The Centennial Cure: Commemoration, Identity, and Cultural Capital in Nova Scotia during Canada's 1967 Centennial Celebrations

The Centennial Cure: Commemoration, Identity, and Cultural Capital in Nova Scotia during Canada's 1967 Centennial Celebrations

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By Meaghan Elizabeth Beaton
Studies in Atlantic Canada History
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2017
World Rights
296 Pages
ISBN 9781487521523
Published Mar 2017
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In The Centennial Cure, the second volume in the Studies in Atlantic Canada History series, Meaghan Elizabeth Beaton critically examines the intersection of state policy, cultural development, and commemoration in Nova Scotia during Canada’s centennial celebrations.

Beaton’s engaging and insightful analysis of four case studies­– the establishment of the Cape Breton Miners’ Museum, the construction of Halifax’s Centennial Swimming Pool, the Community Improvement Program, and the 1967 Nova Scotia Highland Games and Folk Festival­–reveals the province’s attempts to reimagine and renew public spaces.  Through these case studies Beaton illuminates the myriad ways in which Nova Scotians saw themselves, in the context of modernity and ethnic identity, during the post-war years. The successes and failures of these infrastructure and cultural projects, intended to foster and develop cultural capital, reflected the socio-economic realities and dreams of local communities. The Centennial Cure shifts our focus away from the dominant studies on Expo’67 to provide a nuanced and tension filled account of how Canada’s 1967 centennial celebrations were experienced in other parts of Canada.

Meaghan Beaton is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Canadian History in the Department of History, and a faculty member with the Canadian-American Studies Program, at Western Washington University.



Introduction: Canada’s 1967 Centennial, Commemoration, and Region

Chapter One: “It was deliberate – a planned effort, not a natural development of history”: Producing Nova Scotia’s Celebrations for Canada’s 1967 Centennial

Chapter Two: “A true Scot would have sworn he was in Scotland”: The 1967 Nova

Scotia Highland Games and Folk Festival

Chapter Three: “I sold it as an industry as much as anything else”: The Cape Breton

Miners’ Museum

Chapter Four: “Worthy of the Great Nova Scotia Traditions of the Sea”: Halifax’s

Aquarium and Centennial Swimming Pool

Chapter Five: “The Centennial Cure”: The Community Improvement Program

Conclusion: Canada’s 1967 Centennial Commemorative Legacy



“In The Centennial Cure, Meaghan Elizabeth Beaton demonstrates a firm grasp of the literature on the 1967 Centennial. Accessible and engagingly written, Beaton’s book provides a vivid account of how this federal celebratory initiative was shaped by local politics and regional economic aims. The Centennial Cure is a significant contribution to the history of modern Nova Scotia, to the history of public celebrations, and to the study of regional identity in Canada.”

Michael Dawson, Department of History, St. Thomas University, March 6, 2017

“This book is a valuable study of the intersection of culture and ‘deliberate’ politics at one of the more optimistic moments of Canadian history. Meaghan Elizabeth Beaton conveys both the difficulty of planning large centennial projects and a sense of the haste with which many of the projects were thrown together”

Stephen Henderson, Department of History and Classics, Acadia University, March 6, 2017