E. J. Casey: From Soldier to Showman

Creator(s): North American Carnival Museum and Archives

The life story of Edgar James (E. J.) Casey is quite a remarkable one. It reads like an adventure novel set against the backdrop of the Canadian Prairies. Born in Belleville, Ontario, Edgar migrated west with his family to Winnipeg in 1905 on a "Harvester Special". He would serve his country overseas on the famous French and Belgian battlegrounds of the First World War and in pre-revolution Russia. Raising a family and struggling to find steady work in the Depression, he turned a $1,250 investment into a carnival company that employed up to 120 people and which travelled from Eastern Ontario to the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.

From Soldier to Showman is the story of E. J. Casey, but it is also the story of Canada in the early 20th century: migration, military, enterprise and community.

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