Canadian Popular Culture

Canadian popular culture is strongly influenced by the popular culture of Canada's much larger southern neighbour, the United States of America. Many Canadian actors work in Hollywood (the American move industry), and you'll hear many Canadian bands and artists on American radio.

However, there are also many unique cultural aspects to Canada. Canadians have their own favourite sports, a unique literary scene, and a different media culture than that of other countries.


The Rick Mercer Report - A popular show on the CBC

Canadians enjoy watching television from Canada and the United States. 

The "national" television station is run by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, known as the CBC, which is funded through the federal government. Some programs on the CBC include:

  • The National: this newscast is widely watched across Canada, and is seen as an authoritative source for news about politics, national events, and global affairs. Many Canadians will watch during federal elections.
  • The Rick Mercer Report: a show by Rick Mercer, a popular Canadian comedian from Newfoundland. Check out this show for a satirical and humorous take on Canadian politics and popular culture.
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes: this sketch comedy show pokes satirical fun at Canadian politics and public figures


Kananaskis - a popular filming location

Alberta's southern prairies

The Three Sisters

Many movies are filmed in Alberta due to the dramatic and varied landscapes. Areas such as Kananaskis (in south-west Alberta), and the south Albertan prairie are especially popular for many movies featuring mountain or western scenes.

A great number of popular television and movie actors and actresses come from Canada. Some of these include:

  • Elisha Cuthbert
  • Rachel McAdams
  • Ryan Reynolds
  • Ryan Gosling
  • Evangeline Lilly
  • Jim Carry
  • Cobie Smulders
  • Seth Rogen
  • Ellen Page

You can watch Canadian films online, for free, from the National Film Board of Canada.


Popular Canadian Rock Band Rush

Canadian Rapper/Hip-Hop Artist Drake

Acclaimed Canadian Singer/Performer Justin Bieber

Canadian popular music is very similar to American popular music - many Canadian artists are well known in the United States, and also around the world. Most Canadians listen to a very broad range of music, from around the world, although many Canadian and American artists are most popular. Some popular Canadian musicians and musical acts include:

  • Rappers/hip-hop artists Drake and The Weeknd are both from Toronto
  • Performer Justin Bieber is from Ontario
  • Well-known singer Celine Dion is from Quebec
  • The popular rock band Nickleback is from the town of Hanna, Alberta
  • Prog-rock sensations Rush, who have sold over 40 million albums, are from Toronto
  • Renowned techno pioneer Richie Hawtin is from Windsor

Sports in Canada

The Edmonton Oilers

Connor McDavid - the captain of the Edmonton Oilers

Canada's sporting culture is heavily influenced by our climate and landscape - winter sports are very important in Canada, and many Albertans enjoy mountain sports.

Ice Hockey is known as Canada's favourite sport, even though Lacrosse is the official sport of the country. Ice Hockey games are some of the most popular televised sporting events, especially because many Canadian cities have a National Hockey League (the top hockey league in North America) team, while they have no other international franchises. Canada has won a large number of Olympic medals in both men's and women's ice hockey, and the majority of NHL players are Canadian.

Edmonton's NHL hockey team is the Oilers, a team which is best known for its winning streak in the 1980s, where it was the top team in the NHL for 5 years, winning the most championships of any team in the modern NHL (since 1979). Players from that period, such as Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier are still considered Edmonton and Canadian sporting heroes.

Football (Canadian) is another popular sport in Canada. Canadian football is very similar to American football, however the dimensions of the ball and field are slightly different. The football season runs from spring through autumn, and all football games are held in outdoor stadiums. Edmonton has a professional football team, the Edmonton Eskimos, which competes in the Canadian Football League (CFL), and the University of Alberta has the men's Golden Bears, the university football team.