Photostory #426A: People of a Nation Nearly 100 Years Old
Photographers, , , ,
National Film Board of Canada
September 27, 1966
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
On the eve of their 100th anniversary as a nation, Canadians can look back on a storied history, enjoy a bountiful present and look ahead to an exciting future. Older Canadians, remembering the tough frontier days when rugged individuals proved how lonely hinterlands could become home and wild areas provide a variety of riches, have seen the population rise from 5,000,000 at the turn of the century to today's 20,000,000. They have seen wooden-sidewalked towns with horse-drawn traffic grown into soaring, gleaming cities and the vast distances of the nation mastered by hourly jet-plane service. In their time the frontier of the north has been steadily rolled back, the tenuous ribbon of farms and homesteads that joined east and west become a broad band of modern civilization. They have seen the burgeoning of a massive industrial-manufacturing complex in addition to the enormous growth of varied natural resources and agricultural production. They have welcomed many new people to their land, accepted fresh ideas, watched the hardships of the early settlers evolve into the highest standard of living in the world. Even younger Canadians can remember new parts of the land being discovered but a decade or two ago, mineral rushes within the year, influxes of new Canadians and the rising up of new frontier towns in the wilderness in the last few weeks. Daily they witness their country taking an increasingly important part in world affairs, their scientific and technological knowledge leading the way into new fields of international progress, their fellow citizens visiting nations around the world to aid in the development of other peoples. For the young Canadians - the bulk of the population - there is the future. Inheriting a nation of great wealth and unlimited promise, they have an opportunity to lead the world in developing the great societies expected to arise. With a free-thinking mixture of varied cultures spread from coast to coast and the patterns of modern life tending to promote internal movement between the differing regions of their own widespread land, the character of tomorrow's Canada will play a vital part in the nation's contribution to global development. Next year, Canadians celebrate their centennial, hold a world's fair and begin their second century as a vibrant nation.