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John A.: Birth of a Country (2011)

The political manoeuvrings in the ten or so years in the legislature of the Province of Canada, comprised of the former Upper Canada and Lower Canada, leading up to the confederation of ... See full summary »


Jerry Ciccoritti


Richard Gwyn (book), Bruce M. Smith
8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shawn Doyle ... John A. Macdonald
Peter Outerbridge ... George Brown
David La Haye ... George-Étienne Cartier
Aidan Devine ... Sandfield MacDonald
Michelle Nolden ... Anne Nelson Brown
Peter MacNeill ... Allan MacNab
Cedric Smith ... Governor General Edmund Head
Rob Stewart ... William McDougall
Ted Atherton ... Governor General Charles Monck
Patrick McKenna ... Alexander Galt
Steve Cumyn ... Spence
Neil Foster ... Speaker #2
Frank McAnulty Frank McAnulty ... Speaker #3
Jean-Michel Le Gal ... Antoine-Aimé Dorion
Christian Martyn ... Hugh John Macdonald


The political manoeuvrings in the ten or so years in the legislature of the Province of Canada, comprised of the former Upper Canada and Lower Canada, leading up to the confederation of British North American colonies into one country called Canada in 1867, are presented. The story focuses primarily on three politicians: John A. Macdonald who during that time would assume the leadership of the Conservative Party, his Québec leader George-Étienne Cartier, and George Brown, who is leader of the Liberal Party during much of this time and who is owner of the Globe newspaper in Toronto. Macdonald and Brown not only oppose each other politically - doing whatever needed to gain control over the other - but also refuse to deal with the other solely because of who the other is as a person. Beyond their battles, they also have to contend with the continuing problems of how to deal with the English/French divide in the Upper Canada/Lower Canada union, with the provincial capital moving between ... Written by Huggo

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English | French

Release Date:

19 September 2011 (Canada) See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Box Office


CAD4,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


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Did You Know?


John A. Macdonald: It's Canada! Everything's in the middle of the wilderness!
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User Reviews

Who knew our history was entertaining! O Canada!
19 September 2011 | by jennyallworthySee all my reviews

As someone who watches a lot of period drama, I really enjoyed this. As a middle aged Canadian who knows she should learn more about Canadian history, I doubly enjoyed this.

I won't spoil it for you by telling you how our country was born (although we were really supposed to learn that in grade 10!). But I will heartily recommend that you watch this. Although if you are reading this, you probably already watched it! The only complaint I have is the less than stellar Scottish accents, but that is really quite minor. It's great they hired Canadian actors and not Scottish ones I suppose! But the acting was really wonderful and I came to IMDb to find out who these wonderful actors were.

I am absolutely going to buy this when it comes out on DVD so I can watch it again. I hope it comes with lots of great extras so I can learn even more Canadian history. REALLY. I am not joking.

I think this will improve grade 10 Canadian history for many generations to come. Bravo to the CBC!

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