Victoria and the Island Highway (1941-42)

At the start of the Second World War, the BC Government Travel Bureau launched an ambitious program of in-house film production.  The Bureau’s Photographic Branch shot 16 mm colour footage on Vancouver Island and throughout the southern Interior. In the early postwar years, the filming program would be extended to northern and central BC, the Hope-Princeton Highway, the Alaska Highway, and the route of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. This footage would be fashioned into several colour-and-sound travelogues highlighting the province’s major regions and local attractions.

The first production completed was Vancouver Island: British Columbia’s Island Playground (1941-42).  The edited excerpts above showcase the Inner Harbour; downtown streets and shops; cricket, lawn bowling, golf and tennis facilities; swimming at Thetis Lake; the Malahat Drive and Lookout; the making of Cowichan sweaters at Koksilah trading post; and BC Provincial Police Highway Patrol. For a description of the complete film, see BC Archives AAAA3013.

Excerpts from this and the other BCGTB travelogues of the 1940s and 1950s are featured on the RBCM DVD release, Evergreen Playland:  A Road Trip through British Columbia (2008).

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