During the Great Depression, the Canadian Government established the Unemployment Relief Scheme. It was a nationwide system of camps for single, unemployed men. The beneficiaries of the program worked on road construction and other physically-demanding projects, in exchange for room-and-board and 20 cents a day.
In 1935, about 1.500 men from various British Columbia camps went on strike in demand for better working conditions. After a few weeks of protests, and encouraged by many expressions of support from the community, they decided to go to Ottawa to lay their demands before the Prime Minister. It was the beginning of the On-to-Ottawa Trek, a journey that has been a source of inspiration to the workers’ movement in Canada for more than eight decades.
Our documentary tells the story of the trek, and pays tribute to the workers that have kept the memory of that journey alive over the years.
Never Forgotten is a documentary by J.A. Bello, produced by Triana Media, with the support of the Workers’ History Museum, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, BC Labour Heritage Centre, London Arts Council and Library and Archives Canada (DigiLab).
Documentary, 52 min.
Workers' History Museum
The documentary was produced thanks to the support from the Workers’ History Museum, a not-for-profit corporation based in the National Capital Region. Founded in January 2011, the museum is dedicated to the development and preservation of workers’ history and heritage. Their goal is to present, promote, interpret, and preserve workers’ history, heritage, and culture.
The production of the project included the digitization of more than 400 historical images, thanks to the support of DigiLab, a new initiative of Library and Archives Canada for the dissemination of records that have never been published. We also worked in collaboration with Simon Fraser University Library (Special Collections and Rare Books), University of British Columbia Library (Rare Books & Special Collections), provincial and local archives across Canada, and many individuals who shared photos from their family albums.
a documentary by J.A. Bello
and LOU LAMBERT
ALEJANDRO ARMAS VIDAL
LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA – Department of National Defence Fonds
SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY LIBRARY – Special Collections and Rare Books
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA LIBRARY – Rare Books & Special Collections
CANADIAN LABOUR CONGRESS
CITY OF REGINA ARCHIVES
CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES
CITY OF VANCOUVER ARCHIVES
KAMLOOPS MUSEUM & ARCHIVES
LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
MOOSE JAW PUBLIC LIBRARY
NATIONAL FILM BOARD
PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES OF ALBERTA
SASKATCHEWAN ARCHIVES BOARD
SWIFT CURRENT MUSEUM
TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA LIBRARIES
VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY
Private Collections and Family Albums
RON MC DOUGALL
SHARON E CHENEY
‘Breadline’ by Leonard Hutchinson, from the Estate of Leonard Hutchinson
Research and Scriptwriting
Workers’ History Museum