Growing Up Canadian Series

Growing Up Canadian Series

These documentaries explore the myths and realities of Canadian childhood through family life, schooling, work, play, health and the media. The series marks the contribution of childhood and youth experience in defining Canada as it grew into full nationhood in the 20th century.

  • Growing Up Canadian: School
    2003 | 46 min

    Growing up has become marked in school years but at the beginning of the 20th century most children attended primary school only. This bygone era is wonderfully evoked by still photos and archival film showing what children studied and where, from the one-room schoolhouse to a railway car.

    School in the 1940s and '50s is brought to life through interviews with adults who remember the first day at kindergarten, feared and loved teachers and encounters with the strap. The '60s and '70s brought television into the classroom and the concept of the open school, which changed the actual building.

    School is one of a 6-part series entitled Growing Up Canadian. These documentaries explore the myths and realities of Canadian childhood through family life, schooling, work, play, health and the media. The series marks the contribution of childhood and youth experience in defining Canada as it grew into full nationhood in the 20th century.

  • Growing Up Canadian: Work
    2003 | 46 min

    From working six days a week in a factory to serving up sundaes at the Dairy Queen on weekends, Canadian children have done it all. In the first half of the century many families couldn't get by without financial help from their kids. The nation counted on its young when it came to wartime; from joining up to fight to tucking a love note in a scarf knit for an unknown soldier, witnesses recall their contributions.

    Recollections of work include cheapskate bosses, the decision to quit and the experience of getting fired. It was tough working in the coal mines and out in the fishing dories, but even babysitters join in the complaints about lousy conditions and low pay!

    Work is one of a 6-part series entitled Growing Up Canadian. These documentaries explore the myths and realities of Canadian childhood through family life, schooling, work, play, health and the media. The series marks the contribution of childhood and youth experience in defining Canada as it grew into full nationhood in the 20th century.

  • Growing Up Canadian: Play
    2003 | 46 min

    Canada's biggest playground, winter, leads the way as we look at a century of play for Canadian kids. In the beginning you made your own gear and toys, but some store-bought things were irresistible. What Canadian girl, in her time, wouldn't want an Eaton's Beauty doll or a Barbara Ann Scott doll? And what boy, swept up in a cowboy craze, wouldn't die to have a Gene Autry gun or a Lash LaRue whip?

    Throughout the century, adults helped to organize clubs, camps and playgrounds--often with the intent of steering children away from trouble. In the end, getting away from adults and crossing forbidden borders have always been a part of the fun.

    Play is one of a 6-part series entitled Growing Up Canadian. These documentaries explore the myths and realities of Canadian childhood through family life, schooling, work, play, health and the media. The series marks the contribution of childhood and youth experience in defining Canada as it grew into full nationhood in the 20th century.

  • Growing Up Canadian: Media
    2003 | 46 min

    Canadian children in the 20th century witnessed an explosion of innovations in communication and entertainment . Witnesses recall the first time that they saw the telephone, a movie, the television, the computer. Media intrigued children and often made parents suspicious. Canadians of all ages talk about the books, radio shows, TV programs, music and movies they loved as children.

    From listening in on the party line to watching newsreels, children became connected to an ever-expanding world. Media changed the definition of growing up Canadian.

    Media is one of a 6-part series entitled Growing Up Canadian. These documentaries explore the myths and realities of Canadian childhood through family life, schooling, work, play, health and the media. The series marks the contribution of childhood and youth experience in defining Canada as it grew into full nationhood in the 20th century.

  • Growing Up Canadian: Health
    2003 | 45 min

    Early campaigns to fight poverty and disease and help children grow up healthy led to the introduction of the school nurse, nose blowing drills and lice inspections. From open-air schools to confusing sex education classes, Health was a part of the curriculum throughout the last century.

    This episode traces the rise of dental care, from early century programs in schools to dentists traveling to remote areas by boat or train. Canadians recall terrifying epidemics and lengthy periods of quarantine. Home remedies were frightening enough to keep children from complaining about being ill. Over the course of the century we see the impact of public health care on children's lives.

    Health is one of a 6-part series entitled Growing Up Canadian. These documentaries explore the myths and realities of Canadian childhood through family life, schooling, work, play, health and the media. The series marks the contribution of childhood and youth experience in defining Canada as it grew into full nationhood in the 20th century.

  • Growing Up Canadian: Family
    2003 | 46 min

    Canadians of all ages tell stories of growing up with mom, dad, siblings and even the family pet. From making underwear out of flour sacks to scrounging for coal, most Canadian families were poor for the first half of the 20th century. Set against the backdrop of a country moving from rural dominion to urban nation, this episode follows changes in family homes, cars and neighbourhoods.

    Throughout the episode, stories of family rituals, rules and discipline highlight dramatic cultural changes in the century.

    Family is one of a 6-part series entitled Growing Up Canadian. These documentaries explore the myths and realities of Canadian childhood through family life, schooling, work, play, health and the media. The series marks the contribution of childhood and youth experience in defining Canada as it grew into full nationhood in the 20th century.