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Description found in Archives

Public Affairs, Consultation and Communications Branch [multiple media] 

Series consists of



Place of creation


12.4 m of textual records
ca. 409 film reels (ca. 180 h, 2 min)
ca. 268 videocassettes (ca. 238 h)
78 audio reels (ca. 19 h, 8 min)
77 audio discs (16 h, 55 min, 15 s)
8 audio cassettes (ca. 52 min)

Scope and content

Series consists of records created or maintained by the Public Affairs, Consultation and Communications Branch and its precursors. The records primarily pertain to departmental public relations and communications functions. Textual records in the series include central registry files from the Information Services Directorate, Public Affairs Directorate, Communications Directorate, and Communications Branch. These organizations have dispensed press releases, printed material, films, displays and other educational tools used as health campaigns or to publicize health programs. Some of the problems that the Directorates addressed were: smoking, nutrition, general health, mental health, child care, etc. Among the central registry files of the Information Services Directorate, volumes 1683-1684 contain media material related to radio programs on Child and Maternal Health, Medical Rehabilitation, Mental Health and Dental Health. Non-textual records in the series include drawings, paintings, photographs, lithographs, moving images (film and video), audio recordings and philatelic items. These records are related to the promotion of health in Canada, drug testing, medical services, no smoking campaigns, and sports and fitness, among other topics. These campaigns were conceived by and produced for various government organizations such as the National Film Board, Emergency Measures Organization, Fitness and Amateur Sport, Food and Drug Directorate among others.

Textual records
96: Restrictions vary
Moving images (film)
90: Open
Moving images (video)
96: Restrictions vary
Sound recordings
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Consult lower-level descriptions for copyright restrictions. Credit the Library and Archives of Canada.

Biography / Administrative history

Centralized public relations and communications functions can be traced back through to the inception of the original (1919) Department of Health, with its short-lived Publicity and Statistics branch. There is no further mention of a distinct, centralized publicity reporting unit in the annual reports of the Department of Health or its successor, the Department of Pensions and National Health, until 1939, when the National Health Branch included a Publicity and Health Education Division. With the inception of the Department of National Health and Welfare in 1944, centralized public relations and communications functions were addressed by the Information Services Division within the Administration Branch. With the co-operation of mass communication media and of government and voluntary organizations in its field, the Information Services Division continued to carry on an active health, welfare and civil defence information program. By the early 1970s the Information Services Division was renamed the Information Directorate. Throughout those decades, the centralized information area provided the "public face" of the department, its policies and programmes. In 1982, the Information Directorate became the Public Affairs Directorate (PAD). Although PAD was originally housed in the Administration Branch, in the early 1980s that Branch was renamed the Management Practices Branch and then, in 1983, the Corporate Management Branch. The directives of PAD included not only traditional activities such as the production of publications, photographs and audio-visual presentations but also new activities providing managed media liaison in the form of press releases, news conferences, and commissioned advertising. In 1986, with the increased emphasis placed on the importance of linking departmental policies to communications, the Public Affairs Directorate was renamed the Communications Directorate, and was transferred to the new Policy, Communications, and Information Branch (PCIB). The increased emphasis given to departmental communications activities by the Government Communications Policy in 1988 influenced the short-lived decision, in 1989, to make the Communications Directorate a Branch in its own right: the Communications Branch; within the year, the area reverted to being the Communications Directorate within PCIB. With the announcement of the creation of Health Canada in 1993, the Communications Directorate was relocated to a new Policy and Consultation Branch. By the late 1990s, this Communications Directorate was responsible for public awareness of the Department's objective and programs; the development of departmental communications objectives and plans; the coordination of departmental communications activities, conferences, ministerial speeches and media relations; and the provision audio-visual services in support of the Department's communications responsibilities. As part of a major departmental reorganization in 2000, the Communications Directorate was first renamed the Communications and Consultation Directorate, and then, when the Directorate also subsumed a previous Partnerships and Marketing Unit (of the previous Health Promotion and Programs Branch), it was renamed the Communications, Marketing and Consultation Directorate (CMCD) within the Health Policy and Communications Branch. In June 2006, CMCD became part of the new Public Affairs, Consultation, and Regions Branch (PACRB), created to better integrate national and regional perspectives in all policy, strategy, communication and consultation functions of the department. In July 2008, the Public Affairs, Consultation and Communications Branch (PACCB) was created to consolidate internal and external communications and consultation functions, including overseeing communications services previously managed by other Branches. PACCB is therefore responsible for continuing the centralized departmental public relations and communications functions of the previous Branch (PACRB) in addition to continuing functions previously housed elsewhere, such as the executive correspondence unit function (previously housed in the Corporate Services Branch) and some activities of the Office of Consumer and Public Involvement (previously entirely housed in the Health Products and Food Branch).

Additional information

Source of title
Title is based on the Branch title as of July 2011.

Further accruals are expected.

Related materials
For other multimedia records, consult the Miscellaneous Multimedia Records Series.


Other system control no.