A photographic journey — images of the Sixties Generation when youth tried to create a world in harmony

The accompanying photographs are from the book, All Our Changes: Images from the Sixties Generation, by Gerry Kopelow, which was recently-released by the University of Manitoba Press.

In his book, Kopelow has document ed, through 152 photographs, the youth culture of the 1960s “hippie” era, which led young people across North America to rebel against the preceding “conservative, consumer-driven society.” At a youthful 18 years of age, Kopelow hit the road on a cross-country photographic journey. 

“All Our Changes captures the innocence and earnestness of the early Canadian hippie movement, from political protests and speakers’ corners, to Festival Express and Mariposa,” according to the book’s back-cover notes.

It is an era that many of today’s baby boomers can identify with, having grown up at its height or in its shadow. Many today remember the outstanding music of the era, and Kopelaw has pictured some of its great performers such as the Guess Who and Joni Mitchell, as well as many of the bands that were part of the thriving local music scene, including The Fifth, The Gettysburg Address, the Logan Avenue Comfort Station, and The Electric Jug and Blues Band. Arguably, it was the Golden Age of the Winnipeg and Manitoba rock ’n’ roll scene.

Kopelaw said during the ’60s hippie movement, “we were trying to order the world in a more harmonious way. It was kind of sweet, really, when you look at it, and it was — and the impulse was they wanted to really feel good more of the time. That’s really what mattered, so we were all trying to feel good.”

It’s this spirit of new adventures and “feeling good” that Canada’s youth set out to experience in the 1960s that Kopelow documents in his images.