News from the Giant by Reel Memories of the Lakehead

News from the Giant by Reel Memories of the Lakehead

Welcome to News from the Giant, brought to you by the Reel Memories of the Lakehead project. News from the Giant is a series of 8 short vignettes from the Thunder Bay (formerly Port Arthur and Fort William) and Northwestern Ontario region. These vignettes are based on Year-End highlight reels that newstations and movie theaters of the day used to show, highlighting major events of the year (National and international archival highlight reels can be found in our "From the Archives" channel, such as the "News Parade of the Year" and "Canadian Headlines"). These vignettes represent a small portion of a very large collection of 16mm film that has been cleaned, spliced, and digitized for academic and public consumption. You can catch our "Making of" montage on this channel to see this process in action.
The Reel Memories collection contains roughly 500 film reels, the majority of which are 1,000 to 1,200 ft in length. That's approximately 200 hours of archival footage that has been never before seen since its initial air date on the nightly news!

More information on the Reel Memories project can be found at and If you are interested in supporting this project, there is an option to donate through both websites.

Please enjoy these fun, short clips as they offer a glimpse of the Lakehead's history and people from 1954-1962!

This project was funded by the Thunder Bay Community Foundation, Thunder Bay Historical Museum, Friends of the Finnish Labour Temple, and Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

Producers - Ron Harpelle & Kelly Saxberg
Animation - Rommel Jay Cayanga & Keith Erickson
Editing - Katie Green
Writing - Dianne Brothers & Katie Green
Sound Recording - LIP Media Productions
Narrator - Dennis Dubinsky
Original Music - Adrien Harpelle
Sound Mix - LIP Media Productions
Research - Tom Peotto, Katie Green, Dianne Brothers & Brandon Cordeiro
Scanning - Tom Peotto
Archival - Thunder Bay Museum & Reel Memories of the Lakehead Project
Film Restoration - Brandon Cordeiro, Tom Peotto, Katie Green & Derek Okeese
Film Transfer - Brandon Cordeiro, Kelly Saxberg & Ron Harpelle

Special Thanks: Wayne Sheldon, Larry Urbanski, Riaz Mehmood & Donald Delorme

News from the Giant by Reel Memories of the Lakehead
  • Making of News from the Giant

    Watch this short video of how the Reel Memories of the Lakehead team restores and digitizes the 16mm film donated to the Thunder Bay Museum by Dougall Media. The footage ranges from 1954 to 1978.

  • News from the Giant - Episode One

    Flashback to 1954 to see the first ever television station created at the Lakehead!

  • Interview with NHL Players

    In this short interview, Jack Adams interviews Fort William-born NHL players Pete Goegan, Alex Delvecchio, and Bud Poile at the Olympia Stadium in Detroit, MI in 1960.

  • News from the Giant - Episode Two

    Flashback to 1957! In this episode, you will see the Lakehead airport consumed by flames, teens showing off their safe driving skills at the "National Teenage Safe Driving Road-e-o," the Fort William Redskins football team take on the St. Vital Bulldogs from Manitoba and win the W.S. Tomlinson Tr...

  • Interview with Chief Harold Lockwood

    In this short interview, former Fort William Fire Chief Harold Lockwood discusses the large steam engine fire pumper that was purchased by the city in 1912 and in service until 1936.

  • News from the Giant - Episode Three

    Flashback to 1958! In this episode you will see the launch of the Alexander Henry ice breaker, mineral explorations in the Lakehead region, Fort William Ice House fire, car racing at the C.L.E. grounds, Tom Tod Rink returning to Fort William as the National Schoolboy Dominion Curling Champions, a...

  • News from the Giant - Episode Four

    Flashback to 1959! In this episode, you can watch as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit the Lakehead, the collapse of a United Grain Growers grain elevator, the opening of the Silver Falls Hydro Plant, the Rossport Fish Derby, and horse racing at the Murillo Fairgrounds!

  • Red Rock Bank Robbery

    The Red Rock Bank Robbery - August 1963

    Two 18-year old Red Rock men were charged with armed robbery after stealing $45,000 in cash from the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Red Rock, Ontario. After fleeing the scene, their getaway car was found 3 miles away in a bush near a CPR rail line. After con...

  • On the Streets with CKPR

    In this hard-hitting news story, women are interviewed about the drop in butter prices at the Lakehead and how it will affect their daily lives. Footage from 1962.

  • News from the Giant - Episode Five

    Flashback to 1960! In this episode, you can watch as the Twin Cities celebrate C.D. Howe night, the installation of the Videon tower, the military exercise "Operation Fallout," the grand opening of the Lake Superior Circle Route, the return of the James Whalen tugboat, the welcoming of North Cent...

  • News from the Giant - Episode Six

    Flashback to 1961, part one! In this episode, you can see notable visitors at the Lakehead, such as Prime Minister Diefenbaker, NDP Leader T.C. Douglas, Finnish President Urho Kekkonen, and famed Polish General Anders. Also watch as Smokey the Bear visits the Lakehead to promote forest fire preve...

  • Interview with T.C. Douglas

    Interview with T.C. "Tommy" Douglas, leader of the New Democratic Party and Premier of Saskatchewan. Mr. Douglas discusses nuclear weapons and Canada's role in the nuclear arms race. Footage from 1961.

  • News from the Giant - Episode Seven

    Flashback to 1961, part two! In this second half, you can see Bobby Curtola as he visits the Lakehead, the Alexander Henry as it is equipped with a new helicopter, the Cruise on the Bay event with visiting minesweepers, a large ship as it breaks loose in the Lakehead harbour, and lots of fun and ...

  • News from the Giant - Episode Eight

    Flashback to 1962! In this episode, you can see the grand opening of Keefer Terminal, the opening of Mary J.L. Black library, the visiting North American luxury cruise liner, grand opening of Trowbridge Falls Park grand opening, the return of a stolen float plane, the success of the Lake Superior...

  • 1970 Amalgamation Ceremony

    In this short video, watch the New Year's Eve amalgamation ceremony of the newly formed city, Thunder Bay! Previously Port Arthur, Fort William, Neebing and McIntyre.

  • Meet the Team - Nathan

    Meet Dr. Nathan Hatton, historian at Lakehead University. Listen as Nathan discusses the importance of the Reel Memories project to public and academic historians alike.

  • Meet the Team - Kelly

    Meet Kelly Saxberg, President of the Friends of the Finnish Labour Temple and local film maker and producer in Thunder Bay, ON. Kelly talks about her role in the Reel Memories project, including how she trained the Reel Memories interns to work with and digitize 16mm film!

  • Meet the Team - Derek

    Meet Derek Okeese, Reel Memories intern hired on by the Thunder Bay Historical Museum. Derek has plenty of experience editing digital film media, but listen as he explains the impact of learning a new (to him) medium of working with film.

  • Meet the Team - Brandon

    Meet Dr. Brandon Cordeiro, Reel Memories intern hired by the Thunder Bay Historical Museum. Listen as Brandon explains his experiences as an intern working with 16mm film for the first time and how it has influenced him as an academic historian.

  • Meet the Team - Tom & Katie

    Meet Tom and Katie, former Reel Memories of the Lakehead interns who discuss their experiences working with local 16mm film.

  • Meet the Team - Ron

    Meet Dr. Ron Harpelle, Historian at Lakehead University. Listen as Ron explains the Reel Memories project and how it contributes to the historical community of the Thunder Bay area.

  • Meet the Team - Scott

    Meet Scott Bradley, Director of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum. In this short interview, Scott discusses the importance of the Reel Memories project to the City of Thunder Bay and how the footage will be stored at the museum for future generations.

  • Web Aware Internet Safety for Seniors

    A friendly reminder of some Internet safety.
    Remember you are in control. Just say NO. Refuse to be pressured and stay web smart!
    Brought to you by Vox Popular Media Arts and Funded by the Government of Canada.

    For more information on how to practice these tips click on the links below!