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Article

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) runs annually for 10 days in September beginning on the Thursday after Labour Day. The largest film festival in North America, its international stature is second only to the Cannes Film Festival. Unlike most major film festivals, which are open only to members of the industry and media, TIFF’s status as a public festival has made it an ideal testing ground for a film’s commercial appeal. That, combined with its September schedule, has made it a major launching pad for Oscar contenders and the more serious fare of the fall film schedule. It has also proven to be a key showcase for Canadian cinema, documentary films and experimental works. The 2016 edition of TIFF featured 397 films (296 features and 101 shorts), 138 of which were world premieres, while the 2017 lineup was streamlined by 20 per cent.

Article

Ice Resurfacers (Including Zamboni Machines)

Zamboni ice resurfacers are used in arenas across Canada and around the world. Although Zamboni is a registered trademark, many Canadians use the term to refer to all ice resurfacers, including those produced by other companies. American Frank J. Zamboni invented the original Zamboni ice resurfacer in 1949. His namesake company is based in Paramount, California, but also has a large manufacturing facility in Brantford, Ontario. The Zamboni Company’s major competitor, Resurfice Corporation (based in Elmira, Ontario), produces the Olympia line of ice resurfacers that are used in arenas across Canada and around the world. In 2016, ICETECH Machines began producing the Okay Elektra, an electronic ice resurfacer, in Terrebonne, Québec.

Article

Natural Gas in Canada

Natural gas ranks among the fastest-growing energy sources in Canada and is seen by many in the energy industry as a game-changer, a comparatively clean, low-cost and versatile fuel. It can directly generate power and heat and can be chemically altered to produce a wide range of useful commodity chemicals. It burns cleaner and more efficiently than other fossil fuels, releasing significantly fewer harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Natural gas is colorless, odourless, shapeless, lighter than air and contains a mixture of several hydrocarbon gases, which are organic compounds consisting of some combination of hydrogen and carbon molecules.

The primary consumers of natural gas are the industrial (54.1 per cent), residential (26.6 per cent) and commercial sectors (19.3 per cent). Canada is the fifth largest natural gas producer after the United States, Russia, Iran and Qatar. Currently, all of Canada’s natural gas exports go to the United States through a network of pipelines, making Canada the largest foreign source of US natural gas imports. At the end of 2016, Canada had 76.7 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and had produced 152 billion cubic metres of natural gas that year. It is forecasted that global natural gas consumption will double by 2035.

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Computers and Canadian Society

Canadians use computers in many aspects of their daily lives. Eighty-four per cent of Canadian families have a computer in the home, and many people rely on these devices for work and education. Nearly everyone under the age of 45 uses a computer every day, including mobile phones that are as capable as a laptop or tablet computer. With the widespread use of networked computers facilitated by the Internet, Canadians can purchase products, do their banking, make reservations, share and consume media, communicate and perform many other tasks online. Advancements in computer technologies such as cloud computing, social media, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are having a significant impact on Canadian society. While these and other uses of computers offer many benefits, they also present societal challenges related to Internet connectivity, the digital divide, privacy and crime.

Macleans

Canadarm2's Broken Wrist

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 27, 2002. Partner content is not updated.

It was a bad day at the aerospace office. Around 9 a.m. on March 5, NASA called Richard Rembala, a lead engineer for CANADARM2. There was a problem.

Article

Woodward and Evans Light Bulb

In 1874, Canadians Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans patented a design for an incandescent light bulb. Their invention preceded that of American Thomas Edison by several years. In fact, the second patent (issued in 1876 in the United States) was among those that Edison bought as he refined the technology to create a longer-lasting bulb. Woodward and Evans’s early work on the light bulb in Toronto has gone largely unrecognized. It was nevertheless an important development in the invention of electric lighting.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Article

Canadian Astronauts

An astronaut is an individual involved in flight beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Since the Canadian Space Agency held its first recruitment campaign in 1983, 14 Canadians have completed astronaut training and nine have participated in 17 missions to space. Specifically, they have flown as payload specialists, mission specialists, and flight engineers on NASA shuttle flights and expeditions to the International Space Station (ISS). Canadian astronauts have played key roles in repairing satellites and building the ISS using the Canadarm and Canadarm2 robotic technologies, and have advanced scientific knowledge by conducting a variety of experiments in space.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Canada

The term artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the capacity of a machine to simulate or exceed intelligent human activity or behaviour. It also denotes the subfield of computer science and engineering committed to the study of AI technologies. With recent advancements in digital technology, scientists have begun to create systems modelled on the workings of the human mind. Canadian researchers have played an important role in the development of AI. Now a global leader in the field, Canada, like other nations worldwide, faces important societal questions and challenges related to these potentially powerful technologies.

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Five Digital Technologies and their Challenges

In the span of several decades, digital technologies have changed how Canadians work, communicate, consume products and access information. Although technologies like self-driving cars and the Internet of Things may seem advanced, many such tools are still in their early stages. With the growth of the digital economy, digital technologies will continue to present opportunities and challenges. Here’s a look at five of these technologies and some of the risks that come with them.

Article

Internet in Canada

The Internet is a global network of computers that communicate with each other. This exchange happens through a set of rules called protocols. Since Internet use became widespread in the 1990s, the system has affected most aspects of life. It has had both productive and destructive effects. The Internet has changed the way Canadians learn and work, buy products and services, communicate and consume entertainment. Most people think of the Internet as the World Wide Web. However, it takes a number of different forms, including networked physical objects called the Internet of Things.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Article

Travois

A travois, from the French word travail, “to work,” was a device used for transportation by the Plains Indigenous peoples. Drawn by horses or dogs, the travois carried people’s goods to and from hunting sites and temporary settlements.

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Tumpline

A tumpline is a strap that crosses the head (sometimes the chest) and is used for carrying a pack. In Canada, Indigenous peoples and early settlers used this load-bearing device to carry goods over long distances. Tumplines are still used all over the world, from people in rural communities to modern outdoor outfitters.