Canada draws its culture from a number of different sources and is reflected in every day past times such as art, literature and music. The influence of the First Nations people is huge within the country and over the years this has been blended in with the European influences that have arrived into the country. The uniqueness of the country is that it has managed to exist as one, yet at the same time has done so with two areas speaking two separate languages. This has produced a nation that is extremely proud of its history and its culture. Nowhere is Canada’s culture celebrated more than in its summer folk and music festivals. This annually produces an eclectic mix of people who gather celebrating the regions, and the nations, wide varieties of the nation’s arts. No country in the world encourages the whole family to attend more than Canada.

A good example is the Edmonton Folk Music festival which is an annual 4 day event that has been held since 1980. The event celebrates the wide range of Canada’s music with numerous bands giving live performances.  The event also celebrates local cuisines and crafts with village enabling people during the day time to visit the various exhibitions. Each year the event is sold out as families make the trip to the festival an annual pilgrimage.

The Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery

The best way to appreciate the art of Canada is to visit one of its many galleries. The Vancouver Art Gallery is the largest gallery in Western Canada and boasts extensive collections of historical and contemporary paintings, sculptures, photographs and graphic artwork. The gallery itself is of interest as it was designed by Francis Rattenbury and built in 1905. There is no better museum to view a wider range of Canada’s art than the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The art library contains over 40,000 works dedicated to the history of art and sadly in suffered from the largest art theft in Canadian history when several pieces, including a Rembrandt were stolen.

The National Gallery of Canada is located in Ottawa in a granite and glass building that was opened in 1988. The gallery has a wide range of both Canadian and international collections. Indigenous art includes works from the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada as well as from around the world. There is even a special look at art in the arctic region of the country with the Inuit collection. Canada has produced many great writers and novelists. The character of the people has been ideal in producing creative writers, and there have been many examples of Canadians achieving international recognition for their books such a Margaret Attwood. Canada’s boasts some of the world’s most impressive libraries housed in stunning buildings. A good example of this is the Library of the Parliament of Canada in Ontario which is housed in a Victorian gothic styled building. It houses books and documents essential for the running of the government.

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is more accessible to the general public and hold some of the rarest books in the world. The uniqueness of its contents is matched by the originality of the building itself that stands out on the Ontario sky line. One of the best museums in Canada is the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto which boasts over 6 million items recording both national and internal events. The museum is constantly evolving with a busy exhibition schedule and is regarded highly as an international museum.  The Canadian people like to celebrate the crafts of the first Nations peoples and nowhere is it better done than at the Whetung Ojibwa Centre which is found 160km north-east of Ottawa on the 7 highway. The centre boasts numerous exhibits that show the crafts that have been practiced by indigenous populations over the history of the country. Considering Canada is such a young country it has a rich heritage. It is possible to explore its culture by visiting one of its many museums.