A documentary about the self-taught painter William Kurelek, told through his paintings. There are scenes of village life in the Ukraine and the early days of struggle on a prairie homestead and the growing comfort of family life. In Ontario, Kurelek paints the present life of Canada with the same pleasure he painted the old.
In this drama, Lesia convinces her English-Canadian friend Sarah to perform a Ukrainian dance with her as part of their school's Christmas pageant. Sarah's father, angry at the growing number of Ukrainian settlers, won't allow his daughter to participate. Despite the prejudices of their parents, the girls' friendship remains strong, and they meet in Sarah's barn to celebrate Christmas Day together. Part of the Adventures in History series.
This short documentary is a portrait of Frederick Varley, Canadian painter and member of the Group of Seven. In the film, Varley returns to his studio in Toronto after a sketching trip. The camera moves about the studio selecting examples of his canvases and watches him as he begins a new painting.
This short documentary profiles cartoonist, painter, humorist, publisher, iconographer, and teacher Jacob Maydanyk. Part of the first wave of Ukrainian immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1896-1914, Maydanyk was an imaginative artist who created the beloved comic strip character Shteef Tabachniuk, a hapless and endearing galoot who became a folk hero to Ukrainian immigrants. Laughter in My Soul is a tribute to the dignity and heroism of those early pioneers and to those whose spirit lives on, to those who had laughter in their souls.
This short documentary looks at the work of artist Arthur Lismer, a member of the Group of Seven, emphasizing his contribution to art education and to Canadian art. At the Montreal Art Centre we see how children learn the independence of creative self-expression in art.
The NFB's 33rd Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film studies the works of one of Canada's greatest contemporary etchers - Newfoundland-born David Blackwood. The artist himself guides viewers through a step-by-step explanation of the etching process. Scenes of his hometown, examples of his own work and vivid tales of an old mariner recall the tragic seal hunts and a way of life that has now vanished.
In this short film from the I Can Make Art Like... series, a group of Grade 6 students are inspired by Maud Lewis, the celebrated Nova Scotian folk artist who painted scenes of country life. With the help of artist Kyle Jackson, they create a folk art painting of their own downtown neighbourhood. Informative, touching and filled with the magic of creation, this film shows both the power and simple pleasure of folk art.
This short documentary profiles Ukrainian-Canadian Ted Baryluk, whose grocery store has been a fixture in Winnipeg's North End for over 20 years. In this photo study, Ted talks about his store, the customers who have come and gone and the social changes his multicultural neighbourhood has seen. But most of all he wonders what will become of his store after he retires. He hopes his daughter will take over, but she wants to move away. The film is a wistful rendering of a shopkeeper's relationship with his daughter and a fascinating portrait of a neighbourhood and its inhabitants.
This short documentary offers a glimpse into the Ukrainian communities of the Canadian prairies during the 1940s, specifically their rituals surrounding Christmas. Still following the Julian calendar, they celebrate Christmas on the seventh of January. On Christmas Eve, they eat traditional foods as soon as the first star appears in the sky. They sing carols and dance in costume. And the next day, they gather in Greek Orthodox churches to worship in a solemn service.
This short film traces the journey of the first Ukrainian settlers in Canada. Seeking freedom and opportunity, they came here and became instrumental in helping to open the Canadian West. Though they had little in the way of money or machinery, they had courage and faith in the future and were willing to put in the hard work. Every member of the family helped in the struggle, and in time, their efforts paid off.
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.
Ages 12 to 17
Arts Education - Visual Arts
Geography - Territory: Agricultural
Social Studies - Social History
After viewing the film, generate a discussion about William Kurelek’s paintings as a reflection of his life experiences as both a Ukrainian immigrant and farmer’s son. Peruse examples from his body of work that suggest that he is an untrained painter. Show how the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” can be applied to Kurelek’s paintings. Additional information about William Kurelek may be found at this website.