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Canada () is a country consisting of . Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the in the east to the in the west, and northward into the . Canada is the world's , and its with the is the world's longest land border.

The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various . Beginning in the late 15th century, and explored, and later settled, the region's Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of in 1763 after the . In 1867, with the union of three colonies through , Canada was formed as a of four provinces. This began an and a process of increasing autonomy, culminating in the .

Canada is a governed as a and a , with Queen as its head of state. The country is at the federal level. As of 2011, it has a population of approximately 33.4 million. Canada's economy is and is reliant upon its natural resources and trade, particularly with the United States with which it also has a . Per capita income is the world's . It is a member of the , , , , , , , , , , and .


Etymology
The name Canada comes from the word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement". In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day region used the word to direct French explorer to the village of . Cartier later used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village, but the entire area subject to (the chief at Stadacona); by 1545, European books and maps had begun referring to this region as Canada.

In the 17th and early 18th centuries, "" referred to the part of that lay along the and the northern shores of the . The area was later split into two British colonies, and . They were reunified as the in 1841. ξ1

Upon in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country, and the word was conferred as the country's title. ξ2 However, as Canada asserted its political autonomy from the United Kingdom, the federal government increasingly used simply Canada on state documents and treaties, a change that was reflected in the renaming of the national holiday from to in 1982. ξ3


History

Aboriginal peoples
studies and have indicated a human presence in the northern region from 24,500 BC, and in southern from 7500 BC.

The archaeological sites at and are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada.

The characteristics of Canadian Aboriginal societies included permanent settlements, agriculture, complex societal hierarchies, and trading networks. ξ4 ξ5 Some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and have only been discovered through archaeological investigations. ξ6

The is estimated to have been between 200,000 and two million in the late 15th century, ξ7 with a figure of 500,000 accepted by Canada's Royal Commission on Aboriginal Health. ξ8 As a consequence of the European colonization, Canada's aboriginal peoples suffered from repeated outbreaks of newly introduced such as , , and (to which they had no natural immunity), resulting in a forty- to eighty-percent population decrease in the centuries after the European arrival. ξ9 Aboriginal peoples in present-day Canada include the , , and . The Métis are a people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers. In general, the Inuit had more limited interaction with European settlers during the colonization period.


European colonization
The first known attempt at began when settled briefly at in Newfoundland around 1000 AD. ξ10 No further European exploration occurred until 1497, when Italian seafarer explored Canada's Atlantic coast for England. and Portuguese mariners established seasonal whaling and fishing outposts along the Atlantic coast in the early 16th century. In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River, where on July 24 he planted a cross bearing the words "Long Live the King of France", and took possession of the territory in the name of King . ξ11

In 1583, Sir claimed , as the first North American by the of . ξ12 French explorer arrived in 1603, and established the first permanent European settlements at in 1605 and Quebec City in 1608. Among the of New France, extensively settled the St. Lawrence River valley and settled the present-day , while and Catholic missionaries explored the Great Lakes, , and the to . The broke out in the mid-17th century over control of the . ξ13

The English established additional colonies in and , , beginning in 1610. The to the south were founded soon after. ξ14 A series of four erupted between 1689 and 1763. ξ15 Mainland came under British rule with the 1713 ; the ceded Canada and most of New France to after the .

The created the out of New France, and annexed to Nova Scotia. St. John's Island (now ) became a separate colony in 1769. To avert conflict in Quebec, the British passed the of 1774, expanding Quebec's territory to the Great Lakes and . It re-established the French language, Catholic faith, and French civil law there. This angered many residents of the Thirteen Colonies, fuelling anti-British sentiment in the years prior to the 1775 outbreak of the .

The 1783 recognized American independence and ceded territories south of the Great Lakes to the United States. was split from Nova Scotia as part of a reorganization of Loyalist settlements in the Maritimes. To accommodate English-speaking Loyalists in Quebec, the divided the province into French-speaking (later ) and English-speaking (later ), granting each its own elected legislative assembly. ξ16

were the main front in the between the United States and Britain. Following the war, large-scale immigration to Canada from Britain and Ireland began in 1815. Between 1825 and 1846, 626,628 European immigrants reportedly landed at Canadian ports. Between one-quarter and one-third of all Europeans who immigrated to Canada before 1891 died of infectious diseases.

The desire for resulted in the abortive . The subsequently recommended responsible government and the assimilation of French Canadians into English culture. The merged the Canadas into a united . Responsible government was established for all British North American provinces by 1849. The signing of the by Britain and the United States in 1846 ended the , extending the border westward along the . This paved the way for British colonies on and in . ξ17


Confederation and expansion

Following several constitutional conferences, the officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, initially with four provinces – , , , and .

ξ18 Canada assumed control of and the to form the , where the Métis' grievances ignited the and the creation of the province of in July 1870. ξ19 British Columbia and Vancouver Island (which in 1866) joined the Confederation in 1871, while Prince Edward Island joined in 1873. Prime Minister and his government established a of to protect the nascent Canadian manufacturing industries.

To open the West, the government sponsored the construction of three transcontinental railways (including the ), opened the prairies to settlement with the , and established the to assert its authority over this territory. In 1898, during the in the Northwest Territories, the Canadian government created the Yukon Territory. Under the Prime Minister , continental European immigrants settled the prairies, and and became provinces in 1905.


Early 20th century
Because Britain still maintained control of Canada's foreign affairs under the Confederation Act, its declaration of war in 1914 automatically brought Canada into World War I. Volunteers sent to the later became part of the . The Corps played a substantial role in the and other major engagements of the war. ξ20 Out of approximately 625,000 Canadians who served in World War I, around 60,000 were killed and another 173,000 were wounded. ξ21 The erupted when conservative Prime Minister brought in over the objections of French-speaking Québécois. In 1919, Canada joined the independently of Britain, and the affirmed Canada's independence.

The of the early 1930s brought great economic hardship to Canada. In response to the downturn, the (CCF) in Saskatchewan introduced many elements of a (as pioneered by ) in the 1940s and 1950s. Canada independently during World War II under Liberal Prime Minister , three days after Britain. The first Canadian Army units arrived in Britain in December 1939.

Canadian troops played important roles in many key battles of the war, including the failed 1942 , the , the , the , and the in 1944. Canada provided asylum for the of the while that country was occupied, and is credited by the Netherlands for major contributions to its liberation from . ξ22 The Canadian economy boomed during the war as its industries manufactured military for Canada, Britain, China, and the . Despite another in Quebec, Canada finished the war with a large army and strong economy. ξ23


Modern times

The (now ) was unified with Canada in 1949. Canada's post-war economic growth, combined with the policies of successive Liberal governments, led to the emergence of a new , marked by the adoption of the current in 1965, ξ24 the implementation of (English and French) in 1969, and the institution of in 1971. programs were also instituted, such as , the , and , though provincial governments, particularly Quebec and Alberta, opposed many of these as incursions into their jurisdictions. Finally, another series of constitutional conferences resulted in the 1982 of Canada's constitution from the United Kingdom, concurrent with the creation of the . ξ25 In 1999, became Canada's third territory after a series of negotiations with the federal government.

At the same time, Quebec underwent profound social and economic changes through the of the 1960s, giving birth to a modern movement. The radical (FLQ) ignited the in 1970, and the was elected in 1976, organizing an unsuccessful on sovereignty-association in 1980. Attempts to accommodate Quebec nationalism constitutionally through the failed in 1990. This led to the formation of the in Quebec and the invigoration of the in the . ξ26 A followed in 1995, in which sovereignty was rejected by a slimmer margin of just 50.6 to 49.4 percent. In 1997, the ruled that by a province would be unconstitutional, and the was passed by parliament, outlining the terms of a negotiated departure from Confederation.

In addition to the issues of Quebec sovereignty, a number of crises shook Canadian society in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These included the explosion of in 1985, the largest mass murder in Canadian history; the in 1989, a targeting female students; and the of 1990, the first of a number of violent confrontations between the government and Aboriginal groups. ξ27 Canada also joined the in 1990 as part of a US-led coalition force, and was active in several peacekeeping missions in the late 1990s. Canada sent , but declined to send forces to Iraq when the US . In 2011, Canadian forces participated in the NATO-led intervention into the .


Geography

Canada occupies a major northern portion of , sharing land borders with the to the south and the US state of to the northwest. Canada stretches from the in the east to the in the west; to the north lies the . is to the northeast, while is south of .

By total area (including its waters), Canada is the in the world, after Russia. By land area alone, Canada . The country lies between latitudes and , and longitudes and .

Since 1925, Canada has claimed the portion of the Arctic between and 141°W , but this claim is not universally recognized. Canada is home to the world's northernmost settlement, , on the northern tip of – latitude 82.5°N – which lies from the North Pole. Much of the Canadian Arctic is covered by ice and . Canada has the longest coastline in the world, with a total length of ; additionally, its border with the United States is the world's longest land border, stretching .

Since the end of the last , Canada has consisted of eight distinct forest regions, including extensive forest on the Canadian Shield. ξ28 Canada has around 31,700 large lakes,I.e., lakes over in area. more than any other country, containing much of the world's . ξ29 There are also fresh-water glaciers in the and the . Canada is geologically active, having many earthquakes and potentially active volcanoes, notably , , , and the . ξ30 The volcanic eruption of the in 1775 was among Canada's worst natural disasters, killing 2,000 and destroying their village in the valley of northern British Columbia. The eruption produced a flow, and, according to Nisga'a legend, blocked the flow of the Nass River.

Canada's population density, at , is among the lowest in the world. The most densely populated part of the country is the , situated in Southern Quebec and along the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

Average winter and summer high vary from region to region. Winters can be harsh in many parts of the country, particularly in the interior and Prairie provinces, which experience a , where daily average temperatures are near −15 ° (5 °), but can drop below with severe . In noncoastal regions, snow can cover the ground for almost six months of the year, while in parts of the north snow can persist year-round. Coastal British Columbia has a temperate climate, with a mild and rainy winter. On the east and west coasts, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C (70s °F), while between the coasts, the average summer high temperature ranges from , with temperatures in some interior locations occasionally exceeding .


Government and politics
Canada has a within the context of a , the being the foundation of the executive, , and branches. ξ31 The sovereign is Queen , who also serves as head of state of and each of Canada's ten provinces and resides predominantly in the United Kingdom. As such, the Queen's representative, the (presently ), carries out most of the federal royal duties in Canada. ξ32

The direct participation of the royal and viceroyal figures in areas of governance is limited; ξ33 in practice, their use of the executive powers is directed by , a committee of responsible to the elected and chosen and headed by the (presently ), the , though the governor general or monarch may in certain crisis situations exercise their power without ministerial . To ensure the stability of government, the governor general will usually appoint as prime minister the person who is the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a in the House of Commons. ξ34 The (PMO) is thus one of the most powerful institutions in government, initiating most legislation for parliamentary approval and selecting for appointment by the Crown, besides the aforementioned, the governor general, , senators, federal court judges, and heads of and government agencies. The leader of the party with the second-most seats usually becomes the (presently ) and is part of an adversarial parliamentary system intended to keep the government in check.

Each of the 308 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons is elected by simple plurality in an or riding. General elections must be called by the governor general, on the advice of the prime minister, within four years of the previous election, or may be triggered by the government losing a in the House. The 105 members of the Senate, whose seats are apportioned on a regional basis, serve until age 75. Five parties had representatives elected to the federal parliament in the 2011 elections: the (governing party), the (the ), the , the , and the . The list of with elected representation is substantial.

divides government responsibilities between the federal government and the ten provinces. are and operate in parliamentary fashion similar to the House of Commons. Canada's three territories also have legislatures, but these are not sovereign and have fewer constitutional responsibilities than the provinces. The territorial legislatures also differ structurally from their provincial counterparts.


Law
The is the supreme law of the country, and consists of written text and unwritten conventions. The Constitution Act, 1867 (known as the prior to 1982) affirmed governance based on parliamentary precedent and divided powers between the federal and provincial governments; the granted full autonomy; and the , ended all legislative ties to the UK, added a constitutional amending formula, and added the , which guarantees basic rights and freedoms that usually cannot be overridden by any government – though a allows the federal parliament and provincial legislatures to override certain sections of the Charter for a period of five years. ξ35

Although not without conflict, ' early interactions with First Nations and Inuit populations were relatively peaceful. began during the European colonialization period. , the , the Constitution Act of 1982, and case laws were established. A series of eleven treaties were signed between Aboriginals in Canada and the reigning Monarch of Canada from 1871 to 1921. These treaties are agreements with the Government of Canada administered by and overseen by the . The role of the treaties was reaffirmed by , which "recognizes and affirms existing Aboriginal and treaty rights". These rights may include provision of services such as health care, and exemption from taxation. The legal and policy framework within which Canada and First Nations operate was further formalized in 2005, through the First Nations–Federal Crown Political Accord.

Canada's judiciary plays an important role in interpreting laws and has the power to strike down laws that violate the Constitution. The is the highest court and final arbiter and has been led by the Chief Justice , P.C. (the first female Chief Justice) since 2000. ξ36 Its nine members are appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice. All judges at the superior and appellate levels are appointed after consultation with nongovernmental legal bodies. The federal cabinet also appoints justices to superior courts at the provincial and territorial levels.

prevails everywhere except in Quebec, where predominates. is solely a federal responsibility and is uniform throughout Canada. ξ37 Law enforcement, including criminal courts, is officially a provincial responsibility, conducted by provincial police forces. However, in most rural areas and some urban areas, policing responsibilities are contracted to the federal .


Foreign relations and military
Canada currently employs a professional, volunteer military force of over 67,000 regular personnel and approximately 43,000 reserve personnel, including supplementary reserves. The unified (CF) comprise the , , and . In 2011, Canada's totalled approximately C$24.5 billion.

Canada and the United States share the world's longest undefended border, co-operate on military campaigns and exercises, and are each other's largest trading partner. Canada nevertheless has an independent foreign policy, most notably maintaining full relations with and declining to officially participate in the . Canada also maintains historic ties to the United Kingdom and France and to other former British and French colonies through Canada's membership in the and the . ξ38 Canada is noted for having a positive , owing, in part, to its contribution to the Dutch liberation during World War II.

Canada's strong attachment to the British Empire and Commonwealth led to major participation in British military efforts in the , World War I and World War II. Since then, Canada has been an advocate for multilateralism, making efforts to resolve global issues in collaboration with other nations. ξ39 Canada was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and of in 1949. During the , Canada was a major contributor to UN forces in the and founded the (NORAD) in cooperation with the United States to defend against potential aerial attacks from the Soviet Union. ξ40

During the of 1956, future Prime Minister eased tensions by proposing the inception of the , for which he was awarded the 1957 . ξ41 As this was the first UN peacekeeping mission, Pearson is often credited as the inventor of the concept. Canada has since served in 50 peacekeeping missions, including every UN peacekeeping effort until 1989, and has since maintained forces in international missions in , the former , and elsewhere; Canada has sometimes faced controversy over its involvement in foreign countries, notably in the 1993 .

Canada joined the (OAS) in 1990 and hosted the OAS General Assembly in , in June 2000 and the third Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in April 2001. Canada seeks to expand its ties to economies through membership in the forum (APEC).

In 2001, Canada deployed troops to as part of the and the UN-authorized, NATO-led . Starting in July 2011, Canada began withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan. In all, Canada lost 158 soldiers, one diplomat, two aid workers, and one journalist during the mission, which cost approximately C$11.3 billion.

In February 2007, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, , and Russia announced their joint commitment to a $1.5-billion project to help develop vaccines for developing nations, and called on other countries to join them. In August 2007, Canada's were challenged after a to the ; Canada has considered that area to be sovereign territory since 1925. In July 2010, the federal government announced the largest purchase in – the acquisition of 65 jet fighters, totalling C$9 billion. Between March and October 2011, Canadian forces participated in a UN-mandated NATO intervention into the .


Provinces and territories
Canada is a federation composed of ten provinces and three . In turn, these may be grouped into : Western Canada, Central Canada, , and ("Eastern Canada" refers to Central Canada and Atlantic Canada together). Provinces have more autonomy than territories, having responsibility for social programs such as , , and . Together, the provinces collect more revenue than the federal government, an almost unique structure among federations in the world. Using its spending powers, the federal government can initiate national policies in provincial areas, such as the ; the provinces can opt out of these, but rarely do so in practice. are made by the federal government to ensure that reasonably uniform standards of services and taxation are kept between the richer and poorer provinces.


Economy
Canada is the world's , with a 2011 of approximately US$1.74 trillion. It is a member of the (OECD) and the , and is one of the world's top ten trading nations, with a highly economy. Canada is a , ranking above the US and most western European nations on the 's index of economic freedom. The largest foreign importers of Canadian goods are the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

In the past century, the growth of Canada's manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy to an advanced, urbanized, industrial one. Like many other nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the , which employs about three-quarters of the country's workforce. However, Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of its , in which the logging and are two of the most prominent components.

Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy. ξ42 Atlantic Canada possesses vast deposits of natural gas, and Alberta also hosts large oil and gas resources. The immense give Canada the world's second-largest proven , after . Canada is additionally one of the world's largest suppliers of agricultural products; the Canadian Prairies are one of the most important global producers of wheat, , and other grains. ξ43 Canada is a major producer of and , and is a leading exporter of many other minerals, such as , , , and . Many towns in , where agriculture is difficult, are sustainable because of nearby mines or sources of timber. Canada also has a sizable manufacturing sector centred in southern Ontario and Quebec, with automobiles and representing particularly important industries.

Canada's economic integration with the United States has increased significantly since World War II. The of 1965 opened Canada's borders to trade in the automobile manufacturing industry. In the 1970s, concerns over energy self-sufficiency and foreign ownership in the manufacturing sectors prompted Prime Minister 's Liberal government to enact the (NEP) and the (FIRA). ξ44 In the 1980s, Prime Minister 's Progressive Conservatives abolished the NEP and changed the name of FIRA to "", in order to encourage foreign investment. The (FTA) of 1988 eliminated tariffs between the two countries, while the (NAFTA) expanded the free-trade zone to include in 1994. In the mid-1990s, 's Liberal government began to post annual budgetary surpluses, and steadily paid down the national debt.

In 2008, Canada's imported goods were worth over $442.9 billion, of which $280.8 billion originated from the United States, $11.7 billion from Japan, and $11.3 billion from the United Kingdom. The country’s 2009 totaled C$4.8 billion, compared with a C$46.9 billion surplus in 2008.

The caused a , which led to a significant rise in unemployment in Canada. By October 2009, Canada's national rate reached 8.6 percent, with provincial unemployment rates varying from a low of 5.8 percent in Manitoba to a high of 17 percent in Newfoundland and Labrador. Between October 2008 and October 2010, the Canadian labour market lost 162,000 full-time jobs and a total of 224,000 permanent jobs. was estimated to total $566.7 billion for the 2010–11, up from $463.7 billion in 2008–09. Canada’s net rose by $41 billion to $194 billion in the first quarter of 2010.


Science and technology

In 2011, Canada spent approximately C$29.9 billion on domestic . The country has produced ten in , and , and is home to a number of global technology firms, such as maker and developer . Canada in the world for Internet users as a proportion of the population, with over 28 million users, equivalent to around 84 percent of its total 2011 population.

The operates a highly active , conducting deep-space, planetary, and aviation research, and developing rockets and satellites. In 1984, became Canada's first astronaut. As of 2012, nine Canadians have flown into space, over the course of fifteen manned missions. Canada is a participant in the (ISS), and is a pioneer in space , having constructed the , and robotic manipulators for the ISS and NASA. Since the 1960s, Canada's aerospace industry has designed and built numerous marques of satellite, including and , and . Canada has also produced a successful and widely used , the ; over 1,000 Black Brants have been launched since the rocket's introduction in 1961.


Demographics
The counted a total population of 33,476,688, an increase of around 5.9 percent over the 2006 figure. Between 1990 and 2008, the population increased by 5.6 million, equivalent to 20.4 percent overall growth. The main drivers of population growth are and, to a lesser extent, natural growth. About four-fifths of the population lives within of the United States border. ξ45 Approximately 80 percent of Canadians live in urban areas concentrated in the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, the BC , and the in Alberta. In common with many other developed countries, Canada is experiencing a towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. In 2006, the average age was 39.5 years; by 2011, it had risen to approximately 39.9 years.

According to the , the country's largest self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (accounting for 32% of the population), followed by (21%), (15.8%), (15.1%), (13.9%), (10.2%), (4.6%), (4.3%), (4.0%), (3.9%), and (3.3%). There are 600 recognized , encompassing a total of 1,172,790 people.

Canada's aboriginal population is growing at almost twice the national rate, and four percent of Canada's population claimed aboriginal identity in 2006. Another 16.2 percent of the population belonged to a non-aboriginal . The largest visible minority groups are South Asian (4.0%), Chinese (3.9%) and (2.5%). Between 2001 and 2006, the visible minority population rose by 27.2 percent. In 1961, less than two percent of Canada's population (about 300,000 people) could be classified as belonging to a visible minority group, and less than one percent as aboriginal. By 2007, almost one in five (19.8%) were foreign-born, with nearly 60 percent of new immigrants coming from Asia (including the ). The leading sources of immigrants to Canada were China, the Philippines and India. According to , visible minority groups could account for a third of the Canadian population by 2031.

Canada has one of the , ξ46 driven by and , and is aiming for between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2012, a similar number of immigrants as in recent years. In 2010, a record 280,636 people immigrated to Canada. New immigrants settle mostly in major urban areas like Toronto and Vancouver. Canada also accepts large numbers of . The country resettles over one in 10 of the world’s refugees.

According to the 2001 census, 77.1 percent of Canadians identify as Christian; of this, Catholics make up the largest group, accounting for 43.6 percent of the population. The largest denomination is the (accounting for 9.5% of Canadians), followed by (6.8%), (2.4%), (2%), and other Christian denominations (4.4%). About 16.5 percent declare , and the remaining 6.3 percent are affiliated with non-Christian religions, the largest of which are (2.0%) and Judaism (1.1%).

Canadian provinces and territories are responsible for . The mandatory school age ranges between 5–7 to 16–18 years, contributing to an adult literacy rate of 99 percent. In 2002, 43 percent of Canadians aged 25 to 64 possessed a post-secondary education; for those aged 25 to 34, the rate of post-secondary education reached 51 percent. The indicates that Canadian students rank well above the OECD average, particularly in mathematics, sciences, and reading.


Language
Canada's two official languages are and . is defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the , and Official Language Regulations; it is applied by the . English and French have equal status in federal courts, Parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French, and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories.

English and French are the of 59.7 and 23.2 percent of the population respectively. Approximately 98 percent of Canadians speak English or French: 57.8 percent speak English only, 22.1 percent speak French only, and 17.4 percent speak both. The English and French official-language communities, defined by the first official language spoken, constitute 73.0 and 23.6 percent of the population respectively.

The 1977 established French as the official language of Quebec. Although more than 85 percent of French-speaking Canadians live in Quebec, there are substantial populations in , , and southern ; Ontario has the largest French-speaking population outside Quebec. New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province, has a French-speaking Acadian minority constituting 33 percent of the population. There are also clusters of Acadians in southwestern Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island, and through central and western Prince Edward Island. ξ47

Other provinces have no official languages as such, but French is used as a language of instruction, in courts, and for other government services, in addition to English. Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec allow for both English and French to be spoken in the provincial legislatures, and laws are enacted in both languages. In Ontario, French has some legal status, but is not fully co-official. ξ48 There are 11 , composed of more than 65 distinct dialects. Of these, only the , and languages have a large enough population of fluent speakers to be considered viable to . ξ49 Several aboriginal languages have official status in the Northwest Territories. ξ50 Inuktitut is the majority language in Nunavut, and is one of three official languages in the territory. ξ51

In 2005, over six million people in Canada listed a non-official language as their mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese (mainly ; 1,012,065 first-language speakers), Italian (455,040), German (450,570), (367,505) and Spanish (345,345). English and French are the most-spoken home languages, being spoken at home by 68.3 and 22.3 percent of the population respectively.


Culture
Canadian society is often depicted as being "diverse and ". ξ52 Canada's culture draws influences from its broad range of constituent nationalities, and policies that promote multiculturalism are constitutionally protected. In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many French-speaking commentators speak of a that is distinct from English Canadian culture. ξ53 However, as a whole, Canada is in theory a – a collection of several regional, aboriginal, and ethnic subcultures. Government policies such as , to , the outlawing of , strong efforts to eliminate , an emphasis on multiculturalism, strict , and the legalization of are further social indicators of Canada's political and cultural values. ξ54

Historically, Canada has been influenced by , , and aboriginal cultures and traditions. Through their language, and , aboriginal peoples continue to influence the . ξ55 Many Canadians value multiculturalism and see Canada as being inherently multicultural. American media and entertainment are popular, if not dominant, in English Canada; conversely, many Canadian cultural products and entertainers are successful in the United States and worldwide. The preservation of a distinctly Canadian culture is supported by federal government programs, laws, and institutions such as the (CBC), the , and the .

Canadian visual art has been dominated by figures such as – the country's most famous painter – and by the . Thomson's career painting Canadian landscapes spanned a decade up to his death in 1917 at age 39. The Group were painters with a nationalistic and idealistic focus, who first exhibited their distinctive works in May 1920. Though referred to as having seven members, five artists – , , , , and – were responsible for articulating the Group's ideas. They were joined briefly by , and by commercial artist . became part of the Group in 1926. ξ56 Associated with the Group was another prominent Canadian artist, , known for her landscapes and portrayals of the . ξ57

The has produced internationally renowned , and . ξ58 Music broadcasting in the country is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The presents Canada's music industry awards, the , which were first awarded in 1970. ξ59 The national anthem of Canada adopted in 1980, was originally commissioned by the , the Honourable , for the 1880 ceremony. wrote the music, which was a setting of a patriotic poem composed by the poet and judge Sir . The text was originally only in French, before it was translated to English in 1906.

Canada's official national sports are and . ξ60 Hockey is a and the most popular spectator sport in the country. It is also the sport most played by Canadians, with 1.65 million participants reported in 2004. Seven of Canada's eight largest metropolitan areas – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg – have franchises in the (NHL), and there are more Canadian players in the NHL than from all other countries combined. Other popular spectator sports include and ; the latter is played professionally in the (CFL). Golf, baseball, , soccer, , volleyball, and basketball are widely played at youth and amateur levels, but professional leagues and franchises are not widespread.

Canada has hosted several high-profile international sporting events, including the in Montreal, the in Calgary, the and the . Canada was the host nation for the in and .

Canada's national symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and Aboriginal sources. The use of the as a Canadian symbol dates to the early 18th century. The maple leaf is depicted on Canada's and , on the , and on the . ξ61 Other prominent symbols include the , , , the Crown, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and more recently, the and .


See also


Further reading
History
  • ξ62
  • ISBN 978-0-8020-5016-8, ISBN 978-0-8020-2801-3
Geography and climate
Government and law

Foreign relations and military
Economy
Demography and statistics
Culture


External links


References
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