Canada - education
Based on the autonomy of the provinces, Canada does not have a uniform
national education system, but provinces and territories independently determine
the structure of the education system, which therefore varies considerably from
place to place. However, there are many common features from province to
province: Compulsory schooling is ten years with school starting at the age of
6-7; however, the combined primary and secondary education course usually
extends over 12 years. The majority of schools are public and free at this
level. In some provinces, public support is provided for so-called separate
schools, ie. schools run on a religious, predominantly Roman Catholic
basis. Private payment schools make up only approximately 5% of all schools.
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Higher education has expanded greatly in the post-World War II era. In 1991,
there were 69 universities and 204 community colleges. The latter
offer a wide range of vocational and technical medium-term educations in the
artistic and liberal professions.
There is no common Canadian Ministry of Education, but the federal government
is responsible for the federal student loan schemes and grants for teaching
minority languages and the official second language, English or
French. Schools for Canada's indigenous peoples (Indians and Inuit) also receive
financial support through the federal government, as do vocational education,
adult education, and university research.
The strong influx of immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa in the 1970's
and of refugees from Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia in the 1980's meant
that 25% of Canada's population in 1986 was of ethnic and linguistic origin
other than English and French. It has created educational problems, especially
in the big cities, that children of these groups do not speak one of the
ETYMOLOGY: The word Canada comes from Iroquois kanata 'village'.
OFFICIAL NAME: Canada
CAPITAL CITY: Ottawa
POPULATION: 35,150,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 9,980,000 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): English, French, other immigrant languages, Italian and
German, Native American and Eskimo languages
RELIGION: Catholics 42%, Protestants 40%, others 18%
COIN: Canadian dollars
CURRENCY CODE: CAD
ENGLISH NAME: Canada
POPULATION COMPOSITION: British origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European origin 15%, Indians and
Inuit 2%, of mixed origin and other 32%
GDP PER residents: $ 25,171 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 77 years, women 83 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.950
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 6
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .ca
Canada is a federal state in North America and the world's second largest
country (after Russia). Canada is part of the Commonwealth, and the British
regent is the country's formal head of state, but in almost every other respect
it is more closely linked to its southern neighbor, the United States.
Like the United States, Canada is an immigrant society, characterized by
European populations in particular. For historical reasons, the French element
is marked and concentrated in the province of Québec, where there are strong
separatist movements. In contrast, the Native American and Inuit population
groups are marginalized in society. In 1995, the territory of Nunavut
was established in northern Canada; here, in 1999, the Inuit population gained
extensive autonomy with the Home Rule Government of Greenland as a
model. Regarding Canada's natural conditions, see also North America.
Canada - religion
The religious conditions reflect Canada's past under first French, since
British rule with consequent mission among indigenous peoples and immigrants,
but are also a consequence of the neighborhood with the United States and the
large immigration from especially Europe. Catholicism played a dominant role
until England took power in 1763. Although the Church of England became
the state religion, there was freedom of religion (though not unrestricted), and
Catholicism gained official status as the religion of the French-speaking
population. With the formation of modern Canada in 1867, the state became
religion-neutral with full religious freedom for all denominations, including a
number of American-Reformed-Puritan Protestants.
Today, Canada, like most urbanized and industrialized countries, is
religiously pluralistically and progressively secularized. Although the great
social change since 1945 has had a considerable effect on the religious
communities, the official statistics from 1991 show a high degree of religious
stability and continuity.
|Percentage of faith (1991)
|United Church Methodists, Congregationalists, etc.
|the Pentecostal movement
|other religions: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and some smaller Oriental
groups (Sikhs, Jainas, Baha'is, Shintoists, etc.)
|traditional original religions and new religions
Canada - Constitution and political system
Canada is a federal state. At all, the British monarch is represented by a governor-general. The
Constitution is from 1982, and emphasizes the principle of leveling out economic
and social disparities between the Länder as well as strengthening the Länder's
ownership of natural resources. The Supreme Court of Canada may, at the
request of the Government, rule on constitutional and legal matters.
The Federal Parliament consists of the House of Commons, which has 295
members, elected for five years by direct election in single-member
constituencies, and by the Senate, whose maximum of 112 members, divided into
regions, is appointed by the government. Both chambers must approve all
bills. Only the House of Commons can put forward bills on public spending and
The Governor-General appoints the leader of the largest party in the House of
Commons as Prime Minister; this composes the government taking into account the
different regions of Canada and their main cultural, religious and social
interests. The form of government is parliamentary.
The provinces also have governments as well as unicameral assemblies that can
legislate on local affairs, such as education and natural resources. The British
monarch is represented in the provinces by a lieutenant governor. The
territories are governed by the Federal Government.
Canada - Economy
Canada belongs to the group of the world's eight largest economically
industrialized democracies, the so-called G8 countries. The economy is closely
integrated with that of the United States, and dependence has been rising since
the two countries signed a free trade agreement in 1989. Thus, in 2004, 86% of
Canada's exports went to the United States, while 73% of all imports were
US. With effect from 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was
extended to include Mexico.
Thus, while Canada is actively working to promote international trade, there
are obstacles to the free movement of goods, services, capital and labor between
its provinces. The restrictions include non-uniform regulations for commercial
transport and trade in agricultural products as well as requirements for
establishment and residence permits for the performance of certain
professions. These conditions, together with other rigidities in the labor
market, were a contributing factor to the fact that even during periods of boom
for a number of years, unemployment could not be significantly reduced. This has
attracted extra attention, as the employment rate has been declining,
because part of the country's increasing number of immigrants are without
sufficient qualifications to enter the labor market.
Expenditure on the Canadian social and health care system has seized an
increasing share of national income. As it has not been possible to finance the
increase in full using. Tax collections, has the consequence has been a soaring
public debt, which in 1993 amounted to about 2/3 of
GDP; especially the provinces of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan were
previously heavily indebted. However, the increased extraction of natural
resources in these provinces has helped to change this picture.
The development has led to fiscal tightening, tax reforms and measures to
reduce the public sector; for example, the number of government agencies and
ministries has been reduced, as has about half of almost 100 public enterprises,
the so-called Crown Enterprises, since being privatized in the mid-1980's.
The currency, the Canadian dollar, more or less follows the movements of the
US dollar and weakened significantly in the mid-1980's, when the dollar lost
about half of its international value. This led to a deterioration in the
Canadian terms of trade, but at the same time an improvement in
competitiveness. A new improvement has taken place since the early 1990's due to
low inflation and rising productivity. Despite a large trade surplus, not least
vis-à-vis the United States, Canada had a large current account deficit in the
1990's. This was partly due to a considerable deficit on the travel balance, and
partly to interest payments on the large external debt, which in 1993 was
approximately 220 billion dollars.
The Liberal government, which took over in 1993, therefore had as its main
goal to reduce Canada's debt and create a balance of payments surplus. With
Finance Minister Paul Martin at the helm, this succeeded in quite a few
years. Public intervention, growth in the primary industries (especially energy
from oil, gas and hydroelectricity) and unemployment of just 6-6.5% have thus
since 2001 ensured Canada the healthiest economy among the G8 countries.
Danish exports to Canada are rising sharply and in 2004 were DKK 5
billion. DKK, while imports were 1.4 billion. The most important Danish export
goods were medicines (chemicals), equipment related to wind energy, animal
agricultural goods and machinery for industry. Denmark's imports from Canada
consist mainly of fish and crustaceans, electronic equipment, machinery for
industry and transport, medicines and minerals.
Canada - social conditions
Parts of Canadian social legislation are outsourced to individual
provinces. Expenditure on social benefits and services is financed by taxes and
The retirement age is 65 years. Since 1927, the elderly have been guaranteed
a retirement pension that is publicly funded and granted to everyone, regardless
of previous occupational affiliation. In addition, a contribution-financed
pension system has existed since 1966, covering old-age, early retirement,
widow's and children's pensions. The scheme is linked to business activity and
is partly financed by contribution payments from the employer and employee.
approximately 95% of workers are covered by unemployment insurance, which also
covers the payment of unemployment and maternity benefits. The insurance is
financed by contribution payments from the employer and employee.
In two-thirds of all families with children, both parents are in the labor
force. The rising employment rate for women has led to a major shortage of
childcare schemes. Families with children under the age of 18 receive family
benefits, which consist of a fixed amount and a supplement that depends on
income and number of children. People over the age of 18 who do not have means
of subsistence can receive assistance, which is the lowest social safety
net. Aid is financed by the state and the individual province. It is estimated
that in 1992 about 16% of the population lived below the low-income threshold,
ie. 4.5 million people, which is an increase of 2% compared to 1989. Record low
unemployment as well as a firm first place on the UN list of best countries to
live in has been a source of increased self-confidence and national feeling
around the turn of the century.
Canada - health conditions
Canadian women have a life expectancy of 81 years, men 74 years. Life
expectancy for both sexes has increased nearly 10 years since 1960. On average,
a Canadian woman gives birth to 1.8 children. The mortality rate in the first
year of life is 6.4 per 1000 live births (1991).
The increased life expectancy is due to a decrease in child mortality, heart
disease and accidents. However, mortality due to traffic accidents is still
high, and heart disease is still the most common cause of death. Mortality due
to cancer accounts for more than 20 percent of all deaths and is rising.
The native Native American and Inuit populations have poorer health
conditions than the rest of the population, but there have been significant
improvements in recent decades.
In 1974, the first initiative came for an overall Canadian health policy. It
was followed up with comprehensive legislation that laid the foundation for a
publicly supported healthcare system. It now ensures all residents access to
both general practitioners and hospital stays. Canada uses approximately 10 percent of
its total domestic consumption in the health care system, of which the public
share is approximately 75 percent. approximately 25 percent of the expenditure is spent on
the primary health care sector, where almost 50 percent of doctors are also
employed. The hospital system has approximately seven beds per 1000 residents,
slightly more than Denmark.
Responsibility for health care is shared between the federal government, the
provinces and the municipalities. The federal government provides large
subsidies to the local health service.
Canada - legal system
The legal system in the provinces is still marked by the English common law
system. English law has been widely followed or imitated since 1763, just as the
Canadian courts have shown great respect for the case law developed in
England. However, this is not the case in Québec, where French private law and
the Civil Code remained the model after the takeover of the English colonial
power. Outside Québec, English influence has diminished since the right to
appeal Canadian judgments to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in
England was abolished in 1949. The highest court in the country for both
criminal and civil cases is the Supreme Court of Canada, whose main task is to
act as an appellate body for the provincial courts. The Federal Court of Canada,
established in 1971, deals with cases brought against the Federal Government, as
well as certain other cases, patent and copyright cases and maritime
cases. From here, too, there is appeal to the Supreme Court.
Legislative competence is laid down in the Constitution Act, part of the
Canada Act of 1982. The Federal Parliament legislates for the whole of Canada on
taxes to the federal state, international affairs, defense, criminal law,
bankruptcy, public regulation of business, postal and telecommunications,
fisheries, etc. Each of the provincial parliaments legislates for the province
on most other matters, including private law. In order to achieve unity, model
laws have been drawn up that each state can adopt.
Canada - Mass Media
The Canadian media is particularly influenced by three factors: the two
languages, the proximity to the United States and the extent of the
country. This means that there are only two nationwide dailies, the reputable
The Globe and Mail, founded in 1844 in Toronto, and The National Post,
originally founded as the financial newspaper The Financial Post in 1907. In
return, there is a lush provincial press and many small newspapers, which are
published once or twice a week. The Toronto Star is the largest of the more than
one hundred dailies, the vast majority of which are published in English. Other
major ones are The Globe and Mail and the French-language Le Journal de Montréal
(founded 1964). In 2005, 30 free newspapers were published in Canada.
The Canadian radio and television system is a mix of public and private; The
entire media and telecommunications sector is governed by an independent state
body, the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission),
which, among other things, issues broadcasting licenses and regulates the cable
TV area. The national state radio and television company CBC (The Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation, founded in 1936, reorganized in 1968) broadcasts radio
and television programs in English and French as well as a special service to
the country's northernmost regions, where the population in 1992 also received
its own television company. In addition to American television, CBC competes
nationally with the privately owned CTV (Canadian Television Network, founded
1961) and other advertising-funded stations. Some provinces have their own
television stations, in addition to a large number of local, privately owned
Canada - Visual Arts and Architecture
The earliest art of the "New France" was expressed in the 17th and 18th
centuries in religious and ethnographic images, influenced by European art. This
Eurocentrism partially disappeared in the 19th century, when Canadian-born
artists depicted the country.
The painters portrayed clergy, bourgeois and Native American chiefs, but also
ordinary people. Antoine Plamondon (1804-95) and Théophile Hamel (1817-70)
worked in Québec, Paul Kane (1810-71) portrayed the prairie and the Indians,
while Cornelius Krieghoff (approximately 1815-72) painted French-Canadian genre paintings.
In the latter part of the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th
century, an explosion of various forms of expression was seen, inspired by the
European art forms, represented by e.g. naturalist Horatio Walker (1858-1938),
impressionist Maurice Cullen (1866-1934) and fauvist James Wilson Morrice
(1865-1924). Of the sculptors, L.-P. Hébert (1850-1917) expressed the taste of
the time for the epic, while Aurèle de Foye Suzor-Côté (1869-1937) is more
The architecture was French-inspired, but when Canada came under Britain
after 1760, it was from here that the impulses came, so one finds forms of
expression that range from Normandy folk style to Victorian neo-Gothic.
Worth mentioning are church architecture and wood carvings, created in the
time after approximately 1770 by artist families such as Levasseur and Baillargé. In
the 19th century, a Georgian style of both British and American descent appeared
in Anglo-Canada. Later, Romanesque churches were built, Gothic-style state
buildings and hotels such as French castles, such as the Château Frontenac in
Quebec (built 1892-1924).
In the 20th century, attempts were made to create one's own artistic
identity. The impulses from Europe were manifold, but the attitude towards the
substance was characterized by a certain uncertainty, which had its background
in the difficulty of imagining a real nation.
In the years around 1915, there was a breakthrough in Canadian art. Painters
Franklin Carmichael (1890-1945), LS Harris (1885-1970), AY Jackson (1882-1974),
Franz Johnston (1888-1949), Arthur Lismer (1885-1969), JEH MacDonald (1873-1932)
and FH Varley (1881-1969) formed The Group of the Seven, which was
mainly influenced by art nouveau and Scandinavian expressionism.
The group inspired Charles Comfort (1900-94), William Ogilvie (1901-89) and
Jack Nichols (1921-2009) to form the Canadian Group of Painters in
1930. Outside the group stood significant artists such as Emily Carr
(1871-1945), Tom Thomson (1877-1917) and David Milne (1882-1953).
Modernism kept pace with Paul-Émile Borduas (1905-60) and the group of
artists who in 1948 formed "Refus global", a revolutionary movement also known
as Les Automatistes. With painters like Jean Paul Riopelle, it played
a crucial role in the development of art in Canada and also gained international
From the 1950's, Canadian art has been oriented toward developments in New
York. Jack Bush (1909-77) developed an abstract painting closely related to
American color field painting, which was also a landmark for the painting group Nouveaux
plasticiens in Montreal.
The art center of the interwar years was Toronto. In the last decades of the
20th century, other cities, such as Montreal, have also played a significant
role in a very active and experimental art life, where smaller groups such as NE
Thing & Co. and General Idea (grdl. 1968) have worked with concept
art, film, video and performance.
Jeff Wall is a prominent representative of the so-called staged photography
of the 1980's and 1990's. The painter Alex Colville from Nova Scotia has developed
a realistic, detailed form of expression in tightly composed and symbol-laden
images from everyday life.
After a short wave of art deco, international architecture has dominated
Canadian cities since 1940. IM Pei designed Place Ville-Marie in Montreal
(1960), and Mies van der Rohe and others designed the Dominion Center in Toronto
(1964-69), while Finn Viljo Revell created Toronto City Hall (1958-65), and
Arthur Erickson performed Fraser. University of Burnaby (1963-65).
After 1970, Canadian architecture has unfolded with a great variety of
variations, characterized by regional traditions and forms of expression.
Before the European colonization of Canada, ritual dramas were performed by
the Native American people; the first European play written and performed in
Canada was Marc Lescarbot's pompous Le Théâtre de Neptune en la
Nouvelle-France, which was set up in Port Royal in 1606 to celebrate an
expedition down the coast. During colonial times, French and English soldiers
performed pieces from their domestic repertoire, just as the Jesuits performed
instructive drama, among other things. to convert the Indians.
As the population grew, professional American theater companies began
performing in the cities. The first company to establish itself in a long period
was the American Company of Comedians, which performed in Halifax in 1774. This
mix of amateur theater and outreach theater from the United States, France and
England was typical of Canada's theatrical life well into the 1900's.. Before
World War II, there were sporadic attempts to establish a decidedly professional
Canadian theater, but it was mainly radio that developed Canadian playwrights.
After World War II, the need for a Canadian national theater
grew. Ironically, this led to the establishment of the Stratford Shakespeare
Festival (Ontario) in 1953, but also to the creation of regional theaters such
as the Théâtre de Nouveau Monde (1952) in Montreal and the Manitoba Theater
Center (1958) in Winnipeg. The bilingual National Theater School was established
in 1960 in Montreal.
In the 1960's, numerous regional theaters emerged and from the early 1970's
also alternative theaters, most often producing nationalist Canadian
drama. Since the 1980's, a new development in the Canadian theater in Quebec has
expressed in Robert Lepage's experimental performances of Théâtre
Repère; in the English-speaking theater, for example, the Primus Theater in
Winnipeg (which works on principles developed by Eugenio Barba at the Odin
Theater) has distinguished itself with productions that focus more on the
theatrical stage expression than on the interpretation of a text. At the same
time, Canada's multicultural reality has come on stage through drama written by
writers such as the Cree Indian Tomson Highway (b. 1951) and the black female
writer Djanet Sears (b. 1959).
Canada - Dance
Canadian dance is characterized by the population and geographical spread of
the population. In stage dance, English and French influences were significant
for the founding of the country's three major ballet companies, the Royal
Winnipeg Ballet in 1949, the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto
in 1951, of which Erik Bruhn was artistic director in 1983-86, and the Grand
Ballet's Canadians in Montreal in 1957. Since then, the exchange with
American-trained dancers and choreographers has also been
considerable. Internationally known is the ballet star Karen Kain (b. 1951), who
since 2005 has been the artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada. With
Nikolaj Hübbe setup of La Sylphide in 2005, she brought back
Around the year 1900, the barefoot dancer Maud Allen (1873-1956) was Canada's
answer to Isadora Duncan, but modern dance only really took off in the
1960's. The renewal came from the Province of Quebec, Toronto and Vancouver,
where a flourishing dance life emerged with educations and companies within many
dance genres. In the 1990's, the new dance was introduced by companies such as O
Vertigo, Danny Grossman Dance Company and one of Canada's oldest modern
companies, the Toronto Dance Theater from 1968.
Canadian dance is often ethnically inspired and is frequently presented as an
art form at national festivals, where folk dance is practiced in
parallel. However, the country's native Native American dances are only rarely
Canada - music
Historical documents show that music has been an important part of colonial
life. From 1635, French and Native American children received music instruction,
and hymns were sung, composed in Native American languages by missionaries. An
organ, mentioned in Québec in 1661, is probably the first in North
America. However, with a few exceptions such as Joseph Quésnel, whose buffoon
opera Colas et Colinette was performed in Montreal in 1790 (probably
the first opera performed in North America), Canadian composers did not begin to
assert themselves until after 1867.
Calixa Lavallée (1842-91), Guillaume Couture (1851-1915) and their pupil
Alexis Contant (1858-1918) constituted a significant "Montréal school" with
strong ties to the French musical tradition. In turn, their contemporaries,
Wesley O. Forsyth (1863-1937) and Charles Harriss (1862-1929), highlighted
The English tradition was strengthened considerably and for a long time by
Healey Willan (1880-1968), who in 1913 came from England to Toronto, where he
was active as a church musician, composer and teacher at the Toronto Royal
Conservatory and University. Claude Champagne (1891-1965), influenced by studies
in Paris in the 1920's, continued the French tradition, but united it with
elements of Canadian folk music in an attempt to create a national
style. However, Sir Ernest MacMillan (1893-1973) was the dominant figure in all
aspects of music life in Canada in the first half of the 1900's. After World War
II, the use of folk music as a basis for national music slipped into the
background, and Canadian composers became more open to international
influence. While some, like Godfrey Ridout (1918-84), stuck to tonality,
A sharp increase in the country's population since 1945 has led to a
significant growth in the number of music institutions. In addition to old,
established orchestras and choirs at the international level in Montreal and
Toronto, there are good ensembles in other major cities. The leading opera
company is the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. Higher education in music is
available at conservatories and universities across the country.
Canada - Folk Music
In the original Indian cultures there was a flourishing folk music; neither
it nor the Inuit have been mixed with the European immigrants, from whom it is
very different. All groups of immigrants brought folk music, especially orally
handed down folk songs; the songs gained a special significance in the new
society and therefore often remained more vibrant than in the home country. Of
the French-Canadian tradition (folk song, dance and other instrumental
music) are thus collected over 20,000 songs, of which several thousand were
forgotten in France. Musically, they predominantly have an "old" feel. A special
genre is the voyageurs' chansons d'aviron, work songs whose rhythm is
similar to the paddling of the canoe. The British-Canadian traditioncontains
especially English and Irish ballads, but also Scottish and Irish-Gaelic songs,
often used as a common song. In addition, German, Italian, Ukrainian,
Baltic, Scandinavian and Asian immigrant groups stuck to their vocal or
instrumental folk music tradition; this has helped to preserve the original
language, religion and culture of the groups.
Canada - film
In silent film-era Canada, the most important works were semi-documentary
depictions of man's struggle with the relentless nature, often with Indians and
Inuit in the lead roles such as Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North (1922). Thereafter,
the regionally based Canadian film industry completely succumbed to competition
with Hollywood, and state film production became completely dominant in
Canada. In 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) was established, which
under the direction of John Grierson has produced a large number of excellent
short and documentary films. Among other things. experimental filmmakers like
Norman McLaren and Michael Snow were allowed to unfold here.
Many Canadian instructors chose to work abroad, including Norman Jewison (b.
1926) and Ted Kotcheff (b. 1931). In return, directors such as Claude Jutra
(1930-87), Denys Arcand (b. 1941) as well as David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan
have created an original film production with international impact.