Canada was once a French colony, which was conquered by the British, and now the country has a dual colonial heritage that influences its culture today. Canadian culture is known to be multicultural and progressive, with influence from Great Britain, French, and America. British, French, and America. Canadian culture consists of indigenous people and immigrants from around the world that make the country a melting pot of arts, customs, and languages.
Canadians enjoy publicly funded health care, gun control, programs to eradicate poverty, and equal rights through race and gender. Canada has two official languages, English and French, as well as 60 Aboriginal or Indigenous spoken languages
A few things Canada is known for: maple syrup, ice hockey, Northern Lights, polar bears, Niagara Falls, and spectacular National Parks.
Though English will be spoken at almost any public place and major city as one of the official languages of Canada, New Brunswick and Manitoba have declared themselves bilingual English and French, and Québec has actually declared themselves unilingual, with its primary language being French. Canadian French does differ slightly from European French, with additional variations for Métis French and Acadian French, due to its English influences. In addition to French and English, there are also 12 Indigenous language groups in Canada.
From the prairies to the arctic, the Aboriginal people have communities across the country, with three major groups. The largest is the First Nations, who mainly reside in British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories (making up just over a third of this territory). Explore the arctic region of Canada and you’ll find “Inuit Nunangat” – Inuit land that’s been inhabited for over 5,000 years. Similar to First Nations, harmony and interdependence with the natural world is an Inuit core value, and hunting is an important way of life. The last major group is the Métis Nation, who have mixed European and Indigenous ancestry, and consist of almost 600,000 people. Though these mixed marriages have been traced back through the centuries, the Métis people weren’t officially acknowledged until 1982 and fought for their recognition as full-rights Aboriginal people until it was granted in 2003.
Food & Drink
Each province has its own regional specialties but perhaps two of the most well-known Canadian foods are poutine and maple syrup. The former is Québecois invention consisting of fries topped with gravy and local cheese curds, though many restaurants have put their own spin on the classic. If you’re craving something sweeter, you’ll be pleased to know that Canada produces 71% of the world's pure maple syrup, 91% of which is produced in Québec. Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia also love this sweet sap, which was introduced by the Aboriginal people to early Canadian settlers. Seafood from the coastal provinces is also world famous, especially lobster from New Brunswick (the town of Shediac, is the lobster capital of the world!), scallops from Nova Scotia and mussels from P.E.I.
Some might be surprised to discover that wine in Canada is award-winning and differs across the country. Ontario and British Columbia are the biggest wine producers, followed by Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Québec. Ice wine is the most famous, as Canada is the world’s leading ice wine producer, followed by white wine, though red wine production is slowly increasing around the country. In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where the climate isn’t great for grape wine, fruit wineries and meaderies are becoming more and more common.