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Concept and Presence of a “Canadian Culture”

A widely known Canadian fable says that when the Confederation came together, they decided to build a wonderful republic by using the finest of what their descendants and bordering countries had fashioned. The motherland they wished for would combine French values, the British government, and American technologies. But the design failed, and Canada was instead left with a French government, British technologies, and American values. The ongoing dispute exposes the degree to which anxiety about American cultural impact remains a Canadian worry. Canadians may be open to and practitioners of American beliefs, but they also demonstrate both an odd contradiction toward it and a persuasive fortitude to again defend their uniqueness. That sense of determination manifests in the ending verse of the Canadian national anthem.

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One foundational issue on which this paper is based is the inevitable existence of American and other popular cultures in Canada. The second is the reaction of the Canadian nation to that massive influence and the importance of that reaction in the formation of Canadian popular culture. It is a way both of repelling the neighboring cultural invasion from the South and of referring to it as a definite rival. This kind of contradiction endures as a strong focus of Canadian popular culture (Flaherty & Manning, 1993). Canadian popular culture consequently boasts a significant cue of individuality and reveals dissimilarities between this nation and the United States, which have a tendency to be concealed or diminished in legislative and financial matters.

The first concept to be discussed here is electronic media, a long-time focus of Canada’s cultural argument. A great percentage of Canadian homes that are now furnished with cable television take delivery of twelve to forty Canadian channels. Still, most Canadian residents take more than the basic bundle and in so doing have access to as many U.S. channels as Canadian A has widely known Canadian fable says that when the Confederation came together, they decided to build a wonderful republic by using the finest of what their descendants and bordering countries had fashioned. The motherland they wished for would combine French values, the British government, and American technologies. But the design failed, and Canada was instead left with a French government, British technologies, and American values. The ongoing dispute exposes the degree to which anxiety about American cultural impact remains a Canadian worry. Canadians may be open to and practitioners of American beliefs, but they also demonstrate both an odd contradiction toward it and a persuasive fortitude to again defend their uniqueness. That sense of determination manifests in the ending verse of the Canadian national anthem.

One foundational issue on which this paper is based is the inevitable existence of American and other popular cultures in Canada. The second is the reaction of the Canadian nation to that massive influence and the importance of that reaction in the formation of Canadian popular culture. It is a way both of repelling the neighboring cultural invasion from the South and of referring to it as a definite rival. This kind of contradiction endures as a strong focus of Canadian popular culture (Flaherty & Manning, 1993). Canadian popular culture consequently boasts a significant cue of individuality and reveals dissimilarities between this nation and the United States, which have a tendency to be concealed or diminished in legislative and financial matters.

The first concept to be discussed here is electronic media, a long-time focus of Canada’s cultural argument. A great percentage of Canadian homes that are now furnished with cable television take delivery of twelve to forty Canadian channels. Still, most Canadian residents take more than the basic bundle and in so doing have access to as many U.S. channels as Canadian ones. This concept is explained by the fact that enticement is difficult to fight, as the best and most well-known American programs are an attractive giveaway in the Canadian television market (Collins, 1990). Canadian stations explain it from the perspective that it would cost much more to make their own series than to lean to and make accessible American versions. This kind of ease and obvious profit reassured the progression that has molded Canadian television into what is now considered a duplicate of American television.

It is worth noting that commercial advertisements regularly characterize particularly Canadian cultural products and characters, bolstering the notion that a distinct Canadian style is still part of the available program suite. The tricky part is not how to express Canadian culture via television, but of making sure that the United States recognizes that Canadian dominion necessitates sovereign mass media. Canadian television can be categorized as committed to freedom, peace and non-violent change; that is why content guidelines deem it necessary to control moral content of the programming. For example, it has been proposed that Canadian television be protected from more violent themes common in American TV shows. However, years of analysis by social experts and media professionals demonstrate that the problem of ensuring value broadcasts is a really multi-faceted one (Holloway, 2006).

Another arena in which Canadian individuality can be seen is the film industry. Anyone who claims that motion pictures are the basis and image of Canadian identity must be careful to specifically outline his or her terms. Canadian individuality perceived through movies can be clarified in three basic ways – Canadians in movies; Canada in movies; and, Canadian movies. Each respectively fits into the debate about the fundamentals of popular culture, and each conveys variable amounts of data when it comes to evaluating how Canadians see and understand Canada. Furthermore, each category echoes the influential effect of the United States on Canadian cultural values.

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Initially, Canadians acknowledged themselves in the effort of individual characters: Canadian artists, authors and producers who have shot movies outside Canada. Canadians have seen themselves reflected in famous actors like Keanu Reeves, Michael J. Fox, and others. To numerous Canadians, these actors’ work is symbolic, irrespective of the subject, background, or plot of the movie. Additionally, the film industry mirrors the popular culture of Canada when the aforementioned stands as the principal locale or topic. American interpretations of Canada seldom depict the country properly: Hollywood has portrayed Canada as a manifestation of what American producers chose to see in Canada, rather than how it really is. Canada was highlighted for American viewers as an immense, undeveloped, frigid, timbered land, inhabited by woodsmen. In a curious way, Canadians have adapted and adopted this depiction of themselves, reflecting a certain flexibility and broad-mindedness in a country of unpretentious, modest, outspoken and happy people.

There is one more way in which Hollywood has represented Canada. At the end of the 20th century, Hollywood moviemakers used Canadian scenes and staff to film American scenery. Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto became New York City, Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles, respectively. This phenomenon can be considered a cinematic portrayal of Canadian culture; nonetheless, some experts have claimed that it provided for the development of the film industry in Canada in that it has brought on board Canadian movie staff (James & Kasoff, 2008).

Throughout its history, Canada has been dependent not only on the influence of the United States but Britain as well. One more concept that perfectly reflects the phenomenon of Canadian culture is Canadian literature. It embodies the Canadians’ attachment to Canada’s natural beauty and is described as a release from the domination of Anglo-American values (Matheson & Butler, 2013). In the second half of the 20th century, Canadian literature at last set itself free from British social and governmental control. Without a doubt, an appropriate Canadian individuality arose in the works of Canadian writers, even if not in the actions or projects of Canadian political figures.

A considerable number of Canadian works created in the colonial era have for years been dismissed by critics all over the world. Canadian authors have continuously been ahead of the officials in terms of identifying the difficulties Canadian society dealt with (Edwardson, 2008). What is more, authors aided in forming the cultural base by helping both native inhabitants and Europeans to coexist and appreciate each other. Still, parallels can be drawn to American culture, too. Canadian and American establishment principles are marked in each country’s literary works. American literature focuses on subjects of glory, resourcefulness and self-assurance, while Canadian writing centers on the downfall, the tough conditions and on being left behind by Britain.

Despite the similarities, Canada also boasts distinct differences from the neighboring United States. The Canadian belief in equality and fairness in a democratic society is described as the Canadians’ recognition of the administration’s decision to levy “fairness of verdict” at the cost of individual comforts with the intention to save communal well-being. Americans embrace the contrary standpoint, respecting “equal opportunity” and the option of chasing personal interests. Americans evaluate peoples’ accomplishments or improvements in one’s financial situation as a result of an unbiased rivalry that is adequate and necessary. As a result, societal unfairness arises when the government enforces an “equal opportunity” not bound to specific conditions. Canadians are more dedicated to assisting those who cannot help themselves, while Americans hold on to the importance of struggle and equal opportunity to every individual. One more crucial characteristic of Canadian values is the vital mixture of different people forming Canadian society: Canada cares for and is proud of its ethnic and national variety.

Canadians also see their politicians more positively than do Americans. On one hand, Canadians respect leaders more openly than Americans, while on the other, those few who put their desires ahead of the Canadian public are looked at negatively. At the same time, Canadian legal organizations would more willingly imprison the acquitted for the sake of protecting the collective good, where the American system would not, due to the principle of conserving of individual human rights. Even though both the American and Canadian legislative systems try to impose and maintain order, they often use tactics that seem to be of the opposite extremes in accomplishing these objectives. These differing methods of social monitoring originate from each country’s distinct moral and socio-political fundamentals.

To conclude, Canada plays host to a varied quantity of ethnic groups and cultures, maintaining strong, legitimate guidelines that encourage multiculturalism. It is repeatedly proclaimed that Canadian policies such as healthcare funded by civilians, greater tax rates to the rich, a robust determination to abolish poverty, a focus on multiculturalism, and the sanctioning of same-sex marriage are displays of how Canada’s social and cultural development vary from that of the United States. Canada has indeed been swayed by British, French, and indigenous values and ethnicities. Countless North American inventions and games have become an everyday part of Canadian language and use. American mass media and show business are popular, if not prevailing, in English Canada; on the contrary, many Canadian cultural products are in turn prosperous in the United States and worldwide. Nevertheless, careful analysis of the facts leads to one conclusion: despite the impact on Canadian society and values, Canadians have also managed to develop and grow the values inherited from the French and the British. Today’s Canada stands on the pillars of “alien” values, but Canadian openness to multiculturalism has in turn formed Canada into a country with its own distinct set of cultural values.

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References

Collins, R. (1990). Culture, communication, and national identity: The case of Canadian television. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Edwardson, R. (2008). Canadian content: Culture and the quest for nationhood. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Flaherty, D. & Manning, F. (1993). The beaver bites back? Montréal, Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Holloway, S. K. (2006). Canadian foreign policy: Defining the national interest. Ontario, Canada: Broadview Press.

James, P., & Kasoff, M. J. (2008). Canadian studies in the new millennium (2nd ed.). Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Matheson, S., & Butler, J. A. (2013). Horizons north: Contact, culture and education in Canada. Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Pub.

Ravelli, B. D. (1997). Canadian-American value differences: Media portrayals of Native issues. Toronto, Canada: University of Victoria.

Smith, A. (1994). Canada–an American nation? Essays on continentalism, identity, and the Canadian frame of mind. Montréal, Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

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