1897: A Freer Ride
In 1897, British emigrant James Freer purchased some Edison equipment and began making short films of the region surrounding his home in Brandon Falls, Manitoba, thus becoming the first ‘native’ to make films in Canada. Born in Woodstock, Oxfordshire on the 4th of January 1855, Freer was a journalist in Bristol when he upped roots and departed for Canada to become a farmer in 1888. The subjects of Freer’s ‘home’ movies were mostly farm scenes and trains, and titles included Arrival of CPR Express at Winnipeg, Harvesting Scene with Trains Passing, Harnessing the Virgin Prairie, Six Binders at Work in a Hundred Acre Wheatfield and Canadian Militia Clearing Fortified Wall.
Freer persuaded the Canadian Pacific Railway to sponsor a tour of Britain entitled Ten Years in Manitoba, to promote emigration to Canada in 1898. [ADD]
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