The Seaport of the Prairies Help




The Seaport of the Prairies


Dates of Creation 




Physical Description 


2 film reels (1 hr., 4 min., 8 sec.)


Scope and Content 


Item is a film entitled "The Seaport of the Prairies" created by Frank (Francis J. S.) Holmes (d.1990) for J.L. Thomas, founder and manager of the North Country Tourist Association. The film is likely the first of many commercial films shot and edited by Holmes. It documents a trip taken by a group of businessmen and politicians from Manitoba and Saskatchewan to Port Nelson on the north shore of the Nelson River, and was also created to promote further tours Thomas proposed to offer.

The film also promoted Port Nelson as the terminus of the then unfinished Hudson Bay Railway, and as an alternative to Churchill, Manitoba as a northern grain port for the Prairie provinces. The participants are seen travelling by train and numerous other forms of transport between Winnipeg and Port Nelson. The decayed condition of the Hudson Bay Railway right-of-way, abandoned since 1918 and not to be completed until 1929, is apparent.

The film is silent, but title cards provide substantial narration throughout. Participants in the expedition are seen, including Thomas, Holmes, and businessmen and politicians including former Winnipeg mayor Charles Frederick Gray, and Member of the Manitoba Legislature William Ivens.


Administrative History or Biographical Sketch 


The North Country Tourist Association (NCTA) was founded in 1925 by J.L. Thomas to offer tours of the "North Country" of Manitoba.

Click on the link(s) below for more information.

North Country Tourist Association


Restrictions on Access 


There are no restrictions on access to these records.


Terms For Use and Reproduction 


Researchers are responsible for observing copyright legislation. Permission may be required for any form of publication or exhibition where records are not in the public domain.


Custodial History 


The donor and original date of transfer of the film to the Archives of Manitoba are not known. In 1986 the original 35 mm nitrate film was transferred to Library and Archives Canada (LAC), in exchange for a 16 mm acetate release print transferred to Archives of Manitoba in the same year.


Availability of Other Formats 


Available as a video cassette reference copy


How to proceed

These records must be consulted in Archives Research Room. Consult the listings database to find location codes.

This material is not available for microfilm loan.

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