Canada's Got Treasures!

Canada's Got Treasures!

Canada's Got Treasures! is an online interactive space created by the Virtual Museum of Canada which brings museum treasures and your treasures together.

Each week on Canada's Got Treasures! from mid-May to mid-November 2010, short videos about the significant holdings from our national museums and institutions will be revealed, with an accompanying quiz to test your knowledge of Canadian history and heritage.

Where possible, the NFB will present a film to accompany these treasures. These films are being collected and presented in this playlist. Treasures from our museums and private collections from the three coasts of Canada will be plotted on an interactive geographic map.

Canada's Got Treasures! is also a venue for you to share your treasures with Canada. Using YouTube and Flickr, the website invites you to upload photos and videos of objects, artworks, buildings, people or locations that are special or culturally significant to you and Canadians. Once approved, they will be featured on the Canada's Got Treasures! website for the world to experience and enjoy.

Share your own gems and put your treasures on the map!

  • Artist in Montreal
    1954|29 min

    To accompany Louise Bourgeois's Maman, 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 films 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.

  • Eskimo Artist: Kenojuak
    1963|19 min

    To accompany Kenojuak Ashevak's Enchanted Owl, this documentary shows how an Inuit artist's drawings are transferred to stone, printed and sold.

    Kenojuak Ashevak became the first woman involved with the printmaking co-operative in Cape Dorset. This film was nominated for the 1963 Documentary Short Subject Oscar®.

  • The Living Stone
    1958|32 min

    To accompany Kenojuak Ashevak's Enchanted Owl, this documentary shows the inspiration behind Inuit sculpture.

    The Inuit approach to the work is to release the image the artist sees imprisoned in the rough stone. The film centres on an old legend about the carving of the image of a sea spirit to bring food to a hungry camp.

  • Mackenzie King and the Conscription Crisis
    1991|31 min

    To accompany the Abbey Ruins, this film is from the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, when Mackenzie King tried to avoid conscription.

    Most English Canadians thought young men should be sent to fight, while most French Canadians vehemently disagreed. This same division had nearly torn the country apart during the First World War. King had to make a decision in the final year of the war. This docudrama combines archival footage with excerpts from The King Chronicles, a dramatic series written and directed by Donald Brittain. Some scenes contain graphic language.

  • Cries from the Deep
    1981|1 h 36 min

    To accompany the Blue Whale skeleton, this documentary records Jacques Cousteau's journey to explore the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, one of the world's richest fishing areas.

    They discover shipwrecks, film icebergs and observe beluga whales, humpback whales and harp seals. The film also includes a fascinating sequence showing Calypso divers freeing a calf whale entrapped in a fishing net.

  • Canada Vignettes: Canada's Snowbirds
    1980|1 min

    To accompany the Junkers J1 airplane, this short film depicts the Canadian Forces Air Demonstration Aerobatics team at work.

  • The Champions, Part 1: Unlikely Warriors
    1978|57 min

    The 3 films in The Champions series are being presented to accompany the Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982.

    In Part 1 of this 3-part documentary series, director Donald Brittain chronicles the early years of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque. From their university days in the 1950s to 1967 when Lévesque left the Liberal Party and Trudeau became the federal Minister of Justice, Brittain attempts to get at the heart of what makes these men so fascinating.

  • The Champions, Part 2: Trappings of Power
    1978|55 min

    Part 2 of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque covers the years between 1967 and 1977, a colourful decade that saw Trudeau win three federal elections, the 1970 October Crisis and the sweeping rise to power of the Parti Québécois.

  • The Champions, Part 3: The Final Battle
    1986|1 h 27 min

    The final installment of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque spans the decade between 1976 and 1986. The film reveals the turbulent, behind-the-scenes drama during the Quebec referendum and the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. In doing so, it also traces both Trudeau's and Lévesque's fall from power.

  • Blake
    1969|19 min

    To accompany the De Havilland Canada Beaver director Bill Mason's short film focuses on his friend and fellow filmmaker, Blake James.

    In his never-ending quest for freedom, Blake pilots his own plane. This film is Mason's view of his friend as a "hobo of the skies," but it is also an adventure that beckons the viewer to come along for the ride.

  • I Can Make Art ... Like Emily Carr
    2005|10 min

    This short film accompanies Emily Carr's painting, The Welcome Man.

    Part of the I Can Make Art... series, the film depicts children examining Carr's unusual world and the inspiration for her haunting landscapes. Drawing on this inspiration, they then attempt to create a giant forest mural on a window in their school. The series is comprised of six short films that take a kid's-eye view of a diverse group of Canadian visual artists.

  • Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole
    2003|1 h 10 min

    Also accompanying Emily Carr's The Welcome Man is this documentary that traces the journey of the Haisla people to reclaim the G'psgolox totem pole that went missing from their British Columbia village in 1929.

    The fate of the 19th century traditional mortuary pole remained unknown for over sixty years, until it was discovered in a Stockholm museum where it is considered state property by the Swedish government. Director Gil Cardinal combines interviews, striking imagery and rare footage of master carvers to raise questions about ownership and the meaning of Aboriginal objects held in museums.

  • The Great Buffalo Saga
    1985|55 min

    This film accompanies the Wood Bison exhibit. By the late 1800s the free-ranging buffalo of the western plains of North America were almost extinct. This documentary is the story of the buffalo's revival. Live action, eye-witness accounts and archival photos document our fascination with this ancient and legendary animal.

  • Dreams of a Land
    1987|8 min

    This film accompanies a treasure believed to have belonged to Samuel de Champlain - the astrolabe, a device used to determine latitude. In the film, animated drawings illustrate the life and explorations of Champlain, the founder of Québec City. The film follows his first ambitions to map the New World and discover a passage to the sea, to his later dreams for New France.

  • Rosies of the North
    1999|46 min

    This film accompanies the Fokker Universal Model. It depicts thousands of women who raised children, baked cakes... and built world-class fighter planes.

    Sixty years ago, these women from Thunder Bay and the Prairies donned trousers, packed lunch pails and took up rivet guns to participate in the greatest industrial war effort in Canadian history. Like many other factories across the country from 1939 to 1945, the shop floor at Fort William's Canadian Car and Foundry was transformed from an all-male workforce to one with forty percent female workers.

  • Wolfe and Montcalm
    1957|29 min

    This film provides context for Benjamin West's painting, The Death of Montcalm. It recreates the tense hours before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, and then the battle itself in which both generals, Wolfe and Montcalm, were fatally wounded.

  • Airplane Casualties
    1918|7 min

    This documentary from 1918 shows various types of footage involving aircraft and is presented to accompany Snipe Fuselage.

  • Fields of Sacrifice
    1964|38 min

    This documentary from 1964 accompanies The Response, National War Memorial. It depicts a return to the battlefields where over 100,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The film also visits cemeteries where servicemen are buried.

  • Front Lines - Faith and Hope
    2008|9 min

    This short documentary accompanies Teddy Bear, a small stuffed toy that is one of the most treasured items at the Canadian War Museum. The film reflects on how religion and faith became a solace to many Canadians serving in the First World War.