- English Canadian
Infobox Ethnic group
group = English Canadian
poptime = 17,882,775 (2006; English as mother tongue language, including multiple responses) [ [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/highlights/language/Table401.cfm?Lang=E&T=401&GH=4&SC=1&S=99&O=A ] ]
6,570,015 English ethnicity (including multiple responses) [ [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/highlights/ethnic/pages/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo=PR&Code=01&Data=Count&Table=2&StartRec=1&Sort=3&Display=All&CSDFilter=5000 ] ]
1,367,125 English ethnicity (single responses only) [ [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/highlights/ethnic/pages/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo=PR&Code=01&Data=Count&Table=2&StartRec=1&Sort=3&Display=All&CSDFilter=5000 ] ]
Canadian English, Canadian French
rels = Mainly
Protestantism, Roman Catholicism
related = English, Métis,
Scottish Canadian, Irish Canadian, Welsh Canadian An English Canadian is a Canadianwhose principal language is English or who is of English ancestry; it is used primarily in contrast with French Canadian. [Citation | title = Gage Canadian Dictionary | last = Avis | first = Walter S. | publisher = Gage Publishing Limited | location = Toronto | year = 1983 | page = 393| isbn = 0-7715-1980-X "a Canadian of English ancestry or whose principal language is English, especially as opposed to French"] [cite web | title= "English Canadian." "Main entry. MSN Encarta - Dictionary "|date=2007|accessdate=2007-08-07 |url=http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861689812/English_Canadian.html] Canada is an officially bilingual and multicultural country, with French and English official language communities. Immigrant cultural groups ostensibly integrate into one or both of these communities, but often retaining elements of their original cultures.
Although English-speaking Canadians have strong historical roots traceable to the British Isles, they belong to a multitude of ethnicities. They or their ancestors came from various European, Asian, Caribbean, African, Latin American, and Pacific Island cultures, as well as French Canada and North American Aboriginal groups. As such, although the office of the Governor General is said to alternate between "French" and "English" persons, the two most recent Governors General (
Adrienne Clarkson, an English-speaking Chinese Canadian; and Michaëlle Jean, a French-speaking Haitian Canadian) show that this refers to language and not culture or ethnicity.
The following table shows the population of Canada's provinces and territories. The data are from Statistics Canada. [ [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/standard/themes/RetrieveProductTable.cfm?Temporal=2001&PID=55533&APATH=3&GID=431515&METH=1&PTYPE=55440&THEME=41&FOCUS=0&AID=0&PLACENAME=0&PROVINCE=0&SEARCH=0&GC=99&GK=NA&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=&FL=0&RL=0&FREE=0] [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/standard/themes/RetrieveProductTable.cfm?Temporal=2001&PID=55534&APATH=3&METH=1&PTYPE=55440&THEME=41&FOCUS=0&AID=0&PLACENAME=0&PROVINCE=0&SEARCH=0&GC=0&GK=0&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=&FL=0&RL=0&FREE=0&GID=431515] ] Figures are given for the number of single responses "English" to the mother tongue question, as well as a total including multiple responses one of which is English.
Notably, 46% of English-speaking Canadians live in Ontario, and 30% in the two western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. English-speakers are in the minority only in Quebec and Nunavut. In the cases of Quebec and New Brunswick, the vast majority of the non-Anglophone population speaks French, in the case of Nunavut, the people speak a non-official language of Canada,
English-Canadian history starts with the attempts to establish English settlements in Newfoundland in the seventeenth century. The earliest of these was
John Guy's failed settlement at Cuper's Coveon the Avalon Peninsula in 1610. Newfoundland's population was significantly influenced by Irish immigration, much of it as a result of the migratory fisheryin the decades prior to the Irish Potato famine. Although the location of the earliest English settlement in what would eventually become Canada, Newfoundland itself would be the last province to enter Confederationin 1949.
The area that forms the present day province of
Nova Scotiawas contested by the British and French in the eighteenth century. French settlements at Port Royal, Louisbourgand what is now Prince Edward Islandwere seized by the British (or by American Colonists, as in the case of Louisbourg). After the 1713 Treaty of Utrechtceded the French colony of Acadia (today's mainland Nova Scotiaand New Brunswick) to Great Britain, efforts to colonize the province were limited to small settlements in Cansoand Annapolis Royal. In 1749 Colonel Edward Cornwalliswas given command of an expedition for the settlement of Chebuctoby some three thousand persons, many of whom were Cockney. Cornwallis' settlement, Halifax, would become the provincial capital, the primary commercial centre for the Maritime provinces, a strategic British military and naval outpost and an important east coast cultural centre. To offset the Catholic presence of Acadians, foreign Protestants (mainly German) were given land and founded Lunenburg. Nova Scotia itself saw considerable immigration from Scotland, particularly to communities such as Pictouin the northern part of the province and to Cape Breton Island, but this began only with the arrival of the Hector in 1773.
The Loyalists: New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario
The history of English-Canadians is bound to the history of English settlement of North America, and particularly New England, because of the resettlement of many Loyalists following the
American Revolutionin areas that would form part of Canada. Many of the fifty thousand Loyalists who were resettled to the north of the United Statesafter 1783 came from families that had already been settled for several generations in North America and were from prominent families in Boston, New York and other east coast towns. Although largely of British ancestry, these settlers had also intermarried with Huguenotand Dutch colonists and were accompanied by Loyalists of African descent. Dispossessed of their property at the end of the Revolutionary War, the Loyalists arrived as refugees to settle primarily along the shores of southern Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundyand the Saint John Riverand in Quebecto the east and southwest of Montreal.
The colony of
New Brunswickwas created from western part of Nova Scotia at the instigation of these new English-speaking settlers. The Loyalist settlements in southwestern Quebec formed the nucleus of what would become the province of Upper Canadaand, after 1867, Ontario.
Upper Canada was a primary destination for English, Scottish and
Scots-Irishsettlers to Canada in the nineteenth century, and was on the front lines in the War of 1812between the British Empireand the United States. The province also received immigrants from non English-speaking sources such as Germans, many of whom settled around Kitchener (formerly called Berlin). Ontario would become the most populous province in the Dominionof Canada at the time of Confederation, and, together with Montreal, formed the country's industrial heartland and emerged as an important cultural and media centre for English Canada. Torontois today the largest city in Canada, and, largely as a result of changing immigration patterns since the 1960s, is also one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world.
Quebec: English-Canadians as a minority
After the fall of
New Franceto the British in 1759, a colonial governing class established itself in Quebec City. Larger numbers of English-speaking settlers arrived in the Eastern Townshipsand Montrealafter the American Revolution. English, Scottish, and Irish communities established themselves in Montreal in the 1800s. Montreal would become Canada's largest city and commercial hub in Canada. An Anglo-Scot business elite would control Canadian commerce up until the 1950s, founding a Protestant public school system and hospitals and universities such as McGill University. These immigrants were joined by other Europeans in the early 1900s, including Italians and Jews, who assimilated to a large degree into the anglophone community. Many English-speaking Quebeckers left Quebec following the election of the Parti Québécoisin 1976 resulting [ [http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/publications/conditions/pdf/evvie1-2.htm#consommation D'une génération à l'autre : évolution des conditions de vie ] ] in a steep decline in the anglophone population; many who have remained have learned French in order to function within the dominant Francophone society.
As in much of western Canada, many of the earliest communities in
British Columbiabegan as outposts of the Hudson's Bay Company, founded in London in 1670 to carry on the fur trade via Hudson Bay. Broader settlement began in earnest with the founding of Fort Victoriain 1843 and the subsequent creation of the Colony of Vancouver Islandin 1849. The capital, Victoria developed during the height of the British Empireand long self-identified as being "more English than the English".
Colony of British Columbiawas established on the mainland in 1858 by Governor James Douglas as a means of asserting British sovereignty in the face of a massive influx of gold miners, many of whom were American. Despite the enormous distances that separated the Pacific colony from Central Canada, British Columbia joined Confederation in 1871, choosing to become Canadian partly as a means of resisting possible absorption into the United States . Chinese workers, brought in to labour on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, established sizeable populations in many B.C. communities, particularly Vancouverwhich quickly became the province's economic and cultural centre after the railway's completion in 1886. Like Ontario, British Columbia has received immigrants from a broad range of countries including large numbers of Germans, Scandinavians, Italians, Sikhs from India and Chinese from Hong Kong, Taiwan and in more recent years, the People's Republic, and the ongoing influx of Europeans from Europe continues. Over half of people with British ancestry in British Columbia have direct family ties within two generations (i.e. grandparent or parent) to the British Isles, rather than via British ethnic stock from Central Canada or the Maritimes (unlike the Prairies where Canadian-British stock is more common). Europeans of non-British stock have been more common, also, in British Columbia than in any other part of Canada, although certain ethnicities such as Ukrainians and Scandinavians are more concentrated in the Prairies. Except for the Italians and more recent European immigrants, earlier waves of Europeans of all origins are near-entirely assimilated, although any number of accents are common in families and communities nearly anywhere in the province, as has also been the case since colonial times. Interethnic and interracial marriages and were also more common in British Columbia than in other provinces since colonial times .
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta
The French-English tensions that marked the establishment of the earliest English-speaking settlements in Nova Scotia were echoed on the Prairies in the late nineteenth century. The earliest British settlement in
Assiniboia(part of present-day Manitoba) involved some 300 largely Scottish colonists under the sponsorship of Lord Selkirkin 1811. The early attempts at introducing English-speaking settlers into an area already occupied by French-speaking Métissparked the Red River Rebellionand the later Northwest Rebellion.Fact|date=February 2007 These conflicts created a rift between Ontario, (English-speaking and at the time largely Protestant), and Quebec. The suppression of the rebellions allowed the government of Canada to proceed with a settlement of Manitoba, Saskatchewanand Albertathat was to create provinces that identified generally with English Canada in culture and outlook, although immigration included large numbers of people from non English-speaking European backgrounds, especially Scandinaviansand Ukrainians.
The twentieth century
Although Canada has long prided itself on its relatively peaceful history, war has played a significant role in the formation of an English-Canadian identity. As part of the British Empire, Canada found itself at war against the
Central Powersin 1914. In the main, English-Canadians enlisted for service with an initial enthusiastic and genuine sense of loyalty and duty. The sacrifices and accomplishments of Canadians at battles such as Vimy Ridgeand the Dieppe Raidin Franceare well known and respected among English-CanadiansFact|date=April 2008 and helped forge a more common sense of nationalityFact|date=April 2008. In World War II, Canada made its own separate declaration of war and played a critical role in supporting the Alliedwar effort. Again, support for the war effort to defend the United Kingdom and liberate continental Europe from Axis domination was particularly strong among English-CanadiansFact|date=April 2008. In the post war era, although Canada was committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, English-Canadians took considerable pride in the Nobel Prize for Peaceawarded to Lester Pearsonfor his role in resolving the Suez Crisisand have been determined supporters of the peacekeeping activities of the United Nations.
In the late twentieth century, increasing American cultural influence combined with diminishing British influence, and political and constitutional crises driven by the exigencies of dealing with the
Quebec sovereignty movementand Western alienationcontributed to something of an identity crisis for English-Canadians. George Grant's "Lament for a Nation" is still seen as an important work relating to the stresses and vulnerabilities affecting English-CanadaFact|date=April 2008. However, the period of the 1960s through to the present have also seen tremendous accomplishments in English-Canadian literature. Writers from English-speaking Canada such as Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Margaret Laurence, Robertson Davies, Timothy Findley, and Carol Shieldsdissected the experience of English-CanadiansFact|date=April 2008 (or of life in English-Canadian societyFact|date=April 2008) and assumed a place among the world's best-known English-language literary figures. Journalist Pierre Bertonwrote a number of books popularizing Canadian history which had a particular resonance among English-speaking Canadians, while critics and philosophers such as Northrop Fryeand John Ralston Saulhave attempted to analyze the Canadian experience.
Fact|date=February 2008, previously flown as the flag of Canada prior to the adoption of the maple leaf in 1965.
The maple leaf itself, as a symbol, was used as early as 1834 in what is now Quebec as a symbol of the "Société St. Jean Baptiste" but was adopted for use shortly afterwards by the English-speaking community in Canada. The "
Maple Leaf Forever", penned in 1867 at the time of Confederation is sometimes regarded as an informal anthem for English-CanadiansFact|date=February 2008, but English-speaking Canadians are attached to the official national anthemFact|date=February 2008, " O Canada", by Calixa Lavallée.
beaveris sometimes seen as another Canadian symbol, but is not necessarily specific to English-Canadians. It too was used originally in connection with the "Société St. Jean Baptiste" before coming into currency as a more general Canadian symbol. In the 1973 political satire by Stanley Burke, "Frog Fables & Beaver Tales", a spoof on Canadian politics of the Trudeauera, English-Canadians are depicted in the main as well-meaning but not terribly clever beavers, (with other animals such as frogs, sea otters and gophers assigned to represent other linguistic and provincial populations). The historical relevance of the beaver stems from the early fur trade. It has been asserted that " [t] he fur trade in general and the Hudson's Bay Company in particular exercised a profound influence on the sculpting of the Canadian soul." [Peter C. Newman, "Company of Adventurer", 1985: Viking, page 18.]
The Crown has historically been an intangible but significant symbol for many English-Canadians. Loyalty to Great Britain created the initial fracture lines between the populations of the
Thirteen Coloniesand the populations of Nova Scotia and Quebec at the time of the American Revolution and forced the flight of the Loyalists after the end of the war. As such English-Canada developed in the nineteenth cenury along lines that continued to emphasize this historical attachment, evident in the naming of cities, parks and even whole provinces after members of the royal family, the retention of flags, badges and provincial mottos expressive of loyalty, and enthusiastic responses to royal visits. While such loyalty is no longer as powerful a unifying force as it once was among English-Canadians, it remains a real aspect of the culture.
The 2001 Census of Canada provides information about the ethnic composition of English-speaking Canadians. This "refers to the ethnic or cultural group(s) to which the respondent's ancestors belong". [ [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Reference/dict/pop040.htm ethnic origin, 2001 census ] ] However, interpretation of data is complicated by two factors.
* Respondents were instructed to specify as many ethnic origins as applicable.Thus, if one has seven great-grandparents of English descent and one of Welsh descent, one will answer "English" and "Welsh" to this question, and in this example the representation of Welsh ancestry is exaggerated. This method is likely to lead to overrepresentation of smaller groups compared to the method in use until 1976, in which only paternal ancestry was reported.If on the other hand one restricts attention to single responses, groups which have arrived in Canada more recently will be overrepresented compared to groups which have been present longer.
* Non-Aboriginal respondents are not discouraged from providing responses denoting origins in North America. The most frequent of these is "Canadian". The response "Canadian" is in fact provided as an example in the census instructions, based on its frequency in past surveys.
See the [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Reference/dict/pop040.htm definition] of "ethnic origin" from the 2001 Census dictionary for further information.
The data in the following tables pertain to the population of Canada reporting English as its sole mother tongue, a total of 17,352,315 inhabitants out of 29,639,035. A figure for single ethnic origin responses is provide, as well as a total figure for ethnic origins appearing in single or multiple responses (for groups exceeding 2% of the total English-speaking population). The sum of the percentages for single responses is less than 100%, while the corresponding total for single or multiple responses is greater than 100%. The data are taken from the 2001 Census of Canada. [ [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/standard/themes/RetrieveProductTable.cfm?Temporal=2001&PID=68635&APATH=3&GID=517770&METH=1&PTYPE=55496&THEME=44&FOCUS=0&AID=0&PLACENAME=0&PROVINCE=0&SEARCH=0&GC=0&GK=0&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=&FL=0&RL=0&FREE=0 97F0010XCB2001040 ] ]
The remaining ethnic groups (single or multiple responses) forming at least 1% of the English-speaking population are Welsh (2.0%), Swedish (1.5%), Hungarian (1.5%), East Indian (1.4%), Métis (1.4%), Jewish (1.4%), Russian (1.4%), American (1.3%), Jamaican (1.2%) and Chinese (1.1%). The remaining ethnic groups (single response) forming at least 0.5% of the English-speaking population are East Indian (1.0%), Jamaican (0.8%) and Chinese (0.6%).
Depending on the principal period of immigration to Canada and other factors, ethnic groups (other than British Isles, French, and Aboriginal ones) vary in their percentage of native speakers of English. For example, while a roughly equal number of Canadians have at least partial Ukrainian and Chinese ancestry, 82% of Ukrainian Canadians speak English as their sole mother tongue, and only 17% of Chinese Canadians do (though this rises to 34% in the 0 to 14 age group). [ [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/standard/themes/RetrieveProductTable.cfm?Temporal=2001&PID=68635&GID=517770&METH=1&APATH=3&PTYPE=55496&THEME=44&AID=0&FREE=0&FOCUS=0&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=&GC=0&GK=0&SC=1&SR=1&RL=0&CPP=99&RPP=9999&d1=7&d2=1&d3=0 97F0010XCB2001040 ] ] As the number of second and third-generation Chinese Canadians increases, their weight within the English-speaking population can also be expected to increase. It should also be borne in mind that some percentage of any minority ethnic group will adopt French, particularly in Quebec.
In the 2001 Canadian census, 17,572,170 Canadians indicated that they were English-speaking. As discussed in the Introduction, however, this does not mean that 17.5 million people in Canada would necessarily self-identify as being 'English-Canadian'.
Except in Newfoundland and the
Maritime provinces, most Canadian English is only subtly different from English spoken in much of the mid-western and western United States. Spoken English in the Maritimes has some resemblance to English of some of the New Englandstates. Newfoundland has the most distinct accent, with the spoken language influenced in particular by Irish immigration. There are a few pronunciations that are distinctive for most English-Canadians, such as 'zed' for the last letter of the alphabet.
English-Canadian spelling continues to favour some spellings of British English, including 'centre', 'theatre', 'colour' and 'labour', although usage is not universal. Other spellings such as 'gaol', 'catalogue' and 'programme' have disappeared entirely or are in retreat.
Vocabulary of Canadian English contains a few distinctive words and phrases. In British Columbia, for example, the Chinook word '
skookum' for, variously, 'good' or 'great' or 'reliable' or 'durable', has passed into common use, and the French word 'tuque' for a particular type of winter head covering is in quite widespread use throughout the country.
Languages besides English are spoken extensively within the provinces commonly considered to be English-speaking. Besides French (which is an official language of the province of New Brunswick and in the territory of
Nunavut), indigenous languages, including Inuktitutand Creeare widely spoken and are in some instances influencing the language of English speakers, just as traditional First Nations art forms are influencing public art, architecture and symbology in English Canada. Immigrants to Canada from Asia and parts of Europe in particular have brought languages other than English and French to many communities, particularly Toronto, Vancouver and other larger centres. On the west coast, for example, Chinese and Punjabi are taught in some high schools; while on the east coast efforts have been made to preserve the Scots Gaeliclanguage brought by early settlers to Nova Scotia. In the Prairie provinces, and to a lesser degree elsewhere, there are a large number of second-generation and more Ukrainian Canadians who have retained at least partial fluency in the Ukrainian language.
The population of the provinces other than Quebec in the 2001 Census is some 22,514,455. It is impossible to know with certainty how many of that number would self-identify as 'English-Canadians' under the broadest interpretation of the term. Persons self-identifying with 'English' as their primary ethnic origin as part of the 2001 census - Quebec included - totaled slightly less than 6,000,000 persons. However, many Canadians who identify other ethnic origins for the purpose of the census might identify as 'English-Canadian' in the broader sense of 'English-speaking Canadians' and possibly share some cultural affinities with the group identifying itself as 'English-Canadian' in the more limited sense.
Of the total population of the provinces outside Quebec, the following numbers provide an approximation of the two largest religious groupings: *Protestant: 8,329,260; *Roman Catholic: 6,997,190.
It is fair to assume that persons identifying themselves as Roman Catholic outside Quebec would include many non-English ethnicities such as Francophone populationsFact|date=February 2007, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Hispanic, German, and many other origins.
Those claiming no religious affiliation in 2001 numbered 4,586,900.
For comparison purposes, other religious groups in the provinces other than Quebec in 2001:
*Orthodox Christian: 379,245
*Other Christian: 723,700
In sum, while the single largest religious affiliation of 'English-Canadians' - in the Rest of Canada sense of the term - may for convenience be slotted under the different Christian religions called Protestantism, it still represents a minority of the population at less than 37%. So-called 'English-Canadians' include a large segment who don't identify as
Christian. Even with a clear majority of almost 73%, English-Canadian Christians represent a large diversity of beliefs that makes it exceedingly difficult to accurately portray religion as a defining characteristic.
Humour, often ironic and self-deprecating, played an important role particularly in early Canadian literature in English, such as
Thomas Chandler Haliburtonand Stephen Leacock.
In "", Margaret Atwood's seminal book on Canadian Literature published in 1973, the author argues that much of Canadian literature in both English and French is linked thematically to the notion of personal and collective survival. This theme continues to reappear in more recent literary works, such as
Yann Martel's Life of Pi, winner of the 2002 Booker Prize.
In the 1970s authors such as
Margaret Laurencein " The Stone Angel"and Robertson Daviesin " Fifth Business" explored the changing worlds of small town Manitoba and Ontario respectively. Works of fiction such as these gave an entire generation of Canadians access to literature about themselves and helped shape a more general appreciation of the experiences of English-speaking Canadians in that era.
In the early years of the twentieth century painters in both central Canada and the west coast began applying post-impressionist style to Canadian landscape paintings. Painters such as
Tom Thomsonand the Group of Seven, which included painters such as A.Y. Jackson, captured images of the wilderness in ways that forced English-Canadians to discard their conservative and traditional views of art. In British Columbia, Emily Carr, born in Victoria in 1871, spent much of her life painting. Her early paintings of northwest coast aboriginal villages were critical to creating awareness and appreciation of First Nations cultures among English-Canadians. The Arctic paintings of Lawren Harris, another member of the Group of Seven, are also highly iconic for English-Canadians.
Heroes, heroines and national myths
From colonial times the arrival and settlement of the first pioneers, the fur trade empire established by the
North West Companyand the Hudson's Bay Companyand the mass resettlement of refugee Loyalists are important starting points for some English-Canadians - although the fur company histories are more relevant to French Canadians, Metisand Scottish Canadians.
The War of 1812 produced one of the earliest national heroes,
Laura Secord, who is credited with having made her way through American lines at night to carry a warning British troops of impending American plans and contributing to the victory at the Battle of Beaver Dams, where the American advance into Upper Canada was turned back.
The War of 1812 also saw the capture and burning of
Washington, D.C.by the British in August, 1814, an event still remembered in English-Canada. The War of 1812 itself, to which Canadian and aboriginal militia forces made important contributions, is viewed as the event that ensured the survival of the colonies that would become Canada, or, as termed by the critic Northrop Frye"in many respects a war of independence for Canada." [Northrop Frye, "Divisions on a Ground: Essays on Canadian Culture", 1982: House of Anansi Press, p. 65.]
There is an element of the heroic that attaches to Sir
John A. Macdonald, the Scottish lawyer from Kingston, Ontario who became Canada's first Prime Minister. His weaknesses (such as an alleged fondness for alcohol, and the multifaceted corruption inherent in the Pacific Scandal) and the controversial events surrounding the rebellions in the west have not erased admiration for his accomplishments in nation building for English-Canadians. Macdonald's pragmatism laid the foundation of the national myth of the 'two founding nations' (English and French), which was to endure well into the twentieth century among a strong minority of English-Canadians and was eventually reflected in the official government policy that flowed from the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalismin the 1960s.
Macdonald was also instrumental in the founding of the
North-West Mounted Policein 1875, forerunners of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police(RCMP) Canada's iconic national police force. The RCMP itself, established to "subdue the West", i.e. the newly-acquired Northwest Territories, formerly the HBC's Rupert's Land, as declared in the preamble to its charter. The RCMP, long since eulogized into a moral, symbolic image of Canadian authority, far from its true nature as a paramilitary force commissioned with bringing First Nations and Metis to heel, plays a role in English Canada's perception of itself as a nation of essentially law abiding citizens that confederated in 1867 for the purposes of establishing peace, order and good government.
Klondike Gold Rushof 1898 in the Yukonwas another event that resonated in the English-Canadian imagination, with its stories of adventure and struggle in a harsh northern environment. The myth of the North itself, the forbidding landscape and difficult climate, peopled by the hardy Inuitis of central importance to English-Canadians.
In the twentieth century
Tommy Douglas, the politician from Saskatchewan who is credited with the creation of Canada's programme of universal health care has been recognized as the greatest Canadian in a contest sponsored by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada's national public broadcaster. Lester B. Pearson, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace and Prime Minister of Canada responsible for the adoption of the maple leaf flag, is widely regarded as an English-Canadian figure.
Another person who had an enormous impact on English-Canadians was British Columbian
Terry Foxwhose 1981 attempt to run across Canada from St. John's, Newfoundlandto the Pacific to raise money for cancer research. Although forced to discontinue the run near Thunder Bay due to a recurrence of his cancer, Terry Fox captured the imagination of millions of Canadians, particularly in the English-speaking provinces. This feat was followed by British Columbian Rick Hansen's successful Man in Motiontour shortly afterwards. Sports heroes include, among many others, the legendary Wayne Gretzkyfrom Ontario who lead the Edmonton Oilersto successive Stanley Cupvictories in the 1980s; the women's Olympic hockey team that won the Gold Medal in the 1992 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and Team Canadathat won the famed Canada-Russia hockey series in 1972.
Other significant figures include
Nellie McClung(activist in politics and women's rights), Emily Carr(post-impressionist artist), Billy Bishop(World War I airman), Dr. Frederick Banting(co-discover of insulin) and Dr. Norman Bethune(doctor in China). Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, is often claimed by English Canada because of his residence on Cape Breton Island, although he was born in Scotland and later moved to the United States.
The contribution of French-speaking Canadians to the culture of English Canada is significant. Many popular Canadian symbols such as the maple leaf and the beaver were first adopted by Francophones. Francophone sports figures (particularly in hockey and figure-skating) have always been highly regarded. Sir
Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister in the early 20th century, is viewed as an important statesman in English Canada. A more controversial figure is Pierre Trudeau, who is often praised for his handling of the October Crisis(also known as the FLQ Crisis) and the process of constitutional reform that implemented the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedomsbut who also caused considerable Western Alienation and has been criticised for the critical failure to bring Quebec into the 1982 agreement on constitutional reform. Most recently, Haitian-born Francophone Michaëlle Jean, the current Governor-General, has overcome some initial misgivings regarding her appointment. The motto chosen for her arms, "Briser les solitudes" (break down the solitudes), echoes one of the significant works of early English-Canadian fiction, Hugh MacLennan's " Two Solitudes" which describes the sometimes painful separateness dividing Canada's English and French-speaking populations.
Canada's role in the First and Second World Wars played a large part in the political evolution of Canada and the identity of English-Canadians. After the fall of
Francein 1940 and prior to the entry of the United States into the war in 1942, Canada saw itself as Britain's principal ally against Adolf Hitler. The well-known poem " In Flanders Fields", written during the First World War by John McCraeof Ontario, is associated with Remembrance Day.
The RCMP "Mountie" has become a figure associated with Canada in the popular imagination of not only Canada, but other countries as well. Although it has many Francophone officers, in popular culture the mountie has been typically represented by an anglophone, such as
Dudley Do-Right, Benton Fraseror Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. The myth of the stalwart (if somewhat rustic) heroic Canadian also appeared in the form of Johnny Canuck, a comic book figure of the mid-twentieth century.
"Anne of Green Gables" by
Lucy Maud Montgomeryof Prince Edward Islandis one of English-Canada's best known contribution to general popular culture. The themes of gentle slapstick and ironic but affectionate observation of small-town Canadian life that appeared in the work of Stephen Leacockcarried forward into the later part of the twentieth century to reappear in the successful television sitcom " The Beachcombers" in the 1970s. Canadian humour took on an even broader form in the comedy of "SCTV", in particular the Great White Northsketches, the " Red Green Show" and more recently the " Trailer Park Boys".
Traditional music in much of English-speaking Canada has sources in the music of Scotland and Ireland, brought to Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces in the 19th century. In the late 20th Century, Maritime artists, particularly musicians from
Cape Breton Islandsuch as Rita MacNeil, the Rankin Family, Natalie MacMasterand Ashley MacIsaacand Great Big Seafrom Newfoundland achieved substantial popularity and influence throughout English Canada. A Celtic influence is similarly felt in the work of musicians from other parts of Canada, such as Spirit of the West, from British Columbia, or Manitoba-born Loreena McKennitt.
British North America
*Thomas H. Raddall, "Halifax: Warden of the North", 1973: McLelland and Stewart
*Margaret A. Ormsby, "British Columbia: a History", 1958: The MacMillan Company of Canada
*Terry Reksten, "More English than the English: A Very Social History of Victoria", 1986: Orca Book Publishers
* [http://www.culture.ca/about-description-e.jsp Culture.ca] by the
Department of Canadian Heritage
* [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/home/index.cfm 2001 Census] by
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
English Canadian — an English speaking Canadian. [1810 20] * * * … Universalium
English Canadian — an English speaking Canadian. [1810 20] … Useful english dictionary
Canadian English — (CanE, en CA) [en CA is the language code for Canadian English , as defined by ISO standards (see ISO 639 1 and ISO 3166 1 alpha 2) and Internet standards (see IETF language tag).] is the variety of English used in Canada. More than 26 million… … Wikipedia
Canadian identity — refers to the set of characteristics and symbols that many Canadians regard as expressing their unique place and role in the world. Primary influences on the Canadian identity are the existence of many well established First Nations and the… … Wikipedia
Canadian popular culture — (or pop culture) is the vernacular (people s) culture that prevails in Canadian society. Canadian popular culture is influenced by Canada s British and French ancestry. Canadian pop culture is also influenced by the United States, which borders… … Wikipedia
Canadian poetry — is poetry written in Canada, by Canadians. There are three distinct branches of Canadian poetry: French Canadian poetry (mostly written by Québécois authors), First Nations poetry and English Canadian poetry.English Canadian Poetry Beginnings The … Wikipedia
Canadian nationalism — is a term which has been applied to ideologies of several different types which highlight and promote specifically Canadian interests over those of other countries, notably the United States. It has also been applied to movements promoting pride… … Wikipedia
English Canada — is a term used to describe one of the following: # English Canadians, a term usually meaning English speaking Canadians, as opposed to French speaking Canadian. It is employed when comparing English and French language literature, media, or art.… … Wikipedia
Canadian Crusoes — Canadian Crusoes: A Tale of the Rice Lake Plains is a novel by Catharine Parr Traill. Written after The Backwoods of Canada (1836), it is her second Canadian book. It was first published in 1852 by London publisher Arthur Hall, Virtue, and… … Wikipedia
Canadian (disambiguation) — Canadian usually means a person or thing from Canada. It can also refer to:People*White Canadian *Black Canadian *Indo Canadian *Dutch Canadian *English Canadian *Scottish Canadian *Irish Canadian *Welsh Canadian *French Canadian *Native Canadian … Wikipedia