O Canada

By Emily Hall
Canada Summer Jobs Position

Canada Day is a national holiday, observed on July 1st of every year since 1867. The 37 million residents of Canada will be celebrating this national holiday over the weekend with family BBQ’s, parade’s, parties and fireworks. Here is a summary of what is happening around Canada Day at CHPF.

George Hunter

George Hunter

CHPF is very proud to house the George Hunter archive. He was widely published and likely Canada's most travelled photographer. Hunter spent seven decades creating dramatic images across Canada and travelling around the nation more than 100 times. Notably, the Canada Post has used five of George’s images on their stamps and the Bank of Canada chose two for their $5, $10 bills in the 1972 – 1988 banknote series. His photographs appeared in newspapers, magazines, textbooks and atlases, and one is even travelling in space in a time capsule aboard the NASA probe Voyager.

In addition to our current project, Images of Ontario by George Hunter, RCA - Digitization and Preservation Project funded in part by the Documentary Heritage Communities Program through Library and Archives Canada, CHPF summer students began digitizing George Hunter’s O Canada slideshow of 35mm slide transparencies and will make it available to view in the coming months. For the O Canada presentation Hunter collaborated with Ken Clayton, a longtime friend of Hunter, on a concert featuring the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra playing in time to an image show of more than 800 photographs. Check out a sneak peek at O Canada by George Hunter below:

George Hunter is known for his portraits and landscapes of Northern communities but his body of work also spans across a diverse genres and subject matters, from intimate portraits in family living rooms to iconic Canadian landscapes captured from airplanes.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the exciting festivities every year, between trips to the cottage and parties in the city. But it’s important to remember the people who were here before the first French and English settlers all the way back in 1534. While this year Canada celebrates its 152nd birthday, some indigenous tribes go back thousands of years and have long been forgotten during the festivities. The name ‘Canada’ was actually a gift from Indigenous peoples, coming from the Iroquoian word, kanata, meaning ‘village.’

 "My mission is to show Canadians, and the world, a little of our country. The more they see something of Canada's grandeur and diversity of its people, the more they will appreciate it. I will not rest a minute until my mission is accomplished."
- George Hunter