This short documentary features a visual tour of legendary Canadian painter Tom Thomson's favourite natural landscapes. The film traces Thomson's career, which began in Toronto, where he worked as a commercial artist. Later, Thomson's weekend sketching trips in the country turned into longer journeys farther north, and he finally settled in northern Ontario's Algonquin Park. Thomson spent less than four years as an artist and was barely 40 when a canoe accident ended his life. Fellow artists Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson and Arthur Lismer pay tribute to this genius, who, in Jackson's words, "contributed more to Canadian painting than any other artist."
This short documentary showcases the work Paul Kane painted in the Canadian northwest in the mid-1800s. Travelling overland west to the Pacific in the mid-1800s, Kane immortalized the area’s great Indigenous Peoples, Chiefs, ceremonies, war parties, buffalo hunts, rapids and waterfalls. In this film, his canvases are projected with lighting that brings to life every glowing detail.
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 focuses on prairie sculptor Joe Fafard. If there's one thing Joe knows, it's cows. He knows the way they tuck in their forelegs to lie down to ruminate and the way a calf romps in the barnyard. He also knows his friends and neighbours in the farming community of Pense, Saskatchewan—and he sculpts them all in clay, as eloquent and quirky miniatures. Joe's work has been exhibited throughout Canada as well as in Paris and New York, and this film offers a glimpse into his process, his aesthetic, and the charming prairie community in which he lives.
In this short film, sculptor and textile artist Kai Chan shares his artistic philosophy of economy and repetition with young artists who build extraordinary, complex 3D structures using simple materials and basic techniques. Part of the I Can Make Art ...series.
This Emmy-nominated feature film is an intimate and evocative journey into the hearts, minds and eyes of Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr and Frida Kahlo - 3 of the 20th century’s most remarkable artists. The film uses the women’s own words, taken from their letters and diaries, to reveal 3 individual creative processes in all their subtle and fascinating variety.
Set against a background of her paintings and the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, landscapes they depict, this short documentary is a portrait of the life and work of one of Canada's foremost primitive painters, Maud Lewis. Emerging from her youth crippled with arthritis, Lewis escaped into her painting at the age of 30. She had never seen a work of art and had never attended an art class but her paintings captured the simple strength, beauty and happiness of the world she saw - a world without shadows.
This short documentary is a portrait of Andrew Qappik, a world-renowned Inuit printmaker from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Originally inspired by images in the comic books he read as a child, Andrew now finds his subjects in the stories, traditions and day-to-day events of his world.
In I Can Make Art Like Andrew Qappik, he captivates his student audience by creating a soapstone relief print before their very eyes. Then it's the kids' turn. They explore Andrew's symbolic imagery - and their own - as they each create a self-portrait relief point.
This documentary is an informal portrait of the great modern composer Igor Stravinsky. Proudly American, though still very much an Old World figure with a long and alert memory for people and events in music, literature and art, Stravinsky is depicted here conducting the CBC Symphony Orchestra in a recording of his Symphony of Psalms.
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 11th Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film depicts how a small Canadian city, bearing the name of Stratford and by a river Avon, created its own renowned Shakespearean theatre. The film tells how the idea grew, how a famous British director, international stars and Canadian talent were recruited, and how the Stratford Shakespearean Festival finally became a triumphant reality.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
The NFB’s 8th Academy-Award winning film. This short film is an impressionistic record of a flamenco dance class given to senior students of the National Ballet School of Canada by two great teachers from Spain, Susana and Antonio Robledo. The film shows the beautiful young North American dancers—inspired by the flamenco rhythms and mesmerized by Susana's extraordinary energy—joyously merging with an ancient gypsy culture.
Ages 14 to 17
Arts Education - Art
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Students of Art History are presented with an in depth portrait of famed Canadian artist Tom Thomson. Students will study Thomson's influence on the Group of Seven specifically, and Canadian art generally. Another theme to be explored is the role of the artist in forging our national identity in the early 20th century. Students can choose an artist and research their artistic, cultural, or political influence.