“Tourism: A British Columbia Industry” (1940)


The film’s title frame illustrates the simple but effective graphics that would enhance the BCGTB’s 1940s travelogues. (Digital frame grab)

These excerpts from a silent film with inter-titles, shot on Kodachrome stock (ca. 1940), show the efforts of the BC Government Travel Bureau to promote tourism in the province. At their offices on Superior Street in Victoria, we see office staff at work; the preparation of ad campaigns; design and printing of brochures; handling of public correspondence; and the promotion of automobile travel. There are brief shots of a car ferry, a steamship, a steam train, and an airliner—as well as the Craigflower Bungalow Court & Motel in Esquimalt.


Clarence Ferris, the BCGTB’s first filmmaker, sets up a shot on the grounds of the BC Legislature, ca. 1940. (Digital frame grab)

Of particular interest is a section on film production, which shows longtime staff member Clarence Ferris (above) operating a movie camera and splicing film. A crew from Leon Shelly’s Vancouver Motion Pictures is also seen shooting the BCGTB-sponsored travelogue Beautiful British Columbia (1940 version, now lost).

Tourism: A British Columbia Industry is BC Archives item AAAA2909 at the Royal BC Museum.


Vancouver Motion Pictures crew at work on a BCGTB travelogue, ca. 1940. (Digital frame grab)



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