How did Canada as we know it come to be? How did the country “sell” the allure of settling West and filling the expanse that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific? It was a daunting task and one done with the aid of adverts and clever appealing graphic art. Cornelius Van Horne, who rose to be the Canadian Pacific’s railway’s president in 1888, began an intense campaign to attract tourists to Canada and lead the established Canadians further West.
Do you have a heard-to-please Canadian on your gift list? The making of modern Canada is unimaginable without Canadian Pacific. No other entity influenced the nation’s economic development and image to such an extent. The detailed history filled gift book, “Canadian Pacific: Creating A Brand, Building A Nation” [November 2015], is a stunner. This 384-page luxury coffee table book from leading design book publisher Callisto is meant for holiday gifting to a special history buff.
“Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand, Building a Nation” is the chronicled account of a private railway company that united Canada politically and became the world’s greatest and most diverse travel and transportation system. Canadian Pacific is the intriguing story of how commercial design united America’s friendly neighbor to the north politically – and created a visual identity for the Great White North that the world understands as “Canada” to this day. Author Marc H. Choko is professor emeritus at the School of Design of the Université du Québec à Montréal and former director of the university’s Design Centre. Choko is the author of numerous publications on graphic design, urban development and housing, and has curated many exhibitions that toured internationally. Choko is an honorary member of the Société des designers graphiques du Québec.
Upon completion of this transcontinental railway, it was complemented by a large fleet of passenger ships serving the Atlantic and the Pacific. In Canada, numerous fantastic hotels were built, and for a while Canadian Pacific was North America’s biggest hotel operator. The company also sponsored immigration to Canada on a major scale, and was a pioneer in the field of tourism – promoting Canada as a tourist destination, and offering luxury cruises throughout the world.
Choko’s compelling narrative lays out the first one hundred years of the company’s history, beginning in the 1880’s, is brought to life by hundreds of advertisements, illustrations, designs, photos, and historical documents, many of which have never been published before.
The historical ephemera shows the colorful universe of Canadian Pacific’s publicity and corporate branding strategies targeting the adventurous world travelers of the late 19th century, the luxury passengers in the 1930’s, potential immigrants considering a move to Canada, or the company’s airline customers in the 1950’s just to name a few examples.
This is a beautiful book, as it is an indispensable testament to one of the greatest achievements of entrepreneurship the world has seen.
From adventurous world travelers to potential immigrants considering a move to Canada, Canadian Pacific tells the important and unforgettable story of the impact a private corporation has had on a nation’s economic development and image – and will be a welcome addition to the bookcases, coffee tables, and cabins of history buffs, art lovers, and aesthetes alike.
Among the timely, intriguing and beautifully rendered topics Canadian Pacific explores include:
•Beavers, Banff and propaganda: how commercial design helped a disparate, newly formed nation understand its place in the world and forge an identity
•This is Canada: the romanticism and beauty of the images Canadian Pacific’s publicity department produced, and their immeasurable impact on the way Canada is perceived domestically and throughout the world
•Immigration and colonization: Canadian Pacific’s little-known history of facilitating the process of coming to Canada for hundreds of thousands of citizens
•The eminent artists behind Canadian Pacific’s publicity materials: why we cannot separate the interplay of commercial interest and high culture
The Premium Edition – a larger and technically more sophisticated version, is artfully packaged in a hand-crafted collector’s case with a wood veneer cover symbolizing the natural beauty of Canada, and containing additional images and Pantone colors and finishes not included in the Standard Edition – and it will be released in April 2016 with a retail for $720 CAD / $600 USD.