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Panoramica: Heritage Minutes, also known officially as Historica Minutes: History by the Minute, are a series of sixty-second short films, each illustrating an important moment in Canadian history. They appear frequently on Canadian television and in cinemas before movies and are now also sold on DVD. The Minutes were first introduced on March 31, 1991 as part of a one-off heavily-promoted history quiz show hosted by Rex Murphy.The thirteen original short films were broken up and run between shows on CBC Television and CTV Network. The continued broadcast of the Minutes and the production of new ones was pioneered by Charles Bronfman’s CRB Foundation, Canada Post Power Broadcasting, and the National Film Board. They were devised, developed and largely narrated by noted Canadian broadcaster Patrick Watson, while the producer of the series was Robert Guy Scully. In 2009 Historica merged with The Dominion Institute to become The Historica-Dominion Institute.While the foundations have not paid networks to air Minutes, they have made them freely available, and in the early years paid to have them run in cinemas across the country. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has ruled that Heritage Minutes are an “on-going dramatic series” thus each minute counts as ninety-seconds of a station’s Canadian content requirements.
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