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Peoples of Canada [revised version]

Accession number: 
Alternate Titles: 
Peuples du Canada
French version
Kanadiske Folk
Danish version
Production Years: 
1940 to 1947


Film Properties: 
Length (minutes): 
Holding Institutions: 

Library and Archives Canada: 35mm, 16mm.

Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec: 16mm.
"From the first meeting of European and Indian, the film follows the settlement of Canada, noting the cultural contributions of each group of immigrants to the formation of a new nation. The story of how people from many lands brought Canada to early adulthood in the family of nations. (A revised version of THIS IS OUR CANADA and of PEOPLES OF CANADA, produced by Associated Screen News for NFB in 1941.)"


Online Database (National Film Board of Canada).
"From the first meeting of European and Indian, the film follows the settlement of Canada, noting the cultural contributions of each group of immigrants to the formation of a new nation. The story of how people from many lands brought Canada to early adulthood in the family of nations."

"Depuis les débuts, les Européens et les Indiens ont contribué au développement du Canada. Ils ont défriché la terre, exploité les mines, créé des industries. La reconnaissance et l'acceptation des différences culturelles ont permis de vivre en harmonie."

"Peoples of Canada," Film News (September-October 1947): 2.
"In search of a shorter route to China, French explorer Jean Cabot found his way blocked by a land of great trees where, he wrote: 'I saw no man, but in the forests were man-made snares to lure wild beasts.' Cartier, Champlain and other Frenchmen followed his route across the Atlantic, sailed 1000-miles up the St. Lawrence to the mighty Falls they, ironically, named Lachine (China). As they unrolled the map (and as it unrolls on the screen), Canada developed . . . Earliest of its people are those of Quebec, whose language is still French, and many customs too. The habitant's land, for instance, descends not necessarily to his eldest son but to the one who shows most aptitude as a farmer. (Snow scenes of country folk coming to church in sleighs are lovely, in this sequence) . . . As fast as news of the new land crossed the Atlantic, other settlers came: Bretons, born to the dangers of the sea; and Scots to plough the hills of New Scotland (Nova Scotia) high as plough would go. Hollanders, famous as stockbreeders, also settled in the Maritimes; and descendents of the Germans from the Upper Rhine who brought their carpentry skill with them, still build Canada's famed Bluenose schooners . . . It was in the Maritimes, among these peoples, that the idea of uniting all Canada into one great nationality was born; it is in the lumber camps today that one can get the best picture of the diverse nationalities within the one . . . Westward along the Great Lakes, industrial Canada developed into the nation's machine shop, manned chiefly by skilled workers from the factories of England - whose afternoon tea and cricket customs still persist - and machine-wise Scots, who have made the province of Ontario outstanding among the nine for strict observance of the Sabbath . . . With the opening of the prairies in the early 19th century, land hungry men and women in colorful costumes that many still wear - Ukrainian, Dukhobor, Scandinavian, Hutterite - established farming communities. In prairie towns, on a Saturday when folks gather, at least a dozen languages can be heard . . . Last great task in making Canada 'one great nationality bound by the blue rims of two oceans' was to forge an iron highway through the Rockies to the Pacific . . . Charles Dickens, after his visit to Canada many years ago, wrote: 'This is a country advancing quietly, all differences settling down and being fast forgotten; health and vigor throbbing in its steady pulse; with hope and promise, full." PEOPLES OF CANADA, in a more modern vein and medium, records the same message and impression; with equal interest and understandability for students, from elementary on up, and groups of diverse purposes.
2-reels; bl. & wh.; 20-minutes. Produced by Associated Screen News (Montreal) for the National Film Board of Canada. Distributed in the U.S.A. exclusively by International Film Bureau, 84 E. Randolph St., Chicago 1. Rental $2.50. Sales price $40."

Film News (September-October 1947): 26.
"As regards the individual producer in Canada: The Board itself frequently commissions private producers to make films for the government programme. [...] and Associated Screen News in Montreal produced Peoples of Canada."

Film News (September 1948): 15.
"Last year, the National Film Board Annual Report states, printing materials for 54 subjects were sent abroad. Such subjects include Peoples of Canada, Red Runs the Fraser, Life on the Western Marshes, Canada World Trader, Vegetable Insects, Four Seasons and Painters of Quebec."

"Canada's New 10th Province Is Britain's Oldest Crown Colony," Film News (April-May 1949): 18.
"Interviewed in New York where he attended the premiere of the film for Canadian and special Newfoundland representatives in the U.S., Mr. Newman informed FILM NEWS that 12 or so National Film Board subjects will require re-recording in one or more reels by reason of Canada's now being in ten instead of nine provinces. Among these are the popular PEOPLES OF CANADA and THIS IS CANADA. Prints in NFB libraries will be recalled and revised. No other arrangements have been considered as yet."

"Canada From Sea to Sea [National Film Board advertisement]," Film News (February 1950): 2.
"Peoples of Canada 21 min. Rental $2.50; Sale $50
A comprehensive overview. Excellent for introducing a unit on Canada. Shows the contributions which each national and racial group makes to the composite character of the nation. Touches on history, geography, and resources of Canada. Valuable for U.S. teachers, students, and adult audiences. Given special mention in many film lists including that of 'Library Journal.'"

"Previews and Reviews," Film News (February 1950): 8.
Canadian films draw their inspiration from a unique geographical background; also from the cultural heritage of many peoples. The dominant Anglo-Saxon and French are interspersed with settlements of Ukrainians, Poles, Icelanders (Ukrainian Festival; Peoples of Canada; Icelanders of the Prairies)."

"Previews and Reviews," Film News (February 1950): 8.
[Still shot from Peoples of Canada; caption reads:] "PEOPLES OF CANADA is an excellent overview . . ."