Kim’s Convenience: A Conversation with Ins Choi at the University of Winnipeg

If you love comedy and Canadian immigrant stories, you’ve probably been watching Kim’s Convenience. This great CBC series is based on the award-winning play of the same name by Ins Choi. The play’s script was published by House of Anansi Press; reading it doesn’t do justice to the play, though, as it really comes alive through the interpretation of actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who dramatizes the lead character of Mr. Kim (aka Appa) in the play and now in the TV series.

Kim's Convenience: New episodes Tuesdays
SOURCE: CBC Television.

In March 2014, when the play was being performed at Winnipeg’s Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Ins Choi spoke about his experience to a small audience at the University of Winnipeg.

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Scarborough Fare 2016

Scarborough Fare Logo
Conference logo by Carmen Yung.

#foodstudies2016

“Scarborough Fare: Global Foodways and Local Foods in a Transnational City” was the first joint conference of 3 major food studies organizations: the Association for the Study of Food and Society; the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society; the Canadian Association for Food Studies; and the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition.

The conference was held at the University of Toronto Scarborough, a fitting venue, given the presence of Culinaria on that campus. (I’ve been in awe of their “Mapping Scarborough Chinatown” digital project for some time now.)

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Canadian Food History Symposium 2015

UPDATE: Audio recordings of the five presentations at this event are available online: Andrea Guimond on poverty and diet; Daniel Pastuck on miso and soy; Madison Connolly on wine and Canadian identity; Emily Nikkel on hog farming in Manitoba; and Aisha Entz on the decline of First Nations peoples since European contact.

You’re invited to the third annual Canadian Food History Symposium!

Thursday, 2 April 2015, 9:30 AM

at the University of Winnipeg Oral History Centre

Room 2B23 (Bryce Hall)

CFHS 2015 poster

Canadian Food History Symposium, 26 October 2013

UPDATE: Audio recordings of the three presentations at this event are available online.

THE UNIVERSITY OF WINNIPEG

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY

presents the second annual

CANADIAN FOOD HISTORY SYMPOSIUM

featuring

Dr. Ian Mosby

Department of History, University of Guelph

A nurse takes a blood sample from a boy at the Indian School, Port Alberni BC, in 1948, during the time when nutritional experiments were being conducted on students there and five other residential schools. (SOURCE: Library and Archives Canada, MIKAN 4111770)
A nurse takes a blood sample from a boy at the Indian School, Port Alberni BC, in 1948, during the time when nutritional experiments were being conducted on students there and five other residential schools. (SOURCE: Library and Archives Canada, MIKAN 4111770)

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Canadian Food History Symposium, 4 April 2013

In what I hope to make a regular event at the University of Winnipeg Department of History, honours and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Studies in Canadian Social History class recently presented brief summaries of their original research in Canadian food history.

Tony's Canteen at University of Winnipeg. (SOURCE: University of Winnipeg Archives, SC 2 4 A0626-19416)
Tony’s Canteen at University of Winnipeg. (SOURCE: University of Winnipeg Archives, SC 2 4 A0626-19416)

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Share your snack food stories!

UPDATE: This research is now completed. Thanks to all for sharing your stories! My book on the history of Canadian snack foods will be available from University of Manitoba Press in August-September 2017.

As part of the research for a book on the history of Canadian snack foods, my research assistants and I are conducting interviews with a variety of interesting people… a food scientist who has done useful work on potato chip browning; a former candy maker at Nutty Club; and a man the Globe and Mail refers to as Dr. Freeze.

But we want to interview many, many more people with a variety of connections to Canadian snack foods.

Nutty Club. © Janis Thiessen, University of Winnipeg, ja.thiessen@uwinnipeg.ca.
Nutty Club. © Janis Thiessen, University of Winnipeg, ja.thiessen@uwinnipeg.ca.

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Old Dutch “Kids’ Bids”: searching for past contestants

UPDATE: This research is now completed. Thanks to all for sharing your stories! My book, Snacks: A Canadian Food History, will be available from University of Manitoba Press in August-September 2017.

I’m searching for past contestants of the “Kids’ Bids” TV shows that were sponsored by Old Dutch Foods, to interview for my snack foods history research project.

Old Dutch delivery truck in Minneapolis. © Janis Thiessen, University of Winnipeg, ja.thiessen@uwinnipeg.ca.
Old Dutch delivery truck in Minneapolis. © Janis Thiessen, University of Winnipeg, ja.thiessen@uwinnipeg.ca.

The show was developed by Robert Watson of Watson Advertising in the 1960s.

Nancy-Ellen McLennan, Linda Koesveld, Susanne, and Danny Hooper were participants. In blogs, facebook posts, and a newspaper article, they describe the show as an auction for prizes, where bids were made by children using empty Old Dutch packaging as “Old Dutch points” instead of money.

While a photo collection has been archived, there are no archived interviews of these children’s experiences.

If you (or anyone you know) were a contestant on “Kids’ Bids” and are willing to be interviewed, please email me: ja.thiessen@uwinnipeg.ca