Canadian culture embodies the artistic, culinary, literary, humor, musical, political and social elements that are a representation of Canada and Canadians.
This culture has been of influence to the European culture and traditions, especially British and French as well as its own indigenous cultures. The culture of immigrants has also been incorporated into the mainstream Canadian culture.
Canada has evolved to be religiously and linguistically diverse, encompassing a wide range of dialects, beliefs and customs. Today Canada has a diverse make-up of ethnicities, nationalities and constitutional protection for policies that promote multi-culturalism rather than cultural assimilation or a single national myth. Canada is in theory a cultural mosaic – collection of several regional, aboriginal, and ethnic subcultures.
Journalist and Professor Andrew Cohen wrote in 2007 about the Canadian identity: “The Canadian identity as it has come to be known is as elusive as the Sasquatch and Ogopogo.
It has animated and frustrated generations of statesmen, historians, writers, artists, philosophers and the National Film Board…. Canada resists easy definition.” (Andrew Cohen, The Unfinished Canadian: The People We Are).
While Canada tries to maintain its cultural differences, it also must balance this with responsibility in trade arrangements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The beaver is one of Canada’s national symbols and is depicted on the Canadian five-cent piece. Official symbols also include; the maple leaf and the Canadian horse.
Other prominent symbols include the Canada goose, loon and more recently the totem pole and Inuksuk. The government supports all forms of art: visual, literature, theater, television, film, music and sports.
The Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal is an example of the above as it portrays the real picture of though typical Canadian household as well as political and cultural absurdity.