One of three new titles in the Firefly Books-National Film Board of Canada partnership.
"My mission is to show Canadians, and the world, a little of our country. The more they see something of Canada's grandeur and diversity of its people, the more they will appreciate it. I will not rest a minute until my mission is accomplished."
-- George Hunter, photographer
Nobody took more photos of 20th-century Canada than George Hunter. His photos are in atlases, textbooks, encyclopedias and magazines. They're in galleries, museums and public archives, on old postage stamps and currency.
Despite a 70-year career that saw Hunter cross Canada more than 100 times on photographic expeditions, he never achieved widespread fame or critical acclaim. Mostly this is because Hunter was a photographer for hire to commercial entities and the government. His assignments were, ultimately, to document progress.
Hunter's catalogue represents a chronology of postwar Canada, beginning with horse-drawn hay wagons and ending with modern semi trailers on multi-lane highways. He captured portraits of Canadians at work, and also became a pilot to further his career. His aerial shots of billowing smokestacks, open-pit mines, newly minted expressways and vast log booms dominate his portfolio, which to modern eyes is equal parts majestic and nostalgic. His is a portrait of a young country maturing into an industrial force; a landscape as shaped by the people.
For information on the National Film Board of Canada visit www.nfb.ca.
George Hunter was a professional photographer who, after a five-year post with the National Film Board of Canada in the late 1940s, set out on a commercial career that saw him document the men, women, nature and industry of every province and territory in Canada. He made his home in Mississauga, where he died in 2013.