"Mon pays, ce n'est pas un pays; c'est l'hiver."
Canada is the second largest country in the world by area, and has a population of 35 million people as of the 2016 census. Compared to other countries, its population is pretty small, boasting a population density of only 3.5 people per square kilometre (the UK squeezes 255 people into the same amount of space). Despite being few, historically the provinces and territories like to fight with one another, in more modern times resorting to snide jokes and CFL rivalries. The Western provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) like to hate on Central Canada (Ontario and Quebec), the Maritime Provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) have severe inferiority complexes and resent that they never get any of the good stuff, Newfoundland and Labrador sort of still collectively wishes they hadn't joined Confederation, while the Francophones in Quebec look poorly upon the Anglophones in the rest of the country (the "ROC" as it's known). Meanwhile the Anglophones in Quebec just quietly try to subvert the language laws. Every province likes to bash Ontario, and all Canadians who don't live there like to talk about how much Toronto sucks. Why is it like this? Mainly because of the confusing origins and exacerbated regional differences. That said, Canada is still a unified country, and the rivalry that goes on is similar to that of any country.
Three of the most memorable moments to most Canadians in their history include: the The War of 1812; the Battle of Vimy Ridge in World War I, using tactics by Canadian General Arthur William Currie to capture the ridge from the Germans; and finally, Game 8, 1972, Canada v. Soviet Union.
Insisting that Canada is still a Dominion of the United Kingdom or is in any way in some sort of union with the United States is bound to stir up some backdraft amongst Canadians, as will suggesting Quebec should be independent (outside of Quebec, minus certain parts of Montreal).
Culturally, Canadians are perceived as being modest, quiet, and a bit like a backwards rustic neighbour. The Canucks With Chinooks page shows just how inaccurate that is. Similarities to America are profound, but those similarities are heatedly protested by Canadians. If one is asked to think of "Canada", generally the idea of plaid-wearing lumberjacks in a snow-filled pine forest where moose and beavers frolic about and bears savagely roam is imagined. Somewhere, ice hockey is filled in. Maple syrup (as well as the maple leaf, which is on Canada's flag) is commonly associated with Canada, and--like Alaska--it's hard to imagine not covered in snow and freezing.
Canada isn't all wine and roses (or beer and skittles), though. The "residential schools" -- a systematic program of cultural genocide against the native peoples -- is a part of living memory... but, while we're willing to admit it, taking steps to atone is something that has barely if at all started. And, in our own way, we're just as racist as the USA; we're just better at convincing ourselves (and the rest of the world) that we aren't.
If you're looking for Hollywood Canada, see Canada, Eh?.
- Beware the Nice Ones / Beware the Quiet Ones: Canada has a reputation for being polite and prefers to take an international role out of the spotlight, but the Canucks With Chinooks page exists for a reason. Also, Canada's "Joint Task Force 2" is considered by The Pentagon to be a Tier One special forces unit.
- The British Empire / The Commonwealth: Canada was part of the Empire and is part of the Commonwealth. It's one of the Commonwealth's biggest boosters, not that that's saying much.
- Canadians Love Curling: Curling originated from Scotland, yet it's Canada that dominates curling in international competitions.
- Good Bad Translation: According to legend, when Jacques Cartier asked the Huron-Iroquois people where he was, they replied that they were taking him to "kanata", meaning "the village". He interpreted it as "we are in the nation of Kanata". So he wrote "Canada" on all the maps.
- Lampshading this, one of the suburbs of the nation's capital is named "Kanata."
- Memetic Mutation
- "Just watch me." ~ Pierre Trudeau
- "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." ~ Also Pierre Trudeau
- "Fuddle Duddle" ~ an Unusual Euphemism that is officially attributed to Pierre Trudeau
- a "walk in the snow" ~ again, Pierre Trudeau
- "You had an option, sir." ~ Brian Mulroney, speaking Canada's equivalent of "You're no Jack Kennedy"
- "Conscription if necessary but not necessarily conscription." ~ attributed to William Lyon Mackenzie King, who actually said "not necessarily conscription, but conscription if necessary."
- "They're going home!" ~ Bob Cole
- "A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." ~ Jean Chretien
- "He shoots, he scores!" ~ Foster Hewitt
- National Stereotypes: Beer, bears, beavers, and lumberjacks are most of the biggest Canadian stereotypes. Moose, modesty, maple syrup, and hockey cover the rest.
- Although as of the mid-2010s Canada has a monopoly on the singing astronaut stereotype, despite the existence of non-Canadian singing astronauts. One of his performances graces this very page!
- Canada, Eh?: how the rest of the world sees Canada
- Canadian Accents
- Canadian History
- Canadian Music
- Canadian Politics
- Canadian Series
- Canucks With Chinooks
- The Common Law
- Ice Hockey: The national winter sport. (We passed a law saying so, back in 1994.) The "ice" part is always assumed in Canada, so just call it "hockey" when visiting.
- Labour Day in North America
- Montreal, the largest French speaking city in the Americas.
- Toronto, the biggest city and the financial hub of Canada, but is not the national capital (that's Ottawa, also in Ontario but a bit to the east-northeast; Toronto is the provincial capital), and definitely not the centre of the universe no matter how much Torontonians may wish for it.
- Vancouver, the financial centre for Western Canada, with a massive Pacific port. It is the city that is not Seattle no matter how much Hollywood wants to convince you otherwise.
- Niagara Falls: There's one of these in the USA, too, but the Canadian one gets all the publicity.
People (an incomplete list):
- CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
- Cirque Du Soleil
- Emily Carr
- Group of Seven
- Only So Many Canadian Actors
- My country, it's not a country; it's winter.
- "Rest of Canada"
- They score! Henderson has scored for Canada!