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French Music in Canada

Of all Western countries, with the possible exception of the United Kingdom, France has had the chief and most persistent influence on the development of music in Canada. The French, arriving at the beginning of the 17th century, were the first Europeans to colonize the country.


Oskar Morawetz

Oskar Morawetz developed at an early age an ability to sight-read orchestral scores at the piano, and at 19 was recommended by George Szell for the assistant conductor's post with the Prague Opera, a post he turned down.



The importance of transportation to a trading nation as vast as Canada cannot be underestimated. The great distances between mines, farms, forests and urban centres make efficient transport systems essential to the economy so that natural and manufactured goods can move freely through domestic and international markets. Transportation has and will continue to play an important role in the social and political unity of Canada.


Fighting Depression-related Suicide

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on November 14, 2005. Partner content is not updated.

IN THE MIDDLE of August 2001 - two weeks before he planned to end his own life in a nondescript motel in Washington, D.C. - Gavin Craig headed home to Vancouver. For his parents, Heather and Lloyd, this was a joyous occasion, a rare opportunity to see their youngest son on home turf.


David Suzuki (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on November 5, 2007. Partner content is not updated.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 9, emergency crews raced to the provincial cabinet offices on the Vancouver waterfront after a receptionist's hands were left tingling from a suspicious powder in a piece of mail.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Canada

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that affects individuals exposed to trauma (although not all people exposed to trauma develop PTSD). Studies suggest that over 70 per cent of Canadians have been exposed to at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, and that nearly 1 out of 10 Canadians may develop PTSD at some point in their lives. PTSD can affect adults and children and can appear months or even years after exposure to the trauma.


West Indian Domestic Scheme: Nurturing a Nation

Listen to Strong and Free, a six-part podcast from Historica Canada, produced by Media Girlfriends. Because Black history is Canadian history.

From 1955 to 1967, Canada ran a recruitment initiative known as the West Indian Domestic Scheme. Young women from English-speaking Caribbean countries could come to Canada as domestic workers. These women were crucial to the economic and cultural growth of the country, and the Canadian idea of multiculturalism was built, in part, on the backs of these women.

In this episode, Eva Bailey, mother of host Garvia Bailey, remembers her experience coming to Canada shortly after the scheme. We also speak with associate professor Karen Flynn, who explores the feminist revolution as well as the social mobility this immigration scheme encouraged.


Battle of Vimy Ridge

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought during the First World War from 9 to 12 April 1917. It is Canada’s most celebrated military victory — an often mythologized symbol of the birth of Canadian national pride and awareness. The battle took place on the Western Front, in northern France. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, attacked the ridge from 9 to 12 April 1917 and captured it from the German army. It was the largest territorial advance of any Allied force to that point in the war — but it would mean little to the outcome of the conflict. More than 10,600 Canadians were killed and wounded in the assault. Today an iconic memorial atop the ridge honours the 11,285 Canadians killed in France throughout the war who have no known graves.

This is the full-length entry about the Battle of Vimy Ridge. For a plain-language summary, please see Battle of Vimy Ridge (Plain-Language Summary).


Stories of Remembrance

This November, The Canadian Encyclopedia is republishing the Stories of Remembrance, a 2005 project of our parent organization Historica Canada (formerly the Dominion Institute), Postmedia News (formerly CanWest News Service), and Veterans Affairs Canada.

The Stories were first published 10 years ago, on the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. They examine the wartime memories or family connections of 13 famous Canadians Farley Mowat, Arthur Hiller, Alex Colville, Marc Garneau, Lynn Johnston, Mike Myers, Catriona LeMay Doan, Vera Frenkel, Mary Walsh, Paul Gross, Chris Hadfield, Norman Jewison and John Ralston Sauleach of whom offers an insight on war, remembrance and Canada's place in the world.

In this exhibit, the Stories are briefly excerpted and organized into themes, ranging from the raw horror of battle, to the now-forgotten sense of purpose and confidence that empowered Canadians in the aftermath of the Second World War.


“O Canada”

“O Canada” is Canada’s national anthem. Originally called “Chant national,” it was written in Québec City by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier (words in French) and composer Calixa Lavallée (music), and first performed there on 24 June 1880. It began to be sung widely in French Canada at that time and later spread across Canada in various English-language versions, of which the best-known was written by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908. The lyrics of this version were amended several times over the years, with the most recent changes occurring in February 2018; the French lyrics have been shortened but otherwise remain unaltered from the original. “O Canada” was approved as Canada’s national anthem by a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on 15 March 1967. It was officially adopted as Canada’s national anthem under the National Anthem Act on 27 June 1980. The Act was proclaimed by Governor General Edward Schreyer in a public ceremony on Parliament Hill on 1 July 1980.



The development of comedy in Canada, like much of all show business in this country, has been tied closely to changing trends in North American popular culture, with Canadians often playing the role of trendsetters.