2004, Clifford left teaching to write full-time. He presently lives on the island of Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy.

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