The culture of Canada embodies the artistic, culinary, literary, humour, musical, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians. Throughout Canada's history, its culture has been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French, and by its own indigenous cultures. Over time, elements of the cultures of Canada's immigrant populations have become incorporated to form a Canadian cultural mosaic. The population has also been influenced by American culture because of a shared language, proximity, television and migration between the two countries.
Canada is often characterized as being "very progressive, diverse, and multicultural". Canada's federal government has often been described as the instigator of multicultural ideology because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration. Canada's culture draws from its broad range of constituent nationalities, and policies that promote a just society are constitutionally protected. Canadian Government policies—such as publicly funded health care; higher and more progressive taxation; outlawing capital punishment; strong efforts to eliminate poverty; an emphasis on cultural diversity; strict gun control; the legalization of same-sex marriage and cannabis —are social indicators of the country's political and cultural values. Canadians identify with the country's institutions of health care, military peacekeeping, the National park system and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Canadian government has influenced culture with programs, laws and institutions. It has created crown corporations to promote Canadian culture through media, such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and promotes many events which it considers to promote Canadian traditions. It has also tried to protect Canadian culture by setting legal minimums on Canadian content in many media using bodies like the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
For thousands of years Canada has been inhabited by indigenous peoples from a variety of different cultures and of several major linguistic groupings. Although not without conflict and bloodshed, early European interactions with First Nations and Inuit populations in what is now Canada were arguably peaceful. First Nations and Métis peoples played a critical part in the development of European colonies in Canada, particularly for their role in assisting European coureur des bois and voyageurs in the exploration of the continent during the North American fur trade. Combined with late economic development in many regions, this comparably nonbelligerent early history allowed indigenous Canadians to have a lasting influence on the national culture (see: The Canadian Crown and Aboriginal peoples). Over the course of three centuries, countless North American Indigenous words, inventions, concepts, and games have become an everyday part of Canadian language and use. Many places in Canada, both natural features and human habitations, use indigenous names. The name "Canada" itself derives from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word meaning "village" or "settlement". The name of Canada's capital city Ottawa comes from the Algonquin language term "adawe" meaning "to trade".
The French originally settled New France along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Saint Lawrence River during the early part of the 17th century. Themes and symbols of pioneers, trappers, and traders played an important part in the early development of French Canadian culture. The British conquest of New France during the mid-18th century brought 70,000 Francophones under British rule, creating a need for compromise and accommodation. The migration of 40,000 to 50,000 United Empire Loyalists from the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution (1775–1783) brought American colonial influences. Following the War of 1812, a large wave of Irish, Scottish and English settlers arrived in Upper Canada and Lower Canada.
The Canadian Forces and overall civilian participation in the First World War and Second World War helped to foster Canadian nationalism; however, in 1917 and 1944, conscription crises highlighted the considerable rift along ethnic lines between Anglophones and Francophones. As a result of the First and Second World Wars, the Government of Canada became more assertive and less deferential to British authority. Canada until the 1940s saw itself in terms of English and French cultural, linguistic and political identities, and to some extent aboriginal.
Legislative restrictions on immigration (such as the Continuous journey regulation and Chinese Immigration Act) that had favoured British, American and other European immigrants (such as Dutch, German, Italian, Polish, Swedish and Ukrainian) were amended during the 1960s, resulting in an influx of diverse people from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. By the end of the 20th century, immigrants were increasingly Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Filipino, Lebanese and Haitian. As of 2006, Canada has grown to have thirty four ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members each, of which eleven have over 1,000,000 people and numerous others are represented in smaller numbers. 16.2% of the population self identify as a visible minority. The Canadian public as-well as the major political parties support immigration.
Canada has also evolved to be religiously and linguistically diverse, encompassing a wide range of dialects, beliefs and customs. The 2011 Canadian census reported a population count of 33,121,175 individuals of whom 67.3% identify as being Christians; of these, Catholics make up the largest group, accounting for 38.7 percent of the population. The largest Protestant denomination is the United Church of Canada (accounting for 6.1% of Canadians), followed by Anglicans (5.0%), and Baptists (1.9%). About 23.9% of Canadians declare no religious affiliation, including agnostics, atheists, humanists, and other groups. The remaining are affiliated with non-Christian religions, the largest of which is Islam (3.2%), followed by Hinduism (1.5%), Sikhism (1.4%) Buddhism (1.1%) and Judaism (1.0%). English and French are the first languages of approximately 60% and 20% of the population; however in 2011, nearly 6.8 million Canadians listed a non-official language as their mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese (mainly Cantonese with 1,072,555 first-language speakers); Punjabi (430,705); Spanish (410,670); German (409,200); and Italian (407,490).
Canadian governments at the federal level have a tradition of liberalism, and govern with a moderate, centrist political ideology.  Canada's egalitarian approach to governance emphasizing social justice and multiculturalism, is based on selective immigration, social integration, and suppression of far-right politics that has wide public and political support. Peace, order, and good government are constitutional goals of the Canadian government.
Canada has a multi-party system in which many of its legislative customs derive from the unwritten conventions of and precedents set by the Westminster parliament of the United Kingdom. The country has been dominated by two parties, the centre-left Liberal Party of Canada and the centre-right Conservative Party of Canada. The historically predominant Liberals position themselves at the center of the political scale with the Conservatives sitting on the right and the New Democratic Party occupying the left. Smaller parties like the Quebec nationalist Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada have also been able to exert their influence over the political process by representation at the federal level.
French Canada's early development was relatively cohesive during the 17th and 18th centuries, and this was preserved by the Quebec Act of 1774, which allowed Roman Catholics to hold offices and practice their faith. In 1867, the Constitution Act was thought to meet the growing calls for Canadian autonomy while avoiding the overly strong decentralization that contributed to the Civil War in the United States. The compromises reached during this time between the English- and French-speaking Fathers of Confederation set Canada on a path to bilingualism which in turn contributed to an acceptance of diversity. The English and French languages have had limited constitutional protection since 1867 and full official status since 1969. Section 133 of the Constitution Act of 1867 (BNA Act) guarantees that both languages may be used in the Parliament of Canada. Canada adopted its first Official Languages Act in 1969, giving English and French equal status in the government of Canada. Doing so makes them "official" languages, having preferred status in law over all other languages used in Canada.
Prior to the advent of the Canadian Bill of Rights in 1960 and its successor the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, the laws of Canada did not provide much in the way of civil rights and this issue was typically of limited concern to the courts. Canada since the 1960s has placed emphasis on equality and inclusiveness for all people. Multiculturalism in Canada was adopted as the official policy of the Canadian government and is enshrined in Section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1995, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Egan v. Canada that sexual orientation should be "read in" to Section Fifteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a part of the Constitution of Canada guaranteeing equal rights to all Canadians. Following a series of decisions by provincial courts and the Supreme Court of Canada, on July 20, 2005, the Civil Marriage Act (Bill C-38) received Royal Assent, legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada. Furthermore, sexual orientation was included as a protected status in the human-rights laws of the federal government and of all provinces and territories.
In general, Canadian nationalists are highly concerned about the protection of Canadian sovereignty and loyalty to the Canadian State, placing them in the civic nationalist category. It has likewise often been suggested that anti-Americanism plays a prominent role in Canadian nationalist ideologies. A unified, bi-cultural, tolerant and sovereign Canada remains an ideological inspiration to many Canadian nationalists. Alternatively French Canadian nationalism and support for maintaining French Canadian culture would inspire Quebec nationalists, many of whom were supporters of the Quebec sovereignty movement during the late-20th century.
Cultural protectionism in Canada has, since the mid-20th century, taken the form of conscious, interventionist attempts on the part of various Canadian governments to promote Canadian cultural production. Sharing a large border and (for the majority) a common language with the United States, Canada faces a difficult position in regard to American culture, be it direct attempts at the Canadian market or the general diffusion of American culture in the globalized media arena. While Canada tries to maintain its cultural differences, it also must balance this with responsibility in trade arrangements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Canadian values are the commonly shared ethical and human values of Canada. The major political parties have claimed explicitly that they uphold Canadian values, but use generalities to specify them. Historian Ian MacKay argues that, thanks to the long-term political impact of "Rebels, Reds, and Radicals", and allied leftist political elements, "egalitarianism, social equality, and peace... are now often simply referred to...as 'Canadian values.'" A 2013 Statistics Canada survey found that an "overwhelming majority" of Canadians shared the values of human rights (with 92% of respondents agreeing that they are a shared Canadian value), respect for the law (92%) and gender equality (91%). Universal access to publicly funded health services "is often considered by Canadians as a fundamental value that ensures national health care insurance for everyone wherever they live in the country."  The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, was intended to be a source for Canadian values and national unity.  The 15th Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau wrote in his Memoirs that:
Canada itself could now be defined as a "society where all people are equal and where they share some fundamental values based upon freedom", and that all Canadians could identify with the values of liberty and equality.
Pierre Trudeau's son Justin Trudeau, as the 23rd Prime Minister would defined what it means to be Canadian, proclaiming:
That Canada lacks a core identity but does have shared values: There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada ... There are shared values — openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first postnational state.
Numerous scholars, beginning with Seymour Martin Lipset in the 1940s, have tried to identify, measure and compare them with other countries, especially the United States. However, there are critics who say that such a task is practically impossible.
Canada's large geographic size, the presence of a significant number of indigenous peoples, the conquest of one European linguistic population by another and relatively open immigration policy have led to an extremely diverse society. As a result, the issue of Canadian identity remains under scrutiny.
Canada has constitutional protection for policies that promote multiculturalism rather than cultural assimilation or a single national myth. In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many commentators speak of a French Canadian culture as distinguished from English Canadian culture. However, as a whole, Canada is in theory, a cultural mosaic—a collection of several regional, and ethnic subcultures.
The Canadian Identity, as it has come to be known, is as elusive as the Sasquatch and Ogopogo. It has animated—and frustrated—generations of statesmen, historians, writers, artists, philosophers, and the National Film Board ... Canada resists easy definition.
Canada's 15th prime minister Pierre Trudeau in regards to uniformity stated:
Uniformity is neither desirable nor possible in a country the size of Canada. We should not even be able to agree upon the kind of Canadian to choose as a model, let alone persuade most people to emulate it. There are few policies potentially more disastrous for Canada than to tell all Canadians that they must be alike. There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian. What could be more absurd than the concept of an “all-Canadian” boy or girl? A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.
The question of Canadian identity was traditionally dominated by three fundamental themes: first, the often conflicted relations between English Canadians and French Canadians stemming from the French Canadian imperative for cultural and linguistic survival; secondly, the generally close ties between English Canadians and the British Empire, resulting in a gradual political process towards complete independence from the imperial power; and finally, the close proximity of English-speaking Canadians to the United States. Much of the debate over contemporary Canadian identity is argued in political terms, and defines Canada as a country defined by its government policies, which are thought to reflect deeper cultural values.
Canadian humour is an integral part of the Canadian Identity. There are several traditions in Canadian humour in both English and French. While these traditions are distinct and at times very different, there are common themes that relate to Canadians' shared history and geopolitical situation in the Western Hemisphere and the world. Various trends can be noted in Canadian comedy. One trend is the portrayal of a "typical" Canadian family in an ongoing radio or television series. Other trends include outright absurdity, and political and cultural satire. Irony, parody, satire, and self-deprecation are arguably the primary characteristics of Canadian humour.
The beginnings of Canadian national radio comedy date to the late 1930s with the debut of The Happy Gang, a long-running weekly variety show that was regularly sprinkled with corny jokes in between tunes. Canadian television comedy begins with Wayne and Shuster, a sketch comedy duo who performed as a comedy team during the Second World War, and moved their act to radio in 1946 before moving on to television. Second City Television, otherwise known as SCTV, Royal Canadian Air Farce, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Kids in the Hall and more recently Trailer Park Boys are regarded as television shows which were very influential on the development of Canadian humour. Canadian comedians have had great success in the film industry and are amongst the most recognized in the world.
Humber College in Toronto and the École nationale de l'humour in Montreal offer post-secondary programmes in comedy writing and performance. Montreal is also home to the bilingual (English and French) Just for Laughs festival and to the Just for Laughs Museum, a bilingual, international museum of comedy. Canada has a national television channel, The Comedy Network, devoted to comedy. Many Canadian cities feature comedy clubs and showcases, most notable, The Second City branch in Toronto (originally housed at The Old Fire Hall) and the Yuk Yuk's national chain. The Canadian Comedy Awards were founded in 1999 by the Canadian Comedy Foundation for Excellence, a not-for-profit organization.
Official symbols of Canada include the maple leaf, beaver, and the Canadian horse. Many official symbols of the country such as the Flag of Canada have been changed or modified over the past few decades to Canadianize them and de-emphasise or remove references to the United Kingdom. Other prominent symbols include the Canada goose, common loon and more recently, the totem pole and inuksuk. Symbols of the Canadian monarchy continue to be featured in, for example, the Arms of Canada, the armed forces, and the prefix Her Majesty's Canadian Ship. The designation Royal remains for institutions as varied as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. During unification of the forces in the 1960s, a renaming of the branches took place, resulting in the abandonment of "royal designations" of the navy and air force. On August 16, 2011, the Government of Canada announced that the name "Air Command" was re-assuming the air force's original historic name, Royal Canadian Air Force; "Land Command" was re-assuming the name Canadian Army; and "Maritime Command" was re-assuming the name Royal Canadian Navy. These name changes were made to better reflect Canada's military heritage and align Canada with other key Commonwealth of Nations whose militaries use the royal designation.
Indigenous artists were producing art in the territory that is now called Canada for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European settler colonists and the eventual establishment of Canada as a nation state. Like the peoples that produced them, indigenous art traditions spanned territories that extended across the current national boundaries between Canada and the United States. The majority of indigenous artworks preserved in museum collections date from the period after European contact and show evidence of the creative adoption and adaptation of European trade goods such as metal and glass beads. Canadian sculpture has been enriched by the walrus ivory, muskox horn and caribou antler and soapstone carvings by the Inuit artists. These carvings show objects and activities from the daily life, myths and legends of the Inuit. Inuit art since the 1950s has been the traditional gift given to foreign dignitaries by the Canadian government.
The works of most early Canadian painters followed European trends. During the mid-19th century, Cornelius Krieghoff, a Dutch-born artist in Quebec, painted scenes of the life of the habitants (French-Canadian farmers). At about the same time, the Canadian artist Paul Kane painted pictures of indigenous life in western Canada. A group of landscape painters called the Group of Seven developed the first distinctly Canadian style of painting. All these artists painted large, brilliantly colored scenes of the Canadian wilderness.
Since the 1930s, Canadian painters have developed a wide range of highly individual styles. Emily Carr became famous for her paintings of totem poles in British Columbia. Other noted painters have included the landscape artist David Milne, the painters Jean-Paul Riopelle, Harold Town and Charles Carson and multi-media artist Michael Snow. The abstract art group Painters Eleven, particularly the artists William Ronald and Jack Bush, also had an important impact on modern art in Canada. Government support has played a vital role in their development enabling visual exposure through publications and periodicals featuring Canadian art, as has the establishment of numerous art schools and colleges across the country.
Canadian literature is often divided into French- and English-language literatures, which are rooted in the literary traditions of France and Britain, respectively. Canada's early literature, whether written in English or French, often reflects the Canadian perspective on nature, frontier life, and Canada's position in the world, for example the poetry of Bliss Carman or the memoirs of Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Traill. These themes, and Canada's literary history, inform the writing of successive generations of Canadian authors, from Leonard Cohen to Margaret Atwood.
By the mid-20th century, Canadian writers were exploring national themes for Canadian readers. Authors were trying to find a distinctly Canadian voice, rather than merely emulating British or American writers. Canadian identity is closely tied to its literature. The question of national identity recurs as a theme in much of Canada's literature, from Hugh MacLennan's Two Solitudes (1945) to Alistair MacLeod's No Great Mischief (1999). Canadian literature is often categorized by region or province; by the socio-cultural origins of the author (for example, Acadians, indigenous peoples, LGBT, and Irish Canadians); and by literary period, such as "Canadian postmoderns" or "Canadian Poets Between the Wars".
Canadian authors have accumulated numerous international awards. In 1992, Michael Ondaatje became the first Canadian to win the Man Booker Prize for The English Patient. Margaret Atwood won the Booker in 2000 for The Blind Assassin and Yann Martel won it in 2002 for the Life of Pi. Carol Shields's The Stone Diaries won the Governor General's Awards in Canada in 1993, the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2013, Alice Munro was the first Canadian to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for her work as "master of the modern short story". Munro is also a recipient of the Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work, and three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction.
Canada has had a thriving stage theatre scene since the late 1800s. Theatre festivals draw many tourists in the summer months, especially the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, and the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The Famous People Players are only one of many touring companies that have also developed an international reputation. Canada also hosts one of the largest fringe festivals, the Edmonton International Fringe Festival.
Canada's largest cities host a variety of modern and historical venues. The Toronto Theatre District is Canada's largest, as well as being the third largest English-speaking theatre district in the world. In addition to original Canadian works, shows from the West End and Broadway frequently tour in Toronto. Toronto's Theatre District includes the venerable Roy Thomson Hall; the Princess of Wales Theatre; the Tim Sims Playhouse; The Second City; the Canon Theatre; the Panasonic Theatre; the Royal Alexandra Theatre; historic Massey Hall; and the city's new opera house, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Toronto's Theatre District also includes the Theatre Museum Canada.
Montreal's theatre district ("Quartier des Spectacles") is the scene of performances that are mainly French-language, although the city also boasts a lively anglophone theatre scene, such as the Centaur Theatre. Large French theatres in the city include Théâtre Saint-Denis and Théâtre du Nouveau Monde.
Quebec City is the permanent home to the world renowned Robert LePage theatre, opera and experimental artist.
Vancouver is host to, among others, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, the Arts Club Theatre Company, Carousel Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Theatre Under the Stars and Studio 58. It also home of Vancouver Theatresports League, the improvisational theatre company, world-known for providing an impetus for the present worldwide interest in theatresports at Expo in 1986.
Calgary is home to Theatre Calgary, a mainstream regional theatre; Alberta Theatre Projects, a major centre for new play development in Canada; the Calgary Animated Objects Society; and One Yellow Rabbit, a touring company.
There are three major theatre venues in Ottawa; the Ottawa Little Theatre, originally called the Ottawa Drama League at its inception in 1913, is the longest-running community theatre company in Ottawa. Since 1969, Ottawa has been the home of the National Arts Centre, a major performing-arts venue that houses four stages and is home to the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and Opera Lyra Ottawa. Established in 1975, the Great Canadian Theatre Company specializes in the production of Canadian plays at a local level.
Canadian television, especially supported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is the home of a variety of locally produced shows. French-language television, like French Canadian film, is buffered from excessive American influence by the fact of language, and likewise supports a host of home-grown productions. The success of French-language domestic television in Canada often exceeds that of its English-language counterpart. In recent years nationalism has been used to prompt products on television. The I Am Canadian campaign by Molson beer, most notably the commercial featuring Joe Canadian, infused domestically brewed beer and nationalism.
Canada's television industry is in full expansion as a site for Hollywood productions. Since the 1980s, Canada, and Vancouver in particular, has become known as Hollywood North. The American TV series Queer as Folk was filmed in Toronto. Canadian producers have been very successful in the field of science fiction since the mid-1990s, with such shows as The X-Files, Stargate SG-1, Highlander: The Series, the new Battlestar Galactica, My Babysitter's A Vampire, Smallville, and The Outer Limits, all filmed in Vancouver.
The CRTC's Canadian content regulations dictate that a certain percentage of a domestic broadcaster's transmission time must include content that is produced by Canadians, or covers Canadian subjects. These regulations also apply to US cable television channels such as MTV and the Discovery Channel, which have local versions of their channels available on Canadian cable networks. Similarly, BBC Canada, while showing primarily BBC shows from the United Kingdom, also carries Canadian output.
A number of Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood significantly contributed to the creation of the motion picture industry in the early days of the 20th century. Over the years, many Canadians have made enormous contributions to the American entertainment industry, although they are frequently not recognized as Canadians.
Canada has developed a vigorous film industry that has produced a variety of well-known films, actors, and auteurs. In fact, this eclipsing may sometimes be creditable for the bizarre and innovative directions of some works, such as auteurs Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, 1997) and David Cronenberg (The Fly, Naked Lunch, A History of Violence) and the avant-garde work of Michael Snow and Jack Chambers. Also, the distinct French-Canadian society permits the work of directors such as Denys Arcand and Denis Villeneuve, while First Nations cinema includes the likes of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. At the 76th Academy Awards, Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions became Canada's first film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. James Cameron is a very successful Canadian filmmaker, having been nominated for and received many Academy Awards.
The National Film Board of Canada is 'a public agency that produces and distributes films and other audiovisual works which reflect Canada to Canadians and the rest of the world'. Canada has produced many popular documentaries such as The Corporation, Nanook of the North, Final Offer, and Canada: A People's History. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is considered by many to be one of the most prevalent film festivals for Western cinema. It is the première film festival in North America from which the Oscars race begins.
The music of Canada has reflected the multi-cultural influences that have shaped the country. Indigenous, the French, and the British have all made historical contributions to the musical heritage of Canada. The country has produced its own composers, musicians and ensembles since the mid-1600s. From the 17th century onward, Canada has developed a music infrastructure that includes church halls; chamber halls; conservatories; academies; performing arts centres; record companys; radio stations, and television music-video channels. The music has subsequently been heavily influenced by American culture because of its proximity and migration between the two countries. Canadian rock has had a considerable impact on the development of modern popular music and the development of the most popular subgenres.
Patriotic music in Canada dates back over 200 years as a distinct category from British patriotism, preceding the first legal steps to independence by over 50 years. The earliest known song, "The Bold Canadian", was written in 1812. The national anthem of Canada, "O Canada" adopted in 1980, was originally commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, the Honourable Théodore Robitaille, for the 1880 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony. Calixa Lavallée wrote the music, which was a setting of a patriotic poem composed by the poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The text was originally only in French, before English lyrics were written in 1906.
Music broadcasting in the country is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presents Canada's music industry awards, the Juno Awards, which were first awarded in a ceremony during the summer of 1970.
Canada has a well-developed media sector, but its cultural output—particularly in English films, television shows, and magazines—is often overshadowed by imports from the United States. Television, magazines, and newspapers are primarily for-profit corporations based on advertising, subscription, and other sales-related revenues. Nevertheless, both the television broadcasting and publications sectors require a number of government interventions to remain profitable, ranging from regulation that bars foreign companies in the broadcasting industry to tax laws that limit foreign competition in magazine advertising.
The promotion of multicultural media in Canada began in the late 1980s as the multicultural policy was legislated in 1988. In the Multiculturalism Act, the federal government proclaimed the recognition of the diversity of Canadian culture. Thus, multicultural media became an integral part of Canadian media overall. Upon numerous government reports showing lack of minority representation or minority misrepresentation, the Canadian government stressed separate provision be made to allow minorities and ethnicities of Canada to have their own voice in the media.
Sports in Canada consists of a variety of games. Although there are many contests that Canadians value, the most common are ice hockey, box lacrosse, Canadian football, basketball, soccer, curling, baseball and ringette. All but curling and soccer are considered domestic sports as they were either invented by Canadians or trace their roots to Canada.
Ice hockey, referred to as simply "hockey", is Canada's most prevalent winter sport, its most popular spectator sport, and its most successful sport in international competition. It is Canada's official national winter sport. Lacrosse, a sport with indigenous origins, is Canada's oldest and official summer sport. Canadian football is Canada's second most popular spectator sport, and the Canadian Football League's annual championship, the Grey Cup, is the country's largest annual sports event.
While other sports have a larger spectator base, association football, known in Canada as soccer in both English and French, has the most registered players of any team sport in Canada, and is the most played sport with all demographics, including ethnic origin, ages and genders. Professional teams exist in many cities in Canada – with a trio of teams in North America's top pro league, Major League Soccer – and international soccer competitions such as the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro and the UEFA Champions League attract some of the biggest audiences in Canada. Other popular team sports include curling, street hockey, cricket, rugby league, rugby union, softball and Ultimate frisbee. Popular individual sports include auto racing, boxing, karate, kickboxing, hunting, sport shooting, fishing, cycling, golf, hiking, horse racing, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, triathlon, disc golf, water sports, and several forms of wrestling.
As a country with a generally cool climate, Canada has enjoyed greater success at the Winter Olympics than at the Summer Olympics, although significant regional variations in climate allow for a wide variety of both team and individual sports. Great achievements in Canadian sports are recognized by Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, while the Lou Marsh Trophy is awarded annually to Canada's top athlete by a panel of journalists. There are numerous other Sports Halls of Fame in Canada.
Canadian cuisine varies widely depending on the region. The former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark has been paraphrased to have noted: "Canada has a cuisine of cuisines. Not a stew pot, but a smorgasbord." There are considerable overlaps between Canadian food and the rest of the cuisine in North America, many unique dishes (or versions of certain dishes) are found and available only in the country. Common contenders for the Canadian national food include poutine and butter tarts. Other popular Canadian made foods include indigenous fried bread bannock, French tourtière, Kraft Dinner, ketchup chips, date squares, nanaimo bars, back bacon, and the caesar cocktail. Canada is the birthplace and world's largest producer of maple syrup.
The three earliest cuisines of Canada have First Nations, English, and French roots, with the traditional cuisine of English Canada closely related to British and American cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders. With subsequent waves of immigration in the 18th and 19th century from Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, and then from Asia, Africa and Caribbean, the regional cuisines were subsequently augmented. The Jewish immigrants to Canada during the late 1800s also play a significant role to foods in Canada. The Montreal-style bagel and Montreal-style smoked meat are both food items originally developed by Jewish communities living in Montreal.
In a 2002 interview with the Globe and Mail, Aga Khan, the 49th Imam of the Ismaili Muslims, described Canada as "the most successful pluralist society on the face of our globe", citing it as "a model for the world". A 2007 poll ranked Canada as the country with the most positive influence in the world. 28,000 people in 27 countries were asked to rate 12 countries as either having a positive or negative worldwide influence. Canada's overall influence rating topped the list with 54 per cent of respondents rating it mostly positive and only 14 per cent mostly negative. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw Canada ranked the second most positively viewed nation in the world (behind Germany) in 2013 and 2014.
The United States is home to a number of perceptions about Canadian culture, due to the countries' partially shared heritage and the relatively large number of cultural features common to both the US and Canada. For example, the average Canadian may be perceived as more reserved than his or her American counterpart. Canada and the United States are often inevitably compared as sibling countries, and the perceptions that arise from this oft-held contrast have gone to shape the advertised worldwide identities of both nations: the United States is seen as the rebellious child of the British Crown, forged in the fires of violent revolution; Canada is the calmer offspring of the United Kingdom, known for a more relaxed national demeanour.
...most Canadian governments, especially at the federal level, have taken a moderate, centrist approach to decision making, seeking to balance growth, stability, and governmental efficiency and economy...
First Past the Post in Canada has favoured broadly-based, accommodative, centrist parties...
Canada is today the most successful pluralist society on the face of our globe, without any doubt in my mind ... That is something unique to Canada. It is an amazing global human asset
The agiarut (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐊᒋᐊᕈᑦ also known as the Eskimo fiddle) is a bowed instrument native to the Inuit culture of Canada and Alaska.
According to musicologist Beverley Cavanagh, agiarut is the name for a European fiddle, while tautirut is the name for the indigenous bowed box zither. The modern Western fiddle may be referred to as agiaq ("shaman's rubbing stone").Anarchism in Canada
Anarchism in Canada spans a range of anarchist philosophy including anarchist communism, green anarchy, anarcho-syndicalism, individualist anarchism, as well as other lesser known forms. Canadian anarchism has been affected by thought from the United States, Great Britain, and continental Europe, although recent influences include a look at North American indigenism, especially on the West Coast. Anarchists remain a focal point in media coverage of globalization protests in Canada, mainly due to their confrontations with police and destruction of property.Canadian cultural protectionism
Cultural protectionism in Canada has, since the mid-20th century, taken the form of conscious, interventionist attempts on the part of various Governments of Canada to promote Canadian cultural production and limit the effect of foreign culture on the domestic audience. Sharing a large border and a common language with the United States, Canadian politicians have perceived the need to preserve and support a culture separate from US-based North American culture in the globalized media arena. Canada's efforts to maintain its cultural differences from the US and Mexico have been balanced by countermeasures in trade arrangements, including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood
Motion pictures have been a part of the culture of Canada since the industry began.Canadians
Canadians (French: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.
Canada is a multilingual and multicultural society home to people of many different ethnic, religious, and national origins, with the majority of the population made up of Old World immigrants and their descendants. Following the initial period of French and then the much larger British colonization, different waves (or peaks) of immigration and settlement of non-indigenous peoples took place over the course of nearly two centuries and continue today. Elements of Indigenous, French, British, and more recent immigrant customs, languages, and religions have combined to form the culture of Canada, and thus a Canadian identity. Canada has also been strongly influenced by its linguistic, geographic, and economic neighbour—the United States.
Canadian independence from the United Kingdom grew gradually over the course of many years since the formation of the Canadian Confederation in 1867. World War I and World War II in particular, gave rise to a desire among Canadians to have their country recognized as a fully-fledged sovereign state with a distinct citizenship. Legislative independence was established with the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 took effect on January 1, 1947, and full sovereignty was achieved with the patriation of the constitution in 1982. Canada's nationality law closely mirrored that of the United Kingdom. Legislation since the mid-20th century represents Canadians' commitment to multilateralism and socioeconomic development.Doug Beardsley
Doug Beardsley (born April 27, 1941) is a Canadian poet and educator. He has collaborated with numerous other writers including Al Purdy, Theresa Kishkan and Charles Lillard.
He was born in Montreal, Quebec and studied at Sir George Williams University. There, Beardsley came under the poetic tutelage of Irving Layton, with whom he corresponded until Layton's death in 2006. Beardsley has lived in Victoria, British Columbia since 1974.
Beardsley earned a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria and an M.A. in English from York University. He has lectured and taught at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France; the University of Bordeaux; the Victoria Indian Cultural Centre, and the University of Victoria (where he taught from 1981 until retirement in 2006). He is the author of eleven volumes of poetry which been widely anthologized. In 1989, he was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and trees were planted in Israel in 1996 in recognition of his services to Holocaust remembrance and education.In 2005, Beardsley caught the media's attention when he began offering a second-year English course on "Hockey Literature and the Canadian Psyche," examining the place of hockey in the literature and culture of Canada.European Canadians
European Canadians (French: les Canadiens Européens), also known as White Canadians and Euro-Canadians, are Canadians with ancestry from Europe. They form the largest panethnic group within Canada.
The French were the first Europeans to establish a continuous presence in what is now Canada. Hélène Desportes is considered the first white child born in New France. She was born circa 1620, to Pierre Desportes (born Lisieux, Normandie, France) and Françoise Langlois.In the 2016 census, the largest European ancestry groups were British Isles origins (11,211,850 including 6,320,085 English), French (4,680,820), Scottish (4,799,005), Irish (4,627,000), German (3,322,405), Italian (1,587,965). However, the country's largest self-reported ethnic origin is "Canadian" (accounting for 11,135,965 of the population). Since 1996, "Canadian" as an ethnic group has been added to census questionnaires for possible ancestry, which likely caused English Canadians, British Canadians and French Canadians to become severely underrepresented. The grouping is similar to that of "American" in neighbouring United States and is most commonly espoused by European Canadians whose ancestors have been some of the earliest European settlers of what is now Canada, to the point where they no longer feel a connection to their countries of origin. In the 2011 National Household Survey Profile, 10,563,805 people (32.1%) chose "Canadian" as their ethnic group, making it the single largest group in the country.List of festivals in Canada
This is an incomplete list of festivals in Canada. This list includes festivals of diverse types, among them regional festivals, commerce festivals, fairs, food festivals, arts festivals, and recurring festivals on holidays.Muslim Association of Canada
The Muslim Association of Canada is a non-profit organization which provides religious and educational services for the Muslim community in Canada.
MAC operates in 11 Canadian cities, with a vision to establish an Islamic presence in Canada that is integrated within the social fabric and culture of Canada. MAC works to achieve its mission by building Muslim individuals through educational, who are spiritually connected, strongly grounded in their own faith, with an understanding of what Islam means in the modern world.
The association holds a joint annual conference with the Islamic Circle of North America.
In 2015, MAC was identified as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood organization in Canadian Senate testimony. The latter organization is designated as an terrorist group by Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Syria.Outline of Canada
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Canada:
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area, and shares land borders with the United States to the south and northwest, and marine borders with France and Greenland on the east and northeast, respectively.
The lands have been inhabited for millennia by various groups of aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years' War.
In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of additional provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom, highlighted by the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and culminating in the Canada Act in 1982 which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.
Canada is a federation that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual and multicultural country, with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. Technologically advanced and industrialized, Canada maintains a diversified economy that is heavily reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has a long and complex relationship.Political culture
Political culture is defined by the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences as the "set of attitudes, beliefs and sentiments that give order and meaning to a political process and which provide the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behavior in the political system". It encompasses both the political ideals and operating norms of a polity. Political culture is thus the manifestation of the psychological and subjective dimensions of politics. A political culture is the product of both the history of a political system and the histories of the members. Thus, it is rooted equally in public events and private experience.Political culture of Canada
The political culture of Canada is in some ways part of a greater North American and European political culture, which emphasizes constitutional law, freedom of religion, personal liberty, and regional autonomy; these ideas stemming in various degrees from the British common law and French civil law traditions, North American aboriginal government, and English civic traditions, among others.
Canada has a tradition of liberalism in the centrist context, as far-right and far-left politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Peace, order, and good government are stated goals of the Canadian government. Individual rights, equality and inclusiveness (a just society) have risen to the forefront of political and legal importance for most Canadians, as demonstrated through support for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a relatively free economy, and social liberal attitudes toward homosexuality, women's rights, and other egalitarian movements. However, there is also a sense of collective responsibility in Canadian political culture, as is demonstrated in general support for universal health care, multiculturalism, gun control, foreign aid, and other social programs.Canada has been dominated by two parties, the centre-left Liberal Party of Canada and the centre-right Conservative Party of Canada. The historically predominant Liberals position themselves at the center of the political scale with the Conservatives sitting on the right and the New Democratic Party occupying the left-wing. Smaller parties like the Quebec nationalist Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada have also been able to exert their influence over the political process by representation at the federal level.Politics of British Columbia
The Politics of British Columbia involves not only the governance of British Columbia, Canada, and the various political factions that have held or vied for legislative power, but also a number of experiments or attempts at political and electoral reform.Politics of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is a parliamentary democracy. Its legislature consists of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and fifty-one members representing their electoral districts in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. As Canada's head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of Nova Scotia's chief executive government. Her duties in Nova Scotia are carried out by the Lieutenant-Governor, Arthur LeBlanc. The government is headed by the Premier, Stephen McNeil, who took office October 22, 2013. Halifax is home to the House of Assembly and Lieutenant-Governor. The House of Assembly has met in Halifax at Province House since 1819.Politics of Saskatchewan
The Politics of Saskatchewan are part of the Canadian federal political system along with the other Canadian provinces. Saskatchewan has a Lieutenant-Governor, Vaughn Solomon Schofield, who is the representative of the Crown in Right of Saskatchewan, an elected premier, Scott Moe, leading the Cabinet, and a unicameral legislature.Politics of the Northwest Territories
The Politics of Northwest Territories involves not only the governance of the Northwest Territories but also the social, economic and political issues specific to the territory. This includes matters relating to local governance and governance by the federal government of Canada, the inclusion of the aboriginal population in territorial affairs, and the matter of official languages for the territory.
Key to the politics and governance of the Northwest Territories are the limits on the jurisdiction of the territorial government. Territories of Canada have no inherent jurisdiction and only have those powers delegated to them by the federal government. The devolution and delegation of power to the territory has always been a factor in the territory’s politics.
A hallmark of politics in the Northwest Territories is that it operates as under a “consensus government” system. Candidates for election to the territorial legislature do not stand as members of a political party. While some candidates may express an affiliation or membership with a party, party membership is not recognized in the legislature. As a result, the Members of the Legislative Assembly select a Premier by way of a secret ballot, rather than on the basis of party affiliation (see "Responsible government”).
Local governance has been a long-standing issue in the territory. This includes not only the loss of local government authority from the period from 1905 to 1951, when Ottawa asserted direct control over the governance of the territory, but also related matters of aboriginal self-governance and land claims. This latter issue lead, in part, to the division of the territory into the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Language has also been a long-standing issue in Northwest Territory politics. French became an official language, along with English, in 1877. This resulted in heated debates in the territorial assembly and the establishment of English as the only official language until pressure from the federal government in the 1980s lead to not only the inclusion of French as an official language, but also nine aboriginal languages.Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) was a Canadian Royal Commission established in 1991 to address many issues of Aboriginal status that had come to light with recent events such as the Oka Crisis and the Meech Lake Accord. The commission culminated in a final report of 4000 pages, published in 1996. The original report "set out a 20-year agenda for implementing changes."Tautirut
The tautirut (Inuktitut syllabics: ᑕᐅᑎᕈᑦ or tautiruut, also known as the Eskimo fiddle) is a bowed zither native to the Inuit culture of Canada.
Lucien M. Turner described the "Eskimo violin" in 1894 as being
...made of birch or spruce, and the two strings are of coarse, loosely twisted sinew. The bow has a strip of whalebone in place of horsehair, and is resined with spruce gum. This fiddle is held across the lap when played.
The Canadian anthropologist Ernest William Hawkes described the tautirut in 1916:
It consists of a rude box, with a square hole in the top, three sinew strings with bridge and tail-piece and a short bow with a whalebone strip for hair. . . . Most Eskimo fiddles have only one string.Two Solitudes (Canadian society)
"Two Solitudes" refers to a perceived lack of communication, and moreover a lack of will to communicate, between Anglophone and Francophone people in Canada. The term was popularized by Hugh MacLennan's novel Two Solitudes. In her investiture speech as Governor-General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean specifically stated that "the time of 'two solitudes' had finished".