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Canadian mood index


The map

To stumble. To doubt. To persist. To imagine. To build. To extend a hand.

Since December 2008, Canadians have been living through a global economic crisis of unprecedented proportions. In a thousand different ways, the impact of this historic event has been playing out in communities across the country and around the world. The crisis has resulted in hardship, job loss, stress, dislocation, but it’s also sowing the seeds for new thinking on how we organize our economy and lead our lives.

As the country’s public film producer, the National Film Board has been telling stories that reflect Canada back to Canadians for seven decades now. With GDP - Measuring the human side of the Canadian economic crisis (, we are contributing the country’s first bilingual web documentary, a pan-Canadian project that bears witness to the far-reaching effects of the crisis in our lives and communities.

This innovative new media project has taken shape under the direction of documentary filmmaker Hélène Choquette and her formidable team of directors and photographers based in a range of locations. Together they have embarked on an ambitious quest to document personal stories of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Drawing on extensive research, they have engaged with communities across the country, creating an interactive account of the recession as it plays out in the lives of ordinary Canadians: stories of loss and struggle, resilience and invention. Stories of strength, courage and vision. From "coast to coast to coast", a diverse spectrum of Canadians have agreed to share their experiences

Started in September 2009 and completed in September 2010, these unfolding stories appear on this site. In all, over 185 short documentaries and photo-essays, each about four minutes in length, combine to create a mosaic of how Canadians are experiencing this crisis.

You too can be part of this exciting interactive initiative. We welcome your participation. Post your comments and images. Join us as we use the web-documentary form to tell the collective story of a country in transition. Together let’s document this critical moment in our history.


Canada’s public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective.

In collaboration with its international partners and co-producers, the NFB is expanding the vocabulary of 21st-century cinema and breaking new ground in form and content, through community filmmaking projects, cross-platform media, interactive cinema, stereoscopic animation – and more.

Since the NFB’s founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.

In 2009, the works of NFB animation pioneer Norman McLaren were added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Registry. The NFB’s new website features over 1,000 productions online – visit, and start watching.