Browse "Arts & Culture"


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).


3's a Crowd

3's a Crowd. Early Canadian folk-rock group, active 1964-9. Initially a folk-comedy trio, it was formed in Vancouver by singer Donna Warner and singer-guitarists Brent Titcomb and Trevor Veitch.


30 Canadian Painters

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, The Canadian Encyclopedia created 30 lists of 30 things that make us proud to be Canadian, from famous people and historic events, to iconic foods and influential artists.



Rock group 54.40 was formed in Tsawassen, BC, in 1979 by former high school classmates Neil Osborne (vocals, guitar) and Brad Merritt (bass). The group took its name from the slogan "54.40 or Fight!," coined in 1848 by US president James Polk for a Manifest Destiny movement that believed the Canada-US border should be moved north to the 54th parallel, 40th minute (the present-day border of Canada and Alaska).



54.40 (or 54•40). Rock band. Vancouver (Tsawwassen), British Columbia rock band formed 1979; it took its name from US President James Polk's campaign slogan "54.40 or Fight," which had to do with expanding the Canada-U.S. border northwards in the area of southwestern B.C.


A Place to Happen

“Interesting and sophisticated, refusing to be celebrated.”

— from “So Hard Done By,” (Day for Night, 1994)

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.

Or at least that’s what people used to say, before Downie and the Hip came along. Granted, there had long been singer-songwriters who specialized in telling Canada’s stories to Canadians. Stompin' Tom Connors. Stan Rogers. But they were largely perceived as cult figures whose unabashed Canadian-ness relegated them to the margins — quaint novelty acts in a society awash in American pop culture.

For decades, to be a “successful” English Canadian music artist meant you were successful in the United States, which typically meant conforming to the homogenized tastes of the mainstream American marketplace. The Tragically Hip changed all that. Their songs not only spotlighted Canadian stories, but did so in a unique, unconventional, often cryptic style that sounded like alien transmissions on US radio, but still sold more albums in Canada than U2 or The Beatles.

Below are some of the true stories from Tragically Hip songs — the subjects of which range from hockey heroes and obscure artists to ripped-from-the-headlines court cases — that led the BBC to call them “the most Canadian band in the world.”


A Tribe Called Red

Electronic group A Tribe Called Red (ATCR) 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.


A. Y. Jackson

Alexander Young Jackson, CC, painter (born 3 October 1882 in Montréal, QC; died 5 April 1974 in Kleinburg, ON).


A.J.M. Smith

Arthur James Marshall Smith, poet, critic, anthologist (b at Montréal 8 Nov 1902; d at East Lansing, Mich 21 Nov 1980). A.J.M. Smith was educated at McGill University and the University of Edinburgh.


A.M. Klein

Abraham Moses Klein, poet, writer (b at Ratno, Ukraine 14 Feb 1909; d at Montréal 20 Aug 1972).


A.S. Vogt

A.S. (Augustus Stephen) Vogt. Choir conductor, administrator, educator, organist, pianist, b Washington, near Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont, of German and Swiss parents, 14 Aug 1861, d Toronto 17 Sep 1926; FRCO, honorary D MUS (Toronto) 1906.



AGLAÉ (b Jocelyne Deslongchamps). Singer, actress, b L'Épiphanie, near Montreal, 13 May 1933, d Montreal 19 Apr 1984. She began her career at 16 in Montreal nightclubs (eg, the Au Faisan doré) under the name Josette France.


ARC Ensemble

Created in 2002 and directed by Simon Wynberg, the ensemble consists of eight musicians expanded as needed with GGS students and guest artists.


Aaron Allan Edson

   Aaron Allan Edson, landscape painter (b at Standbridge, Qué 18 Dec 1846; d at Glen-Sutton, Qué 1 May 1888). His first teacher (around 1863) was likely Robert Duncanson, an American artist living in Montréal. He later studied in London, England.


Aba Bayefsky

Aba Bayefsky, artist, teacher (b Toronto 7 Apr 1923; d Toronto 5 May 2001). Bayefsky studied at Central Technical School in Toronto from 1937 to 1942. The following year he enlisted in the RCAF and was commissioned as an Official War Artist in 1944.


Abraham De Sola

A prolific author, editor and translator, and concerned chiefly with the contemporary debate on religion and science, De Sola's own writings included studies on Jewish history, cosmography and medicine.


Abraham Nordheimer

Abraham Nordheimer. Music dealer, publisher, teacher, b Memmelsdorf, Bavaria, 24 Feb 1816, d Hamburg 18 Jan 1862 while on a visit to Germany. With his younger brother Samuel he followed his older brother Isaac, an Oriental scholar, to New York in 1839. He later opened the A. & S. Nordheimer music store and publishing firm with his brother Samuel.


Abraham's Children

Abraham's Children. Pop group formed in Toronto in the late 1960s with Jimi Bertucci (bass), Ron Bartley (guitar), Bob McPherson (keyboards) and Brian Cotterill (drums), and Shawn O'Shea (guitar) as of 1973.