Throughout the world, Canada is respected for its achievements in the arts. In music, dance, literature, theatre, cinema and visual arts Canadians are held in high regard.
Music is the most widespread of the performing arts in Canada.The talents of Canadian musicians can be heard in all types of music. In the area of classical music, a number of Canadian cities have their own symphony orchestras and there are many smaller ensembles, such as I Musici and Tafelmusik. Montreal's Symphony Orchestra has earned an impressive collection of prizes and distinctions. Classical performers Glen Gould is widely regarded as an innovative, musical genius. Opera lovers need not look beyond Canada's borders for excellence. Maureen Forrester, Jon Vickers and Louis Quilico have left a rich legacy.Richard Margison, and Judith Forst are extending the tradition with exciting innovations of their own. The Vancouver Opera Association, the Canadian Opera Company, L'Opera de Montreal and others are known for the originality and quality of their performances. Montreal's world-renowned annual jazz festival is a must on the itinerary of all jazz fans. One of the groups - UZEB has taken their place among the world's most celebrated jazz ensembles. Oscar Peterson is considered one of the all-time jazz greats, and others, such as Oliver Jones, Michel Donato and Ed Bickert, are now building reputations for themselves. Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Sarah McLachlan, Leonard Cohen, Roch Voisine and Daniel Lavoie are popular with rock fans all over the world.
Fans of modern dance throughout the world are delighted by the performances of Canadian troupes that include: La La La Human Steps; the Toronto Dance Theatre; the Desrosiers Dance Theatre; and O Vertigo. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet; the Grands Ballets Canadiens; and the National Ballet of Canada are three large Canadian ballet companies perform on the international circuit. They have been the home base for dancers such as Karen Kain and Evelyn Hart in their international careers.A growing number of independent choreographers and dancers mount performances in Canada and abroad every year. Among this group of more than 150 are Margie Gillis, Marie Chouinard, Judith Marcuse, Peggy Baker and Jean-Pierre Perrault.
Canadian literature is large and complex. It tells the story of Canada, in all its richness and diversity. It comprises strong traditions in both English and French includes voices from the various regions and many cultural groups of the country.Most Canadian literature has been written in French or English in 1600's and 1700's since the first Europeans were established in Canada. The first writing in English and French were letters, diaries, reports and so on. It often expressed an optimistic attitude toward the new country.The first who gave a Canadian vision of Americans was Thomas Chandler Halliburton (1796-1865). Only in that time, early in the 19-th century, Canadian literature in English began.Bliss Carman (1861-1929) is the most famous of the English-Canadian poets. Children around the world have enjoyed reading about red-haired Anne. Lucy Montgomery's novel "Anne of Green Gables" has become a classic set in rural Prince Edward Island.Octave Cremazie (1827-1879) and Louis Honore Frechette (1827-1908) were French-Canadian poets who wrote patriotic verse. Among major themes of Canadian writers is the "idea of North". Northern landscapers and the life in the north are still popular topic of Canadian literature.A distinctly Canadian literature began to emerge slowly in the 1800's and blossomed after the World War II. There appeared literary works of First Nation (aboriginal) writes as a sign of a growing, distinct Canadian literature. Literature reflects the sense of moving east, west or north. It helps to unite nation, to connect big cities and small towns.
Theatre and Cinema
Canada's role on the world stage is prominent and much admired. The compelling nature and high quality of Canadian theatre is recognized internationally. The plays of Michel Tremblay have been translated into more than 20 languages, thanks to that Quebec theatre has become increasingly popular both at home and abroad in recent years. The Shaw and Stratford Theatre festivals are well known abroad also. The Cirque du Soleil has been revolutionizing entertainment under its yellow and blue big top since 1984. Millions of people around the world have marveled at its spectacular productions, which blend theatre, acrobatics and music. Canadian theatre is distinguished by its innovative spirit and search for new forms. Companies, like Green Thumb and Mermaid, have channeled their energies into creating outstanding children's theatre. Others, such as One yellow Rabbit tour the world and receive critical acclaim wherever they go. Canadian cinema is known throughout the world. The movie Naked Lunch by filmmaker David Cronenberg has been received international acclaim. The films The Sweet Hereafter by Atom Egoyan and Decline of the American Empire by Denys Arcand are known throughout the world. Computer-image animation is now providing fertile ground for the imaginations and talents of Canadian artists in this field. Frederick Back's 1987 Oscar-winning animated work, The Man Who Planted Trees, is a brilliant continuation of this tradition. The National Film Board (NFB) has established Canada as an artistic force in animation. The most known man in this field is Norman McLaren. The NFB has been nominated for 61 Oscars and has won 10.
The tradition of visual arts in Canada is rich and varied. Within the last century in the Canadian visual art there were different styles and directions.Early in this century, the Group of Seven captured the majestic Canadian landscape as never before. Here emerged a uniquely Canadian view of land, skies and magical light. In 1948 Canadian painter Paul-Emile Borduas introduced his Refus global. This manifesto, signed by 14 artists, called for the abandonment of academicism and the advent of a new social order. "Let there be room for magic, room for hope, room for imaginativeness," Paul-Emile Borduas had proclaimed. During the 1960s Canadian artists Guido Molinari, Yves Gaucher and Claude Tousignant introduced another style, leaning toward geometrical abstraction. Since 1984, Canadian Inuit artists have produced a brilliant art in carvings of stone, ivory, antler and whalebone, as well as drawings, paintings and prints. Such artists as carver Karoo Ashevak, printmakers Pudlo, Parr and Jessie Oonark create works that, while they embrace the forms and techniques of the Euro-American artist, are distinctly representative of their own culture and their unique perception of the Canadian landscape.In the world of art the landscapes of Cornelius Krieghoff and the portraits of Theophile Hamel are known. The multidisciplinary works of Michael Snow and the hyperrealism of Alex Colville are works that are universally compelling. Canada's native artists such as Haida sculptor Bill Reid and painters Alex Janvier and Norval Morrisseau reach deep into the traditions and techniques of their ancestors.
Holidays in Canada
In Canada they celebrate many holidays, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas ( Eve and Day ), Remembrance Day, Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, St. Valentine's Day, New Year's Day, and Easter.
For the New Year's Day, families get together with a few friends and have a party with food and drinks. When the countdown starts they turn on TV and every one crowds around to countdown from 10. When it gets to zero, all the fireworks go off, they blow these things that make sound and they all say "Happy New Year". As they are saying that, they "cheer" everyone. Usually a song called "Auld Lang Sine" is sung.
Thanksgiving is a very special holiday. It was created so that they could give thanks for all the things they have. It is also a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate the holiday. On the Thanksgiving Day they eat supper with their relatives. They eat turkey, stuffing, beans, buns, cranberry sauce, cauliflower and mashed potatoes. For dessert they eat a pumpkin pie or an apple pie. The history of Thanksgiving really does come from the United States. When North America was first discovered and settled around 1600s the first Thanksgiving dinner occurred as an opportunity to give "thanks" for the situation the settlers found themselves in and their good fortune in coming to North America. They still endured many hardships but felt that the move was a good one. Wild turkeys were caught by settlers and used for the dinner and pumpkins were used to make the pies as well. Today, it serves as an opportunity again for families to get together and give thanks for all, for being healthy, prosperous and all together.
Halloween is a holiday when children dress up in costumes and collect candy from houses in neighborhood during the night. They go until it is very late and then come home and eat it.
Every year in July there is a huge celebration in Calgary called the Stampede. It is when cowboys come from towns all over North America to take part in competitions such as the Rodeo, Chuck wagon races and horse racing. At the end of the celebration there is a huge show with fireworks, dancing and singing. There is also an exhibition with many different rides like in a circus.
On Christmas they traditionally have a dinner on Christmas Eve and then go to their church- for a Christmas Eve service. The next morning they open gifts under the Christmas tree, have a Christmas breakfast and then prepare for family to come over for the big dinner. There is a lot of eating. It is a time for busy families to come together and share in the spirit of Christmas.
The first Sunday of the month of May is set aside for Mother's Day and the first Sunday of the month of June is set aside for Father's Day.
In Canada Easter is somewhat of a religious holiday but for the children it is a time of finding hidden Easter goodies around the house that the "Easter Bunny" has left. It seems to change each year but it is always in April.
April, 1 is a relatively insignificant date. Children call it April Fools' Day. It is a day when people try and play practical jokes on each other - but only until noon.