September 9, 2013
By Jeff Parkinson
When I started CanaceHD in September of 2010, it was nothing more than a stable place to host The Ernie Palmer Story which I knew I would soon be filming, but a series of events lead me to an experiment which has worked out somewhat better than expected.
With over a Million views I thought it might interest some to know a bit about how CanaceHD came to be.
In the early days of my involvement in Caledonia, I brought nothing but a disposable camera that I got at the pharmacy for $10. The media, the government, & the OPP made it sound as though the sky was about to fall when we marched in peaceful protest of race based policing, so it didn’t seem appropriate to bring expensive camera equipment with me.
After the first few events, it became clear that we had serious need of a videographer. I very much enjoyed being a protestor, but I wanted to bring something unique to the group and I knew exactly what it would be.
I was about 10 years old when my parents put a video camera in my hands and encouraged me to use it, & I studied everything from books on photography and videography to classic films to my own astoundingly bad footage (in my defense the camcorders were half the size of me at the time) until I figured out how to tell a story with a camera and get rid of all the shaky shots and footage of the floor.
I figured out how to do the editing and add music and cuts when all I had to work with was an old camera and an even older VCR. Looking at it now makes me cringe, but that early stuff was the foundation for something I could bring to the table many years later.
To be clear, I’m no artist. Give me a paint brush and I will give you a poorly proportioned stick figure, but give me a camera and put me in a crowd and I will show you everything that took place.
So in early 2007 after some extraordinary events that I’ll never forget but have no footage of, I decided to start documenting everything we did. I learned very quickly that I have a knack for where to stick the camera and when, and a few tricks up my sleeve, so I decided to stop focusing on protesting and start focusing on capturing every second of every event.
Initially there was nothing to do with the videos. A few made it onto CaledoniaWakeupCall in low resolution so they would be easy to download, but this was not a solid solution. After my camera went rolling down Argyle Street as I lay unconscious on the pavement in December of 2007, I upgraded to better gear and a helmet that I never did start wearing.
YouTube was still new and full of glitches at the time, so I found another site to host video on. I’m sure some of you will remember trying to watch those clips on this site and finding them in less than working order from time to time.
Since YouTube had been purchased by Google and was starting to dominate the online video universe, I ran some tests with several channels including some not related to Caledonia at all which did well. Most importantly the YouTube system was very stable and nearly never goes down for any length of time.
With the Ernie Palmer Story in production, and Christie Blatchford about to release Helpless, I realized it was time to start looking at the 100 or so clips that I had stored in raw, rough format and eventually decided it was time to remaster all of them with proper editing and a much nicer format, & CanaceHD became the perfect place to showcase the history of the Caledonia crisis and the battle by CANACE to end race based policing.
With 154 videos so far, the process is far from complete. It’s incredibly time consuming and my focus is limited to a few hours at a time from a head injury, but I’m well on my way to posting everything I’ve got and I’m confident that I will have the definitive Caledonia collection before I’m done.
To answer the most frequently asked question, the channel is called CanaceHD because I could not get the name CANACE on YouTube.
The story is far from finished as is the www.CanaceHD.com website, but I assure you there is plenty to come, and I will not stop until I have reworked and re rendered most of the footage I have shot.
With an average of 33500 views per month, CanaceHD has become something of a success and there’s certainly more to the story of how it was born and how the process works, but I have to save something for when it hits 2,000,000 views, so for now here are a few of my all time favorite clips from CanaceHD.
Buck Sloat runs from war veteran
A real cop takes a look at Caledonia
Michael Bryant speaks about illegal Native occupations
Dougs Smokes opens for business Oct 13 2007
The Muppets love CanaceHD
Mr. Rogers weighs in on Caledonia
Community Corruption (dedicated to Ken Hewitt)
Merlyn Kinrade explains Caledonia to Toronto media at Julian Fantino’s home
Merlyn Kinrade tribute – Cult of Personality
Jeff Parkinson arrested at DCE April 21, 2012
The Caledonia 8 Arrested
Failed OPP smoke shack raid
Stay tuned for plenty of new releases and previously unreleased footage in 2013-2014!