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Acadian Folklore Studies

​For a long time, there was little awareness of or research into the Acadians’ rich folklore. However, in the late 1930s and the 1940s, pioneers such as Joseph-Thomas LeBlanc and Father Anselme Chiasson began to promote the spread of Acadia’s repertoire of songs and oral traditions. Later, during the 1950s, Luc Lacourcière and his followers at Université Laval’s Archives de folklore gathered substantial collections of tales, legends and songs. Up to the 1990s, extensive research was undertaken throughout Acadia.

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Acadian Music

​Music and song have always been an important part of Acadian culture. Music education has existed in Acadia since the 1860s. School and college choirs have enjoyed great success, and classically trained Acadian musicians have distinguished themselves on the world stage.

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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.

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Centennial Literature

​The 100th anniversary of Confederation in 1967 coincided with a period of self-definition and national assertion that consolidated national literary institutions and produced works that explored national identity.

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Acadian Theatre

​Theatre came to Acadia with the first French colonists, and by the 1970s, French-language theatre in the Maritimes was a significant part of the region’s flourishing arts scene.

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Pouding Chômeur

​The Québécois dessert called pouding chômeur — poor man’s pudding, or more literally, pudding of the unemployed — is delectably rich and incredibly simple.

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Beaver Hall Group

​The Beaver Hall Group (also known as the Beaver Hall Hill Group) was a group of artists (both male and female) who shared studio space at 305 Beaver Hall Hill in Montréal and exhibited together; A.Y. Jackson was the first president.

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The Halluci Nation (A Tribe Called Red)

Electronic group The Halluci Nation (previously known as A Tribe Called Red) has garnered international acclaim for its politically charged, powwow drum-driven dance music. Featuring the DJs Bear Witness (Thomas Ehren Ramon) and 2oolman (Tim Hill), the group emerged from an Ottawa club party called Electric Pow Wow, which began in 2007. Former members include DJ Shub (Dan General), and founding members DJ NDN (Ian Campeau) and Dee Jay Frame (Jon Limoges). The group has described its “powwow step” music as “the soundtrack to a contemporary evolution of the powwow.” ATCR is part of what broadcaster and educator Wab Kinew has called the “Indigenous Music Renaissance,” an innovative new generation of Indigenous artists in Canada. The group was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in 2013 and 2017, and has won three Juno Awards, including Breakthrough Group of the Year in 2014 and Group of the Year in 2018.

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Blue Rodeo

Its affinity for the "roots music" styles of US pop - country, rockabilly, and folk-rock, as well as rock 'n' roll - initially drew Blue Rodeo comparisons to The Band and gave it both a populist and critical appeal.

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Blue Rodeo

Blue Rodeo, a rock group, was formed in 1984 by high school friends and songwriters Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor. After playing as the high-energy pop group the HiFi's and the New York-based Fly to France, Cuddy and Keelor returned to Toronto and recruited self-taught jazz pianist Bobby Wiseman, bass guitarist Bazil Donovan, and drummer Cleave Anderson. Beginning in clubs along their hometown's Queen Street, Blue Rodeo delivered a melodic blend of folk, rock and country marked by Beatle-esque harmonies.

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Anne of Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s first novel, Anne of Green Gables (1908), became an instant bestseller and has remained in print for more than a century, making the character of Anne Shirley a mythic icon of Canadian culture. The book has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide, been translated into at least 36 languages, as well as braille, and been adapted more than two dozen times in various mediums. A musical version first produced by the Charlottetown Festival in 1965 is the longest running annual musical theatre production in the world, while the award-winning 1985 CBC miniseries starring Megan Follows is the most-watched television program in Canadian history. Thousands of tourists visit Prince Edward Island each year to see the “sacred sites” related to the book, and the sale of Anne-related commodities such as souvenirs and dolls has come to constitute a cottage industry.

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Caribbean Music in Canada

Caribbean music is an important component of musical life in Canada on two grounds: firstly, significant numbers of Caribbean peoples have immigrated to Canada, particularly beginning in the 1960s, and have continued the musical traditions of their homelands in the new environment; and secondly as early as the 1920s successive styles of Caribbean-derived music began to form part of the fabric of Euro-American pop music and thus part of the musical experience of many Canadians over the years.

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French Language in Canada

French is one of Canada’s two official languages. Although every province in Canada has people whose mother tongue is French, Québec is the only province where speakers of French are in the majority. In 2011, 7,054,975 people in Canada (21 per cent of the country’s population) had French as their mother tongue.

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Classical Indian Dance

After long and persistent efforts on the part of Indian dancers living in Canada, Indian forms of dance came to be acknowledged as classical art by the arts councils and the Canadian dance audience at large.

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Siminovitch Prize

The Siminovitch Prize acknowledges artistic excellence in Canadian theatre. It is Canada’s largest theatre arts award. Also called the Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, it was established in honour of playwright Elinore Siminovitch and her husband, the renowned geneticist and medical scientist Louis Siminovitch. It was created in 2001 and is awarded annually to a playwright, director or designer. The prize is valued at $100,000 and is unique in its emphasis on mentorship; a total of $25,000 is shared with up to two theatre protégés of the recipient’s choosing.

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Irish Music in Canada

The Irish component in the population of Canada is the fourth largest (after English, French, and Scottish) and one of the oldest. Irish fishermen settled in Newfoundland in the early 17th century. By the mid-18th century that island had some 5000 Roman Catholic Irish inhabitants - about one-third of its population. There were Irish among those who founded Halifax in 1749. The United Empire Loyalists who moved to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick after 1776 included many of Irish descent. The famine in Ireland during the early 19th century sent thousands of Irish farmers to Upper Canada (Ontario). By 1871 the Irish were the second largest ethnic group in Canada (after the French); in 1950 there were 1,500,000 Irish, catholic and protestant. In the 1986 census there were 699,685 Canadians of single Irish descent and a further 2,922,605 with some Irish ancestry.

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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 96 episodes.