Images of Canada

Ten Essays in Ten Words

by Dave Hood

Canada celebrates another birthday on July 1st. What does it mean to be a Canadian? Whenever I read or hear someone pose this question,  any of the following images rises up from the depths of my memory to the surface of my mind:

 Its geography: rivers, lakes, wilderness, rock, mountains, oceans, ice, snow.

 Symbols: Flag, Inukshuk, canoe, Niagara Falls, Mounties, beaver, loon, moose.

 Its people: Canada is a land of many unique diversities.

Popular Culture: Puck, stick, skates, ice; ” He shoots; he scores.”

Its economy: Free enterprise, market economy, government intervention, capitalism, profit.

Its political system: Liberal democracy, based on freedom, and justice.

Core values: Multiculturalism, Bilingualism, Just Society, liberty, rule of law.

Many solitudes: Anglophone, Francophone, Aboriginal people, ethnic enclaves, new immigrants.

Foreign Affairs: Multilateralism, peacekeeping, NATO, peacemakers, Forgotten friend of America.

Heroes: Terry Fox, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and many others.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Canada”? What comes to mind, when you are asked to define what it means to be Canadian? If you have read or visited some place in Canada, what are your impressions?