The Archives of Manitoba has accepted a donation of historic personal records documenting the making of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s 1920 film, Romance of the Far Fur Country, Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced.
“These documents add an important element to Manitoba’s story, including our role in the development of the Canadian northwest through the eyes of the Hudson’s Bay Company,” Minister Lemieux said. “We appreciate the generosity of the Wyckoff family and we’re grateful they’re entrusting these papers to the Archives of Manitoba after cherishing and caring for them for 95 years. The history we discover through these incredible documents show us that Manitoba is where Canada’s Heart Beats.”
Harold Wyckoff was hired by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1919 to direct their 250th anniversary film called Romance of the Far Fur Country. This film documented Hudson’s Bay Company business activities and showcased the environment which they operated in and their relationship with Indigenous peoples as well as the landscape of northern and western Canada in 1919.
Walter Wyckoff, grandson of filmmaker Harold Wyckoff, travelled to Winnipeg from Sacramento, Calif. to personally deliver the documents including a diary, letters and other records that detail the production of the documentary.
“I am pleased that my grandfather’s diary and letters fill out the story told in part by the records already held in the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives,” said Walter Wyckoff. “My grandfather’s notes and the film itself help chronicle this epic time in the history of the Hudson’s Bay Company and of Canada.”
The Archives of Manitoba is home to the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives (HBCA) and has attracted local, national and international researchers including academics, family historians, Indigenous groups, government researchers and history enthusiasts. The Hudson’s Bay Company archival records from 1670 to 1920 have been recognized on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register since 2007 and are available for viewing and research at the Archives of Manitoba.