Immigration Poster Assignment

Part 1: It's 1910

The Canadian government (and the Canadian railways) spent a lot of time and money trying to recruit immigrants from Europe in order to have them settle the West. One of their tactics was to create posters that would appeal to the local people and urge them to come to Canada.

Check out these Canadian Immigration Poster links for examples of what your poster could look like. They've all got similar themes. They all highlight the ideas of freedom and free land. (Take note: How much free land?) Why were these twin ideas so important in recruiting immigrants to come to Canada? Also observe who appears in the posters. They're all white. There are no blacks or Asians represented. As we talked about, there was also strong anti-German sentiment in some periods.

Your job is to create an immigrant recruitment poster.

  • You'll make it on standard 8.5*11 white paper.
  • It will, in an original way, attempt to recruit the citizens of other countries.
  • It will be colorful.
  • It may be in English, but it could also be in another major Western European language as well.
  • Keep in mind who you're recruiting.
    • Where are they from?
    • How did they live?
    • How does this contrast with what you have to offer them?

Part 2: It's today

Now create a second poster to attract immigrants to Canada. What would it look like?

  • What could you promise them?
    • There's no free land, so what could you promise them? Jobs? Freedom from evil governments?
  • What would draw them in?
    • Freedom? Economic opportunity? Re-uniting with relatives who've already come to Canada?
  • Where would you try recruiting?
    • Africa? Europe? Asia?
  • Who would you try recruiting?
    • Would you go after the poor or the rich? The unskilled laborer or the master surgeon?
  • What scenes or images would you show on your posters?
    • Would you be showing city or countryside? Factories or scientific research facilities?