Browse "Arts & Culture"

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"Alouette!"

"Alouette!" The most popular Canadian folksong. It also has become a symbol of French Canada for the world, an unofficial national song identifiable from the first few measures of its lively chorus in 2/4 time. Marius Barbeau is of the opinion that "Alouette" originated in France, but James J.

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"Bluebird on Your Windowsill"

"Bluebird on Your Windowsill." Pop song by the Vancouver nurse (Carmen) Elizabeth Clarke (b Winnipeg 1911, d Vancouver 1960). The words (1947) were inspired by a small bird which perched on a windowsill of Vancouver's Hospital for Sick and Crippled Children. The melody was added later.

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"Canada" (song)

The official theme song of Canada’s centennial celebrations, “Ca-na-da” (also known by its formal title, “Canada: A Centennial Song”) was composed by songwriter and trumpeter Bobby Gimby as a children’s marching song with English and French lyrics.

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"Canadian Idol"

"Canadian Idol." Reality television show, based on the British singing competition television show "Pop Idol" (2001- ), created by the UK's FremantleMedia and 19 TV, and produced by Canada's Insight Productions.

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“Hallelujah”

“Hallelujah” is arguably poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s best-known song. Considered by many to be one of the greatest songs of all time, it was ranked No. 11 on CBC Music’s list of the 100 Best Canadian Songs Ever. “Hallelujah” failed to garner much attention when it was initially released in 1985, but became increasingly popular after various artists — most notably Jeff Buckley, k.d. lang and Rufus Wainwright — performed covers of it. Since its release, “Hallelujah” has been covered by over 300 artists and has been used in numerous movies and television shows.

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"If You Could Read My Mind"

"If You Could Read My Mind." Song by Gordon Lightfoot. Written in 1969, "catches the cadences of a hurt lover unused to words that cut too close" (Maclean's, 1 May 1978). The song has been recorded more than 100 times, first in 1969 by the composer for his LP Sit Down Young Stranger.

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"Mon Pays"

Originally composed as a theme song for a film, Gilles Vigneault’s “Mon pays” expresses nationalism, solidarity and connection to the northern landscape, and was adopted as a Québécois anthem.

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“O Canada”

“O Canada” is Canada’s national anthem. Originally called “Chant national,” it was written in Québec City by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier (words in French) and composer Calixa Lavallée (music), and first performed there on 24 June 1880. It began to be sung widely in French Canada at that time and later spread across Canada in various English-language versions, of which the best-known was written by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908. The lyrics of this version were amended several times over the years, with the most recent changes occurring in February 2018; the French lyrics have been shortened but otherwise remain unaltered from the original. “O Canada” was approved as Canada’s national anthem by a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on 15 March 1967. It was officially adopted as Canada’s national anthem under the National Anthem Act on 27 June 1980. The Act was proclaimed by Governor General Edward Schreyer in a public ceremony on Parliament Hill on 1 July 1980.

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"She's Like the Swallow"

"She's Like the Swallow." Distinctive Newfoundland variant of a large family of songs about unhappy love. Both Maud Karpeles (1930) and Kenneth Peacock (1960) collected it, and its beautiful tune has made it popular with many singers and choirs.

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"Song for the Mira"

“Song for the Mira” is a contemporary folk song in the Celtic style, written in 1973 by Allister MacGillivray. Its lyrics speak of a longing for, and eventual return to, the serenity of the Mira River region of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Brought to international attention by Anne Murray and covered more than 300 times, the song has become a standard in the Celtic repertoire and something of an anthem in Nova Scotia.

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"The Maple Leaf For Ever"

"The Maple Leaf For Ever" is a patriotic song composed by Alexander Muir in October 1867, the year of Confederation; both words and music are Muir's. Next to "O Canada," which it antedates by 13 years, it has been the most popular patriotic song composed in Canada.

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'Gens du pays'

'Gens du pays'. Song written by Gilles Vigneault and Gaston Rochon for the 1975 St-Jean-Baptiste celebrations on Mount Royal, Montreal. Its popularity has made it almost a national anthem in Quebec, where it is sung frequently by crowds at rallies or on festive occasions.

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1972 Canada-Soviet Hockey Series (Summit Series)

For many Canadians, the eight-game series between Team Canada and the national team of the Soviet Union in 1972 provided the greatest moment in the country’s sporting history. Most expected that Canada would handily defeat the Soviet Union, but this confidence quickly disappeared when Canada lost the first game. The series was tied heading into the final game in Moscow, which ended in a dramatic fashion, with Paul Henderson scoring in the final seconds to give Canada the victory. The series would have a lasting impact on hockey in Canada and abroad.