On To Ottawa

Sara Diamond

1992, 53:00 minutes, colour, English


On To Ottawa, a part of Diamond's Women's Labour History Project, documents the plight, struggles and activism of the unemployed and their supporters during the 1930's depression. Herded into isolated relief camps, single unemployed men found governments hostile to their demand for meaningful work at decent wages. Concerns of the larger community for direct relief, medical care and homes were also ignored. In 1935, thousands boarded freight trains in protest and headed for Ottawa with their demands, while others banded together to provide encouragement and generous support along the way.

Directed by Sara Diamond, produced by the On to Ottawa Historical Society and The Women’s Labour History Project in 1992. The video is based upon the play written by Tom Hawken featuring his band, Trek participants Robert “Bobby” Jackson, Ray Wainwright and Jean Evans Sheils, daughter of Trek leader Arthur “Slim” Evans.

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Critical Writing

Sara Diamond: Video Art and Activism in Canada
by Frances K. Pohl. Women's Studies, Mar. 1996, v. 25, no. 3.