Celebrate Canada Day virtually with online NFB films and activities

Three NFB works featured in the Canada Day Celebration Kit –– plus seven new films online

Instagram-based project First Photo Here is one of many ways the National Film Board is helping Canadians connect online on Canada Day. (National Film Board of Canada/Submitted)

National Film Board of Canada, Submitted

With Canadians looking to celebrate Canada Day in a way that’s fun and safe for themselves, their family and their community, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is ready for July 1 with a great selection of online films and interactive activities for people of all ages.

Three interactive works are being featured as part of the Government of Canada’s online Canada Day Celebration Kit, with entertaining and creative activities for the whole family:

First Photo Here – Peace Tower activity pack

First Photo Here, a project exclusively for Instagram, focusses on new arrivals to Canada and the photos they share with friends and family back home. Linking people across time and place, this project represents a wide array of new experiences and first impressions.

Curated by Joella Cabalu, First Photo Hereis for anyone who has moved somewhere new and knows the thrill and trepidation that goes along with it. By turning personal stories into collective ones, we’re all invited to share in the richness of these moments and the connections they forge.

Joella Cabalu is an award-winning Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker. Cabalu is ethnically Filipino, was born in the US and raised in Brunei, and came to Canada at age six.

“Photographs and first-person narrative are powerful ways to transmit stories. But they also act as a time machine, conveying the immediate feelings of the moment, and reflecting on time passed since then,” Cabalu says. “I was attracted to the broad appeal and accessibility of First Photo Here—that participants and people viewing the project needn’t be Artists with a capital A to submit a photograph or understand the collection of stories.”

Parliament: The Virtual Experience – Peace Tower activity pack

Parliament is the heart of Canada’s federal democracy. For more than 100 years, its seat was the iconic Centre Block. Home to the Senate and the House of Commons, the building was the site of debates and decisions that shaped our country.

Centre Block has closed its doors for long-term renovations, but Parliament: The Virtual Experience invites you to experience it through innovative technologies. Online, in virtual reality or in the classroom, you will be transported through Centre Block’s most iconic spaces: the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament and Peace Tower. Each one offers a new perspective on Parliament – its history, its art and its role in the lives of Canadians, today and in the future.

Parliament: The Virtual Experience is a co-production by the Library of Parliament and the National Film Board of Canada.

NFB StopMo Studio – Maple Leaf Activity Pack

With the NFB’s StopMo Studio application you can create stop motion animated films with your eyes closed… or just about. Comprehensive and easy to use, the app allows you to shoot your own film and share it with friends in just minutes.

Launched in December of 2011, the NFB’s PixStop app for iPadhas been completely redesigned and is back with a bang under the name NFB StopMo Studio.

This updated version of our stop motion animation (also known as “pixillation”) app boasts several new features in both visual and audio editing, including automatic time-lapse photography, digital drawing, title cards, frame-to-frame transparency, new visual and sound effects, and more.

These functions may seem intimidating at first, but the app is actually quite easy to use. The team who developed NFB StopMo Studio, under the leadership of designers Mivil Deschênes and Jean-Sébastien Beaulieu in the Platform Development department of the NFB, began by creating a simple and easy-to-use tool meant for the general public. Regardless of the fact that NFB StopMo Studio is the most sophisticated stop motion animation app on the market, it was originally designed for users like you and me. Thanks, NFB team!

Plus, seven new docs premiering at NFB.ca

Also, seven NFB documentaries offering diverse looks at life in Canada will be debuting at NFB.ca in July, joining the NFB’s extensive catalogue of more than 4,000 titles online!

  • Becoming Labrador by Rohan Fernando, Tamara Segura, Justin Simms (2018) – feature-length documentary (70 min). Filipino workers make a place for themselves in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador—travelling halfway around the world for jobs they hope will offer their families new opportunities and a better life.
  • Highway to Heaven by Sandra Ignagni (2019) – available in Canada only, short documentary (16 min). Shot on location along a one-mile section of No. 5 Road in Richmond, the film takes a look at BC’s “Highway to Heaven,” which hosts a multitude of faiths—including Buddhist temples, a Sikh gurdwara, Hindu and Swami temples, Shia and Sunni mosques, Christian churches, and Jewish, Islamic and Christian schools.
  • Because We Are Girls by Baljit Sangra (2019) – available in Canada only, feature-length documentary (85 min). A conservative South-Asian family in small-town BC must come to terms with a devastating secret: three sisters were sexually abused by an older relative beginning in their childhood years. After remaining silent for nearly two and a half decades, the sisters decide to come forward not only to protect other young relatives, but to set an example for their daughters, as well.
  • 5 Shorts Project – 4th Edition: À l’affût/Attuned (Steve Verreault/Sébastien Dave Tremblay), Butte/Mounds (Nicolas Paquet/Tom Jacques), Il va faire beau demain/It’ll Be Nice Out Tomorrow (Guillaume Lévesque/Antoine Létourneau-Berger) and Manèges nocturnes/Night Fair (Cynthia Naggar/Gueze). The NFB’s 5 Shorts Project shines a spotlight on the talents of independent artists from Quebec’s regions. Working with Rimouski’s Paraloeil production centre, filmmakers from Bas-Saint-Laurent collaborate with sound artists on four short films that push the envelope of documentary film language by questioning the genre’s conventional uses of sound.