"At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

Welcome to HalifaxExplosion.net / SVP Productions

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HalifaxExplosion.net (click or scroll down this page):

features Scapegoat, the extraordinary legal proceedings following the 1917 Halifax Explosion, a book by Joel Zemel; contains images and reading material related to the 1917 disaster, including early history of the Royal Canadian Navy, the RNCC and HMC Dockyard, articles by H. B. Jefferson, Rear-Admiral Bertram Chambers, Garry Shutlak of the Nova Scotia Archives, commentary on several re-discovered photographs of the explosion by Lt. Victor Montague Magnus.


SVP Productions (svpproductions.com):

an active website since 1999, features information on documentaries by Joel Zemel, Nell Shipman (filmmaker), James Barry (fiddle player), Elizabeth Styring Nutt (artist), and Jazz Guitar information and Resources. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of "Walter Borden Reads Sonnets by William Shakespeare," SVP Productions is offering a free download of the original CD in mp3 format. Mr. Zemel's name is also listed on HRM Archives' List of Professional Researchers.

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Read numerous articles about, or related to, the 1917 Halifax Explosion. Go to the
Articles Section

Recent additions:

a brief history of SS Mont-Blanc's sister ship SS Whangape

a downloadable transcript of a 1931 lecture by Dr. Samuel Prince -
"The Halifax Explosion - Fourteen Years After"

"The Rabbi Who Wasn't" - an account of mistaken identity regarding
a 1912 photograph of the Titanic graves at the Baron de Hirsch cemetery

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SCAPEGOAT (second ed.) by Joel Zemel has won the prestigious international John Lyman Book Award in the category "Canadian Naval and Maritime History" for books published in 2016. The John Lyman Book Awards are given annually by the North American Society for Oceanic History to recognize excellence in published books making a major contribution to the study and understanding of maritime and naval history. They are named after Professor John Lyman of the University of North Carolina and are presented in six categories:

Canadian naval and maritime history
U.S. naval history
U.S. maritime history
History of maritime science and technology
Maritime biography and autobiography
Maritime reference works and published primary sources

Announcements of winners of the various awards will be published in the following publications: the Society for Military History, the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Canadian Nautical Research Society. The awards are given out annually by the North American Society for Oceanic History.

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2019 Gold Medal IPPY Award winner, Betrayal of Trust by Joel Zemel
(click image for details).

Listen to this 8 May 2019 radio interview with Rick Howe (95.7).


Joel Zemel served as historical and design consultant for the Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Stamp. The Official First Day Cover of Canada Post Corporation's was released to the general public in November of 2017. Click on the images below to view PDFs of the OFDC



Janet Kitz and Joel Zemel, December 2015

"The Importance of the 1917 Halifax Explosion."


New information on Halifax Explosion photographs. Recently discovered by Leon Matthys, they were first presented
by Alan Ruffman at the Canadian Nautical Research Society (CNRS) Conference on 11 August 2017.

A short commentary of the circumstances leading up to the explosion.

Kjetil Saugestad and Per Hunstok.

Leon Matthys, His Honour, Lieutenant Governor Arthur J. LeBlanc, and Joel Zemel
at stamp unveiling, Government House, 6 November 2017

Leon Matthys, Joel Zemel, and His Honour, Lieutenant Governor Arthur J. LeBlanc

Stamp illustrator Mike Little (l), graphic artist Dan O'Brian (m), and Joel Zemel (r)

Thirty sonnets by William Shakespeare set to fourteen guitar etudes by Fernando Sor performed by actor Walter Borden and classical guitarist Paul Martell. Originally recorded in 1998. Copyright Joel Zemel. Producer: Joel Zemel; Studio: SVP Productions; Cover painting by Kathy Seaboyer. Click on the CD cover image for link to the mp3 file.

Joel Zemel's Jazz Guitar Information and Resources.

Joel Zemel (l.) on bass & Chuck Berry on guitar,
Halifax Forum - 22 September 1974.
(Image courtesy of Brenda Garagan)

From RPM Weekly - Volume 22 No. 8 October 12, 1974, p. 14


All text and images Copyright 1999 - 2019 SVP Productions.
All rights reserved.