The National Film Board Releases a New Series for Canada Day

Celebrate with a cinematic family album.

A paddler takes a hand-made birchbark canoe out on the water in the Yukon.

To celebrate Canada Day, the National Film Board of Canada has curated a series of films that capture a snapshot of the diverse and multicultural country across the past century. The NFB, a public agency founded in 1939 that produces and distributes auteur animation and documentary film, shares new videos, either recently made or from its vast archive of over 13,000 titles, every month.

Meant to serve as a cinematic family album, Canada as Seen by NFB Filmmakers samples this impressive archive. The collection is made up of over sorted among 14 channels or playlists, with one dedicated to each province and territory plus one that highlights the work of francophones outside Quebec.

The British Columbia as Seen by NFB Filmmakers list begins with films from nearly 80 years ago, including the 1946 15-minute documentary Klee Wyck about painter Emily Carr. With one video from each subsequent decade, it goes on to feature films about the Dominion Drama Festival in the 1960s, Penticton Grad Week in 1975, renowned architect Arthur Erickson, and the gentrification of Vancouver’s Chinatown in Everything Will Be, among others.


The Chows and Weiye Su seated around a dining table covered in photo albums.

A Chow family photo album with centre image missing.


Across other channels, viewers can watch Harvey, the Quebec animated short and festival-frequenter based on a graphic novel that captures a child’s bereavement; the influential 1969 documentary You Are on Indian Land, which has been a beacon for Indigenous activism for decades; or a 1985 clip of the laborious relocation of an old Saskatchewan grain elevator.

The NFB’s English Program collection curator Camilo Martín-Flórez says the project is “a rich, historical look at Canadian society’s diverse realities and communities.” All the films are free to watch and available indefinitely, while the channels will be posted through the summer.



Bill Reid working on Loo Taas in Skidegate, 1984. Photographed by Robert Semeniuk.


Debbie Baptiste and Jade Tootoosis, United Nations, NY. Photo by Melissa Kent for CBC.



Halin de Repentigny, master birchbark canoe builder, with Jake Armstrong.