Directors and Studios


Gordon Sparling (1900-1994, Toronto, Canada)

Canadian filmmaker Gordon Sparling wrote, directed and produced some 200 films. At the time he made Ale and Artie, his credits already included many productions. After stints as assistant director on a feature film and with the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau, he spent two years working in New York. In 1931, he returned to Canada and made sponsored films for Associated Screen News, in Montréal. In 1932, he began making the Canadian Cameo series, on which he worked until 1955. These theatrical shorts were the first major Canadian films with sound, and they were virtually the only reflection of Canada seen on screens at home and abroad during the 1930s. One of these shorts was Rhapsody in Two Languages (1934), a portrait of a day in the life of bilingual Montréal. During the war, he supervised the production of newsreels and training films for the Canadian Army. In 1946, he rejoined Associated Screen News and remained there until the production department closed, in 1957. He later joined the National Film Board, where he worked until 1966. Sparling is recognized as a pioneer of Canadian film.

Montréal Studios

Associated Screen News was founded in 1920 with the backing of Canadian Pacific Railway and produced weekly newsreels, documentary shorts for Canadian movie theatres, and promotional and training films for industry. In 1926, Associated Screen News built modern new facilities in the Montréal district of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. In 1931, it acquired sound recording equipment.

Advertising strategies adapt as each new medium emerges. No segment of the media is exempt from ads. Had Black Horse beer not been taken off the market in 1952, it definitely would have been seen on television, promoted by spokespersons well known to the public. When the Radio-Canada and Télé-Métropole studios opened in Montréal, National Breweries would have been first in line to air its commercials.