Canada’s culture, with its traditions and customs, has been influenced by both the indigenous peoples and the many waves of immigrants. The climate of the country also determines some of its traditions and customs. If you want to experience these yourself, you need to apply for an eTA or a Canada visa.
Canada has been officially bilingual since 1969. The languages with official status are English and French. In nine out of ten provinces, however, French has a subordinate role. English is the mother tongue of more than 60% of the inhabitants, while French is the mother tongue of only 25% of the inhabitants of Canada. Quebec, where influences from the French colonial era can be seen everywhere, is the only province where French is the most widely spoken language. French is also spoken by part of the population in Ontario and in the Atlantic Provinces, particularly in the province of New Brunswick.
In the northern territories of Canada, there is also another official language, Inuktitut. Inuktitut is the language of the Inuit people. It is spoken by around 30,000 people in Canada. The so-called Inuksuit (singular: Inuksuk), which are used by the Inuit for such purposes as signposting, have become a national symbol of Canada.
The cultures of North America’s indigenous peoples are thousands of years old. The 1982 Canadian Constitution recognised the existence of the Inuit, Métis and First Nations. National Indigenous Peoples Day, which takes place on 21 June each year, celebrates and recognises the cultures, heritage and contribution of these three indigenous peoples.
In 1971, Canada enshrined a multicultural policy in its Constitution and was the first country in the world to do so. The country is proud of this. Every year, Canada takes in almost 200,000 immigrants from different countries in search of a better life in the country that is known for its high quality of life. As many as 1 in 5 residents of Canada were not born in the country. Canada’s Multiculturalism Act states that all people are equal and should be treated accordingly. The contribution of immigrants to Canada’s ethnic diversity and varied culture is highly valued.
In Canada, many dishes are prepared that we are also familiar with in Western Europe, such as potatoes, meat and vegetables, pizza or pasta. A typical Canadian dish is poutine, which originates from Quebec. The dish consists of fries covered with curd (a kind of cheese), gravy and possibly other ingredients. Canada is the largest producer of maple syrup. For this reason, Canada is also called the land of the maple. The maple leaf, Canada’s national symbol, can also be found on the flag.
Literature, television and music
Because Canadian film stars often star in American movies, many people do not know that they are actually from Canada. For example, Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Martin Short, Matthew Perry, Michael J. Fox, Patrick Gallagher and Rachel McAdams all hail from Canada, as do prominent writers such as Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaantje.
Canada has also produced big names in music. Think of Avril Lavigne, Bryan Adams, Céline Dion, Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado, Nickelback, Michael Bublé, Shania Twain, The Weekend and so on.
Due to Canada’s continental climate, which gives it harsh winters and relatively warm summers, there is almost no sport that cannot be played in Canada. Canada hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics and the 1988 and 2010 Winter Olympics. Lacrosse, traditionally played by First Nations, is the national summer sport and ice hockey is the national winter sport.
In Canada, the transitional seasons are very short. There is no real spring or autumn: it is either summer or winter. To avoid the cold temperatures during the winter months, underground shopping malls have been built in various places in Canada.
During the winter, a winter carnival with ice sculptures and parades is organised in several places in Canada. In Edmonton, the capital of the province of Alberta, they have different traditions during the winter months. During the winter months, you can, for example, throw an axe or take part in a race in a soapbox, refrigerator or freezer (Deep Freeze) or race on fat bikes in Jasper National Park (Fat Bike Race). It is also traditional to pour maple syrup over the snow and make a tasty ice lolly.
eTA Canada required for travel to Canada
If, after reading this article, you are enthusiastic and curious and would like to experience the Canadian culture for yourself, you can already apply for the eTA Canada. This travel authorisation for Canada is valid for five years.
The application procedure of the eTA Canada is quite simple. First, you fill out the online application form. In most cases, this does not take longer than 10 minutes. You can then quickly and securely pay the fees online, after which your application will be processed. The eTA is approved in 5 days on average. Once approved, the eTA allows you to travel to Canada an unlimited number of times. Each trip may last up to six consecutive months. Enough time to get to know the different aspects of Canadian culture!
Take note: this news article about the eTA for Canada is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the eTA for Canada.