Each week on Canada's Got Treasures! from mid-May to mid-November 2010, short videos about the significant holdings from our national museums and institutions will be revealed, with an accompanying quiz to test your knowledge of Canadian history and heritage.
Where possible, the NFB will present a film to accompany these treasures. These films are being collected and presented in this playlist. Treasures from our museums and private collections from the three coasts of Canada will be plotted on an interactive geographic map.
Canada's Got Treasures! is also a venue for you to share your treasures with Canada. Using YouTube and Flickr, the website invites you to upload photos and videos of objects, artworks, buildings, people or locations that are special or culturally significant to you and Canadians. Once approved, they will be featured on the Canada's Got Treasures! website for the world to experience and enjoy.
Share your own gems and put your treasures on the map!
This short film introduces us to the "automatistes," followers of an abstract art form that developed in Montreal. The movement, initiated by Paul-Émile Borduas, is explained by the artists themselves when narrator Bruce Ruddick drops in at their cooperative studio. The film also captures painter Paterson Ewen at his home and joins the crowd at L'Échouerie, the artists' rendezvous spot. Dr. Robert Hubbard, chief curator of the National Gallery of Canada, comments on non-objective art in general and automatism in particular.
This documentary shows how an Inuit artist's drawings are transferred to stone, printed and sold. Kenojuak Ashevak became the first woman involved with the printmaking co-operative in Cape Dorset. This film was nominated for the 1963 Documentary Short Subject Oscar®.
This documentary shows the inspiration behind Inuit sculpture. The Inuit approach to the work is to release the image the artist sees imprisoned in the rough stone. The film centres on an old legend about the carving of the image of a sea spirit to bring food to a hungry camp.
From the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, Mackenzie King tried to avoid conscription. Most English Canadians thought young men should be sent to fight, while most French Canadians vehemently disagreed. This same division had nearly torn the country apart during the First World War. King had to make a decision in the final year of the war. This docudrama combines archival footage with excerpts from The King Chronicles, a dramatic series written and directed by Donald Brittain. Some scenes contain graphic language.
This documentary records the journey undertaken by Jacques Cousteau, his 24-member team, and an NFB film crew to explore the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, one of the world's richest fishing areas. They discover shipwrecks, film icebergs and observe beluga whales, humpback whales and harp seals. The film also includes a fascinating sequence showing Calypso divers freeing a calf whale entrapped in a fishing net. For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
This installment in the Canada Vignettes series depicts the Canadian Forces Air Demonstration Aerobatics team at work.
In Part 1 of this 3-part documentary series, director Donald Brittain chronicles the early years of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque. From their university days in the 1950s to 1967 when Lévesque left the Liberal Party and Trudeau became the federal Minister of Justice, Brittain attempts to get at the heart of what makes these men so fascinating.
Part 2 of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque covers the years between 1967 and 1977, a colourful decade that saw Trudeau win three federal elections, the 1970 October Crisis and the sweeping rise to power of the Parti Québécois.
The final instalment of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque spans the decade between 1976 and 1986. The film reveals the turbulent, behind-the-scenes drama during the Quebec referendum and the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. In doing so, it also traces both Trudeau's and Lévesque's fall from power.
Director Bill Mason's short film focuses on his friend and fellow filmmaker, Blake James. In his never-ending quest for freedom, Blake pilots his own plane. This film is Mason's view of his friend as a "hobo of the skies," but it is also an adventure that beckons the viewer to come along for the ride.
This short film is part of a series entitled I Can Make Art and focuses on the work of Emily Carr. In this film, kids examine Carr's unusual world and the inspiration for her haunting landscapes. Drawing on this inspiration, they then attempt to create a giant forest mural on a window in their school. The series is comprised of six short films that take a kid's-eye view of a diverse group of Canadian visual artists.
This feature-length documentary traces the journey of the Haisla people to reclaim the G'psgolox totem pole that went missing from their British Columbia village in 1929. The fate of the 19th century traditional mortuary pole remained unknown for over 60 years until it was discovered in a Stockholm museum where it is considered state property by the Swedish government. Director Gil Cardinal combines interviews, striking imagery and rare footage of master carvers to raise questions about ownership and the meaning of Aboriginal objects held in museums.
By the late 1800s the free-ranging buffalo of the western plains of North America were almost extinct. This documentary is the story of the buffalo's revival. Live action, eye-witness accounts and archival photos document our fascination with this ancient and legendary animal. By the director of Atonement. Update (24 March 2011): The error at 31:00 has been fixed. Thanks to all who raised the issue.
Animated drawings illustrate the life and explorations of Samuel de Champlain, founder of Québec City. The film follows Champlain from his first ambitions to map the New World and discover a passage to the sea, to his later dreams for New France.
They raised children, baked cakes... and built world-class fighter planes. Sixty years ago, thousands of women from Thunder Bay and the Prairies donned trousers, packed lunch pails and took up rivet guns to participate in the greatest industrial war effort in Canadian history. Like many other factories across the country from 1939 to 1945, the shop floor at Fort William's Canadian Car and Foundry was transformed from an all-male workforce to one with forty percent female workers.
This short film recreates the tense hours before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, and then the battle itself in which both generals, Wolfe and Montcalm, were fatally wounded.
This short film from 1918 shows various types of footage involving aircraft. An aircraft moves down the runway and takes off. Three planes in formation are seen from the air. Viewed from the cockpit, a pilot is at the controls. A hydroplane gets ready to land in a British port. Seen from the air, bombs fall on the battlefield. An enemy plane is pursued by fire from an anti-aircraft battery, while another spirals down and crashes on the ground. Canadian aviators pose proudly for the camera while an American crew attaches bombs to an aircraft.
This 1964 documentary returns to the battlefields where over 100,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The film also visits cemeteries where servicemen are buried. Filmed from Hong Kong to Sicily, this documentary is designed to show Canadians places they have reason to know but may not be able to visit. Produced for the Canadian Department of Veteran Affairs by the renowned documentary filmmaker Donald Brittain.
This short documentary made in 2008 reflects on how religion and faith became a solace to many Canadians serving in the First World War. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 2008, 90 years will have passed since the signing of the Armistice ending the Great War in Europe. More than 600,000 men and women crossed the Atlantic with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and more than 60,000 of them never returned. Front Lines features veterans' letters to their families and images from the NFB archives, the Canadian War Museum and Library and Archives Canada.