Mmmm… fresh Bread on Canada Day! Celebrate Canada’s diversity July 1 with an NFB interactive project featuring the recipes and experiences of six Canadian women

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Mmmm… fresh Bread on Canada Day! Celebrate Canada’s diversity July 1 with an NFB interactive project featuring the recipes and experiences of six Canadian women

by ahnationtalk on June 30, 2015607 Views

June 25, 2015 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

On July 1, visit the new National Film Board of Canada (NFB) interactive documentary Bread and meet six women whose unique bread recipes reflect their culture, heritage and family history―then try to bake your own!

In this interactive project, Alberta artist and social innovator Mariette Sluyter explores some of the diverse ways in which bread making is practised in Canadian homes, as these women share the beloved recipes of their families, communities, and heritages.

From roti to fry bread to an airy white loaf, every kind of bread carries a cultural heritage, reflecting the experiences of the women behind it:

•    Charlotte Yellowhorn McLeod, a Blackfoot woman from Piikani Nation, cooks up a batch of her beloved fry bread as she reflects on her difficult childhood immersion in colonial culture and language.
•    Carrie Sheen, a Cree woman, remembers a painful legacy of cultural erasure in the residential schools of her youth as she replicates the fresh, warm loaves her grandmother once baked.
•    A Hungarian immigrant in the 1930s, Anne Kerekes now reflects on aging, hard work, and her rural childhood while kneading an airy loaf of white bread.
•    Born in India, Vidya Richardson rejected the role of women in her culture and immigrated to Canada, where she now happily prepares her famous roti for family and friends.
•    Vera Kalmakoff remembers the comforting bread her mother baked for unemployed workers during the Great Depression; she revisits her Russian heritage by preparing her signature stuffed bread rolls.
•    Born in Holland, Wilma Sluyter was eight years old when war broke out in Europe. Once surrounded by violence and death, she nevertheless celebrates the joy in life, as with her traditional Dutch pannekoek recipe.

Bread is part of a series of interactive video anthology projects that combine NFB documentary filmmaking with an easy-to-use interface, accessible across all platforms. And each video includes a recipe, so users can recreate these delicious breads at home.

Quick Facts

•    Sluyter brought the women in Bread together for a community initiative at social service agency Carya (formerly Calgary Family Services), at which making bread served as a means for older adults to share stories, create meaningful social connections, and improve their quality of life. By sharing recipes from their families and cultures, the women in Bread are breaking down cultural barriers through storytelling, and highlighting the universal human experiences—tragedies, joys, fears and sorrows—that make us who we are.
•    Mariette Sluyter’s work has won her awards in the world of the arts as well as in the field of social justice, and has seen her focus on Aboriginal issues in the medical profession, internalized racism, and lateral violence through her work with the University of Calgary. Her work with Ryerson University examined social isolation, racism and cultural barriers, using story and song to explore potential issues and outcomes with newcomers to Canada. In recent years, her work with the Seniors Action Group has allowed her to focus on issues specific to older adults, including seniors’ health and sexuality.
•    Bread is created and written by Mariette Sluyter. Teri Snelgrove is the associate producer, Dana Dansereau is interactive producer, and Loc Dao is the executive producer for the NFB’s interactive studio in Vancouver.


“What makes this project special is that it acknowledges that, like bread, cultures are made from similar ingredients, yet with different outcomes. Join our elders as they share the stories that make up their lives and together remind us of the story of what it means to be alive and human. These elders are making a leap from isolation to being digital elders; meet these courageous and inspiring women as they step into their rightful roles as leaders.”

–Mariette Sluyter, filmmaker

“Elders have a key role to play in the restoration of community. As a society, we all benefit when our older adults pass on their hard-earned knowledge and wisdom, helping us grow closer across generations and across cultures. This is exactly what the women at the heart of Bread are doing: first as participants in one of Carya’s programs, and now as co-creators of this powerful cultural artifact—helping us all understand each other a bit better, and belong to each other a bit more.”

–Roman Katsnelson, Managing Director of Community Development, Carya

“Bread is home to me and one of the basics of food and hospitality and therefore community. Our bakery exists on the seam between keeping centuries-old traditions and creating new, creative flavour combinations. What makes this project so special to us is the opportunity to record and share this knowledge and create an opportunity for us to learn from each other, coming from different parts of this vast country.”

–Aviv Fried, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery


Please join NFB associate producer Teri Snelgrove, project creator Mariette Sluyter and all six women from Bread on July 1 at the Sidewalk Citizen Bakery in Calgary, along with master baker Aviv Fried and Calgary social service agency Carya, for a live presentation of the project.

Interviews available on request.

Associated Links

Mariette Sluyter:
Calgary Family Services:
Sidewalk citizen Bakery:

Stay Connected

Online Screening Room:

Media Relations

Pat Dillon
NFB Publicist
Cell: 514-206-1750
E-mail: [email protected]
Twitter: @PatDoftheNFB

Lily Robert
Director, Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs
Tel.: 514-283-3838
Cell: 514-296-8261
E-mail: [email protected]


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