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Welcome to the Theatre

Before films were made in Canada, images of the country were presented to Canadians and to people around the world by American and British film companies. It was a nationalistic sentiment that first prompted the Canadian federal and provincial governments to establish film studios in the early part of the 20th century. It was during this time that the benefits of using film to reach the masses were realized. Audiences of various races, religions and languages all understood the same visual language presented in film. Film provided a perfect medium to present the stunning scenery of Canada, with its wonderful vastness and lush landscape, and served as a successful method to inform (and influence) the public. From enticing potential immigrants, to increasing industrial investment, to moving the general public into a modern society, film was used to achieve many goals. Perhaps most interesting however, is what these early Canadian films teach about how Canadians pictured themselves in the early part of the 20th century. This site presents various themes for you to explore and learn about early Canadian film.