Heritage Minutes, also known officially as Historica Minutes: History by the Minute, are sixty-second short films, each illustrating an important moment in Canadian history. They appear frequently on Canadian television and in cinemas before movies. The minutes were first introduced on March 31, 1991 as part of a one-off heavily-promoted history quiz show hosted by Rex Murphy. The thirteen original short films were broken up and run between shows on CBC Television and CTV. The continued broadcast of the Minutes and the production of new ones was pioneered by Charles Bronfman's CRB Foundation (subsequently the The Historica Dominion Institute), Canada Post (with Bell Canada being a later sponsor) Power Broadcasting (now Power Corporation of Canada), and the National Film Board. They were devised, developed and largely narrated (as well as scripted) by noted Canadian broadcaster Patrick Watson, while the producer of the series was Robert Guy Scully. In 2009 Historica merged with The Dominion Institute to become The Historica-Dominion Institute.
While the foundations have not paid networks to air the minutes, they have made them freely available, and in the early years paid to have them run in cinemas across the country. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ruled that Heritage Minutes are an "on-going dramatic series" thus each minute counts as ninety-seconds of a station's Canadian content requirements.
The Heritage Minutes themselves have become part of Canadian culture.
In October 2012 CBC and other news organizations reported new "Heritage Minutes" about the War of 1812 in the works. 
Not all of the episodes have actually aired. 74 of them are available for viewing online; the minutes about the 1972 Summit Series and Canadian peacekeepers are not available online.
List of Heritage Minutes 
- The formation of the Iroquois Confederacy with a Native Canadian grandfather explaining the significance of the Great Peace to his granddaughter
- L'Anse aux Meadows is settled by Vikings
- John Cabot discovers the Grand Banks
- Jacques Cartier misunderstands some Natives resulting in the name Canada
- Jean Nicolet becomes the first European to reach Lake Michigan, but thinks it's the Pacific
- New France, under the leadership of governor Louis de Buade de Frontenac, repels the British invasion of 1696 (narration was later added to this Minute in order to clarify the story)
- A First Nations family teaches early settlers how to make maple syrup
- Laura Secord aids the British in the War of 1812 with an overland trek to warn of an American military advance
- Queen Victoria decides to grant Canada responsible government after the crushing of the Rebellions of 1837
- Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin build interlingual cooperation
- French Canadian families adopt Irish orphans in the 1850s while allowing them to keep their original names
- An African American escapes to Canada along the Underground Railroad
- Étienne Parent demands equality for French and English
- The efforts of Louis-Joseph Papineau give full equality of religion to Jews in Canada
- The surprise victory of the Paris Crew, a group of unheralded Canadian rowers, at the 1867 World Championships
- Joseph Tyrrell discovers a plethora of dinosaur bones in Alberta
- James Naismith's invention of Basketball
- Joseph Casavant, world renowned organ maker
- The art of Emily Carr
- Prairie settlers build a house of sod
- The importance of midwives in early Canada
- The 1870 fire in the Saguenay
- Sir Sandford Fleming develops the system of international standard time
- A young Chinese Canadian risks his life helping to build the Canadian Pacific Railway
- Jennie Trout becomes Canada's first woman doctor
- Kate Henderson sways school trustees to embrace new methods, and the event is represented in a famous painting by Robert Harris
- The achievements and execution of Louis Riel
- Sitting Bull seeks refuge in Canada (starring Graham Greene as Sitting Bull)
- The rehearsal for the first performance of O Canada
- Englishman Archie Belaney (played by Pierce Brosnan) becomes Grey Owl (Brosnan also portrayed Belaney in a film of the same name)
- Frontier College educates those away from the urban centres
- Sam Steele (portrayed by Alan Scarfe) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police bars an unruly American (portrayed by Don S. Davis) from entering the Yukon with pistols, despite being threatened at gunpoint
- Emily Murphy's quest for equal rights for women
- The town of Myrnam, Alberta forms a non-denominational hospital.
- Agnes Macphail demanding penal reform
- Guglielmo Marconi receives the first trans-Atlantic radio signals in Newfoundland
- John McCrae pens In Flanders Fields (starring Colm Feore as McCrae)
- Vince Coleman sacrifices his own life to save a train from the Halifax Explosion
- General Arthur Currie prepares his Canadian forces for the successful taking of Vimy Ridge in World War I.
- Three men from Pine Street in Winnipeg win the Victoria Cross in World War I, and the street's name is changed to Valour Road in their honour
- The bear of Canadian soldier Harry Colebourn becomes the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh
- Nellie McClung demands the right to vote in Manitoba
- Inventor Joseph-Armand Bombardier and the beginnings of his passion for engineering
- J. S. Woodsworth convinces Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King to introduce old age pensions
- Joe Shuster, en route to visit his cousin, Frank Shuster, creates Superman
- Canadian Mennonites devise sustainable agriculture practices that aid the Third World
- Mary Travers becomes a famed popular singer in Quebec
- The Bluenose wins its last race
- Dr. Wilder Penfield makes important discoveries in neuroscience when a patient smells burnt toast as the initial signal for an epileptic seizure, during the Montreal procedure
- Sgt. Major John Robert Osborn sacrifices his life to protect his men from the Japs in the Battle of Hong Kong in World War II and is posthumously granted the Victoria Cross
- Female World War II pilot Marion Orr
- Mona Parsons, a partisan World War II Allied agent in the Netherlands escapes execution and later imprisonment by the Nazis and meets her future husband who confirms her nationality to Canadian forces liberating the nation
- Johnny Lombardi entertains his comrades in the field during a respite of the World War II D-Day taking of Juno Beach by Canadian forces.
- Andrew Mynarski's attempt to free his friend from a bomber turret
- A eulogy is given for Tommy Prince, Canada’s most-decorated Aboriginal war veteran
- Returning World War II veterans successfully agitate for increasing housing assistance
- John Humphrey drafts the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Jackie Robinson joins the Montreal Royals
- Surgeon Lucille Teasdale devotes her life to helping the poor in Africa
- Marshall McLuhan coins the phrases "the medium is the message" and "global village"
- Maurice Ruddick recounts the 1958 Springhill mine disaster
- Nat Taylor invents the multiplex
- Georges and Pauline Vanier and their lifetimes of achievement
- Maurice Richard scores five goals and three assists for eight points in a single game. His explosive 18-year career made him the most exciting player of his generation and a hero to Quebeckers
- The beginning of the Stratford Festival of Canada
- Jacques Plante becomes the first NHL goaltender to wear a mask in regular play
- The development of the Avro Arrow (this Heritage Minute was made using footage from the 1996 mini-series The Arrow)
- The art of Paul-Émile Borduas and the Quiet Revolution
- Thomas Wardrope Eadie develops the Trans Canada Microwave network
- MP John Matheson looks at candidates for Canada's new flag
- The planning for Expo 67
- An Inuksuk is built
- Brigadier-General Jacques Dextraze resolves a hostage situation in the Congo with his UN Peacekeeping forces contingent.
- During the Cyprus conflict, a Canadian peacekeeper steps in to prevent a Turkish Cypriot from killing a Greek Cypriot. (This minute is not available online or with the VHS/DVD sent out. The Turkish government objected to the Turkish Cypriot being portrayed wearing a fez, which Turks did not wear after the reforms of Atatürk.)
The Canadian sketch comedy shows This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Rick Mercer Report, Royal Canadian Air Farce, and Rock et Belles Oreilles, have all parodied the Heritage Minute format in sketches, or used the format for satire.
The Comedy Network has aired short parodies titled "Sacrilege Moments".
Canadian rapper Classified parodied the Heritage Minute in his music video for the song "O Canada..."
See also 
- "List Of CRTC Canadian Program Recognition Numbers" (TXT). 4 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-14. Retrieved 21 December 2009.