Photostory #366: Prairie Provinces Promise Growing Prosperity: Canada's Mid-West: Tomorrow's Industrial Giant
National Film Board of Canada
June 16, 1964
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Set squarely across the face of Canada, the three prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba form today the nation's fastest growing economic region. With 3,500,000 people sharing over three-quarters of a million square miles (a density less than five persons to the square mile), this vast stretch of North America has the resources to support ten, twenty - even thirty-times its present population. Backed by fabulous riches in agriculture, cattle and mineral reserves, the prairie provinces trio, united by geographic similarity, are building a regional interlocking framework of secondary industry which promises a future self-sufficient economy to rival any in the hemisphere. Steel, petro-chemicals, rocket fuels, concrete products, fertilizers, electronics, plastics and food packing - these are some of the industries that have boosted factory value of prairie manufactures 100 per cent in less than a decade to nearly $3,000,000,000. From the saltwater shores of Hudson Bay in the east to the rugged foothills and snow-capped mountains 1,200 miles away in the west, Canada's three central provinces offer a land of contrasts, interests and opportunities second to none on the globe. Forests, rivers, lakes, spacious cities fast growing with room to spare, rolling wheat lands golden in prosperity, oil fields bubbling with wealth, mines digging deep for riches - all borne along by the invigorating winds of overall growth. This land, endowed by fortune, is now being vitalized by man's industry. Foresighted thinking a few years ago, when prairie economic planning swung positively towards greater diversified resource development and secondary manufacturing, is now paying off. As large as Mexico, the rich, sunny lands of central Canada have great mineral wealth, natural resources and an energetic population. Today, to a large extent, the prairie provinces are becoming self-sufficient in producing the complex tools of industrial progress. Tomorrow, they promise to become an industrial giant - a big, vibrant land with a matching economy.