The Water of Life
Telling the untold stories of Canadian history

The Water of Life film series is the result of a four-year collaboration between award-winning Montreal visual artist and filmmaker G. Scott MacLeod, internationally celebrated storyteller and writer Mike Burns and the National Film Board of Canada.

Marrying MacLeod’s painterly animations with Burns’ spellbinding storytelling, the four short animated films in The Water of Life film series tell dramatic early immigrant stories from three of Canada’s largest cultural communities as well as 2013 the heartbreaking tale of one of Canada’s indigenous peoples.

The Abenaki - People of the Dawn
2013, 16 min 25 s. Animation. (EN + FR)

A dramatic retelling of the history of the Abenaki First Nation, its early experiences with colonialism and its continuing struggle for survival.

2014 won best animation at the 24th edition of the Land InSights Festival

The Saga of Murdo MacLeod and His First Contact with the Abenaki
2012, 16 min 24 s. Animation. (EN + FR)
An unlikely alliance with First Nations inhabitants saves a group of 19th century Scottish immigrants from certain death.
The Irishman - Child of the Gael
2014, 20 min 07 s. Animation. (EN + FR)
In The Irishman – Child of the Gael, our narrator, Sean recounts his maternal and paternal ancestors’ dramatic immigrant experiences in Canada from the 1800s to the early 20th century.
The French Canadian
2015, 13 min 05 s. Animation. (EN + FR)
Jean-Pierre, a bootlegger from Sherbrooke, tells the iconic tale of his family’s arrival in Quebec in the 1640s, their work as farmers on the Seigneuries and as builders on the TransCanadian railway
Learning Guide + Research Guide and Production Notes included with each film!
The Water of Life
Telling the untold stories of Canadian history
Graphic Novel series coming soon!
Individual DVDs
129$ /each
Box set
A Brief Canadian History
45:00 minute English performance

Interactive multimedia performance and education package designed to celebrate and promote a deeper awareness of First Nations and Canadian art, culture and history.

First Contact
2015, 30 min 05 s. Animation. (EN + FR)
At the turn of the first millennium on the island now called Newfoundland, native North Americans and Europeans chance upon each| other for the first time. Two women, Bobodish of the Genoet band and Guðrið Thornbjarnardóttir, tell the story of this short-lived historical contact from perspectives that are sometimes contradictory, sometimes converging.
In Griffintown
2013, 17 min 42 s. Documentary. (French/English subtitles)

A vivid look at a once thriving Montreal community through the lens of a working class French-Canadian family.

2014 Award for Excellence in Oral History, Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Concordia Univeristy


After the War with Hannelore – A Berliner War Child’s Testimony from 1945 to 1989
2009. 23 min. Documentary. (English, French and German)

A personal portrait of Hannelore Scheiber, a war child who returns to Berlin for the first time since fleeing to Canada during the Cold War.

Also on:

CdBaby Apple Music


Learning Guide + Research Guide and Production Notes included with each film!
Personal use
Institutional use
Griffintown Tour: A Self-Guided Urban History Walk
Self-guided tour makes use of photography, drawings and animation to bring to life the history of 21 key residential and industrial | buildings in Montreal’s Griffintown neighbourhood
The Lachine Canal: Past and Present
Paperback, 116 Pages

Artists have often captured the beautiful and sublime, nature or a park, but how often do artists draw on Montreal’s early industrial history for their inspiration? G. Scott MacLeod has seized upon a vanishing history, of the Lachine Canal, a historic artery of Canada’s industrial history rapidly changing into a residential and recreational place.


Meeting with the Goddesses
Paperback, 78 Pages

Meeting with the Goddesses is a chapter title I have taken from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, as this body of work deals with several themes centred around the sacred feminine, mythology, the archetypal mind, temples and funerary objects. The first is the theme of the mystery of life, and as part of that mystery, the search for meaning embodied by the notion of goddesses—a single or multiple “source of all things.”


The Sacred Feminine and Masculine
eBook (PDF), 37 Pages

Photography exhibition catalogue The Sacred Feminine and Masculine by G. Scott MacLeod


Closing of the 4th Cycle
9 Songs, 34 Minutes

Revelation rock for eco armageddon - rock/spoken word thematic album reminiscent of the Door's American Prayer and Robbie Robertson's Contact from the Underworld of Redboy

Apple Music CdBaby

Goddesses and Gods
Inviting men and women to present their individual thoughts on sacred and ancient themes, and contrasting these with contextual portraits, G. Scott MacLeod enables us to consider that we are indeed linked to ancient archetypes, and can enter into that realm. By juxtaposing these 18 peoples’ interesting and disarming insights into how we relate to the ancient sources of ours, and others, cultures, G. Scott MacLeod’s Gods and Goddesses: Contemporary Archetypes invigorates a debate on the relativity of cultural worldviews. In so doing, he makes us aware of the universal character of myths, of the gods, the goddesses. All this involves universal aspects of the spirit, mind and body.