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Article

Canadian Film History: 1939 to 1973

Filmmaking is a powerful form of cultural and artistic expression, as well as a highly profitable commercial enterprise. From a practical standpoint, filmmaking is a business involving large sums of money and a complex division of labour. This labour is involved, roughly speaking, in three sectors: production, distributionand exhibition. The history of the Canadian film industry has been one of sporadic achievement accomplished in isolation against great odds. Canadian cinema has existed within an environment where access to capital for production, to the marketplace for distribution and to theatres for exhibition has been extremely difficult. The Canadian film industry, particularly in English Canada, has struggled against the Hollywood entertainment monopoly for the attention of an audience that remains largely indifferent toward the domestic industry. The major distribution and exhibition outlets in Canada have been owned and controlled by foreign interests. The lack of domestic production throughout much of the industry’s history can only be understood against this economic backdrop.

This article is one of four that surveys the history of the film industry in Canada. The entire series includes: Canadian Film History: 1896 to 1938; Canadian Film History: 1939 to 1973; Canadian Film History: 1974 to Present; Canadian Film History: Regional Cinema and Auteurs, 1980 to Present.

Article

Quebec Film History: 1896 to 1969

This entry presents an overview of Quebec cinema, from its beginnings in the silent film era to the burgeoning of a distinctly Quebec cinema in the 1960s. It highlights the most important films, whether in terms of box office success or international acclaim, and covers both narrative features and documentaries. It also draws attention to an aspect of filmmaking that still has difficulty finding its place: women’s cinema.

Article

None Is Too Many

Written by Irving Abella and Harold Troper, None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933–1948 (published in 1982), documented antisemitism in the Canadian government’s immigration policies as they applied to European Jews fleeing persecution from Nazi Germany. The phrase “none is too many” entered the Canadian political lexicon largely because of this book. Even before its publication, the book played a crucial role in changing the Canadian government’s policies toward refugees, such that the government of Joe Clark welcomed Vietnamese refugees then referred to as the “Boat People.”

collection

Music in Canada

From Oscar Peterson to Alanis Morissette to Franco-Canadian Folk music, this collection from The Canadian Encyclopedia covers the wide range of musicians and styles found in Canada. Explore the timeline, quizzes, videos, and articles in this collection to learn more about the past and present of music in Canada.

Article

Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede is a combined agricultural fair and rodeo. Other presentations such as manufacturing and home and garden exhibitions occur at the same time, as well as displays relating to Indigenous cultures, an evening stage show and a large midway with sideshows and rides. Every July the Stampede opens with a parade; the rodeo and other events continue for 10 days.

Article

Indian Horse

Indian Horse (2012) is the sixth novel by Ojibwe author Richard Wagamese. Set in Northern Ontario in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it follows protagonist Saul Indian Horse as he uses his extraordinary talent for ice hockey to try and escape his traumatic residential school experience. He achieves moderate success as a hockey player but is unable to escape his “Indian” identity or the trauma from his past. Indian Horse was a finalist on CBC’s Canada Reads in 2013, where it won the People’s Choice award. It was also the winner of the 2013–14 First Nation Communities Read Selection and the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature from the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE). In 2017, Indian Horse was adapted into an award-winning film by writer Dennis Foon and director Stephen S. Campanelli.

Article

Schitt’s Creek

One of the most acclaimed Canadian TV series of all time, Schitt’s Creek is a CBC sitcom about a wealthy family who loses their fortune and is forced to live in the fictional small town of the show’s name. Created by co-stars Daniel Levy and his father, Eugene Levy, the series is centred on the tension between the town’s down-to-earth residents and the ostentatious Rose family. In 2020, it won nine Primetime Emmy Awards and became the first comedy series ever to win all seven of the top awards: best comedy series, best lead and supporting actor and actress, and best writing and directing. It has also won two Golden Globes and 24 Canadian Screen Awards, including five for best actress in a comedy series (Catherine O’Hara) and three for best comedy series.

Article

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner (2001) is the first book in a series of young adult novels set in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan by writer and activist Deborah Ellis. It was followed by Parvana’s Journey (2002), Mud City (2003) and the final book, My Name is Parvana (2012). Inspired by Ellis’s interviews with Afghan women in refugee camps, the series begins with 11-year-old Parvana, who must disguise herself as a boy to support her family after her father is arrested by the Taliban. It is a story of courage and empowerment and sheds light on the horrors of war, especially for the children caught in the crossfire. The Breadwinner was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award, while Parvana’s Journey was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Nora Twomey’s animated adaptation of The Breadwinner (2017) received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for best animated feature, as well as four Canadian Screen Awards and numerous other honours.

Article

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) is the world’s first Indigenous national broadcaster dedicated to Indigenous programming. First broadcast on 1 September 1999 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, APTN provides various content, including news, dramas and documentaries. Aimed at diverse audiences, APTN offers programming in Indigenous languages, English and French. It broadcasts into more than 11 million Canadian households and businesses, a significant portion of which are located in remote areas. APTN mainly generates revenue for operations through subscriber fees, advertising sales and partnerships.

List

Children’s Books about Inuit Culture in Canada

Inuit authors have brought the richness and diversity of Inuit culture into the public eye with several enchanting and powerful books. From oral histories to Arctic animals to supernatural creatures, the books on this list explore various elements of the Inuit culture and way of life. Titles listed are recommended for a range of age groups, from toddlers to preteens. These books support efforts to encourage literacy, preserve and promote culture, and educate others about Inuit and Indigenous peoples and history.

Article

The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate is Canada’s leading investigative journalism program. Modelled after CBS’s 60 Minutes, it debuted on the CBC in September 1975. It continues to be a flagship series for the public broadcaster. Hosts have included Adrienne Clarkson, Linden MacIntyre, Anna Maria Tremonti, Hana Gartner, Gillian Findlay and Bob McKeown. The show has won 52 Gemini Awards, more than 15 Canadian Screen Awards, two Michener Awards, two International Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary.

Article

Heritage Minutes

The Heritage Minutes collection is a bilingual series of history-focused public service announcements. Each 60-second short film depicts a significant person, event or story in Canadian history. They are produced by Historica Canada, the not-for-profit organization that also publishes this encyclopedia. First released in 1991, the Heritage Minutes have been shown on television, in cinemas and online. They have become a recognizable part of Canadian culture. The collection currently includes 99 episodes.

Article

The Nature of Things

The Nature of Things is television’s longest-running science series. It debuted on CBC on 6 November 1960. Originally a half-hour program that demonstrated scientific concepts, it evolved into an hour-long documentary series when renowned Canadian scientist David Suzuki took over hosting duties in 1979. The groundbreaking program was among the first to present scientific findings on subjects such as HIV/AIDS and climate change. Over the course of more than 60 seasons and over 900 episodes, The Nature of Things has been seen in more than 80 countries. It has received 17 Gemini Awards and seven Canadian Screen Awards.

Article

Hedley (band)

Pop-punk band Hedley shot to stardom in 2005 after lead singer Jacob Hoggard finished third on Canadian Idol in 2004. The band won two Juno Awards rom more than 30 nominations, sold nearly 1 million albums and 4 million singles, and had a record 16 videos hit No. 1 on the MuchMusic Countdown chart. In 2014, Billboard called Hedley Canada’s “king of all-format airplay.” In February 2018, the band was blacklisted from Canadian radio following multiple allegations of sexual assault against the band members dating to 2005. Hoggard was arrested and charged with sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault in July 2018. In 2022, he was found guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Article

Canada’s Walk of Fame

Canada’s Walk of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to honouring Canadians who have achieved excellence in the fields of arts and entertainment, science and technology, business, philanthropy and athletics. Modelled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it stretches along 13 city blocks in Toronto’s Entertainment District. Each inductee’s name and signature are etched onto a plaque embedded on the sidewalk, along with a star resembling a maple leaf. Inductees are honoured at an annual, nationally broadcast gala in Toronto. More than 210 people have been inducted since the Walk was founded in 1998.

Article

Architectural History of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Before the arrival of Europeans, Indigenous peoples in Canada had their own building traditions. Dwellings and structures differed vastly from nation to nation, depending on their purpose and function. Building traditions also reflected important aspects of Indigenous peoples’ respective cultures, societies, geographies, environments and spiritual beliefs. This article provides an overview of the main types of dwellings and structures used by Indigenous peoples in the Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau, Plains and Eastern Woodlands.

Article

National Aboriginal Veterans Monument

The National Aboriginal Veterans Monument was unveiled in 2001 in Ottawa to commemorate the contributions made by Indigenous peoples in Canada during the First World War, Second World War and Korean War. The monument, a bronze statue with a granite base, was created by Indigenous artist Noel Lloyd Pinay of the Peepeekisis First Nation in Saskatchewan. It is situated in Confederation Park, directly across from the Lord Elgin Hotel. It is the first monument dedicated to Indigenous veterans in Canada.

Article

Inuit Country Food in Canada

Country food is a term that describes traditional Inuit food, including game meats, migratory birds, fish and foraged foods. In addition to providing nourishment, country food is an integral part of Inuit identity and culture, and contributes to self-sustainable communities. Environmental and socioeconomic changes have threatened food security, making country food more expensive and difficult to harvest. Despite these challenges, the Inuit, in partnership with various levels of government and non-profit organizations, continue to work towards improving access to country food.

Article

Birch-Bark Biting

Birch-bark biting is the art of dentally perforating designs on intricately folded sheets of paper-thin bark. Traditionally, the technique is known to have been practised by Ojibwe (or Chippewa), Cree and other Algonquian peoples who used birchbark extensively in fabricating domestic containers, architectural coverings, canoes and pictographic scrolls. Indigenous artists have kept the practice alive in spite of colonial efforts to culturally assimilate Indigenous peoples into Canadian society. (See also History of Indigenous Art in Canada and Contemporary Indigenous Art in Canada.)