Cultures of Canada

Cultures of Canada:

Canada occupies much of the continent of North Amrica, sharing land borders with the contiguous United States to the south, and the U.S. state of Alaska to the northwest. Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean.
The Canadian Culture embodies the culinary, musical, artistic, humour, literary, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians. Basically, European Culture and traditions influence the history of Canada, especially French and British, 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. And because of the share of the language, television, proximity and migration between the two countries the population has also been influenced by American Culture.
Canada is often characterized as being "very diverse, progressive and multicultural”. The Federal Government of Canada 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 policies and nationalities that promote a just society are constitutionally protected. Canadian Government policies—such as higher and more progressive taxation, publicily funded heath care; an emphasis on cultural diversity, strong efforts to eliminate poverty, outlawing capital punishment, strict gun control; the legalization of same-sex marriage, euthanasia, pregnancy terminations, and cannabis — are social indicators of the country's Cultural and political values. Canadians indentify with the country's institutions of health care, the national park system, military peacekeeping, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The government of Canada has influenced culture with laws, programs, and institutions. It has created crown corporations to promote Canadian culture through media, such as the the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and, and promotes many events which it considers to promote Cultures and traditions of the Canada. 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).

Cultural components:



Canada has been inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousand of years from a several major linguistic groupings and a variety of different cultures. Although not without bloodshed and conflict, early European interactions with inuit populations and First Nations in what is now Canada were arguably peaceful.  In the development of European Colonies in Canada, Metis and First Nations peoples played a critical part, particularly for their role in assisting European voyageurs and bois 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 people). Over the course of three centuries, countless North American Indigenous words, concepts, inventions, and games have become an everyday part of Canadian language and use.  Many places in Canada, both human habitations ad natural features, use indigenous names. The name "Canada" itself derives from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word meaning settlement or village. The city ottawa name that is the of Canada's capital comes from the Algonquin language term "adawe" meaning "to trade".

The French originally settled New France along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River and Atlantic Ocean during the early part of the 17th century. The British conquest of New France during the mid-18th century brought seventy thousand Franco-phones under British rule, creating a need for compromise and accommodation. The migration of 40 thousand to 50 thousands United Empire Loyalists from the 13 colonies during the American Revolution (1775–1783) brought American colonial influences. Following the War of 1812, a large wave of English, Scottish and Irish, settlers arrived in Lower Canada and Upper Canada.
The Forces of Canada and overall civilian participation in the 1st and 2nd world war helped to foster the Canadian nationalism. However, in 1917 and in 1944, conscription crises highlighted the considerable rift along ethnic lines between Francophones and Anglophones. As a result of the 1st and 2nd World Wars, the Government of Canada became more assertive and less deferential to British authority. Canada until the 1940s saw itself in terms of French and English cultural, traditional, linguistic and political identities, and to some extent aboriginal.
Legislative restrictions on immigration (such as the Chinese Immigration Act and Continuous journey regulation)  that had favoured British, American and other European immigrants (such as Dutch, German, Italian, Swedish, Polish and Ukrainain)  were amended during the 1960s, resulting in an influx of diverse people from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. By the end of the 20th century, immigrants were increasingly Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Jamaican, Filipino, Haitian and Lebanese.  As of 2006, Canada has grown to have 34 ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members for each group, of which 11 groups have over 1 million 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 supports immigration.

Development of popular culture

Symbols and Themes of trappers, pioneers, and traders played an important part in the early development of the culture of  Canada. The modern culture of  Canada as it is understood today can be traced to its time period of westward expansion and nation building. Contributing factors include Canada's unique geography, climate,tradition and cultural makeup. Being a cold country with long winter nights for most of the year, certain unique leisure activities developed in Canada during this period including hockey and embracement of the summer indigenous game of lacrosse.
Canadians by the 19th century came to believe themselves possessed of a unique "northern character," due to the long, harsh winters that only those of hardy body and mind could survive. This hardiness was claimed as a trait of  Canada, and such sports as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing that reflected this were asserted as characteristically Canadian. During this period the churches tried to steer leisure activities, by preaching against drinking and scheduling annual revivals and weekly club activities. In a society in which most middle-class families now owned a piano or harmonium, and standard education included at least the rudiments of music, the result was often an original song. Such stirrings frequently occurred in response to noteworthy events, and few local or national excitements were allowed to pass without some musical comment.
Radio played a major role by the 1930s  in uniting Canadians behind their ragional or local teams. Rural areas were especially influenced by the propagation of national myths and sports coverage. Outside the sports and music arena Canadians express the national characteristics of being polite, orderly, hard working and peaceful. [

Political culture

The early development pf French Canada’s 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. The Constitution Act, In 1867, was thought to meet the growing calls for Canadian autonomy while avoiding the overly strong decentralization that In United States contributed to the Civil War. The compromises reached during this time between the French and  English speaking Fathers of Confederation set Canada on a path to bilingualism which in turn contributed to an acceptance of diversity. Since 1867 The French and  English languages have had limited constitutional protection 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 Canadian Parliament. In 1969 Canada adopted its first Official Languages Act , giving French and English equal status in the government of Canada. Doing so makes them "official" languages, having preferred status in law over all other languages that are spoken in Canada. [

In 1960 Prior to the advent of the Canadian Bill of Rights 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. Since the 1960s Canada has placed emphasis on inclusiveness and equality for all people. In Canada Multiculturalism was adopted as the official policy of the Government of  Canada and is enshrined in Section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme Court of Canada, in 1995 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 Supreme and provincial courts of Canada, on July 20, 2005, the Civil Marriage Act (Bill C-38) received Royal Assent, legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada. Furthermore, In the human-rights laws of the federal Government the  sexual orientation was included as a protected status and of all territories and provinces.[

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