Canadian Popular Culture

The United States of America strongly influences Canada's popular culture. Many Canadian actors work in Hollywood (the American movie 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 favourite sports, a fantastic literary scene, and a different media culture than other countries.



Canadians enjoy watching television from Canada and the United States.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, known as the CBC, is Canada's national television station, funded through the federal government. Some programs on the CBC include:

  • The National: This newscast is widely watched across Canada, recognized as the authoritative source for news about politics, national events, and global affairs. Many Canadians especially watch during federal elections.
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes: this sketch comedy show pokes satirical fun at Canadian politics and public figures.
  • CBC offers a wide range of programming that reflects the diverse lives of Canadians. Watch on CBC television or watch on CBC Gem



Alberta's southern prairies

The Three Sisters

Many movies are filmed in Alberta due to the panoramic and vast landscapes. Kananaskis (in southwest Alberta) and the south Albertan prairies 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
  • Elliot 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 around the world. Most Canadians listen to an extensive 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 Weekend 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 - Edmonton Oilers Captain

Canada's climate and landscape heavily influence its sporting culture - winter sports are significant in Canada, and many Albertans enjoy mountain sports.

Ice Hockey is known as Canada's favourite and most popular sport, even though Lacrosse is the country's official sport. Ice Hockey games are some of the most televised sporting events; many Canadian cities have a National Hockey League (the official hockey league in North America) team, while they have no other international franchises. Canada has won many 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 that 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 Elks, which competes in the Canadian Football League (CFL). The University of Alberta has the men's Golden Bears, the university football team.

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