10 Things That Make Canada Great, Eh?

Canadians have weird accents, Mounties and are pioneers in flexible cannabis legislation. Canada Day, sometimes referred to as “Canada’s birthday”, occurred on the 1st of July commemorating the anniversary of the 1867 Constitution Act in which the colonies were united under one Canada. Cool story. Let’s reflect on a few of the things that make the nation great, eh?

Dude is a terrific looking Academy Award-nominated actor who also plays in a band, is a real life superhero and had an #occupy movement erected in his honour. You can also add proven sloth whisperer to the credits of this transparently flawless individual hailing from Canada’s most populous province, Ontario.

I’m not so sure about the ‘Next Generation’ Drake-starring series of Degrassi, but the original series from the late Eighties and early Nineties broke ground for its realistic portrayal of teenage life including all the shit parts. Drug use, racism, sexuality, divorce, peer pressure, the name “Wheels” and teen pregnancy were among the daily struggles of the hyper-real thickly accented Canadian kids in attendance at Degrassi High. Favourite episodes include the one where Spike found “ooht” she was pregnant with Shane’s baby after going all the way, and any that included a rehearsal/performance/mere mention of Joey Jeremiah’s band Zit Remedy.

Bacon drowned in maple syrup and dill pickle-flavoured potato chips are both delicious, but Heaven must have been missing snacks the day Quebec invented poutine. It’s an artery hardening combination of fries, pepper gravy and fromage beaucronne (cheddar cheese curds) and you WILL become a whore for it.

Daria Werbowy, Alana Zimmer, Jessica Stam and Shalom Harlow are all card carrying Canucks, but it is The Evangelista – one of the original ’90s “supers” – who is the most iconic supermodel to call True North home. Her extraordinary ability to successfully transform with any look stamped her authority as one of the most cast-able faces throughout her 30 year career, and now at age 48 she’s still doing Vogue covers. She was also cool dressed in baby pink ostrich feather face muff for George Michael’s “Too Funky” video.

Canada has a veritable dickload of adorable animals that call its spectacular wilderness home. These include species like the Bighorn Sheep, the Eastern Moose and the North American Beaver. The North American beaver, a Canada native, has distinguishable attributes including a thick brown pelt, broad flat tail, exceptional construction skills and a face so goddamn adorable you want to throw in the towel on civilisation and go paddling in a lake like this little guy.

Photo by Debbie Offerman via Canadian Wildlife Federation

Before Cirque Du Soleil, circuses were the embarrassment of the arena entertainment industry. Then came along a flexible bunch of French-Canadian acrobats, strong men and former gymnasts who injected the medium with art, panache, storytelling by creating entire magical universes through performers existing in the outer limits of human dexterity, skill and physicality.

Photo by Johannes Simon for Getty Images.

Has the distinction of being the AFL’s first international professional athlete drafted from a non-Irish sport (that would be Rugby Union). Not everyone could see his potential, though. AFL toss bag Brian Taylor once called him the worst player in the league. A few years later Taylor was forced to eat his words as the freakishly mobile six foot seven Canadian became the first choice Sydney Swans ruckman, a premiership hero and the most improved player in the game.   

Disclaimer: Violence is bad regardless of the particulars, okay? Buuuuuut, then there’s two Canadian bros beating the piss out of each other because of their passion for the game of Ice Hockey! Plus they’re covered in protective padding and headgear so they can’t get that badly hurt right? Except maybe for this time the notoriously punchy Rob Ray knocked Steve Webb the fuck out.

The term “Canadian Tuxedo” entered stoner vernacular after being referenced in the movie Super Troopers when the Sargeant wears a denim jacket with a pair of jeans. The line/s: “Hows it going Denim Dan? You look like the president, chairman, and CEO of Levi Straus. Hey where’d you get the Canadian tuxedo?” The courageously dope pairing of denim tops AND bottoms really puts the ‘art’ in smart-casual, and Americans south of the [Canadian] border have been adopting it ever since.

Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band, Grimes, Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Metric, Pony Up!, Japandroids, The Weeknd, Broken Social Scene, The Besnard Lakes, Braids, Purity Ring, Hot Panda, Propaghandi (yew!), Patrick Watson, Stars, Feist, The Pink Mountaintops, Basia Bulat, Destroyer, St Vincent, Junior Boys, Holy Fuck, Handsome Furs… All of these fantastic bands more than make up for the atrocities committed by Dead Mau5 and Nickelback.

Thanks Canada!