Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Canadian Impostor Detection

[from my email files]

As a Canadian, you have to be extra vigilant. There are a lot of impostors out there. If you suspect that someone is falsely trying to pass themselves off as a Canadian, make the following statement - and then carefully note their reaction:
"Last night, I cashed my pogey and went to buy a mickey of C.C. at the beer parlour, but my skidoo got stuck in the muskeg on my way back to the duplex. I was trying to deke out a deer, you see. Damn chinook, melted everything. And then a Mountie snuck up behind me in a ghost car and gave me an impaired. I was S.O.L., sitting there dressed only in my Stanfields and a toque at the time. And the Mountie, he's all chippy and everything, calling me a "shit disturber" and what not. What could I say, except, "Sorry, EH!"
If the person you are talking to nods sympathetically, they're one of us. If, however, they stare at you with a blank incomprehension, they are not a real Canadian. Have them reported to the authorities at once.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Everything you always wanted to know about Canada...

Canada's leading funny man Rick Mercer explains everything you wanted to know about Canada but were afraid to ask. Enjoy the chuckle :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Few Canadian Fun Facts

  • The name Canada derived from the Huron-Iroquois kanata meaning village or settlement.
  • Canada is the world's second largest country by land mass.
  • There are 6 time zones in Canada.
  • Canada's (and in the world) northernmost settlement is Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert (just north of Alert, Nunavut) on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island - latitude 82.5°N - just 834 kilometres (518 mi) from the North Pole.
  • Middle Island, located in the centre of Lake Erie, is Canada's most southern island as well as Canada's most southern point of land - co-ordinates 41°41'N, 82°41'W, or about 41.7 degrees north latitude
  • The distance across Canada is 5768.9 km +/- 1000km depending on starting point and destination.
  • The Canadian population is estimated at 33,212,696 as of July 2008.
  • Canada's longest river at 4241 km is the Mackenzie River in the North West Territories.
  • The Hudson Bay Company established in 1670 is Canada's oldest business.
  • The CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario built in 1976 is Canada's tallest building. It is 553.33 meters (1,815' 5") tall.
  • Canada has two official languages - English and French
  • Under the Canada Constitution Act 1982, Canada recognizes First Nations, Innuit and Métis as Aboriginal People.
  • The logging and oil industries are two of Canada's most important industries.
  • International trade especially of natural resources makes up a large part of Canada's economy.
  • Canada's largest trading partner is the United States.
  • Canada is one of the largest suppliers of agricultural products, particularly wheat and other grains.
  • By population Toronto, Ontario is Canada's largest city. By land mass (sqKM) Montréal, Quebec is largest.
  • Mount Logan (co-ordinates (140o 23' W, 60o 34' N) located in the scenic Kluane National Park and Reserve is Canada's tallest mountain. It is 5,959 metres high at its peak.
  • Great Bear Lake on the Artic Circle lies entirely within Canada. It is Canada's largest body of water at 31,153 sq km (12,028 sq mi) with a shoreline 2,719 km (1,690 mi) and the total catchment area of the lake is 114,717 km² (44,293 mi²).
  • Although each province and territory has a national flower there is no national flower for Canada.
  • The national emblem of Canada is the maple leaf.
  • Canadians eat more salt than any other country in the world.
  • The United States is the only country to border Canada.
  • As a nation Canadians eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, more frozen fruits and vegetables, more flour, more fish, more nuts, more pulses and drinks more tea and 2% milk than Americans.
  • The national winter sport in Canada is hockey. The national summer sport is lacrosse.
  • Superman, a fictional character and one of the most famous and popular comic book superheroes of all time was created by a Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster and American writer Jerry Siegel in 1932 while both were growing up in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Canada's first female doctor was Emily Howard Stowe (May 1, 1831 - April 30, 1903) graduating the New York Medical College for Women in 1867.
  • Kraft Dinner topped with ketchup is reputed to be Canada's national food while others declare poutine Canada's national food.
  • Canada's national drink is the Caesar, a rather spiced up version of the Bloody Mary followed closely by beer.
  • Canadians are well reputed to be the politest nation in the world.
  • Canadian humour has a decidedly very British influence. When we aren't poking fun at ourselves or fondly at Britain you can rest assured we are poking fun at the rest of the world!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Huron Carol

Canada's first Christmas Carol titled The Huron Carol was written by Father Saint Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) in 1643. He was a Christian missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada. Father Saint Jean de Brébeuf is the Patron Saint of Canada. The original title was Jesous Ahatonhia (Jesus, he is born) set to the tune of a traditional French folk song, Une Jeune Pucelle (A Young Maid). The lyrics were written in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people hymn translated from the Huron language is also known as Twas in the Moon of Wintertime. Jesse Edgar Middleton wrote the well known English lyrics in 1926.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Canadian Firsts

  • first Canadian Thanksgiving - was celebrated in 1576 by Martin Frobisher and his English sailors in thanks for a safe journey across the Artic
  • Canada's first Christmas Carol - written by Father Saint Jean de Brebeuf (1593-1649) the Patron Saint of Canada in 1643, titled "The Huron Carol", translated from the Huron Language
  • Canada's first Christmas tree - erected by German Baroness Riedesel, December 25, 1781 in Sorel, Quebec
  • first Prime Minister of Canada - Sir John A. McDonald (July 1, 1867 - November 5, 1873; October 17, 1878 - June 6, 1891)
  • first universities - Université Lavel (French, 1663), University of New Brunswick (English, 1785)
  • first person to traverse the Crowsnest Pass - prospector, trader and HBC employee Michael Phillips, 1873
  • first official Japanese immigrant to Canada - Manzo Nagano, 1877
  • world's first wireless message - received by G. Marconi 1901 in St. John's, New Foundland
  • first Canadian train robbery - Bill Miner, September 10, 1904, British Columbia
  • first man to walk across Canada - John (Jack) Gillis, arrived in Vancouver, BC, 1906
  • first controlled-power flight in Canada - J.A.D. McCurdy flew the "Silver Dart" off the ice of Baddeck Bay in Cape Breton, NS, February 23, 1909
  • first person in Canada to design, build and fly his own aircraft - William Wallace Gibson, September 1910, Victoria, BC
  • first woman elected to the House of commons - Agnes Campbell Macphail, 1921
  • first 'Miss Canada' - Winifred Blair of St.John, NB, 1922
  • first Nobel Laurette in Medicine - Sir Freerick Bating, 1923 for discovery of insulin
  • first commercial satellite - ANIK A1 launched in 1972
  • first Canadian astronaut in space - Marc Garneau, 1984 on space shuttle Challenger
  • Canada's first artificial heart recipient - Noëlla Leclair, a resident of Orléans, Ontario, May 1, 1986
  • first Canadian female astronaut in space - Roberta Bondar, 1992 on space shuttle Discovery
  • first Canadian to walk in space - Chris Hadfield, 2001 on space shuttle Endeavour
  • first Canadian female Prime Minister - Kim Campbell, June 25, 1993 - November 4, 1993
  • first Canadian McDonald's restaurant - opened in 1967 in Richmond, BC

Saturday, August 15, 2009

God Save the Queen

Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces under the British Commonwealth in 1867. The federation was extended to include 10 provinces and 3 territories as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The Canada Act of 1982 severed Canada's legal dependence on the British parliament. While Canada now has it's own constitution it remains loyal to England and continues to be a British ally.

The British national anthem, God Save the Queen was either sang or played up to 1982 as part of elementary and secondary schools' opening exercises. It is still played as part of any ceremonies performed by the Royal Canadian Legion. It is often played at other social, historical and Canadiana events. As a child it was one of the first songs learned and most children knew at least the first verse before they started school. Of note a picture of Queen Elizabeth II is displayed in public halls, schools, arenas, Royal Canadian Legions

God Save the Queen (standard version)

God save our gracious Queen,1
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.

O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.*

* When the monarch of the time is male, beyond the other alterations mentioned above, the last line of the third verse is changed to "with heart and voice to sing/ God Save the King". Also where it says "Scatter Her Enemies" that will be changed to "his".