Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

Digital copy of the 1982 Proclamation of the CONSTITUTION ACT. Text in red and black on white paper, with the arms of Canada at top

The Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982

Gallery


The Proclamation document

Digital copy of the 1982 Proclamation of the CONSTITUTION ACT. Text in red and black on white paper, with the arms of Canada at top
Source

Image of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982, a document recognizing certain fundamental rights and freedoms as part of Canada's patriated Constitution, April 17, 1982

 


1867

Portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald wearing a black jacket, white dress shirt, and black cravat
Source

Sir John A. Macdonald, ca. 1842-1843
By an unknown artist

Oil on canvas, 56.3 x 46.2 cm
Library and Archives Canada / c004811k

The first Prime Minister of Canada was the dominant creative mind amongst a group of Canadians that produced the British North America (BNA) Act, a base document for the Canadian constitution. This rare oil painting is the earliest known portrait of Macdonald depicting him as a young lawyer at around 27 years old.


1982

Colour photograph of Queen Elizabeth II wearing a dark yellow dress. Her image is reflected in a mirrored surface of a table
Source

Queen Elizabeth II, 1984
By Yousuf Karsh

Colour print, 50.8 x 40.4 cm
Library and Archives Canada / e010751906

On April 17, 1982, Queen Elizabeth II signed the Proclamation of the Constitution Act, bringing into effect the Canadian constitution and acknowledging Canadian sovereignty. In this informal image by Canada's most celebrated portrait photographer, the underside of the Queen's face is reflected in the elaborate mirrored table, creating a portrait within a portrait.

 

Black-and-white photograph of Pierre Elliott Trudeau wearing a dark suit
Source

Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968
By Yousuf Karsh

Silver gelatin print, 71.2 x 55.8 cm
Library and Archives Canada / a215565

Canada's 15th Prime Minister led negotiations to fully patriate Canada's constitution from Britain, to establish a way of making constitutional amendments and to give Canadians a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In this elegant portrait from Trudeau's early years, Karsh captures a pensive expression.

 

Images of 1982 Signing

Colour photograph of Queen Elizabeth II seated at a table signing a document while others, including Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, look on
Source
Reproduction. Colour photograph,
Library and Archives Canada / e002852801

Signing of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act,
17 April 1982
By Robert Cooper

Photograph shows, left to right: Mr. Gerald Regan, Minister of Labour; Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Prime Minister; Her Majesty the Queen; Mr. Michael Pitfield, Clerk of the Privy Council; Mr. Michael Kirby

 

Colour photograph of Queen Elizabeth II seated at a table with Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and other political figures gathered around to witness the signing of the Proclamation
Source
Reproduction. Colour photograph,
Library and Archives Canada / e002213543

Signing of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act,
17 April 1982
By Robert Cooper

Photograph shows, left to right: Mr. Gerald Regan, Minister of Labour; Mr. Jean Chrétien, Minister of Justice; Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Prime Minister; Mr. André Ouellet, Registrar General; Her Majesty the Queen; Mr. Michael Pitfield, Clerk of the Privy Council