Photostory #433A: 1966: End of Nation's First Century, An Active Year for Canada

Chris Lund , Ted Grant , Canadair Ltd.
National Film Board of Canada
Release Date
December 29, 1966
CMCP fonds
Credit Line
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Main Text
Canada's many achievements during the nation's pre-centennial year were concerned mainly with the three basic elements: earth, air, water - and people. From the boundless good earth of Canada came the richest wheat harvest ever reaped, 845,000,000 bushels, and many other record crops including Ontario's corn. In Alberta, several new liquid oil discoveries formed a background to the exciting start of harvesting the oil from vast quantities of bitumen-soaked earth in the Athabasca tar sands. From a small spadeful of earth in Ottawa, federal scientists developed a magical new antibiotic, Myxin, and in Montreal through tunnels blasted in the solid rock of the earth, the world's most graceful and silent underground railway system came into operation. Into the wide air spaces over Canada, during 1966, rose a highly-successful vertical takeoff aircraft, the CL-84, while the first rockets to be fired in the arctic punched 100 miles high during research work by the National Research Council. Also through the nation's air space sped the first flights between Montreal and Moscow by Air Canada and the U.S.S.R. airline Aeroflot, and the first colour television waves flashed countrywide. With the most precious of all elements, water, portending a vital international question, the nation's leaders, scientists and conservationists became concerned, started a comprehensive inventory of water resources and increased their research programs. Massive hydro-electric projects, including Manitoba's Nelson River scheme which took first physical form early in the year, continued to rise ponderously from sea to sea and the world's largest conventional-powered ice-breaker, C.C.G.S. Louis S. St-Laurent was launched. During the year, Canadians decided to increase their overseas aid program, played host to a western hemisphere labor congress, a meeting of the Commonwealth Caribbean leaders and other international gatherings. A small party of Canadians led the way in discovering natural gas in England, the federal government in Ottawa was bolstered by an additional big brain (one of the biggest multi-purpose computers in the world), and the first Eskimo politician, Simonie Michael, was elected to the Northwest Territories government. A novelist, a painter, an economist and a film maker won this year's Canada Council Medals and the biggest flow of immigrants in 10 years swelled the country's ranks to well over the 20,000,000 mark. And in communities large and small across the land, as the pace of preparation for the world's fair, Expo 67, ran to schedule in Montreal, Canadians got ready to celebrate their first full century as a vigorous nation.