Canadian Culture and Traditions

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Canadian Culture and Traditions

A land that has witnessed many different cultures; Canada still continues to be a hotspot for travelers for varied reasons. Read on to know more about Canadian culture and traditions.

Canadian culture has a heavy influence of the British culture and traditions. In recent times however, one can also notice an influence of American culture. Along the years, with the migration of people to this land, there has been a healthy interchange of ideas that has resulted in the development of certain unique characteristics of Canada. Historians have also revealed the influence of Aboriginal cultures and traditions in Canada. A vast region with diverse traditions, Canadian culture and traditions differ from region to region. Read on for a detailed look at the culture of Canada.

Canadian Culture and Traditions:
Art: Canada has witnessed some of the most glorious works of art during the ancient days. In the year 1930, artists began developing their own individual style. The 'Group of Seven' is labeled as the first group of landscape artists that created their own style. Painted in bright hues, these artists created beautiful backdrops of Canada. The Government of Canada played an important role in propagating art by establishing institutes dedicated to impart education in this subject.

Language and Religion: Due to the diverse cultures, Canada has two official languages, English and French. There is no official religion as such, although Catholics form the largest religious group. There are a number of people in Canada who have declared to have no religious affiliation. Although, there are many other groups that follow Protestantism as a religion.

Literature: Canadian writers have penned many works that belong to different genres. The literature of Canada basically reflects the cultural melange seen out here. Some of the early works were divided as per the region of Canada. But there also were authors who gave a humorous touch to serious content. Apart from humor, one can notice the frequent reference of nature in the texts. A number of authors have been awarded for their contributions in literature.

Music: Music in Canada has seen many developments in styles along the way. Many rock groups or musicians from Canada have even made a mark on the global map. From folk music to alternative rock, Canadian music continues to entertain people. The diverse styles are also a result of the mix of cultures. The 1980s was particularly considered an important period as pop and rock music flourished. This was also a time when the media influenced the popularity and spread of music. Music videos helped to popularize tracks amongst people. In the recent times, Caribbean music has found quite a fan following in Canada.

Theater and Cinema: Filmmaking is a fast growing industry in Canada. Today, many personalities from Canada have tasted success globally in the field of direction. Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are the some of the major centers of film production. 'Evangeline' is one of the first films that were shot in the year 1913. Theater also flourished in the early days which are visible from the amount of festivals celebrated in relation to theater. Canada also boasts of some of the most renowned directors such as Robert Lepage.

Today, the general atmosphere in Canada is one that is relatively free from all sort of distinction and divide. The people of Canada have always been proud about their diverse, cultural backgrounds.

Canada Fun Facts - Interesting Facts About Canada

Canada occupies most of northern North America, and has a history that not only spans over almost 1000 years, but is also full of interesting facts. To know more about these interesting, weird, witty and unusual facts about Canada, read on...

Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its symbolic or ceremonial executive head of state. Borders of Canada stretch from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, with the Arctic Ocean to its north. It is an extremely diversified multicultural country, open to providing citizenship to many people from different parts of the world. Both, English and French are its official languages.

Interesting Facts About Canada
Canada perhaps is the only country in the world that is rarely in the news for any controversial issues. It is known to be a peace loving and one of the most preferred countries to migrate to. Following are a few fun facts about Canada, that make this country stand apart from the rest.

  • An unusual fact about Canada is its name origin, it comes from a St. Lawrence Iroquoian word, kanata, which means village or settlement.

  • An interesting fact about Canada is that it's the world's second largest country area-wise (including its waters), and fourth largest in land area.

  • It also has the longest coastline in the world, about 243,000 kms in length.

  • The country shares the world's longest common border with the United States of America, which is also the only unprotected border in the world

  • An interesting fact for kids, is that Canada is widely believed to be the home of Santa Claus.

  • The belief that the North Pole is owned by Canada is false. No country owns the North Pole.

  • It features in the list of top five world's producers of gold, copper, zinc, nickel, aluminum, and natural gas.

  • A funny fact about Canada's city of Montreal, sometimes called The City of Churches, is that it has more churches than houses!

  • Canada is also home to the world's smallest jail, located in Ontario. It is only 270 square feet.

  • It also has the highest tertiary education enrollment in the world, which includes locals as well as international students.

  • Toronto is the largest city of Canada, with a population of more than 5 million people. Toronto dwellers hold more university degrees than any other big city in the world.

  • Despite being a really big country, it has the fourth lowest population density in the world, with only three people living per square kilometer! Almost half of the population in Canada were born in other countries.

  • Here's a weird fact about Canada, it produces so much energy, that it provides it to the US too!

  • The Ice Hotel in Quebec, known as Hotel de Glace is created every year using 400 tons of ice and 12,000 tons of snow. It melts away every summer and is recreated every winter.

  • Canada has just one desert in British Columbia, towards the southernmost corner of the Okanagan Valley in Osoyoos.

  • The desert is only 15 miles long, with over 100 rare plants, and over 300 rare animals. It is also the only desert in the world that has a long boardwalk, for people to walk on!

  • Canadian winter temperatures fall below freezing point, with snow covering some parts of the country for nearly six months!

  • In 1883, the baseball glove was invented in Canada.

  • Many inventions including basketball, the electric light bulb, the electric range, the electron microscope, the telephone, standard time, the television, and the zipper, and the first snowmobile were invented in this remarkable country.

  • The Niagara Falls, one of the largest and most popular waterfalls is in Ontario.

  • Half of Canada is covered with forests, which should not be surprising, considering one-tenth of the world's forests are here. It is also home to the polar and the grizzly bear.

  • Canada has two national sports; Lacrosse as the country's national summer sport, and Ice Hockey as the national winter sport. Its citizens invented the game of Lacrosse.

  • Canada is also known to have the highest quality of life in the world, according to the United Nations Human Development Index.

Canada is high on tourist preferred destination itineraries, as it offers a unique peek into its multi-cultural and bio-geographical diversity. It is relatively free from all sorts of discrimination and divide, a fact most Canadians are proud about.

Vacation Spots in Canada

Canada is an ideal vacation spot. Blessed with a rich natural beauty, it has many tourist attractions, ranging from cosmopolitan cities to lonely, isolated areas. Let's explore some of the famous vacation spots in Canada...

Canada is a vast country with six different time zones. It is surrounded by the contrasting Pacific and Atlantic seaboards. Canada has a lot of rivers and lakes that can satisfy your urge to do some fishing and enjoy water sports. It offers a variety of sightseeing options, ranging from the cosmopolitan cities like Ottawa and Montreal to the lonely and isolated Eskimo regions alongside the frozen seashores of the Hudson Bay. The Rocky Mountain provides some breathtaking views of the valley. Here are some of the happening vacation spots which will serve as a guide for an exciting tour of Canada.

Capital of Canada
Ottawa is famous for its historic Rideau Canal, which is connected to the Ottawa River. Also, the Parliament building is a historical monument worth paying a visit to. In Ottawa, you will get to see a perfect blend of traditional and modern art in the form of many museums. The Museum of Civilization is one of them. Many historical artifacts are preserved here, along with their background information. The National Art Gallery is one more place which has a magnificent collection of photographs, sculptures and artwork of many famous artists like Group of Seven, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Van Gogh and Bacon etc. If you are a crazy shopper; especially outdoor shopping, then Byword Market is the place for you. This market dates back to more than 200 years. With a cheerful atmosphere at any time of the day, this market is an absolute must-see.

Banff Gondola Mountaintop
A gondola ride is the best thing to do in the Banff National Park; situated in the heart of the Canadian Rocky mountain. It boasts of extremely breathtaking bird-eye views in 360 degrees during its eight minute ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. The Gondola elevates you from the height of 698m to 2,281m. After arriving at the Upper Terminal, there is no end to the fun and adventure. The Banff Skywalk is a 1km self-guided route that takes you to the Sansone's Peak Meteorological Station and Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site of Canada. The 'interactive giant compass' is also present at the Upper Summit Terminal. The conserved local wildlife of Canada including the bighorn sheep of Rocky Mountain is unforgettable. Though these animals are friendly for most parts it is still advisable to keep a safe distance, as they are wild animals after all.

National Treasures
Canada has more than 42 National Parks. The Parks like the 'Bar U Ranch' is the birthplace for ranching in Canada. The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is an open-air mineral pool with growing mats and algae. The Discovery Boardwalk Trail, situated above the bathing pavilion, the Marsh Boardwalk Trail, the Sundance Trail and many more small walkways are enough to let you know the history of this Park. There are naturally occurring warm mineral springs inside the cave.

Conservation Parks
The Glacier National Park protects the Columbia Mountains Natural Region. Endangered animals like mountain goat, caribou and grizzly bear are protected here along with the unique stands of old-growth hemlock and cedar trees. The Rogers Pass is also situated here. The scenic and mountainous Jasper Park is a world heritage site. The Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Glacier is also located here. The Kootenay National Park is rich in its ecology and landscapes. Yoho National Park is where the secrets of ocean life and animal communities are presented.

Niagara Falls
There is no need for an introduction to this amazing creation of nature. It is situated on the Niagara river, on the international border of the Ontario and New York. There are two falls, with The Horseshoe Falls being the larger one and the American Falls being the smaller one. Niagara Falls is the main tourist attraction in Canada and the most favorite spot for honeymooners. 'The Maid of the Mist', which is the oldest tourist attraction, is named after an ancient Ongiara Indian mythical character. This cruise ship carries the passengers to the whirling thunders of the falls from both sides.

Adventure Sports
Hiking is the main attraction in almost all the national and provincial Parks. Canada's long-distance foot paths include the Voyageur Trail, surrounding the northern shores of Lakes Huron and Superior, the 690km Bruce Trail from Queenstown on the Niagara River to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula, etc. Both cross-country and downhill skiing can be enjoyed in all the major cities like Toronto, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec and all the major resorts. Canoeing is one of the major attractions. You can do both boat and airplane drop-offs. Canoeing gets the most challenging in the Northwest Territory and in British Columbia, where rivers and lakes in Ontario also provide exciting opportunities. You can also enjoy Ice hockey, American football, Canadian football and soccer, especially in Toronto, where these sports are hugely promoted.

Toronto is the most famous shopping spot in Canada with its high-end, discount stores, huge shopping malls and designer shops. St. Lawrence Market and Eaton Center in Toronto are some of them. West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, is named as the world's largest shopping mall by the Guinness Book of World Records. It contains more than 800 stores, 110 eateries, a hotel, and a huge water-park. 26th December, Boxing day, is the Shopping Day of Canada. It is the day when you can get great bargains. You can buy the best butter tarts, ice cider, Neige Apple Ice Wine, foreign coins especially 'The Toonie' and the triple-layer chocolate Nanaimo bars here.

We can say that, Canada is the country where you can experience the hype and noise like New York city; tranquility and peace of old English countryside and the wilderness of Africa at the same time. So, are you packing your bags for Canada?

By Rutuja Jathar

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