Created in 1939 under the direction of British documentary filmmaker John Grierson, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) was established to create educational and patriotic films about Canada and to coordinate departmental film activities. In 1941, when the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau merged with the NFB, the film board became responsible for the production of both still and motion pictures. As a result, the Still Photography Division was formed that year. In 1985, the Still Photography Division officially became the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.
The Still Photography Division employed a small permanent staff, but also commissioned a number of freelance photographers from 1941 to 1984 to document every aspect of life in Canada, including people living in the North. Depicting domestic scenes and family life, as well as economic, political and social activities and events, these images were widely distributed through publication in magazines, newspapers, exhibitions, school textbooks, and government printings. Several of the Division's photographers whose work has been included in Project Naming are Doug Wilkinson, George Hunter, Richard Harrington, Wilfred Doucette, Gar Lunney and B. Korda.
Unidentified girls holding puppies
Unknown location, July 1951
Harold Kalluk (left) and Joseph Idlout (right) seal fishing
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik/Tununiq), 1952
Uksawalli and her baby and an unidentified girl on their way to church
Cape Dorset (Kinngait), August 1961