Brand Canada is a kaleidoscope documentary series and multimedia odyssey into how Canada has been established as a brand – from the artwork and images that first symbolized Canada, through the building and appropriation of a collective identity, to how the country is viewed today.
Over 10 digital pieces varying in length from 2-6 min, this unique anthology covers a broad spectrum of stories relating to Canada’s brand, with takes that are irreverent, thought-provoking, inspiring and totally off-the-wall.
Each episode is directed by a notable emerging or mid-career Canadian filmmaker to include both a diversity of voices and creative approaches.
Directors are encouraged to choose a documentary form that best suits their subject, rather than follow a prescribed series construct.
A few of the directors shared their thoughts with us.
Director of Brand Canada episode Rant & Rave, Daniel Roher:
I remember being a fat ten-year-old wannabe hozer, playing road hockey in the rain with my neighbourhood pals as we shouted the I. Am. Canadian rant like true Canucks. This was our version of the Canadian experience, road hockey in the rain was our patriotism and this branded poem became our anthem, forcing me, for the first time, to think about what it meant to be Canadian and to forever associate Molson as Canada’s brew. Our film peeks behind the curtain and evaluates the socio-cultural factors that shaped this commercial and, with nearly 20 years of hindsight, invites viewers to consider the ad’s current relevance. The patriotic oration was exciting to me as a 10-year-old, but now, in the era of Truth and Reconciliation, we are all forced to once again revaluate what it means to be Canadian.
Director of Brand Canada episode Origin Story, Ryan J Noth:
The life and times of the Canadian Pacific Railroad has long been a personal obsession, and particularly the posters and media the company created to sell an early vision of Canada to both the world and its own citizens. So many of the posters and brochures speak to the embedded image of Canada that we take for granted today, namely one of stunning wilderness access (via train, naturally) to viewpoints of endless mountains and evergreens. Often crafted at a high artistic quality, and produced in an impressive quantity over nearly 100 years, the posters provide a vibrant window into the origin of Canada’s nation building efforts.
Director of Brand Canada episode America’s Canada, Aleysa Young:
Canadian stereotypes are frequently used for comedic effect on American television. These US shows are syndicated, translated and exported internationally, proliferating Canadian stereotypes along with them. America’s Canada explores the effect of American television on Canada’s perception beyond our borders – starting with our neighbours south of our neighbours to the south.
Brand Canada is a series that’s sure to surprise, enlighten and make you think three times about what Canada is, just like the best gambling movies.