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An Invitation from Foreign Affairs Canada [-]

Canadian Expatriates, its contributors, and readers have been invited by Foreign Affairs Canada to participate in a series of eDiscussions. The current topic is “Showcasing Canadian Culture and Know-How Abroad”.

We are asked to consider the following questions:

  • What role does Canadian culture and know-how play in our foreign policy?

  • How might the government best promote Canadian talent and expertise in the world?

    The eDiscussion runs from April 4 to May 6, 2005. At its conclusion, a summary of the discussion will be sent to senior policy planners.

    The Expat admin team encourages its readers to join in the eDiscussion at the Canadian International Policy website.

    Posted by Admin

  • Call for Contributors [-]

    The administration team is currently searching for Canadian expatriates who would be interested in contributing to the Expat Blog. The subject matter is wide open, but must remain family friendly.

    If you are interested in joining our blogging team, please send an email our way!

    Thank you!

    Posted by Admin

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Look Waaaaay Up!
    by Expat

    From September of 1958 until March of 1985, Bob Homme touched generations of Canadian children in his role as "The Friendly Giant".

    Friendly, along with Jerome the Giraffe; Rusty the sarcastic rooster; and Jazz Cats, Angie and Fiddle, became an integral part of childhood in Canada. It is somewhat ironic then, that this Canadian cultural icon was actually an American who began his career in children's entertainment on the southern side of the 49th.

    The original format for "The Friendly Giant" began on Madison, Wisconsin's WHA-AM radio in 1953. Following the success of the radio program, the show was moved to the University of Wisconsin’s WHA-TV, where it took on its familiar 15 minute format. The show found an audience outside of Wisconsin when it was picked up by educational television stations throughout the United States and was exported to Canada’s CBC, where it found a loyal following of preschoolers. In the late 1960s, “The Friendly Giant” met his demise on American television when the program was cancelled in order to make way for the faster paced "Sesame Street". It was then that Homme moved his family and his show north to Canada and the CBC.

    In 1984, "The Friendly Giant" was cancelled after the federal government made a round of deep budget cuts at the CBC. Although the show was no longer in production, Homme and his puppet pals lived on in reruns and in the hearts of three generations of Canadians. On November 2, 1998, Homme recieved Canada's highest civilian honour - he was invested into the Order of Canada.

    Below you will find some clips from a true Canadian idol, "The Friendly Giant".

    Beginning theme:

    A young giant:

    End Theme:

    Don't even think about taking the rocking chair. I already have dibs on it!

    Posted by Expat at 6:00 PM

    Oh god, suddenly I'm five years old again.... thanks for this trip down memory lane.

    I also remember Bob Homme sued a Canadian folk singer - Robert Ateyo - for his use of the name for his band the Friendly Giants. Too bad really, since the band was pretty good and didn't dishonor the name at all.

    and I call the rocking chair, since I like to rock

    OMG, I am smiling from ear to ear! Thanks so much for posting this, my husband has no idea what I am talking about when I made Friendly Giant references.

    I guess I'll be third in line to thank you for posting these clips -- I loved them! My father always says, "And I'll call Rusty", and Flippy never understands the reference.

    Btw, I always wanted the rocking chair, too. I could never figure out why sharing the big chair with another person would be appealing.

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 12:23 AM, May 31, 2006  

    I remember this show so well. Lots of fond memories here.

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6:51 PM, June 04, 2006  

    Hey, where are you? Are you okay? Maybe on vacation? Just thought I'd check in...

    Still here! :)

    Just got kicked in the butt with real life. Both my husband and I are in the midst of career changes, relocating, selling our house, high school reunions, and we have our interview with the USCIS. I have been too much of a stressball to write! LOL

    Hopefully I will have some more time to blog as things settle down. I will be sure to post about my experience with immigration.

    Thanks for asking, Kim. :)

    In a sad twist of fate, the very next month after you posted this CBC announced that they would be cancelling Mr. Dressup. Unbelievable. What's this country coming to? Mr Coombs must be spinning in his grave...

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 8:08 PM, June 17, 2006  

    The Friendly Giant biography is now in print. We have some audio clips as well as other pictures from preparing the bio. He was as nice a man in real life that you would hope Friendly to be. Book is called (naturally) Look Up - Way Up! for more info. We enjoyed it exactly for the same reasons... Friendly touched our hearts when we were preschoolers and did the same when our kids were small... Amazing program.

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