Between 1869 and 1939, over 100,000 'British Home Children' were sent to Canada from the UK and Ireland as part of a child migration scheme and put to work as indentured farm labourers and domestics. When a fire at 295 George St., Toronto, in 2011 took what used to be a 'Distribution Home' that assigned the children to new families and jobs, filmmaker M. Eleanor McGrath set off on a journey to uncover the real story that had largely gone unrecognized. Today, descendants of 'British Home Children' make up 12% of the country?s population. Forgotten is an essential act of excavation that exposes this suppressed chapter in Canada?s history through intimate interviews with participants and ancestors, bridging the gap between the past, and the present, while restoring our cultural memory with great poignancy.
The only surviving Fegan British Home Child in Canada Pat Maloney (arrival in Canada: 1937), British Home Child descendent Allan Thompson and filmmaker M. Eleanor McGrath will be in attendance for a post-screening discussion with Hot Docs president Chris McDonald.