Photostory #459: 1967: For Canadians a Year in a Hundred
Photographers, , , ,
National Film Board Photostory - [Story by] John Ough
December 28, 1967
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
As 1967 and the first century of nationhood is left behind by the impetus of world events and national progress, Canadians can well cast both a proud glance back at past achievements and a look of anticipation ahead to an exciting future. Looking back one sees a pageant of accomplishment that has built solid foundations for meeting the global and national surprises that surely wait ahead. Canada, which at birth was a very vague nation geographically, has at last been truly defined. What was formerly a union between upper and lower Canada with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick plus sprawling, unknown areas stretching north and west into unmapped regions has finally become a country stretching from sea to sea and north pole to southern undefended border. The last major geographical discovery was made as recently as 1948, when Prince Charles (larger in size than Prince Edward Island) and Air Force islands were spotted from the air in Foxe Basin. A year later Newfoundland, the last province to do so, joined Confederation and it was not until the 1960's that all the arctic territories were even adequately delineated through aerial photography. The measurements of economic development are not so rigidly drawn on the scales but are plainly there in their immensity and variety. What glimpses can be evoked of the nation today? Long trains of potash moving world wide from across the prairie, wall-to-wall carpeting in a New Brunswick grade school, the first flow of oil from the gigantic reserves hidden in the Athabasca tar sands, a nuclear-power titan being built on the shore of Lake Ontario, booming heavy industry along the St. Lawrence River's shores. And then there are the people of Canada, little changed fundamentally from those who went before, but now very much more varied, more numerous, perhaps even more dynamic with their new technological aids to exploration and development in the modern world of which they have become so integral a part. For, today, not all Canadians are in Canada. They are in Africa, South America and Asia spreading their technological knowledge, in Europe selling their skills and in the troubled areas promoting peace. And not all in Canada are Canadians. In the universities, the science laboratories and the industrial plants are people from many countries harvesting knowledge to take back to their emerging homelands. All this is a Canada far changed from early times and a Canada much favored to accept the challenges of an exhilarating future.