In this short film, a curious high school civics class has a lot of questions about Canadian history. Suddenly, while the class is visiting Robert Harris’ famous painting The Fathers of Confederation, John A. MacDonald comes to life from the painting and speaks to the students, explaining the Canadian Constitution and the reasons for it. This lively animated meditation on history and art is an engaging portal to the lessons of the past.
This short fiction film tells the story of John A. MacDonald’s rise to power. Canada’s first Prime Minister and one of the Fathers of the Confederation, MacDonald didn’t enjoy an easy political career. When he first shared his vision of a Dominion reaching from sea to sea – an audacious proposal regarded as uncertain even by his supporters – his opponents derided him. “The fox is out of tricks," they taunted. "Bankrupt of ideas, he offers us clouds." This film offers us a memorable flashback
This short drama is a portrait of colonial administrator, Governor General and statesman Lord Durham (1792-1840). When Durham recommended self-government in Canada, he closed the door on his own political success. But in the end, the policies he declared for Canada became the pattern for self-rule in the rest of the Commonwealth.
This documentary short is a portrait of Scottish-born journalist, politician, and rebellion leader William Lyon McKenzie. The first mayor of Toronto, he was an important leader during the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion. This film portrays his election, his later defeat, his exile, and his fight for responsible government.
This short biopic profiles Montreal lawyer-turned-politician George-Étienne Cartier as he campaigns to unite English and French Canada under Confederation. The political world of a century ago comes to life as we hear debates in the Parliament of Upper and Lower Canada amidst political strife and personal feuds. Ultimately, Cartier skilfully allays the fears of party and sectional leaders, convincing them that federal union would protect, rather than weaken, Quebec’s cherished rights of language and religion. The eloquent and enigmatic Cartier was instrumental in shaping the Canada that was soon to emerge.
This short drama is a portrait of Quebec lawyer and politician Louis-Joseph Papineau (1786-1871). A proud, defiant man, skillful in parliamentary debate, and Speaker of the Lower House, his heart was with the people being pillaged by the business elite. When legislation became the instrument of private advantage, Papineau brought government to a standstill.
This short documentary follows Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh as they visit Canada to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Confederation. A hundred years earlier, the Fathers of Confederation had gathered in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to discuss the idea of a united Canada. At a time when Canadians are once again reassessing the nature and role of the diverse communities within Canada, the Queen’s arrival unites onlookers in the idea of Canada as one great nation.
For Alexander Galt it was the middle of the road, until he saw some hope for his dream of a united Canada. What was he like, this stubborn idealist? How did he measure up to other political strongmen of his time? In this film you sense the personal clashes and the interplay of political ambitions that left their mark on history.
This documentary short is a portrait of Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and 13th prime minister of Canada, John George Diefenbaker (1895-1979). Diefenbaker's political career spanned 6 decades. When he died in 1979, his state funeral and final train trip west became more a celebration of life than a victory for death. Interweaving scenes from past and present, the film crafts a tribute to an illustrious Canadian and records how a nation paused to pay homage to "The Chief."
This film is a reconstruction of Robert Baldwin’s involvement in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837. Though bound to the cause of constitutional reform by principle, Baldwin’s heart was with the rebels and in the midst of armed revolt, he withdrew to fight a lonely battle with himself.
This short drama is a portrait of Nova Scotian journalist and politician Joseph Howe (1804-1873) and his battle for freedom of press. When, in 1835, Howe was accused of seditious libel, no lawyer dared defend him. Choosing to defend himself, he addressed the jury for over 6 hours, urging jurors to leave an unshackled press as a legacy to their children. Though the judge instructed the jury to find Howe guilty, jurors took only 10 minutes to acquit him - a landmark event in the evolution of press freedom in Canada.
This feature-length documentary looks at those desperate days of October 1970 when Montreal awaited the outcome of FLQ terrorist acts. Using news reports and clips from the time, the film reflects upon the October Crisis and reveals the relief, dismay and defiance people felt when the Canadian army stepped in.