Canadian WWI Propaganda

Snapshots of Canada’s Past: History is more than just words on a screen or from a textbook; this series is a thematic look back at Canadian history through visual imagery.

There are a number of types of propaganda, but for this post I will be only looking at examples from Canada during World War I. The purpose of propaganda is to influence or manipulate the actions, thoughts, and/or beliefs of a population towards a particular cause. Intended to further the agenda of a person or group, the information presented is selective (sometimes even skewed) in order to produce an emotional reaction.

Propaganda generally carries a negative connotation as it is commonly associated with Hitler and the Third Reich. However, the term and its usage has been around long before both world wars. According to ancient world historians, the oldest example of propaganda comes from the Persian Empire in 515 BC!

Please click on the pictures below to learn more about the tactics, themes, motifs, and history behind Canadian WW1 propaganda.


“Canadian Wartime Propaganda,” Canadian War Museum (Online Exhibition). Accessed from:

“Canadian War Poster Collection,” McGill University. Accessed from:

5 thoughts on “Canadian WWI Propaganda

  1. Sue Archer says:

    I’m not sure what to make of that beaver, either! It would be interesting to know what they were going for with that one. Thanks for all the examples!


    • cadeauca says:

      Yeah, they should have had explanations available on the back of some of the more obscure/abstract posters because there were some definite head-scratchers amongst them!

      Liked by 1 person

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