Canada exhibits diverse and lively cultural and social life. Canadians value free time, which they use to perform multiple recreational activities, which include sports, contact with nature and the consumption of cultural goods (cinema, theater, musical and artistic shows in general).
The impressive Canadian biodiversity, full of diverse landscapes and flora and fauna, is a source of great pleasure and pride for the citizens of that country, who value the health of these natural environments and recognize that social and economic well-being depends on their sustainability .
In that sense, outdoor activities consume an essential part of the leisure time of Canadians. Visiting the natural parks, exploring local ecosystems, observing wildlife and doing outdoor sports (walking, running, camping or cycling) are popular habits that are carried out with total respect and care for the environment.
During winter, snow sports are widely used. Ice hockey, the national sport, is probably the most practiced by children and young people from all over the country, who participate in different collegiate leagues. Skiing is the other activity preferred by Canadians, followed by ice skating and more fun activities, such as sliding on rubbers on frozen slopes.
The visual and performing arts also occupy an essential part of the leisure activities of Canadians. Cinema, theater, music and the circus have many fans. Canadians regularly attend a cultural show and feel a strong sense of pride and appreciation for cultural products originating in the country.
The two most important Canadian cities, Toronto and Montreal, shine as the venues of two of the world’s most renowned art festivals: the Toronto Film Festival, annual meeting of filmmakers and celebrities of the seventh art, and the Jazz Festival of Montreal, which brings together the most acclaimed international exponents of the genre every year. Canadians warmly welcome both festivals and the many others that are frequently organized, particularly during the lively Canadian summer. The “Just for Laughs” or “Juste pour rire” humor festival, also held in Toronto and Montreal, is an excellent example of how Canadians have fun during the summer.
Canadian contemporary arts are diverse. They are nourished by the world’s oldest cultural traditions, including the arts of Native American peoples, European cultural cultures (French and English), as well as the cultural diversity of immigrant communities.
The Canadian government annually invests more than 10 billion dollars in the activity of the arts and social services, through the Arts Council of Canada. This important investment allows the creation of more than 600 thousand jobs and allows this activity to be possible, directly helping more than 2,000 artists and some 2,500 arts organizations and making the support of the private sector more profitable.
With public funding, the government ensures that the culture and activity of creativity and entertainment, in general, are accessible to all Canadians.
The Vibrant Canadian Scene
Canada is known worldwide as the cradle of “Cirque du Soleil” (the Circus of the Sun), the famous circus company, created in Quebec in 1984, which revolutionized the genre by incorporating acting, dance, creating imaginary worlds and cultural diversity, mixing them, with great artistic mastery, with grace, boldness, skills and acrobatics typical of traditional circuses.
Currently, the “Cirque du Soleil” is a powerful entertainment industry, a must for international performing arts, which generates more than 5,000 direct jobs, where artists from nearly 50 nationalities converge and more than 25 languages are spoken. It is estimated that more than 100 million viewers worldwide have witnessed a “Cirque du Soleil” show and that about 15 million people annually attend a show of this company.
The “Cirque du Soleil” is a Canadian icon and a successful expression of the Francophone culture of that country.
The Canadian music scene, meanwhile, stands out with exponents of high level and artistic quality such as the well-known and award-winning poet, novelist and singer from Montreal, Leonard Cohen (Prince of Asturias Award 2011), and the acclaimed musician and composer, originally from Toronto , Neil Young, considered one of the most influential exponents of rock of his generation. Céline Dion, the most famous Québec on the international art scene, is the great Canadian ballad interpreter in English and French. Other famous Canadian singers and musicians are Alanis Morrissette, Bryan Adams, Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, Nelly Furtado, Shania Twain, Diana Krall, Justin Bieber, the rock group Arcade Fire, the pop icon of the 50s and 60s, Paul Anka and the legendary pianist Glen Gould.
On the acting level, Canada has great actors and actresses who have stood out on the international scene, such as Michael J. Fox, Donald Sutherland and his son Kiefer, Keanu Reeves, William Shatner, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Dan Ackroyd, Rachel McAdams , Ellen Page, Kim Cattrall, Sandra Oh, Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling.
The lyrics include the “bestsellers” Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje, among other writers.
Most Canadian cities have museums, theaters, cinemas and galleries. The most famous are in the capital region, such as the Museum of Civilization, located in Gatineau, and the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa. The numerous museums of arts, history and science of Montreal and Toronto also stand out.
In the gastronomic area, Canada is also at the forefront. In its main cities you can taste the most varied and exotic international cuisine.