Vancouver's Diamond Jubilee was a celebration of everything the community had achieved in its 60 years as an incorporated city, and for that the locals decided to hold a shindig.
The film celebrates everything the city wanted to stand for, and while some of the fashion, buildings and scenes may look a little dated, it's surprising how much of the narration could be repurposed today (though perhaps with some different wording). For example, the narrator highlights the tolerance of Vancouver in the mid-1940s.
"For in this Western Canada seaport there live happily together peoples of all colours, creed and customs and all play their parts in the progress and development of a city that's carving its place in the destiny of mankind."
It's debatable how tolerant Vancouver was in the mid-40s compared to today, but in both cases the grandiose statement matches the ideals many hold of Vancouver.
It goes on to espouse the arts and culture of Vancouver, highlighting events at the Timberbowl in Stanley park featuring dancers, performers and the military.
One comment that doesn't ring as true today, though, has to do with the military, as the narrator notes "those of Vancouver have ever responded to the call of empire." The narrator then notes the people of Vancouver have always stood for freedom for all as the film un-ironically cuts to a section on the local First Nations and mentions potlatches, which were illegal in the province until 1951.
The rest of the 20-minute film is a sort of mixture between hype video, tourism ad and investment pitch.
"Less than a century ago quiet firs and cedars grew in blissful ignorance of the civilization about to replace them," the narrator says, describing the rapid growth of the city.
It goes through a rapid-fire history, though with stops at the Great Vancouver Fire and the arrival of national rail, often focusing on the transportation and infrastructure milestones.
At one point the Lions Gate and Burrard bridges are described as "two of the finest bridges in existence," and at another the narrator mentions, with great pride, how a flight from Scotland only takes 23 hours (nowadays a direct flight would be half that).
While many videos of the time focus on tourist highlights, this one also has a section on local industry (mostly resource extraction) which gives a rare glimpse of what many of the region's workers were doing in the 1940s, including labourers building ships.
Also, there's an interesting bit is the look at the advanced communication system used in Vancouver, as the filmmakers compare it to the earliest phone board the city had. The intervening 75 years has really updated that industry.
The film also takes a look at the civic side of the city, including city hall, fire department and policing, with a great shot of police on red motorcycles zooming out of a garage.
Near the end of the film it looks at life in Vancouver, and somewhat presciently notes the tourism industry might be important.
"Perhaps the world recognition of Vancouver as a tourist centre counts as much toward its future as any other vector," says the narrator describing the "delightful" nature and Stanley Park.
It wraps up with recreational activities, showing off trips to Bowen Island ("Plenty of excitement for those who want action, and who wouldn't?!") along with fishing, sailing and golf.
Perhaps the most syrupy, over-romanticized line is saved for the end, over swelling music.
"This is a land of unbounded interest, we find here a glorious place to live; an enchanted place for play," says the narrator. "And none leave but with the happiest memories of Vancouver: Meeting Place of an Empire."