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An Idea of Canada ONF/NFB

Catalogue Number:  NFB523074
Producer:  National Film Board Of Canada
Producers:  Gerry Flahive, Niv Fichman, Jody Shapiro, Sheena Macdonald, Daniel Iron, Louise Lore, Sylvia Sweeney
Directors:  Kevin McMahon
Producing Agencies:  National Film Board of Canada (Montreal),Rhombus Media Inc. (Toronto)
Subject:  Canadian Politics, Canadian Social Issues, Canadian Social Studies, Documentary, Indigenous Peoples, Physical Geography
Language:  English
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2003
Running Time:  100
Closed Captions:  Yes

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When Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her husband, John Ralston Saul, embarked on a summer journey to Canada's three seacoasts, it was not to be just another viceregal tour. Travelling by boat, small plane, snowmobile, pickup truck and canoe, they encounter every kind of weather as they visit western Nunavut, Newfoundland, Labrador and Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands).

Meeting with Native and non-Native Canadians in these far-flung communities, the couple participate in song and dance, visit elders, sample local delicacies--and, above all, listen to concerns. Heartened by the aboriginals' relationship with the land, they hope to share this message of conservation with 'southern' Canadians.

Inspired by Glenn Gould's famous radio show, 'The Idea of North,' and hearkening back to time-honoured documentaries covering royal visits, An Idea of Canada is a meditation on the myth and reality of the rugged landscape that symbolizes Canada for most people--yet which few of us will ever see.

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