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OTTAWA, June 1, 2000 --  The National Archives of Canada will inaugurate its new exhibition, On the Job  --  A Century of Canadians at Work, on June 5 in the presence of John O’Leary, President of Frontier College. This exhibition will be presented at the National Archives from June 6, 2000 to January 7, 2001.

High technology may be driving the "new" economy and constitute an essential part of today’s work environment but for much of the 20th century, Canada’s economy was mostly based on natural resources. The environments on the job varied greatly; they could be natural, man-made, industrial, technical or domestic. Each environment presented its own challenges such as weather, long and irregular hours, physical danger, isolation, cramped quarters and repetitive tasks. The work of Frontier College is well illustrated in On the Job. Its staff continues to face many of these challenges in bringing knowledge and education to workers and their families, who earn their living in remote areas of Canada.

On the Job is a photographic testimonial to ordinary Canadians of all ages at work. The photographic styles are as diverse as the work and the photographers. They produced the images for various reasons- communication, program promotion and administration, advertizing, or simply as personal mementos or art. This selection of fifty-five photographs spanning the last century is taken from the National Portrait Collection of the National Archives and represents but a small part of the varied records on labour in its care.

If you sometimes wonder "how do people work without computers?", On the Job will help answer your question. This exhibition, at 395 Wellington St. in Ottawa, will be open to the public daily, starting June 6, 2000 until January 7, 2001, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Group tour reservations can be made at (613) 992-2618 and information obtained at 613-996-5115. Thanks to the computer age, you will also be able to view this exhibition on the National Archives Web site at www.collectionscanada.ca/on-the-job/index-e.html.

The National Archives of Canada preserves the recorded memory of Canada, including the essential record of the government of Canada. By opening these records to Canadians, the National Archives contributes to the protection of the rights of all Canadians and enhances their understanding of Canada. In this way, it serves Canadians by connecting them to the sources of their past, their histories.


For more information:

Pauline Portelance
Media Relations Officer
Telephone: (613) 996-6128
E-mail: media@lac-bac.gc.ca