A drawing of a young boy with an oversized head, a character from BLA BLA, an interactive website produced by Vincent Morisset in 2011.

Press Releases & Media Kits

The CCA presents rare films from the NFB archives for its Architecture in Uniform exhibition

Press release


Collaboration between the two major institutions includes presentations by NFB curators and screenings of films from the Second World War era

Montreal, 12 April, 2011 – The Canadian Centre for Architecture, whose new exhibition Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War explores the war’s effects on the built environment, is pleased to work with the National Film Board of Canada to shed light on architecture and Canadian filmmaking in this historical period. The exhibition will take place April 13 to September 18, 2011.

This chapter of world history brought with it an acceleration of innovation and technological change, in turn leading to the supremacy of modern architecture, as well as the emergence of a thriving new Canadian cinema. The NFB was founded just a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War, and its propaganda films were a natural extension of its original mandate: to tell Canadians about Canada and promote national unity. Films about the war were produced and distributed throughout North America and the world, in partnership with the Wartime Information Board of Canada.

During the exhibition, excerpts from 20 films made during the war and the beginning of the postwar period (a period spanning 1940-46) will be screened in CCA’s the galleries. The films, most of which are in black and white, were made by prolific directors such as Norman McLaren, James Beveridge, John McDougall, Stuart Legg, and Graham McInnes. Two viewing stations are available for visitors who wish to watch any of the films in their entirety.

Free lectures presented by the NFB

NFB curators Marc St-Pierre and Albert Ohayon will give presentations in the CCA’s Paul Desmarais Theatre, and introduce screenings of propaganda films from the NFB archives, a series titled Wartime Cinema.

With these film screenings and related discussions, the NFB provides the main Canadian component of this international exhibition. Discussions and screenings take place at 7 p.m. on the following Thursdays in the Paul Desmarais Theatre:

-    April 28: Founding of the NFB
-    May 5: Production of propaganda films
-    May 12: Mass distribution of propaganda films during the war: From theatrical distribution to workers in factories
-    May 19: Transition to peace: New films and new methods for a postwar Canada

Films will also be screened on the following Saturdays: April 30 and May 7, 14 and 21, at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The exhibition

Architecture in Uniform is the first in-depth study to analyze the modernization of architectural theory and practice during the period spanned by the German bombing of Guernica in 1937 and the Japanese surrender following the American bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. While many architects were called to serve as active combatants, others were able to pursue their professional work in the service of an intensified industrial production. The war drew upon every aspect of architectural expertise and led to significant design innovations and advances in technology and production.

The curators

Marc St-Pierre has a background in cinema, theatre, and philosophy and has been the French film collection analyst at the NFB since 2004. Albert Ohayon studied film production and journalism at Concordia University in Montreal and has worked at the NFB since 1984. As the French and English film collection analysts, St-Pierre and Ohayon program titles for the NFB’s online Screening Room and write articles for the site on the history of the NFB, its filmmakers and its films.

About the NFB

Canada’s public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. Since the NFB’s founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.


The CCA is an international research centre and museum founded in 1979 on the conviction that architecture is a public concern. Based on its extensive Collection, the CCA is a leading voice in advancing knowledge, promoting public understanding, and widening thought and debate on architecture, its history, theory, practice, and role in society.


Media contacts

Nadine Viau
National Film Board of Canada
Telephone: 514-496-4486
Cell: 514-458-9745
E-mail: n.viau@nfb.ca

Isabelle Huiban                           
Head of Press Relations               
Canadian Centre for Architecture            
Telephone: 514-939-7001, ext. 2607           
E-mail: ihuiban@cca.qc.ca