An Overview of Canada Carries On


Canada Carries On (French: En avant Canada) was a series of short films by the National Film Board of Canada which ran from 1940 to 1959.

The series was created as morale-boosting propaganda films during the Second World War. With the end of the war, the series lost its financial backing from the Wartime Information Board, but continued as an NFB series of theatrical shorts that included newsreels as well as animated shorts.

Alan Wood, war correspondent for the Daily Express, types a dispatch during the battle. Arnhem, 1944.

The series was initially produced by Stuart Legg, who also directed many of the early films. The first film in the series was Legg’s Atlantic Patrol, released in April 1940, about the Royal Canadian Navy’s role in protecting convoys from Halifax to the United Kingdom from U-boat attack. One of the most famous films from this series was his Churchill’s Island, released in Canada in June 1941 and winner of the first Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).

The narrator for many of the films in the series was Lorne Greene, known for his work on radio broadcasts as a news announcer at CBC. His sonorous recitation led to his nickname, “The Voice of Canada”, and when reading grim battle statistics, “The Voice of Doom”.

The success of Canada Carries On inspired a second NFB series, The World in Action, which was more tailored to international audiences.

Canadian Distribution

The series was produced in 35 mm for the theatrical market. Each film was shown in approximately 800 theatres across Canada over a six-month period. They were distributed by Columbia Pictures and the NFB had an arrangement with Famous Players theatres to ensure that Canadians from coast to coast could see them. After the six-month theatrical tour ended, the films were made available on 16 mm to schools, libraries, church basements and factories, extending their life for another year or two. They were also made available to film libraries operated by university and provincial authorities. A total of 199 films were produced before the series ended in 1959.

En avant Canada

The French-language series En avant Canada was distributed in Quebec and New Brunswick by France Film Distribution in some 60 theatres. Eight to 12 films were produced each year in French; some were versions of English titles, others original, for a total of 173 French titles before the programme’s end in 1959.

International Distribution

Some films were distributed internationally in Australia, the UK and the United States (by Telenews), in India (by Fox Film Corporation) and the West Indies (by Inter-continental). These were usually titles that dealt with international rather than Canadian issues. One such film was Warclouds in the Pacific, released just one week before the attack on Pearl Harbour, warning of an imminent Japanese attack.

Films in Series


  • Atlantic Patrol.
  • The Children from Overseas.
  • The Front of Steel.
  • The Home Front.
  • Letter from Aldershot.
  • Squadron 992.
  • Un du 22e.
  • Wings of Youth.


  • The Battle of Brains.
  • Britain at Bay.
  • Churchill’s Island.
  • Everywhere in the World.
  • Food – Weapon of Conquest.
  • Guards of the North.
  • Heroes of the Atlantic.
  • Letter from Camp Borden.
  • Soldiers All.
  • Strategy of Metals.
  • Warclouds in the Pacific.
  • Wings of a Continent.


  • Battle for Oil.
  • The Battle of the Harvests.
  • Forward Commandos.
  • Geopolitik – Hitler’s Plan for Empire.
  • High Over the Borders.
  • Inside Fighting Canada.
  • Quebec – Path of Conquest.
  • Road to Tokyo.
  • This Is Blitz.
  • The Voice of Action.
  • Women Are Warriors.


  • Banshees Over Canada.
  • Coal Face, Canada.
  • Fighting Norway.
  • The Gates of Italy.
  • Pincer on Axis Europe.
  • Proudly She Marches.
  • Thought for Food.
  • Tomorrow’s World.
  • Train Busters.
  • Up from the Ranks.


  • Air Cadets.
  • Break-Through.
  • Fighting Sea-Fleas.
  • Flight 6.
  • Future for Fighters.
  • Look to the North.
  • Mosquito Squadron.
  • Target – Berlin.
  • Trans-Canada Express.
  • Universities at War.
  • U.N.R.R.A. presents In the Wake of Armies…
  • Wounded in Action.
  • Zero Hour.


  • Atlantic Crossroads.
  • Back to Jobs.
  • Gateway to Asia.
  • Headline Hunters.
  • Music in the Wind.
  • Ordeal by Ice.
  • Road to the Reich.
  • Salute to a Victory.
  • Suffer Little Children.
  • This Is Our Canada.
  • Toronto Symphony No. 1.
  • Toronto Symphony No. 2.
  • The War on Want.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.