A short documentary film about the first Arctic Winter Games, held in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in 1970. The inaugural edition of this international event was attended by more than 8,000 participants and spectators, including 750 Canadian athletes and 250 athletes from the US. The Games included many sports typically included in Olympic competitions, with a specific focus on Indigenous sports as well.
The Games included many sports seen in Olympic competition, plus others--for example, pirautaqturniq, the Inuit skill of hitting an object with a ten meter-long sled dog whip. This film captures the all-out participation in the week-long events hosted by Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon, with competitors from all over the Arctic including Alaska, and with observers from the Soviet Union.
This short film retraces the life of Herman Smith Johannsen – the man who introduced the sport of cross-country skiing to Canadians. From past to present, his life story is portrayed through pictures from sports newsreels, Norwegian archives and his family album. The film catches up with him at both the Canadian Ski Marathon, where he is the honoured guest, and on a return trip to his native Norway.
Six days of intense international competition, March, 1974, as Alaska hosts the Third Arctic Winter Games and carries off most of the gold medals. This film reports on the greatly expanded roster of events staged in Anchorage, as single contestants and teams from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Arctic Québec, and Alaska match skills in indoor and outdoor sports, on ice and snow, in pool and gymnasium, before crowds of spectators from all over the Arctic and beyond.
This documentary short depicts the traditional games of the Inuit as they are practised 800 km north of the Arctic Circle by youth in competition from communities across the North. The film describes the skills required to play them, the traditions behind the games, and the spirit of co-operation, as opposed to hard competition, that inspires the participants.
This short comedy follows a visitor to the prairies as he slowly discovers the cult of curling. At first, our protagonist doesn’t seem to understand why everyone is so crazy about curling, but once he studies up, buys the right gear, and gets a few lessons, he can’t be stopped. This hilarious short film records the history of a rookie's first game. Even non-curlers will feel the pull of the stones and the flick of the brooms in this choice rink-side view.
This short, silent film captures a Sunday afternoon at a community skating rink. Iconic Quebec director Gilles Carle has the camera follow toddlers learning to skate, young girls flashing their skates and boys decked out in the colours of their favourite hockey teams. A picture perfect moment on a bright winter's day.
Filmmaker Giles Walker takes an informal look at how our best skiers work and live. Filmed in 1976, this short movie follows the Canadian ski team on a tight schedule in Chile and Argentina. With 2 ½ tons of equipment, speeds of up to 140 km/h, gruelling workouts and a dramatic theft, it's safe to say that downhill racing is not for the faint of heart.
This short documentary records the celebration and ritual surrounding a snowshoe competition in Sherbrooke in the late 1950s. The film marked the beginning of a new approach to reality in documentary and prefigures the trademark style of the NFB's newly formed French Unit. Today, Les raquetteurs is considered a precursor to the birth of direct cinema. In French with English subtitles.
In this sports short, Bill Stern, an American sportscaster, describes Laurentian sporting events. First to perform is Pete Curran, a professional figure skater and one-time partner of Barbara Ann Scott. For those who can hang on to the traces, the Scandinavian sport of skijoring, in which a person on skis is pulled along by a horse or vehicle, provides fun and excitement. A slow-motion camera follows Alex Foster as he demonstrates his skill. The film ends with an exhibition of skiing.
Ozias Leduc (1864-1955) was one of Quebec's most important visual artists. Largely self-taught, Leduc's wide-ranging painting, writing and photography have both a symbolic and spiritual dimension. This biography illuminates Leduc's life by drawing on the writings of two of his friends, writer Robert de Roquebrune (1889-1978) and painter Paul-Émile Borduas (1905-1960). Their recollections paint the portrait of an enigmatic and reserved man who summed up his vocation with the words, "The artist's sole mission is to give expression to the Beautiful. The Beautiful as free as space and time."