The Canadian Culture & Multiculturalism

The term "culture" refers to the practices, values, possessions, and other characteristics that distinguish individuals of a certain society. It defines social groups and gives people the ability to abide by societal norms. There are opposing viewpoints on whether or not Canadians have a distinct cultural identity, making the topic of Canadian culture extremely debatable.

Canadian Literary and Artistic Creations

The first proof that Canadian culture exists is based on their literary and artistic creations (Kellett-Betsos et al., 2012). For example, the central topics amply demonstrate the distinctive politics and culture of Canadians (Kellett-Betsos et al., 2012). Also, the government has changed some national symbols and has instituted new ones in support of Canadian culture. For example, the Canadian national flag has been modified to portray the country's culture. Additionally, the government has passed regulations which remarkably support the notion of the independence of Canadian culture. Therefore, it is clear that Canada has its identity based on the fact that the national symbols and literature works portray Canadian culture.

Government Support and Tax Measures

Besides, the Canadian government has implemented the use of tax measures, Canadian content requirements, financial incentives, and regulation of foreign investments with the aim of promoting Canadian culture. For instance, the country has national symbols such as the flag, Canadian Horse, Beaver, and Maple, which are the primary objects depicting the national identity of these people. Therefore, in order to promote the idea of Canadian cultural independency, some official national symbols, for example, the flag have been modified to emphasize its specifically Canadian traits. That was due to the fact that initially, many symbols referred to the United Kingdom, which historically was a colonizer of Canada's territory. Notably, in 2011, the government changed some names in Canada military to emphasize Canadian cultural heritage. For example, land command changed to Canadian Army, Air land command to Royal Canadian Army, and Maritime power to Royal Canadian Army. Also, a piece of the Canadian five-cent coin is a national symbol that shows that Canada has its own culture. Therefore, the national symbols that are used across the country reveal the mentality of Canadians, indicating that this country is culturally independent.

Canadian Literature

In addition, Canadian literature profoundly represents the Canadian culture. The brilliant early literary works, such as Leonard Cohen's, Bliss Carman's, and Margaret Atwood's masterpieces, portray the Canadian mental perspective, as well as reflect the country's position in the world (Kellett-Betsos et al., 2012). Although the literary works are presented in English or French, the themes reflect the history of Canada, frontier life, as well as the culture of the country. By the twentieth century, the authors and writers in Canada explored Canadian political themes and incorporated them into their art (Kellett-Betsos et al., 2012). Notably, literature in Canada can be categorized according to the region where the piece was created. Therefore the author's social and cultural origins can easily be deduced. Hence, it is evident that Canadians have their culture given the fact than their literary works undoubtedly reflect the particularities of the Canadian people.

Television, Radio, and Theater

Similarly, the television and radio programs are directed towards promoting the notion of cultural independence of the country. The government of Canada supports culture promotion in the film industry, sound recording, radio, and television by encouraging them to produce, create, and disseminate content in Canadian culture. For instance, the federal government has influenced culture by creating the Canada Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The media has a lot of events and programs that reflect the culture of Canadians, hence depicting that Canada has a culture of its own. The fact that most stations support airing of local shows that promote the culture of Canadians, it is clear that the population of the country finds them interesting and that can be the reason for incorporating cultural traits in film production.Furthermore, theaters in Canada specialize in the manufacturing of plays that reveal the authentic culture of the people across the country. Notably, the Great Canadian Theatre Company established in 1975 plays a significant role in promoting the culture of Canadians. The theater has attracted many tourists who visit the country to learn more about Canadian culture. Remarkably, the Toronto Theatre District can be defined as Canada's cultural center and is ranked to be in the third position worldwide. Additionally, the theater plays arts portraying the cultural heritage of the native citizens. Henceforth, it is evident that Canadians have a well-established culture of their own as evidenced by the plays being regularly performed at the national theaters.

Opposing Viewpoints

On the other side, some scholars claim that Canadians do not have their culture due to various reasons. Firstly, Canadian culture is greatly influenced by European culture, mainly French and British (Malcolm, 2016). The First and Second World Wars attributed significantly to the adoption of British culture. Canadian nationality reflects both French and British linguistic and cultural identities. According to the Constitution Act of 1867, section 133, French and English languages were authorized to be employed in the parliament (Malcolm, 2016). Additionally, the First Official Language Act of 1969 gave the two dialects a higher priority to be used in the Canadian government. However, the government failed to prefer other local languages instead of adopting foreign languages (Malcolm, 2016). At the moment, Canada uses the two dialects as the official languages in the parliament and across the country instead of their traditional languages. Moreover, the act of adopting British and French dialects as official languages in Canada portrays that the country does not fully have their culture since they still follow European culture at the expense of their indigenous culture.Also, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau implemented a multiculturalism policy in 1971. Later on, the Multiculturalism Act was passed in the parliament as a law in 1988 with the aim of enhancing and promoting multiculturalism in Canada (Paris, 2016). According to the law, all Canadian citizens were affirmed to be valued and dignified regardless of their language, ethnic origins as well as religious affiliation (Todd, 2015). The federal government henceforth recognizes the diversity of culture among Canadian citizens as well as protecting every culture across the nation. By doing so, the Canadian government fails to promote its indigenous culture. Precisely, the Multiculturalism Act inhibits Canada from promoting its local culture to adopt new cultures from foreigners instead (Todd, 2015). Up to date, Canada embraces new cultures regularly due to large groups of people migrating to the country.Similarly, it can be claimed that Canada does not have its culture judging from its music industry. According to O'Connor (2012), Canadian music reflects multicultural influences due to the high rate of immigration in the country as well as historical influence by European culture (O'Connor, 2012). As a matter of fact, Canada employs talented individuals from all over the globe to boost the country's music industry. Current music composers' product does not entirely portray the culture of Canadians since not all of them originate from Canada. In fact, the music is heavily influenced by the culture of Americans. Additionally, due to global competition, Canada culture has been neglected to produce music that can meet worldwide expectations.Furthermore, the culture of Canadians is exceedingly influenced by immigrants. Canada adopts an open immigration policy, which attracts people of diverse cultures to migrate to the country. Immigrants in Canada have excessive freedom to exercise their culture as far as they are protected by the laws. Also, the Canadian public, as well as the major political parties, encourage immigration, especially for economic integration (Bloemraad, 2012). Notably, previous studies depict that cultural industries in Canada employ approximately six hundred thousand people from all over the globe to work as actors, producers, and writers, among others. Therefore, the country welcomes members of diverse nationalities with differences in religions, languages, customs, and beliefs. Due to Multiculturalism, the immigrant's culture becomes incorporated into the traditional Canadian culture (Bloemraad, 2012). Therefore, it is evident that immigration leads to the adoption of new culture, hence failing to embrace the traditional culture. Therefore, as long as the country attracts immigrants, Canada will never have its culture unless there are strict laws on regulating immigrants' diverse cultural representing (Greenberg, 2012).In conclusion, it is still disputable whether Canadians have their culture or not. For instance, the modification of national symbols, such as the national flag, clearly depicts that Canadians have a culture. The colonial culture references in the symbols have been changed, and Canadian culture, as well as heritage, is portrayed in the new modifications. Also, literature and artworks undoubtedly reveal Canadian culture. The themes of the novel works written by different authors describe the politics and culture of the Canadian people (Kellett-Betsos et al., 2012). On the same note, theaters specialize in performing plays that support Canadian culture. The success of these efforts indicates that Canada has a culture of its own. Currently, radios and television have been regulated by the government to air programs that support Canadian culture. Remarkably, repetitive playing of programs that support the culture of the country improves the efficiency of practicing the culture. Moreover, the government has played a significant role in regulating, promoting, and supporting Canadian culture through tax incentives, Canadian content requirements, as well as instituting rules on foreign investments. Therefore, it is evident from scholarly works that Canada has its culture, and the government is fully supporting the country in proving and promoting this idea.


Bloemraad, I. (2012). Multiculturalism has been Canada’s solution, not its problem. Retrieved from:

Greenberg, A. (2012). French influence in Canada. Retrieved from:

Kellett-Betsos, K., Hayne, D. M., & Meizei, K. (2012). Canadian literature. Retrieved from:

Malcolm, C. (2016). Trudeau says Canada has no ‘core identity.’ Retrieved from:

O’ Connor, J. (2012). Multiculturalism in its controversial glory: Is Canada a ‘Country without a core culture’? Retrieved from

Paris, A. (2016). Canadians must never take multiculturalism for granted. Retrieved from

Todd, D. (2015). Is Canada a blank slate, with no culture? Retrieved from:

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