As Canada Day approaches, we are reminded of all of the things that make our nation great: freedom, equality, a good health care system, beer, hockey, poutine, maple syrup; the list goes on and on and on and on!
BUT, there are also several misconceptions about Canadians that are believed to be completely true by non-Canadians: We live in igloos; we have polar bears for pets; “Sorry” is the number one word in our vocabulary; we are always saying things like “EH!” and “Oot and aboot”; Beavers and moose roam our yards; there is a Tim Hortons on every street corner; etc, etc.
It’s easy for “out-of-towners” to get lost in all of the stories and internet posts and eventually end up believing them, but honestly it’s a bit comical. Can you imagine waking up in the morning to a polar bear whining and pawing at your face for you to wake up and feed him breakfast? Can you even imagine waking up to a bear in your house?! I think I would pee my pants! Fortunately, in addition to being “sorry” all the time, we Canadians are also a forgiving people. So here it is, a list of all of the great things that actually are true about Canada (in no specific order):
- Patriotism – If you live in Canada, chances are you love living in Canada! On Canada Day, people go out in throngs to celebrate “our home and native land”, usually with grand displays of fireworks, a red & white wardrobe, LOTS of beer, facepaint, fake tattoos, and time spent with friends!
- Poutine – Do you like fries? Gravy? Cheese? If you answered yes to these questions, then you will LOVE poutine. If you haven’t yet tried a Real Canadian Poutine (the fast food joints just don’t stack up), then you should try making your own! It’s so easy to make, and SO delicious!
- BEER – Any American can attest: beer is better in Canada. Though the alcohol limits in each country are very similar, it is well known that American beer is usually closer to 4% alcohol content, while Canadian popular beer brands are closer to the 5-6% alcohol content range. What does this mean? Less beer to get your buzz on = more cash in your wallet!
- Wildlife – Even though we don’t have moose and bears roaming through our yards, we do have several national parks to roam in and the chances of seeing at least some form of wildlife on a weekend away in the mountains is very high! The most popular park animals are: elk, white-tailed deer, black bears, big-horned sheep, moose, and on occasion a grizzly bear, though they prefer to stay far away from the sounds that we humans make!
- COLD winters, HOT summers! One of the benefits of living up north is the weather. You have to be able to put up with -40C a few days out of the year, but in return, you get to have amazingly hot summers!
- We invented basketball! Well, James Naismith invented basketball in 1891. If you want to learn more, you can visit the Naismith Museum in Almonte, Ontario!
- We are funny! Some very well-known comedians call Canada home, including: Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Russell Peters, John Candy, Seth Rogen, and Leslie Nielsen, to name a few.
- Music! We are home to a diverse group of musicians, ranging from Deadmau5 to Shania Twain to Anne Murray. We are proud to have lots of talented musicians call Canada home, including: Michael Buble, Justin Beiber, The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Nickelback, k.d. lang, Celine Dion, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan, and Arcade Fire. (And that’s just to name a few!)
- Our money! We are well known around the world for our bright, colourful money, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Plus, despite the government denying the “maple syrup rumours”, I have smelled a new crisp $100 bill and it certainly does smell like maple syrup!
- HOCKEY! (and lacrosse) Our national pastime is hockey, with approximately 50% of NHL players calling our grand country home! Canada houses 7 NHL teams: Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadians. We also have 3 NLL teams: Edmonton Rush, Calgary Roughnecks, and Toronto Rock! The NLL is getting bigger every year, and is SO fun to watch! I highly recommend seeing a lacrosse game if you can manage to get tickets!
Now I am well aware that I have barely scratched the surface of what makes Canada so great, but it can’t go on forever, so we will finally get to the contest details. In order to enter this contest to win a $25 gift card to Canadian Tire (our most Canadian shopping experience), tell us:
What makes you proud to be Canadian?
It could be your patriotism, your support of your local community, your love of poutine, or perhaps you identify with one of the common misconceptions about Canada.. I know I find myself saying EH on occasion. What is your defining Canadian feature?