This documentary filmmaker wants your family photos from the 1930s

Vancouver Courier


Not many cameras were around in the 1930s.

Still fewer families had the money to afford them as the Great Depression settled its weary burden on Canadian families.

The Courier’s Martha Perkins dug into her family photo album and came up with this image of her mother, Jean Gosse, who was born in 1925 and grew up on Toronto Island, where this photo of her fishing was likely taken.

Juan Bello is a London, Ont.-based documentary filmmaker. He is hoping that by casting the net wide, he can find the images that will help Triana Media tell the story about what life was like in Canada during that pivotal time.

In a letter posted on Facebook, he says that federal and provincial archives tend to have photos of people who could afford to have their photos taken. He’s looking for images of “ordinary” people — aka representative of the majority of Canadians — at the time.

“We think that privately owned family albums could be a potential source of images,” he said.

He is particularly interested in photographs of:

  • Weddings or married couples
  • Families with children
  • Fatherhood – Father with children
  • Motherhood – Mother with children
  • Children at play

If you have a photo that Bello could copy and use, please send a scanned, high-resolution version to