Historical Presentations

Inspire and engage your society, friends, coworkers, and/or volunteers with an engaging presentation on Edmonton’s fascinating past. The webinars are based on Tom’s twenty years experience researching and relating Edmonton’s stories. They are delivered via Zoom or google meets, over which he uses google slides and some live activities. They can be delivered at any time. Prices range from $50 to $150, but there is movement on either side of that for charities and non-profits. Please contact (bottom of this form) for more discussion on pricing.

AMERICAN COLUMBIA: 1846, BC, Washington, Oregon and the West That Wasn’t.

Length: 1 hour.
Recommended audience: 3-30 persons
Delivered via: Zoom; Google Meets.

Where does British Columbia’s name come from? How was Washington state nearly part of Confederation? What is the connection between one of Canada’s greatest blues-rock bands, an HBC Governor, and a US President? From 1821 to 1846 the HBC attempted to carve a claim west of the mountains. The result is a gripping story involving Métis settlers, Hawaiian labourers, and a wandering artist. Join us for a dive into the little-told stories of the Pacific North-West.

EDMONTON AND THE NO-GOOD, HORRIBLE, VERY BAD DECADE: The 1910s and our Sense of Place.

Length: 1 hour.
Recommended audience: 3-30 persons
Delivered via: Zoom; Google Meets.
From boom to bust, from peace to war, and from flood to flu, Edmonton’s awful decade has it all. But like a trying time etches itself into one’s mind, the 1910s are etched onto our cityscape. Take a journey around some of Edmonton’s surviving built heritage and we’ll discover how they link to our city’s darkest days – and brightest hopes.

CITY OF CHAMPIONS: Stories of Petitions, Protests, and Activism in Edmonton’s Past

Length: 1 hour – 1:30 hours.
Recommended audience: 3-30 persons
Delivered via: Zoom; Google Meets.
From fur traders’ demands to suffragists’ demonstrations, Edmonton has been home to champions, advocates, and activists for hundreds of years. Hear stories of those who questioned, pushed, demanded, and strove – sometimes even for causes we might shrink from today. Leave inspired to take action yourself – it’s the most Edmonton thing you can do.

FAKE NEWS AT FORT EDMONTON: The 1885 Resistance comes to the River City

Length: 1 hour – 1:30 hours.
Recommended audience: 3-30 persons
Delivered via: Zoom; Google Meets.
Fake news, rumours, and ignorance on the edges of the North-West Resistance contributed to panic spreading far from the sites of any actual battles. Edmonton had its own distinct experience, with a rumour of massive Indigenous uprising, supposed secret ambushes, daring horse messengers, and a mischievous cat out for a midnight stroll. The stories of Edmonton’s experience in the Resistance are more relevant than ever.

SAY WHAT? Eight Unbelievable Stories of Edmonton’s Past

SAY WHAT?: Eight Unbelievable Stories of Edmonton’s Past

Length: 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Recommended audience: 3-30 persons
Delivered via: Zoom; Google Meets.
Some bits of history are just so bizarre, you can’t believe they actually happened. Take a journey through nine ridiculous stories and, in the end, guess which one of them is a fake. Truth is stranger than fiction!

EDMONTON’S IDENTITIES: The Histories of a City in Search of Itself

Length: 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Recommended audience: 3-30 persons
Delivered via: Zoom; Google Meets.
The River City. The City of Champions. The Gateway to the North. Edmonton has collected names the way an actor takes on roles. But is there a title that truly sums up our city, and should there be? This presentation takes a trip through Edmonton’s identities past and present in order to inform a discussion on our future.

REMEMBERING THE FIRST LADY OF FORT EDMONTON: Louise Umphreville

Length: 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Recommended audience: 1-30 persons
Delivered via: zoom.
For over forty years, Louise Umphreville was probably the most powerful Metis woman on the prairies. She owned a vast herd of horses, lived in the largest building west of Hudson’s Bay, and held a position of some authority over the women and children of Edmonton. Today there is nothing named after her and most Edmontonians could not bring her name to mind if asked. This presentation explores what we know of Louise and her life, labours, tragedies, and legacy.

TRIPMEN, BRAROES, AND BOURGEOIS: Stories of Life, Labour, and Class in Fur Trade Edmonton

Length: 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Recommended audience: 1-30 persons
Delivered via: zoom.
For over a hundred years before the first settler arrived, the fur-trading companies built outposts, bought beaver, and lived their lives in Edmonton and throughout the North-west. Peel back the curtain and take a trip back in time and meet Paulet Paul, John Rowand, and Margaret McKay – some of Edmonton’s forgotten figures.

EDMONTON’S MOUSTACHE GALLERY: The History of Lip-Tackle in Edmonton’s 19th and early 20th Centuries

Length: 30 minutes
Recommended audience: 1-30 persons
Delivered via: zoom.
This short, amusing presentation looks at the evolution of facial hair in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and only occasionally takes a moment to see what we can learn from the changing world of men’s upper lips.

The Men’s Sheds organization in Edmonton recently offered a testimonial:

  • “Tom has a playful grasp of history that he weaves into stories that helped me to see our common humanity with the people of our past. “
  • Tom tells riveting and relatable stories about local history that help to see how we work and struggle to overcome adversity.” 

The Edmonton & District Historical Society testified:

  • “Tom Long speaks very well, knows his historic facts and puts on an engaging presentation.  He captivates the audience, transporting them into the past and back to the present while sharing his passion and enthusiasm for the history of western Canada.”

The Canadian Club of Edmonton offers:

  • “Tom processes a rare talent for bringing historical events to life, and placing them in a contemporary context. His recent online Presentation of “Fake News at Fort Edmonton (the 1885 Resistance comes to the River City)” won huge accolades from our Canadian Club members, and numerous requests for the recording. Mixing facts with visual images and an engaging commentary showcased Tom’s passion for our local history, and why it remains relevant to our lives today.”

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