The World Needs More Canada


The FLIPsters are very proud Canadians and we are not afraid to say it. We are celebrating Canada’s  Sesquicentennial because we believe the world needs more Canada. Happy Canada Day!

Carrie – Our Awesomeness
It is with mixed emotions that will mark the 150th Anniversary of Confederation. There is much to be ashamed of in our history, but there is also very much to be proud of.

In no particular order, here is just a miniscule sampling of some Canadiana for which we can proudly toot our horn!

Leonard Cohen and k.d. lang
Georgia O’Keeefe and the Group of Seven
Terry Fox and Rick Hansen
Banting and Best
The Rockies
Maple Syrup
Coffee Crisp (I like my coffee crisp…)
Mr. Dress-up
Blackberry (c’mon!)
Tommy Douglas
The Underground Railroad
Same-Sex Marriage
Access to Abortion
Ketchup Chips
The Drowsy Chaperone
The Hockey Sweater
The Ryans
Maternity Leave
The Caesar
Trival Pursuit
Cirque du Soliel and Cavalia
The Richler clan
The CBC which gave us Codco, Kids in the Hall, 22 Minutes, This is Wonderland, Still Standing, Baroness Von Sketch Show, Candy Palmater, and Peter Gzowski to name just a few
Catriona Le May Doan, Sylvie Fréchette, Joannie Rochette, Hayley Wickenheiser, Cindy Klassen, Clara Hughes, Christine Sinclair, Cassie Campbell, Perdita Felicien, Rosie MacLennan, and Penny Oleksiak
SCTV, Sandra Shamas, Gavin Crawford, Ronni Burkett, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Samantha Bee (yep, she was born here!), and Women Fully Clothed, and Bare Naked Ladies (they are funny too!)
Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls
Poutine (Mmmmm cheese curds)

Sorry … if I have gone on too long!

Damien – Our CBC and Our voices
I exclusively listen to CBC Radio One at home and in the car because I usually learn something new each time I listen. Especially Cross Country Checkup. Poor Duncan McCue has to talk to some pretty strange people sometimes but overall that show proves that Canadians just want to be good people and live in a nice country – even if they don’t know what they’re talking about. And that is why I love Canada. We all have opinions, we all have a vision for what this country should look like and we all try to be the best that we can be. There have been a lot of mistakes, a lot of disagreements, and a lot of bumps in the road, but we say sorry and carry on. These days, if the person on the other side of the debate (or the border) is being a bit too loud, I just turn CBC up all the way to 11.

Danielle – Our Comedians
I love comedy. I love Canadian comedy. I love people just being funny. Oh, Canada!

I tried putting together a collage of Canadian comedians and comedic actors, but it got away from me very quickly. There’s actually too many. Creating a collage of Canadian comedians is an impossible task. So there is definitely a lot of people missing (and YES, I included Drake in there, because if Wheelchair Jimmy didn’t at least make you smile, you’re dead inside)…but I also put my favourite Canadian in the collage three times. It’s all about balance, you know?

I grew up watching shows like SCTV, Saturday Night Live, Just For Laughs, Royal Canadian Air Farce, and Kids in the Hall. I, unlike most other people, just assumed that everyone I was watching was Canadian. Except for SNL, which I believed was riddled with nothing but New Yorkers. I was ecstatic when I found out that Dan Aykroyd, Norm Macdonald, Mike Myers (who, ok, wasn’t great on SNL…), Martin Short and Phil freakin’ Hartman were all Canadians…and it was created by a Canadian to boot! What a goddamn treat that was.

After that, I began to actively seek out the Canadians in comedy, though it wasn’t that hard, because if Canadians are one thing, it’s polite proud! That being said, if you Google “Canadian Comedians” or “Canadian Celebrities” the internet is jam-packed with American bloggers writing “Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Canadian!” and then when you read it, it’s a list of very outspoken Canadians, who practically have a maple leaf tattooed on their forehead.

Also, the fact that a Canadian Humour page exists on Wikipedia is incredible, and on top of that the opening line is: “Canadian humour is an integral part of the Canadian Identity.” 

I couldn’t agree more.

Desiree – Our Authors
Our English-Canadian authors are internationally known and read and tell stories of wide array of cultures, subjects and languages. I am always so proud when our writers are internationally recognized. They deserve it. They tell compelling stories through their beautiful use of language. This does NOT touch the surface of my favourite Canadian writers and novels but here are two lists of some of my favourite writers and a few of their amazing fiction titles.

The Ladies
Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake, Alias Grace
Barbara Gowdy – The Romantic, Falling Angels, We So Seldom Look on Love
Helen Humphreys – Afterimage, Lost Garden, Leaving Earth
Alice Munro – The Love of a Good Woman, Runaway,  Lives of Girls and Women
Margaret Laurence – The Diviners, The Stone Angel, A Jest of God, The Fire-Dwellers
AND…Carol Shields, Jane Urquart,  Ann Marie McDonald, Miriam Towes, Emma Donoghue, Nancy Huston, Kim Thuy, Kathleen Winter, Lori Lansens, and Lucy Maud Montgomery.

The Gents
Timothy Findley – The Piano Man’s Daughter, The Wars, Not Wanted on the Voyage, Dust to Dust
(NOTE: He is my favourite writer period)
Mordecai Richler – The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Leaving St Aubin, Barney’s Version
Lawrence Hill – The Book of Negros, The Illegal, Some Great Thing
Lindon MacIntyre – The Long Strech, The Bishop’s Man, Why Men Lie
Joseph Boyden – Three Day Road, The Orenda, Through Black Spruce
AND…Wayson Choy, Richard Wagamese, WP Kinsella, Rohinton Mistry, Michael Ondaatje, M.G. Vassanji, Michael Winter, Yann Martel, and Robertson Davies.

P.S. I’m sorry there are no French-Canadian authors on my list, though Kim Thuy counts! Three authors I’ve read translated that I love are Gil Courtemache, Gabrielle Roy and Marie-Claire Blais.

Liisa – Our Visual Artists
Art is all around us from the buildings in our cities to the undisturbed views in the vast wilderness of Canada. There is so much going on in our country, from painting to fashion to ceramics to sculpture to architecture, the list seems endless. Art in Canada is unique because Canadians are so diverse and everyone has a story to tell through their chosen medium.

The art speaks for itself, so here are a few of the many great artists Canada has to offer:

Top Row: Yousuf Karsh – Mohammad Ali; Kent Monkman – The Daddies; Tom Thompson, Group of Seven – The Jack Pine. Middle Row: Lawren Harris, Group of Seven – North Shore, Lake Superior; Roy Henry Vickers – Eagle Dancer; Douglas Joseph Cardinal – Museum of History in Hull, QC. Bottom Row: Myco Anna – Clothing designer; Emily Carr – Totem Forest; Douglas Coupland – Digital Orca


Milusha – Our Landscape
My favourite thing about Canada is the magnificent, traditional land we gather on. We are privileged to live in a country with a fierce but beautiful terrain, in every direction. From the Pacific to the Atlantic; the rocky mountains and the temperate rainforest in British Columbia, to the fishing and coastal towns in the Maritimes, and every inch above and in between. Canada’s geography is vast and striking and it is a constant reminder that we need to protect our environment.

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