Culture is at the very heart of a nation. As countries become more economically integrated, nations need strong domestic cultures and cultural expression to maintain their sovereignty and sense of identity. Canada is often characterized as being very progressive, diverse, and multicultural. Canada’s federal government encourages multicultural ideology because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration.

What is Canadian Culture?

Because Canada is so diverse historically and ethnically, there is no single national culture. Unlike the melting-pot ideal of our American neighbours, Canadian culture is more of a cultural mosaic. In this sense, cultures are put together, like salad ingredients, but do not merge into a single homogeneous culture. Each culture keeps its own distinct qualities. This idea has become more politically correct due to the controversy of the “melting pot” suggesting that cultures won’t be able to preserve themselves as a result of assimilation.

British and American influences are strongly felt in Canadian daily life in English-speaking portions of the country. Quebec’s French culture is perhaps the most noticeable through its distinctive architecture, music and cuisine. Dishes popular in French areas are poutine (fries with gravy and cheese curds) and tourtieres (tender and flaky meat pies), whereas a more typical English meal would include a roast-and-potato supper, and French fries with gravy or malt vinegar or butter tarts, doughnuts and coffee, as favourite snacks Quebec is also among the world’s leading producers of maple syrup, and sweets laced with maple sugar are common throughout the country.

Both French- and English-speaking Canadians are likely to enjoy pizza, Indian cuisine, or Chinese food as much as any presumed national dish. This is part of what makes Canada such an attractive place to live — you can keep your homeland close to your heart while living in a new land.

Culture Clubs/Associations

The best way to experience Canadian culture is to dive in and join a community group. At Wisa, we can recommend some of the top community groups and ethnocultural organizations to suit your social needs. Joining a local community group is a good way to feel more comfortable in Canada. You can also meet people with shared backgrounds, traditions and languages.

Canadian Social Life