Helicopter Canada

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Helicopter Canada
Helicopter Canada.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Eugene Boyko
Produced by
Written by
Narrated by Stanley Jackson
Music by Malca Gillson
Cinematography Eugene Boyko
Edited by Rex Tasker
Distributed by National Film Board
Release date
  • 1966 (1966)
Running time
50 minutes
Country Canada
Language English
Budget $300,000[1]

Helicopter Canada (aka Hélicoptère Canada) is a 1966 Canadian documentary film produced by the National Film Board of Canada and directed by Eugene Boyko. The film features aerial photography of all ten of Canada's provinces. Helicopter Canada, sponsored by the Canada's Centennial Commission, was produced for international distribution in both French and English language versions on the occasion of the Canadian centennial.


The short documentary offers a narrated tour from a helicopter of the Canadian provinces in 1966. The bird's-eye view showed both familiar and little-known aspects of the Canadian landscape. Among the featured film locations are: the Badlands, Alberta; Oak Island, Nova Scotia; Ottawa, Ontario; Montréal, Québec; Québec City Québec; Niagara Falls, Ontario; Thousand Islands, Saint Lawrence River, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.



Filmed in Panavision, Helicopter Canada took 18 months to produce and required cinematographer Eugene Boyko to spend 540 hours aloft in a specially outfitted Alouette II helicopter.[1]

Helicopter Canada was made for international distribution during the Canadian centennial. Columbia Pictures bought the rights for a 22-minute version that was distributed internationally, including the USSR, USA, China and Italy. Besides French, the film was translated into 12 languages.[2]


Although now considered dated, Helicopter Canada, during its initial release, received positive reviews. Joan Fox wrote in The Globe and Mail, "If this film doesn’t stir your Canadian blood, nothing will."[2]


Helicopter Canada was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 39th Academy Awards.[3][4]

The film also received two awards at the Canadian Film Awards: Best Film in the General Information category and a Special Prize "for providing a superbly appropriate and inspiring opportunity for Canadians to view their country in the Centennial Year."[5][6]



  1. ^ a b "Copter film leaves audiences reeling." Edmonton Journal (Canadian Press), January 20, 1967, p. 48. Retrieved: November 23, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Clark, Domini. "Canada’s Oscar nod in 1967? A cringe-worthy Canuck tribute." The Globe and Mail, February 13, 2015. Retrieved: January 8, 2016.
  3. ^ "The 39th Academy Awards (1967), Nominees and Winners." Oscars.org. Retrieved: January 8, 2016.
  4. ^ "Details: 'Helicopter Canada' (1967)." The New York Times. Retrieved: January 8, 2016.
  5. ^ Wise 2001, pp. 97–98.
  6. ^ "Helicopter Canada." National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved: January 8, 2016.


External links[edit]