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Editorial

A Place to Happen

It has been said that Canadians don’t tell our own stories or celebrate our own myths. Our history is full of epics considered “too small to be tragic,” as The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie once sang.

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Poutine

Poutine is a Québécois dish made of fresh-cut french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. It first appeared in 1950s rural Quebec snack bars. It was widely popularized across Canada and beyond in the 1990s. Poutine may be found everywhere from fine dining menus at top restaurants to fast-food chains including McDonald’s and Burger King. It has become an iconic symbol of Québécois cuisine and culture. 

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German Music in Canada

In 1986 Canadians of German descent formed the fifth largest ethnic group in Canada - after French, English, Scottish, and Irish. In 1986 the figure was approximately 900,000 of German origin and an estimated 1,700,000 with German-speaking ancestors from various parts of Europe.

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Arabic Music in Canada

In 1986 there were 107,000 people of Arabic extraction in Canada. The first immigration, in 1882, brought only Syrians and Lebanese who, even in the 1970s, formed a majority of Arab-Canadians, though 17 nations were represented to some degree in the total.

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Serbian Music in Canada

Immigration to Canada by the peoples of this eastern portion of modern Yugoslavia began in significant numbers after World War II, and by 1986 some 12,970 Serbian-Canadians lived and worked in the industrial areas of southern Ontario. Others lived in Ottawa, Montreal, and Vancouver.

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Cuban Music in Canada

Although there are relatively few Canadians of Cuban origin (379 in 1987), there is a discernible influence of Cuban music on Canadian music, due mainly to its impact on various international styles of pop music, which has often come to Canada via the USA or other Latin American countries.

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Black Canadian Theatre

With the emergence of the Black Theatre Workshop in the late 1960s, Black theatre began to flourish across Canada, providing dynamic venues for the work of Black playwrights, directors, and actors.

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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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Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal

Founded in 1958 by Ludmilla Chiriaeff, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal is the most progressive and experimental of Canada’s three big ballet troupes (the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet being the other two). It is noted for a diverse repertoire that has emphasized new works as well as traditional 19th-century story-ballets and 20th-century classics. The company has also had a strong record of commissioning original works that are often choreographed, composed and designed by Canadians (see also Dance in Canada).

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Arrowhead Sash

Traditionally made of wool and intricately finger-woven into a colourful lengthwise “zigzag” pattern, they have numerous names, including “arrowhead,” “Indian,” “Métis” and “voyageur” sashes.

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Alliance française in Canada

Since 1902, the Alliance Française has offered high-level French classes in Canada and developed cultural programming to boost the cultural influence of France and the Francophonie throughout the world. While it once had twenty committees scattered across Canada, today there remain nine, located in large cities outside Quebec. Each year, the Alliance Française receives 12,000 students in Canada and close to half a million worldwide. Its funding comes mainly from enrolment income from the classes it offers. The Alliance Française de Toronto is the largest in the country, with five branches established in the region.

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2 Pianos 4 Hands

2 Pianos 4 Hands. Two-person comedy-drama with music; semi-autobiographical show by the pianists-playwrights Ted Dykstra (b Chatham, Ont 1961) and Richard Greenblatt (b Montreal, 1952 or 1953).

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Siksikáí’powahsin: Blackfoot Language

Siksikáí’powahsin (commonly referred to as the Blackfoot language) is an Algonquian language spoken by four Blackfoot nations: the Siksiká (Blackfoot), Aapátohsipikani (North Piikani), Aamsskáápipikani (South Piikani) and Kainai (Blood). While there are some dialectal differences between these groups, speakers can generally understand one another. Blackfoot is an endangered language; since the 1960s, the number of new speakers has significantly decreased. The development of language programs and resources in Canada and the United States seek to preserve the language and promote it to new speakers.

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Documenting the First World War

The First World War forever changed Canada. Some 630,000 Canadians enlisted from a nation of not yet eight million. More than 66,000 were killed. As the casualties mounted on the Western Front, an expatriate Canadian, Sir Max Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook), organized a program to document Canada’s war effort through art, photography and film. This collection of war art, made both in an official capacity and by soldiers themselves, was another method of forging a legacy of Canada’s war effort.

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54-40

Alternative rock band 54-40 rose from the Vancouver punk scene of the late 1970s to achieve mainstream success in Canada in the late 1980s and the 1990s. They have had four platinum albums and one gold album and have been nominated for eight Juno Awards. They are perhaps best known for the hit singles “I Go Blind,” “Baby Ran,” “One Day in Your Life,” “Nice to Luv You,” “She La,” “Ocean Pearl” and “Since When,” among others. The band has been inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. “I Go Blind” was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2021.