National Film Board of Canada

A collection of interactive stories connecting changing Canadian communities.

Project Details

In an exciting, innovative collaboration between the National Film Board and CBC Books people from across the Canada were asked to contribute personal stories about the changing face of their neighbourhoods. In addition to asking well-known bloggers and the public to submit, they commissioned written works from five of Canada’s best-known writers – Joseph Boyden, Will Ferguson, Lisa Moore, Heather O’Neill and Miriam Toews.

We were asked to adapt these writer’s personal reflections on community change into interactive web-based story experiences. A sixth interactive story, written by Melanie Bull – the winner of the nation-wide CBC Canada Writes Digital Storytelling Challenge – was produced a few months later.

Bringing together an incredible team of filmmakers, animators, designers, sound artists, and programmers, we took the words of these writers and created interactive snapshots of the way change is occurring in various communities across Canada, and tried to reflect that change back to Canadians. Each story features fresh, original design and modes of interactivity that reflect their unique thematic and narrative thrust.

The stories were presented as a collection under the moniker, HyperLocal at NFB/Interactive, with each individual interactive story also displayed on a CBC Hyperlocal interactive story map that featured all of the stories contributed from across the country.

Heather O’Neill’s story of a father and daughter’s fading memory of their Montreal neighbourhood.
Lisa Moore’s dark tale of economic boom and the resulting social problems in downtown St. John’s, Nfld.
Miriam Toew’s goes back to Steinbach, Manitoba and finds her Mennonite village has lost it’s austerity.
Will Ferguson’s story of a new/old neighbourhood in Calgary located on a former Canadian Forces base.
Joseph Boyden’s inspirational story of a camp for aboriginal youth in northern Ontario.
The winner, Melanie Bull’s story of an abandoned malting silo in Montreal.

Hyperlocal is listed in the MIT Open Documentary Lab’s, Docubase, and was a Digi Award finalist for “Best in Canadian Culture”.

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