The first and best of Ontario’s brilliant YTD campaign
OMG you found it!
So awesome, I was singing this last weekend my first visit curling in Thunder Bay! No body else new it, I was surprised because they played it all the time in my hometown of Superior/Duluth.
Living in Virginia, MN, my sister and I so loved this commercial that any time we heard the song, we’d both run into the living room, stand right in front of the TV to watch it. My favorites were when one picture would have a shape in it, like a Covered wagon at a museum, they’d zoom in on the round wheel and then the next shot would zip to a huge Ferris wheel. Those amazing segues should have won them a CLIO Award for sure.
I lived in Detroit and loved this commercial. Been looking for this for years. Thanks for posting.
I grew up in Windsor and feel the same way. Have you discovered the retro detroit commercials facebook group? My favourites of course are the Highland Appliance ads (all of them) with the kid practising his piano the gold winner. https://www.facebook.com/groups/oldschooldetroitcommercials/
I still hum this song and I really loved the flag animation at the end. Too bad the most successful Ontario tourism campaign was created my an American ag agency.
Maybe it was an American agency behind the campaign, but the song was written and recorded in Toronto by a Canadian jingle writer – Roland Parliament. I knew him back in the mid 80s.
How did you know me?
Roland Parliament, I recorded your song Retrontario for a youtube video. How can I obtain copyright permission to use it? Can you kindly respond to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you, Kate Willens
I also grew up in Detroit and have fond memories of this particular ad. I seem to remember a slightly longer version with an added verse “so come on everybody, get up and discover your on-ta-ri-oooo
Yeah I’m the guy that wrote that jingle with my beloved arranger Milan Kymlicka. Spread the word – I’m still alive. Roland Parliament
I remember that “So come on everybody” lyric! I’d LOVE to see that version of the commercial, if it exists ANYWHERE.
I remember ‘tweets being behind this commercial. There are a few of them in uniform with those slip-kits ready to fight the battle of Fort Detroit again and that’s why there’s a flying Union Jack that says “Canada” but no maple leaf. It’s okay, they are really just shooting their love muskets at you.
I thought that flying Union Jack said Canada. Silly me, it says “Ontario” with the provincial shield. The country name and the Maple Leaf flag never appears.
I moved to Toronto from England in 1982. Returned to England in 1996 but haven’t ever forgotten this commercial. Thanks for posting it – it evokes memories of some of the happiest years of my life!
Ahhh my child hood all over again!!!! Loves this then love this now! I play it all the time for my kids and my beautiful wife
Actually it was a Canadian agency behind this campaign.
And I have the full 60 second version that I’d be happy to share with anyone.
You do?! It would be fantastic to see the full version again! How can we make it happen? – Thanks Ronald!
I’ve got it on my hard drive but I don’t know how to transfer it.
I can certainly help you either by walking through uploading it to YouTube or similar (depends on a few factors such as a compatible video file format). Are you at Harris anytime this week? I can give you a call (I’m in Mississauga) and we can go from there. Let me know and thank you so much for reaching out!
I only have the audio version of the 60 second spot and I have other audio versions. I’m happy to share if I can find a way.
I remember that the video for the 60-second version was FANTASTIC. Beautifully edited. Same singer as for this 30-second spot, I believe. I hope someone finds that clip someday. There was a terrific shot cut to the “YOURS” in “Yours to discover.”
Does anyone happen to know the singer’s name?
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This song came into my head today for no reason at all. ( Actually I was looking at Ontario beaches to visit, so I don’t know ). What a great song, I loved it and still do. Thanks Parliament!
After searching for merch from this campaign for so many years, I somehow managed to find a vintage hat with the classic flag logo & “yours to discover” slogan the other day. I also have a set of four framed posters from this campaign that came from a Ministry of Tourism office back in the 80s 🙂
Looking back on this now, it’s astonishing how beautiful, exciting, even moving this ad is. It was a better culture then, a better population.
It’s amazing. We look back with awe upon past centuries and how much nobler and healthier their cultures were than ours today. But here, just over 30 years ago, we see a self-conception of a people that is so wholesome and clean and healthy and pure, whereas today’s culture is so degenerate. It’s a bittersweet sensation to view this.
By the way, I strongly recommend that you upload this to YouTube. You do feature the other, later “Yours to Discover” ads on your YouTube channel, but this really is by FAR the best version — no contest.
A little research turns up some fascinating details about this video.
1. The building which appears at 0:16 in the video is, it turns out, the Frontenac Court House in Kingston, Ontario.
2. The crack redcoat riflemen that are so dynamically presented in the video are the Fort Henry Guard at (obviously) Fort Henry, in Kingston, Ontario. (They are shown at 0:15 standing in front of the interior view of the entrance to Fort Henry.) Apparently, they hold events during which they do fire their rifles. I wonder if they also still perform the drill moves shown in the video.
3. The girl at 0:09 is extraordinarily pretty. (Okay, that’s not research — just an observation.)
Can’t identify the historical reencators (or their setting) who appear at 0:21, but I’m betting that much of the rest of the content of the video originates in Kingston, given the two details above, which I did ascertain.
Hello people I am looking for a version of the commercial that has the face of a native flash on the screen. Not sure of the year but I believe it was somewhere between 1979-1983. If you help me that’s great. Thanks Barry
I remember even WUTV Buffalo 29 (Before it became FOX 29) used to advertise this to the American viewers
I remember calling Ontario Travel back in the 80s and heard that jingle while being on hold. Never saw the ad until now. Great job!
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