A country built on feats of toughness

Red Urban tells stories of the HBC adventurers who shaped Canada.

If you remember your social studies class, you’ll know that the Hudson’s Bay Company shaped a great deal of Canada’s history. If you only remember the pictures of maps in your textbook, you’ll know the company owned parts of the country for several years following Confederation. The way they got that land? Employing a team of adventurers so tough they make bodybuilders look like youth pastors.

Hudson’s Bay Company has established the Hudson’s Bay History Foundation, which has a mission of advancing interest in Canadian history, and launched a campaign that begins that mission with itself. The first spot in “The Country of Adventures,” by Red Urban, debuted during Canadian broadcasts of Sunday’s Emmy Awards, and reminds us of what a moment in history (or “Heritage Moment”) looks like — if a “Heritage Moment” was about someone who could take down a bear because they needed a mid-day snack and a new coat. It follows John Rae, a doctor who worked for HBC, and whose accomplishments included surviving four Arctic expeditions in the 1840s by working with the Inuit who lived there, discovering what happened to the Franklin Expedition and finally locating the end of the Northwest Passage. The spot is narrated, fittingly enough, by Les Stroud, host of TV’s Survivorman.

You can also go to the Country of Adventurers website to follow Rae’s expeditions and get a more in-depth history lesson, with more adventures being posted as each spot debuts.


Brand: Hudson’s Bay Company
Agency: Red Urban
Executive Creative Director: Christina Yu
Associate Creative Director, Writer : Pete Gardiner
Art Director: Alicia Outschoorn
Producer: Anna Tricinci
Digital Producer: Gina Lijoi
Director, Client Services: Caroline Kilgour
Group Account Director: Samantha Brightling
Account Supervisor: Matt Baggley

Production Company: Untitled Films, Toronto
Director: David Tennant
Director of Photography: John Houtman
Line Producer: Kelly King
Executive Producer: Lexy Kavluk

Editorial Company: Saints Editorial, Toronto
Editor: Mark Paiva
Assistant Editor: Michael Ofori-Attah
Executive Producer: Tory Osler

Post Effects Company: Alter Ego Post, Toronto
Colourist/Compositing: Eric Whipp
CGI: Andres Kirejew
Compositing: Andrew Thiessen

Music Production Company: Imprint Music
Music Composer: Imprint Music
Music Producer: Fraser MacDougall
Sound Designer/Engineer: Aaron McCourt
Executive Producer: Corinne Murray

Web Development Company: Media Monks
EP: Brook Downton
CD: Alex Danklof
Producer: Hailey Peek
Designer: Marc Vermeeren