Browse "Arts & Culture"

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Art and Decoration

The decorative arts, it is commonly assumed, have two features that are at odds with what we think of as fine art: decorative art is typically associated with function and its purpose is to project a style or mood rather than to transmit meaning and incite dialogue.

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Inuit Words for Snow and Ice

It is often said that the Inuit have dozens of words to refer to snow and ice. Ontarian anthropologist John Steckley (in White Lies about the Inuit, 2008) noted that according to popular belief, in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit from Canada's Eastern Arctic, the number of words for "snow" generally contains the digit 2, and that the total most often cited is 52 different terms.

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Art and the Great War

​Landscape painting in North America in the 19th century tended toward the pastoral, depicting idyllic scenes of rural life and representing the continent as a wondrous Eden.

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Tommy Douglas and Eugenics

Tommy Douglas — the father of socialized medicine in Canada and one of the country’s most beloved figures — once supported eugenic policies. In 1933, he received a Master of Arts in sociology from McMaster University for his thesis, “The Problems of the Subnormal Family.” In the thesis, Douglas recommended several eugenic policies, including the sterilization of “mental defectives and those incurably diseased.” His ideas were not unique, as two Canadian provinces (and 32 American states) passed sexual-sterilization legislation in the 1920s and 1930s. However, by the time Douglas became premier of Saskatchewan in 1944, he had abandoned his support for eugenic policies. When Douglas received two reports that recommended legalizing sexual sterilization in the province, he rejected the idea.

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Wayne and Shuster

Following the war, they returned to Canada and worked together on radio (by 1946 they had their own show on CBC) and later on television. In 1950 they began appearing as guests on various American TV programs, including a record 67 performances on "The Ed Sullivan Show.

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Anglican Church Music

Anglican church music. Music employed in the rituals and services of the Anglican Church of Canada, known until 1955 as the Church of England in Canada. There were some 2.4 million Anglicans in Canada in 1981.

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Anne of Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s first novel, Anne of Green Gables (1908), became an instant bestseller and has remained in print for more than a century, making the character of Anne Shirley a mythic icon of Canadian culture. The book has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide, been translated into at least 36 languages, as well as braille, and been adapted more than two dozen times in various mediums. A musical version first produced by the Charlottetown Festival in 1965 is the longest running annual musical theatre production in the world, while the award-winning 1985 CBC miniseries starring Megan Follows is the most-watched television program in Canadian history. Thousands of tourists visit Prince Edward Island each year to see the “sacred sites” related to the book, and the sale of Anne-related commodities such as souvenirs and dolls has come to constitute a cottage industry.

Macleans

CBC Cuts Announced

Perrin Beatty was smiling as he entered the plush Toronto hotel room. And as he concluded his speech to reporters last week, it was clear that he was trying to spin the radical changes at the CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORP. into a good news-bad news proposition.

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Anvil

Anvil. Heavy metal band, formed in 1978 in Toronto and consisting of guitarist-vocalist Steve “Lips” Kudlow, drummer Robb Reiner and bassist Sal Italiano.

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Apocalypsis

R. Murray Schafer’s Apocalypsis is a theatrical musical pageant in two parts — Part 1: John's Vision is adapted from the book of Revelation, about the end times, while Part 2: Credo is a serene and ecstatic meditation on the majesty of God. A massive and complex production that requires at least 500 performers, Apocalypsis was commissioned by the CBC in 1976 and premiered at Centennial Hall in London, Ontario, on 28 November 1980, as part of the city’s 125th anniversary. William Littler called it “one of the most spectacular events in the history of Canadian music.” In 2015, Toronto’s Luminato Festival closed with an acclaimed, $1.5 million production featuring a cast of nearly 1,000 musicians, singers, conductors, dancers and actors. The score to Part 1 and Part 2 are published separately and available through Schafer’s Arcana Editions (Part 1, 1981; Part 2, 1986).