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Canada

Geography & Topography

Capital: Ottawa (1.147.000 inhabitants)

Area: 9,984,670 km²

Population: 34 482 779

Language: English and French

Religion: Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16%

Currency: Canadian Dollar

History

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.

The Canadian music industry has produced internationally renowned composers, musicians and ensembles. 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 1970. The national anthem ‘Canada O Canada’ adopted in 1980, was originally commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, the Honorable Théodore Robitaille, for the 1880 St. 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 it was translated to English in 1906.

Performing Arts

 

Music

The music of Canada has reflected the multicultural influences that have shaped the country. Aboriginals, the French, and the British have all made 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 centers, record companies, 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 sub-genres. Many Canadian artists and bands have acquired international fame including Avril Lavigne, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and many more.

Dance

In Canada, with the exception of social dancing, there is little survival of  folk dancing; it is difficult to determine precisely the amount of survival dancing that remains. However, it is found among relatively isolated (geographically or psychologically) communities such as native peoples and in francophone and Hassidic cultures. Urban-based minority groups such as Indian, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Macedonian, Greek, Polish, German, Armenian, Irish, Latin-American and West Indian may have retained some of the dances unique to their regional origins. But as first- and second-generation immigrants die off, third and subsequent generations tend to assimilate into mainstream society, and with them go the dances which were once an important part of their social, occupational or religious spheres.

Revival dances are more frequent and more visible. They are especially noticeable among groups who have strong feelings for their ethnic roots. One way to preserve, express and perpetuate this sentiment is to perform “national” or “ethnic” dances. Dances may be acquired either when older group members recalls dances from the past, or when an outside expert is summoned to teach the dance. The dances are then choreographed specially for the group who will perform them on special occasions.

Another area of activity is “international” folk dancing, performed by people who seek not cultural identity but the enjoyment of dances from many countries. A large proportion of these dances are from the Balkans, for line dances with intricate footwork seem to hold the greatest attraction.

 

Some interesting facts:

  • The national symbol of Canada is the maple leaf.
  • Canada is also the largest producer of a refreshingly sweet dessert wine called Ice-wine.
  • It is among the world’s top 5 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.
  • The longest highway in the world is the Trans-Canada Highway which is over 7604 kilometers in length.
  • 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.

 

Canadian Community in Australia:

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