- Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections
- Home Made Visible collection
- Chen family videos : birthday cake
Chen family videos : birthday cake
Item consists of a Chinese family's home movie featuring three adults and a girl blowing out candles on a birthday cake, reading a booklet titled "happy birthday mom," removing the candles, and slicing the cake. Donor(s) and project contributed description follows: "Shortly after arriving with her family in 1968 Canada, Millie’s family visit Niagara Falls. This clip is the last recorded film of her older sister, Wendy, before she was killed in a car accident in the fall of that year. The next time the camera is picked up is for the birth of her younger sister Cecilia. The other selected footage feature several outings to cottage country and parks all across Southern Ontario, as well as the Eastern seaboard. Millie’s parents had an immense appreciation for the outdoors and wanted to nurture this relationship in their children. Mavericks in their own way, the Chens encouraged their children to take part in various cultural experiences. Millie and her sister were both trained in the arts and later continue to take part in the arts world through their careers. In February 1977, Millie plays the piano at her recital in a concert hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Always nervous when performing publicly, Millie was grateful to be wearing her mother’s hand made skirt that was long enough to hide her trembling knees. During Cherry Blossom season her family enjoy a beautiful afternoon in High Park. Unlike the present day, the park is mostly empty outside of a few people in the background. Her father who usually is behind the camera can be seen enjoying the day with his family. Over the years, Millie and her mother would occasionally take over the filming to get their father in front of the camera. Her mother is particularly teasing and playful on this day. She can be seen laying in the grass kicking up her feet and winking at the camera."