Browse "Culture"

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"Mon Pays"

Originally composed as a theme song for a film, Gilles Vigneault’s “Mon pays” expresses nationalism, solidarity and connection to the northern landscape, and was adopted as a Québécois anthem.

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“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.

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"She's Like the Swallow"

"She's Like the Swallow." Distinctive Newfoundland variant of a large family of songs about unhappy love. Both Maud Karpeles (1930) and Kenneth Peacock (1960) collected it, and its beautiful tune has made it popular with many singers and choirs.

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"Song for the Mira"

“Song for the Mira” is a contemporary folk song in the Celtic style, written in 1973 by Allister MacGillivray. Its lyrics speak of a longing for, and eventual return to, the serenity of the Mira River region of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Brought to international attention by Anne Murray and covered more than 300 times, the song has become a standard in the Celtic repertoire and something of an anthem in Nova Scotia.

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"The Maple Leaf For Ever"

"The Maple Leaf For Ever" is a patriotic song composed by Alexander Muir in October 1867, the year of Confederation; both words and music are Muir's. Next to "O Canada," which it antedates by 13 years, it has been the most popular patriotic song composed in Canada.

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A Dangerous Age

A Dangerous Age (1957), Sidney J. Furie's low-budget tale about young lovers (played by Ben Piazza and Anne Pearson) on the run from an uncaring adult world, remains something of a landmark in English-Canadian feature production.

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A Married Couple

A Married Couple (1969) is director Allan King’s groundbreaking direct cinema documentary about a relationship in turmoil. The film records 10 weeks in the personal and domestic struggles of Toronto couple Billy and Antoinette Edwards, and their young son, Bogart. A Married Couple became a benchmark in direct cinema filmmaking for its unprecedented ability to capture moments of conflict and intimacy. Originally made for television, it was released theatrically and gained international recognition. In 2016, it was named one of 150 essential works in Canadian cinema history in a poll conducted by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

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À tout prendre

Claude is uncertain. He is a young bourgeois man with a number of accomplishments, but his life has reached an impasse. He begins to question the choices he's made and life's possibilities.

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Academy String Quartet

Academy String Quartet. Group associated with the Canadian Academy of Music, Toronto, and led by Luigi von Kunits. It performed at academy functions as early as 1912, and accompanied the academy's Madrigal Society in 1913.

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Acadian Cinema

Acadian cinema (films by francophone filmmakers from Canada’s Maritime provinces) consists of about 300 documentaries and 50 fiction and animated films. The first films by Acadian filmmakers were shot in 1956. The National Film Board’s Studio Acadie opened in Moncton, New Brunswick, in 1974. As of 2017, about 10 independent, French-language film production companies were operating in Moncton and Caraquet, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Acadian Folklore Studies

​For a long time, there was little awareness of or research into the Acadians’ rich folklore. However, in the late 1930s and the 1940s, pioneers such as Joseph-Thomas LeBlanc and Father Anselme Chiasson began to promote the spread of Acadia’s repertoire of songs and oral traditions. Later, during the 1950s, Luc Lacourcière and his followers at Université Laval’s Archives de folklore gathered substantial collections of tales, legends and songs. Up to the 1990s, extensive research was undertaken throughout Acadia.

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Acadian Music

​Music and song have always been an important part of Acadian culture. Music education has existed in Acadia since the 1860s. School and college choirs have enjoyed great success, and classically trained Acadian musicians have distinguished themselves on the world stage.