Good day, eh? The Great White North is turning 137 this year, and on July 1 hosers from Signal Hill, Newfoundland to Tofino will be kicking back, cracking a few cold ones, and frying up some back bacon sandwiches. Beauty!
To help you get the most out of this day Ive put together a list of 100 per cent hoser-friendly websites. So take off, eh!
Nobody rocks like a Canuck. In their prime bands like Rush ( www.rush.com ) and the Guess Who (still too mad at each other to have an official site) were among the biggest supergroups in the world. Even Geddy Lees guest appearance ("Take off to the Great White North") on the Bob and Doug McKenzie album hit the top 10 on the American Billboard charts.
A short list of awesome and proudly Canadian bands of today, in terms of Canadian content, would have to include The Tragically Hip ( www.thehip.com ), The Weakerthans ( www.theweakerthans.org ), Sam Roberts Band ( www.samrobertsband.com ), Rheostatics ( www.rheostatics.ca ), Sloan ( www.sloanmusic.com ), Barkenaked Ladies ( www.bnlmusic.com ), Neil Young ( www.neilyoung.com ) and the entire new music movements that includes Hot Hot Heat (www.hothotheat.com), Metric (www.ilovemetric.com), Broken Social Scene and Stars ( www.arts-crafts ), Arcade Fire (www.arcadefire.com), etc. Id also like to give a few shameless plugs to a few of my friends bands FiftyWattHead ( www.fiftywatthead.com ) and the Creaking Tree String Quartet ( www.creakingtree.com ).
Staying on top of the Canadian music scene is tough, with artists like K-OS, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette, Simple Plan, and Sum 41 (the list is endless) going on to international fame. One way to stay current is by visiting sites like Jam! at http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/ , Chart Attack ( www.chartattack.com ), CanEHdian.com ( www.canehdian.com ), CBC3 (www.cbcradio3.com), and IndieMusic.ca ( www.indiemusic.ca ).
No, Canadian Culture is not an oxymoron, we just dont take ourselves as seriously as some countries. Hence the fact that Canadas three biggest cultural exports in recent years are Trailer Park Boys (www.trailerparkboys.com), FUBAR ( www.fubar-themovie.com ), and Tom Green ( www.tomgreen.com ). Low class, but completely understandable when you consider that these cultural exports are following in the footsteps of Bob and Doug McKenzie and SCTV ( www.sctvguide.ca ), the Kids In The Hall ( www.kidsinthehall.com ), and Porkys ( www.porkysmovies.com ) I believe the first Porkys is still the top grossing Canadian movie of all time.
But theres more to Canadian Culture than Hinterland Whos Who, The Sweater (check out www.frymybackon.com , Back Bacon), Anne of Green Gables, and humping a dead moose on the shoulder of the Trans-Canada Highway.
For real art, every good Canadian should learn about the Group of Seven ( www.groupofsevenart.com ), Emily Carr ( www.emilycarr.com ), and dozens of other artists by visit the National Gallery of Canada at http://national.gallery.ca .
For literature, Canada boasts some of the top authors in the world today like Carol Shields, Jane Urquhart, Yann Martel, Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood (www.owtoad.com). I grew up reading Farley Mowatt and Gordon Korman. For humour, few can top Stephen Leacocks stories.
One of the best resources for Canadian writers is at Collections Canada ( www.collectionscanada.ca ), our national library and archives.
Canadas contributions to the big screen is a little less inspiring (see Porkys). I couldnt even find one current site listing all-Canadian movies on the web, but you can find some information at Telefilm Canada at www.telefilm.gc.ca in the Catalogues section.
Canadian history is not as dull as you remember from high school. Weve had our share of wars, political scandals, visionaries and defining moments over the years, all worthy of some remembrance on Canadas birthday. Visit Canada History at www.canadahistory.com , Canadian History at www.canadianhistory.ca and the Canadian National History Society at www.historysociety.ca to brush up.
Did you know that the famous Canadian flag, which adorns backpacks around the world, wasnt adopted until 1965? There was a contest to pick the best design (see some of the runners up at www.cbc.ca/documentaries/flagforcanada/proposals.html#)
Want to know the words to the Cremation of Sam McGee? Visit www.robertwservice.com and look for a link on the right hand side of the page.
From zippers to walkie talkies, Canadian inventors have over a million patents to their credit. Visit http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa090100a.htm for a partial list.
Why is the Bluenose a big enough deal to be remembered on the dime? Visit www.bluenose2.ns.ca .
You probably knew that Canada is the second largest country in the world, but have no idea what that means. For more on Canadas geography, visit www.canadainfolink.ca/geog.htm , http://atlas.gc.ca , and Canadian Geographic Magazine at www.canadiangeographic.ca .
Who are the Canadians on Canadas Walk of Fame? Visit www.canadaswalkoffame.com .
Who are the athletes in the Hall of Fame? Visit www.cshof.ca .
Have a good Canada Day, eh?