The CNE Film Collection, C 24, is arranged and described at the item level. The collection is comprised of 329 reels of 16mm and 35mm film. These moving images have been captured on black-and-white, and colour acetate and polyester film stocks, and are either silent or have optical or magnetic soundtracks. The films are positives, with a small number of negatives. This collection has a mix of different film elements: original colour and b&w reversal, reversal prints, colour prints, duplicate negatives, original negatives, track negatives, full coat magnetic negatives, duplicate prints, workprints, and release prints. There are actuality films in the collection that were made by outside production companies in the 1930s through the 1950s and used to promote the CNE. They are copies.
The collection documents the annual Canadian National Exhibition during the years 1927 to 1981. It also includes some non-CNE films pertaining to the upkeep and development of Exhibition Park and the off-season uses of the grounds.
The moving images focus primarily on the annual Canadian National Exhibition and its events. The predominate themes of these images are: crowds on the midway, midway rides, the Canadian International Air Show, grandstand performances, Dufferin and Princes' Gates, and promos for the following year's exhibition.
Other CNE events shown in these films include the Warriors' Day Parade, Labour Day parades, flower shows, agriculture shows, car shows, fashion shows, exhibit booths, firework displays, waterfront shows and international exhibits.