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Article

Lunar New Year in Canada

The Lunar New Year — also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year, Tet for Vietnamese Canadians, or Solnal for Korean Canadians — is celebrated in Canada and several other countries. It is one of the largest celebrations for Canada’s Chinese population, it is also celebrated by Canadians from Vietnam, Korea and Southeast Asia. Although it is not a statutory holiday in Canada, many Asian Canadian businesses are closed or have reduced hours for the occasion. Since 1 June 2016, this celebration has been recognized as an official holiday in Canada.

Article

Rogers Communications

Rogers Communications Inc. is a diversified communications and media company that operates almost entirely in Canada. Founded in 1960 with a single FM radio station in Toronto, it is now the country’s largest provider of wireless services as well as a leading cable company and a major player in broadcasting and sports entertainment. Among its many brands are Citytv and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Article

King-Byng Affair (Plain-Language Summary)

The King-Byng Affair was a constitutional crisis that happened in 1926. It pitted the powers of a prime minister against the powers of a governor general. It began when Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King asked Governor General Lord Julian Byng to dissolve Parliament and call a new election. Byng refused. It ended with King winning another election. Since then, no governor general has publicly refused the advice of a prime minister.

This article is a plain-language summary of the King-Byng Affair. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry: King-Byng Affair.

Article

West Indian Domestic Scheme

The West Indian Domestic Scheme was an immigration program for Caribbean women between 1955 and 1967. Through the scheme, approximately 3,000 Caribbean women emigrated to Canada to work as domestic workers. The program opened the door for many Black Caribbeans to migrate to Canada, giving them an opportunity which would not have been available otherwise. Despite this, the women that participated in the scheme often faced difficult work conditions and racial discrimination. (See Racism.) Due to Canada’s changing immigration policy, the scheme officially ended in January 1968; it was replaced by a points-based system, which provided temporary work permits. Even with the program’s official end, women from the West Indies continued to come to Canada as domestic workers on temporary employment visas for years afterwards. (See Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Programs.)

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Racial Segregation of Black Students in Canadian Schools

Historically, many schools kept Black Canadians separate from white Canadians. Racial segregation policies excluded and limited Black Canadians’ rights. Some universities denied admission to Black people on the basis of their race. (See Anti-Black Racism in Canada.) This was particularly the case for medical and nursing programs.

See Racial Segregation of Black People in Canada.

Article

COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

COVID-19 has a negative affect on respiration. Respiration means breathing. COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. It appeared in 2019. In approximately three years about 612 million people around the world had COVID-19. In Canada, about 4.2 million people had COVID-19. Around 44,992 died in Canada. The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most dangerous pandemics in world history.

This article is a plain-language summary of COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada.

Article

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an African American cultural holiday that has been adopted around the world, including in Canada, to celebrate African family, community and culture.

Article

Timber Slide

A timber slide is a water-filled chute or runway built to carry “cribs” of timber around rapids and waterfalls. (See also Raft). Similar devices for individual pieces of wood were called “flumes.” Timber slides contributed to the growth of the timber industry in the 19th century (see Timber Trade Industry).

Article

War of 1812

The War of 1812 (which lasted from 1812 to 1814) was a military conflict between the United States and Great Britain. As a colony of Great Britain, Canada was swept up in the War of 1812 and was invaded several times by the Americans. The war was fought in Upper Canada, Lower Canada, on the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, and in the United States. The peace treaty of Ghent (1814), which ended the war, largely returned the status quo. However, in Canada, the war contributed to a growing sense of national identity, including the idea that civilian soldiers were largely responsible for repelling the American invaders. In contrast, the First Nations allies of the British and Canadian cause suffered much because of the war; not only had they lost many warriors (including the great Tecumseh), they also lost any hope of halting American expansion in the west, and their contributions were quickly forgotten by their British and Canadian allies. (See also First Nations and Métis Peoples in the War of 1812.)

This article focuses primarily on land campaigns; for more detailed discussion of naval campaigns, see Atlantic Campaign of the War of 1812 and War on the Lakes in the War of 1812. Additionally, this is a full-length entry on the War of 1812. For a plain-language summary please see War of 1812 (Plain-Language Summary).

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Asbestos Strike of 1949

The Asbestos Strike began on 14 February 1949 and paralyzed major asbestos mines in Quebec for almost five months. The Quebec government sided with the main employer, an American-owned company, against the 5,000 unionized mine workers. From the start, the strike created conflicts between the provincial government and the Roman Catholic Church, which usually sided with the government (see Catholicism in Canada). One of the longest and most violent labour conflicts in Quebec history, it helped lay the groundwork for the Quiet Revolution.

Article

Canadian Music Hall of Fame

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was established in 1978 by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). It honours individuals or groups that have made an outstanding contribution to the international recognition of Canadian artists and music. For many years, a sole inductee was presented annually at the Juno Awards. Since 2019, multiple inductees have also been presented annually at a separate ceremony at the National Music Centre in Calgary.

List

Elections to Remember

We love them and we hate them.

They bring out the best in us, and the worst.

They frequently divide us, and sometimes — as with John Diefenbaker's thunderous victory in 1958 — federal elections succeed in uniting the country behind a single impulse, or a single voice.

One thing's for sure: amid all the change that has swept across Canada since Confederation, there has remained one steadfast certainty — that every few years, we ordinary citizens have the right to collectively choose who should govern us. Today, this privilege is not shared by billions of the world's people. How lucky that our democracy endures.

When Canadians return to the polls, not only will we be carrying out the business of voting, we'll be writing a new chapter in Canada's rich electoral history. It's an intriguing story, filled with high stakes, hijinks and high passions, not to mention a colourful cast of political characters.

Here are some famous elections from the past, and how they changed Canada . . .

Article

Monarch Butterfly

The monarch (Danaus plexippus) is a species of butterfly best known for its migratory habits. Sometimes called the wanderer butterfly, its annual migration is unlike that of any other insect found in North America. During Canadian summers, the monarch butterfly is normally found in every province except Newfoundland and Labrador, and is abundant wherever its host plant milkweed grows. Due to a decline in milkweed among other factors, the monarch butterfly is an endangered species. Still, its large size, orange-and-black colouration, and slow, sailing flight make it a familiar across most of Canada.

Article

Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America. It was donated by Governor General Lord Stanley in 1892 for presentation to the top hockey team in Canada, and was first awarded to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (1892–93). Since 1926, the Stanley Cup competition has been under the control of the National Hockey League(NHL). The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful team in Stanley Cup history, with 24 victories, followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs with 13. These two “Original Six” teams dominated the championship from the 1940s to the 1970s. (See also Lord Stanley and the Stanley Cup.)

Article

Fortification

Although the barrier posed by these walls was sometimes increased by setting a ditch below their outer faces, fortification did not progress beyond this rather simple conception until the 16th century.

Article

Fur Trade in Canada

The fur trade was a vast commercial enterprise across the wild, forested expanse of what is now Canada. It was at its peak for nearly 250 years, from the early 17th to the mid-19th centuries. It was sustained primarily by the trapping of beavers to satisfy the European demand for felt hats. The intensely competitive trade opened the continent to exploration and settlement. It financed missionary work, established social, economic and colonial relationships between Europeans and Indigenous people, and played a formative role in the creation and development of Canada.

(This is the full-length entry about the fur trade. For a plain-language summary, please see Fur Trade in Canada (Plain Language Summary).)