Canada Vignettes

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Canada Vignettes are a series of short films by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), some of which aired on CBC Television and other Canadian broadcasters as interstitial programs. The vignettes became popular because of their cultural depiction of Canada, and because they represented its changing state, such as the vignette Faces which was made to represent the increasing cultural and ethnic diversity of Canada.[1] The Log Driver's Waltz directed by John Weldon set to the recording of the song by Kate & Anna McGarrigle with, and as part of, The Mountain City Four is one of the most-requested items contained in the collection by the National Film Board of Canada.[2] A similar series was later produced in the 1990s, however the name was changed to Heritage Minutes.


The idea for Canada Vignettes began in early 1977, when CBC's children's programming department at the CBC approached the NFB about producing short films, five minutes in length or less, to use as interstitial programming. When Secretary of State for Canada John Roberts announced in the fall of 1977 that $13 million would be given to federal cultural agencies to help promote national unity, the NFB was allocated $2 million to produce films for broadcast on the CBC, similar to CBS's Bicentennial Minutes in the United States, the previous year. The French-language service of the CBC also agreed to broadcast the series.[1]


80 filmmakers from across the country worked on the project over a three-year period. Many of the films were animation vignettes offering amusing portrayals of Canadian history, while others were produced from excerpts from NFB documentaries. The NFB decided that no film credits would be included, only a title.[1]


The CBC's children's department subsequently informed the NFB that it could not show films longer than two minutes as their needs had changed in the time that it took to produce the series. A quarter of the vignettes were more than two minutes long. As a solution, the CBC main network agreed to make the longer and shorter films available to their network affiliates. Canada Vignettes were shown on both in prime time and during children's programming slots. The most popular film in the series to air on Canadian television was Canada Vignettes: Faces, an animated short that depicted the faces of Canada, including that of then Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Other Canadian television networks to broadcast the films included CTV, Global, TVOntario, and TVA. The series was also sold to international foreign broadcasters in such countries as Turkey, Italy, Algeria, Norway and the United Kingdom.[1]

List of Vignettes[edit]

Title Year Duration Notes[3]
Acadian Quadrille 1978
Agnes Campbell MacPhail 1980
Alouette 19791:00director: Michèle Pauzé
Angel of Death 1980
Arctic Mission 1980
Arctic Seascape 1980
Ballet Master, The 1978
Bells and Brass 1978
Bill Miner 1978
Bill Reid 1979
Birth 1980
Blacksmith Shop, The 1979
Bluenose 1921-1946 1979
Bluenose II July 24, 1963 1979
Breadmakers 1980
Bridge for the Dempster 1980
Bridging the Gap 1981
Calliope 1980
Canada's Snowbirds 1980
Captain Cook 1978
Catapult Canada 1985
Celebration 1981
Countdown 1981
Cree Conical Lodge 1980
Cree Hunters 1979
Crossing Guards 1978
Dance 1979
Dancing Dolls 1980
December Lights 1979
Delta Plane 1979
Dentist, The 1978
Don Messer - His Land and His Music - Charlie Chamberlain 1911-1972 Pt. 1 1979
Don Messer - His Land and His Music - Charlie Chamberlain 1911-1972 Pt. 2 1979
Don Messer - His Land and His Music - Charlie Chamberlain 1911-1972, Marg Osburne 1927-1977 1979
Don Messer - His Land and His Music - Don Messer 1910-1973 1979
Don Messer - His Land and His Music - Marg Osburne 1927-1977 Pt. 1 1979
Don Messer - His Land and His Music - Marg Osburne 1927-1977 Pt. 2 1979
Easter Eggs 1978
Egg, The 1979
Emergency Numbers 1984
Erik Davidson - Mechanic 1979
Faces 19781:00director: Paul Bochner
Fashion Designer 1977
Flin Flon 1978
Fort Prince of Wales 1978
From Cobalt to Casa Loma 1978
From Flax to Linen 1978
Full Circle 1979
Ham, The 1978
Headdress 1979
Helen Law 1979
History for Tomorrow 1980
Holidays 1978
Home of the Beaver 1978
Homestead 1980
Horse, The 1978
Hudden and Dudden and Donald O'Neary 1978
Ice 1982
Ice Carnival Montreal 1885 - Canadian Bounce 1986
Ice Carnival Montreal 1885 - Souvenir Programme 1986
Ice Carnival Montreal 1885 - Storming the Ice Palace 1986
Indian Pipe 1979
Instant French 1979
Inuit Pipe 19792:00
June in Povungnituk - Quebec Arctic 1980 1:00
Klondike Gold 1980
Lady Frances Simpson 19781:00director: Christopher Hinton
Land Bridge 1978
Land of the Maple Leaf 1978
Log Driver's Waltz 1979 3:00 director: John Weldon
Logger 1978
Love on Wheels 1979
Ma chère Albertine 19795:00
Maple Leaf, The 19781:00
Marine Biologist 1979
Maritimes Dig 1980
McIntosh 1979
Melvin Arbuckle, Famous Canadian 1980
Men of the Deeps, Cape Breton 1978
Mer enligne nos terres, La 1979
Moccasins 1979
Move, The 19855:00
Music Makers, The 1979
Mussel Mud 1985
Métis Coat 1979
Newfoundland 1978
News Canada 1978
Nigogeux, Les 1978
Northern Seasons 1980
Novelist, The 1978
Onions and Garlic 1978
Our Daily Bread 1979
Performer, The 19783:00 First Jury Prize for Short film at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival
Photographers, The 1978
Physiotherapist 1977
Port Royal 1978
Prairie Promise 1980
Prehistoric Artifacts, New Brunswick 1980
Riverdale Lion 1979
Roulamour 1979
Seigneury, The 1978
Skier 1978
Sodbusters 1978
Spence's Republic 1978
St. Laurent Pilgrimage 1985
Stunt Family 1978
Thirties, The 19781:00
Toronto 1978
Trading Post 1978
Trees 1978
Two Friends 1979
Under the Pole 1980
Unity Pole 1979
Veteran, The 1978
Veterinarian 1977
Vignettes from Labrador North 1979
Violin Maker, The 1978
Visitor, The 1979
Vote, The 1980
Voyageurs 1978
Wild Rice Harvest Kenora 1979 1:00
Winter - Dressing Up 1979
Winter - Starting the Car 1979
Wool Spinner, The 1979
Woolly Mammoth 19791:00 stop-motion animation by Bill Maylone
Wop May 1979 about aviator Wop May

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Ohayon, Albert. "Canada Vignettes: Essential Canadiana, eh!". NFB blog. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Episode Guide for Canada Vignettes".

External links[edit]