Legacies 150 | Discover 13 Photo Essays That Explore Canada

Interactive

Legacies 150 is a series of interactive photo and illustration essays reflecting on legacy and inheritance a century and a half into Canadian Confederation. These first-person stories explore where we come from, who we are, and what kind of nation we are becoming.

A special note from the Executive director of the English Studio, Michelle Van Beusekom:

Anniversary projects are like trying to write something original and authentic on birthday cards except the stakes are higher. And in a country as spectacularly diverse as Canada it’s notoriousy difficult to come up with “one thing” that feels like it says something that truly represents the country. It’s the reason we opted for a mosaic approach – a constellation of voices and perspectives that as an ensemble starts to create a portrait of this country and the myriad emotions that it evokes.

It’s been a really fun collaboration between producers from across the NFBs English and French Language studios working with a non-traditional but highly accessible form – the interactive photo essay. Dozens of artists contributed to this collection of beautifully told and crafted stories inspired by themes of legacy and inheritance.

We hope audiences enjoy them as much as we enjoyed producing them.

Explore all projects here

Blood in the Soil

Ontario Studio

Blood in the Soil

A Canadian photographer and his Afghan “fixer” met in a war zone and found a common bond—home is the soil that runs through their veins.

Convictions

North West Studio

Convictions

A century ago, Peter Wiebe’s Mennonite ancestors left Canada—now his family is coming back.

From Janet with Love

Québec/Atlantic Studio

From Janet with Love

The daughter of a Filipino pen-pal bride, Montrealer Jennifer Haydock reflects on her mother’s journey as well as her own.

George Hunter

Digital Studio Vancouver

George Hunter

Nobody took more photos of 20th century Canada than Regina-born George Hunter—but you’ve likely never heard of him.

It Might Break Your Heart

Quebec and Atlantic Studio

It Might Break Your Heart

Newfoundlander Mary Walsh’s hymn to a nation, from a Canadian by happenstance.

Portrait of a Family

Ontario Studio

Portrait of a Family

Living in the Kawarthas, north of Peterborough, David McKinstry and his husband didn’t plan to set a legal precedent—they just wanted kids to call their own.

Recruited by Water

French Animation Studio

Recruited by Water

As a boy, Franco-Ontarian René Bertrand longed to sail the world—and World War II granted his wish.

Tetepiskat

Documentary Studio

Tetepiskat

From her family’s ancestral hunting camp in Quebec’s Manicouagan region, Innu poet Natasha Kanapé Fontaine sends a message across time and generations.

The Cache

North West Studio

The Cache

Living north of the Arctic Circle, there’s only one place they call home—out on the land, far from the government-sponsored outpost.

The Call of the Yukon

BC & Yukon Studio

The Call of the Yukon

Some of us were born in Canada—others were born to be here.

The Dunbar Irregulars

BC & Yukon Studio

The Dunbar Irregulars

A motley crew of Vancouver tennis buddies and their heartwarming collective journey.

The Gift

Canadian Francophonie Studio: Ontario and West

The Gift

The absence of hearing isn’t a problem that needs fixing.

Xinona

Animation Studio

XINONA

Explore an alternative-universe that puts post-colonial oppression in its place.