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Description found in Archives

Centennial Commission fonds [multiple media]. 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

146 m of textual records.
34,700 photographs.
537 architectural drawings.
123 maps.
ca. 123 film reels (ca. 56 h, 1 min)
ca. 231 audio reels (ca. 230 h)
ca. 229 audio discs (ca. 229 h)

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created and maintained by the Centennial Commission. Researchers are cautioned that unprocessed textual records and records in other media are not reflected in this description.

Textual records
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Architectural: technical drawings
90NA: Open but not available
Cartographic material
90NA: Open but not available
Moving images (film)
90: Open
Sound recordings
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Copyright belongs to the Crown.
Copyright on photographs by Malak Karsh: Malak.

Finding aids are available. See lower level descriptions and accession records in ArchiviaNet (the NA website). (Other)

Biography / Administrative history

Official government planning for the observance of the Centennial of Canada's Confederation in 1967 was initiated in November 1959. The ten provincial premiers were invited to appoint representatives to a provisional National Committee to work out a plan with the federal government. In preparation for this meeting several interdepartmental meetings were held under the chairmanship of the Secretary to the Cabinet following which four interdepartmental groups were established to look into the administrative and financial, historical, cultural, and ceremonial aspects of Centennial planning.

In September 1961 the National Centennial Act was passed providing for the establishment of an administrative framework for the federal government's program (9-10 Elizabeth II Chap. 60). In 1963 the Act was amended, with the name changed to the Centennial of Confederation Act. (9-10 Elizabeth II Chap. 60, amended 1963, c.36). A corporation, designated the 'Centennial Commission', headed by a Commissioner and Associate Commissioner, and comprised of twelve directors appointed by the Governor in Council, was established. The Commissioner and Chairman of the Board of Directors was John Fisher and Georges Gauthier served as the Associate Commissioner and first Vice-Chairman. Gilles Bergeron filled this role after 13 March 1967. Claude Gauthier acted as the Assistant to the Commissioners and Secretary of the Commission. The Commission reported to Parliament through the Secretary of State.

The Commission had the advice and co-operation of two groups - a `National Committee' which consisted of federal and provincial ministers and their deputies in charge of Centennial planning and a `National Conference' which comprised the Secretary of State and 60 members appointed by the minister - two came from each province on the recommendation of the provincial governments while the rest were 'members at-large'. Under the Act these groups were to meet several times a year. Each province also had its own Centennial organization. Furthermore, the `Canadian Centenary Council', a private group of 800 member organizations formed in 1960 to promote Centennial activities in the 'private sector', worked in close co-operation with the Commission. Wherever possible the Centennial Commission worked in co-operation with the `Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Expedition', although the Commission had no responsibility for Expo '67.

The objectives of the Commission were the promotion of interest in Canada's Centennial and the planning and implementation of programs and projects related to the historical significance of this event. In fulfilling its mandate, the Commission established a national program with two basic principles - 1) to achieve participation from Canadians everywhere 2) to provide a broad balance and variety in programming designed to reach the maximum number of Canadians. In order to fulfill these goals, the Commission was divided into a Planning Branch, Public Relations and Information Branch, and a Special Projects Branch. Furthermore, regional offices were established throughout Canada.

The Commission could acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise any real or personal property, including securities, and own, hold, sell, manage or deal therewith or expend any moneys appropriated by Parliament for the work of the Commission. It could engage in joint projects with, or make grants to, any province or organization the mandate of which was similar to that of the Commission for the observance of the Centennial. It is estimated that the total expenditures under the grant programs, involving the federal, provincial and municipal governments, was about 200 million dollars spread over approximately two thousand projects, including the building of Confederation Memorial Centres in each province.

The Centennial Commission ceased to exist on 1 April 1968 pursuant to Appropriation Act No. 1, 1968.

Additional information

Source of title
SC 1961, c.60, s. 3; SC 1963, c.36, s.3

Further accruals are expected.


Other system control no.