“As Canadian as Possible” is a paper that reveals the truths of a variety of popular cultural economic realities that the global market place faces every day. It mainly focuses on the cross-cultural comparisons between Canada and America, and their opposition in media corporations and industries, broadcasting, programming, national identity and unity, language, region, ethnicity, behaviors, tradition, politics, uniform, and dependence.
In 1996, parliament created the latest technological advance with their Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that would nationally provide customers with radio and television, with the intent to unify the nation and drill in a notion of the “Canadian.” There even was talk of building a new railroad that would run east to West through out the beautiful country to protect their nation from alluring American mass culture, but the idea was never executed. Quebec was becoming independent of other Canadian cities, and was separate in their linguistic systems.
Broadcasting in the rest of English speaking Canada is a problem and has been criticized to be a “mini replica of the American system,” one Canadian broadcaster once stated, and English-speaking Canadians are reported to be more likely to watch American television shows rather than English Canadian ones. Networks in Canada in 1994 show statistics that reveal the standings of the top viewed television shows that were all American dramas and comedies, excluding one. The American-Canadian co-production “Due South,” a show about fighting crime and male bonding, was the only Canadian show that made the chart. The show had wholesome qualities and family values that made it popular among a wide audience. “Street Legal” is a different popular Americanized Canadian show and both of these daring sitcoms are in between both cultures and show their individual influence and power.
A big difference in Canadian and American ideal concepts is that much and most of American film is about the American dream, fantasy and ideal worlds, and justice. Canadian television is more commonly about reality, and is a little duller. Often times, Canadian producers will mimic the techniques and tendencies of American pop cultural experts and the topic is sensitive and controversial. An example of this can be from the export film Crocodile Dundee, where American forms were stolen and rewritten. Canada’s broadcast news and public affairs programming is a big characteristic and element of the culture, because Canadians are stereotyped to be very publicly oriented and devoted to their government, peace, and order.
The problem that is addressed in this chapter is Canada’s ideology and also its’ lack of a national identity due to America’s influence on the culture. This authority inherently increases American business because Americans are so dominant in the media they produce and they provide their country with good entertainment, thus making it more desirable for non-natives to want to be a part of it. One dilemma is that the country is “hard to see” next to the abundance of American cultural imagery.
A lot of Canadians have opinions of Americans being greedy, childlike, lacking morals, cocky, and “less cultured.” Canadians are typically seen as conservative, honorable, sane, and they live slower, tamer lifestyles. Canadian pop culture alters with American ideology and has a resistance that can be reversed. What I mean by this is that Canadians respond to American traits and styles by working with customs but by also challenging them. Canada’s geographical location and profusion of open land is also a defining factor of why they differ from American society. America is very urban and huddled, and hectic. The most similar city in Canada to one in America is it’s biggest city Toronto because of its financial headquarters and tourist attractions. It is a very Americanized city and I have been there myself and I remember thinking it was a lot like New York, because there were so many people and shopping all over. I have also been to Quebec when I was about 11 and we were staying in a French resort called “Le Manior Ricelui.” (sp?) These two cities were night and day, because of their linguistic and physical differences. Songs on the radio in Quebec were in French and I definitely felt like I was in a different country. The United States is a first world country and is advanced in all areas. Canada shouldn't take it personally.