Jimmy, an ex-soldier battered by PTSD, is camping out on the streets of modern-day Montreal. While his past is an enigma, the young man bears a striking resemblance to General James Wolfe, “Hero of Quebec,” who died on the Plains of Abraham in 1759.As a young soldier, the historical James Wolfe was granted a short leave to travel to Paris to study poetry, music and dance. But in1752, the British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar, and every citizen lost eleven days: September 2 was followed by September 14. These lost days happened to occur during Wolfe’s leave. He never got the chance to explore his artistic bent, and seven years later he died on the Plains of Abraham.Now, James is getting his eleven days back but instead of the salons of 18th century Paris, he’s wandering the streets of present-day Montreal and Quebec City.
What We Choose to Remember features a cast of more than 30 characters, whose families arrived in successive waves of immigration. The oldest families arrived during the period of ‘two solitudes’ when Montreal’s population was more than 50% English. They share firsthand accounts decades of political upheaval. The most recent immigrants arrived believing linguistic conflicts were ancient history.
Our story takes place on the Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Tiotià:ke (known as Montréal) has existed as a meeting place of many First Nation peoples, including but not limited to the Abenaki , Anishinaabeg (Algonquin), and the Huron-Wendat. We extend our deepest respect to the elders of these nations and to all Indigenous peoples who carry the history of this island’s land and waters. We also call upon all levels of government to adopt and implement the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation commission.