Culture and history of Canada
Native Americans were the first inhabitants of Canada. They inhabited the land in 12000 BC. After them, the Inuit came into the land at around 5000 BC. Vikings were the first Europeans to live on this land, also known as Newfoundland, at around 1000 BC. The Frenchman Jacques Cartier first claimed ownership over regions of Canada in 1534. These regions then became French land. The city Québec was founded by Samuel de Champlain in the 16th Century. Many French people then began to migrate to Canada and create settlements in the years to come. British settlers also came to the land in 1670.
After a few peaceful centuries, seven years of war between the English and the French people began. In 1763 France gave their ownership rights to Great Britain, due to the Treaty of Paris. Canada experienced its first British loyalists' immigration wave after the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The war between Britain and America followed in 1812 and lasted until 1814. This war went unresolved and was ultimately ended by the Treaty of Ghent.
Great Britain declared that Canada is a confederation in 1867, which meant that it was now independent from the Great Britain. All provinces (apart from Newfoundland in 1912) had joined the confederation until 1912. Canada voluntarily became a member of the commonwealth in 1931.
After the second world war, Canada experienced a large wave of immigration from Europe, India, the far east, Arabia and the Caribbean. This wave caused a financial boost and brought a certain level of wealth to Canada. Original inhabitants gained back some areas of land in the north after completing contracts for the change of land ownership. There were however still some conflicts between the English speaking parts of Canada and the French province Québec, because Québec demanded more independence. This ambition was however thwartet because English people had a slight majority vote in this decision.
Winterlude: (January to February) This is a yearly festival that is always celebrated in the winter. It attracts about 600000 visitors every year. This festival is also free of charge.
Canadian Music Week: (March) One of the largest and most influential music festivals and conferences within Canada takes place in Toronto for 10 days. More than 1000 live bands perform on stages in Downtown Toronto, regardless of whether this stage happens to be in a pub, in a bar, in a cafe or even inside clothing stores. Beside the Music Festival, conferences also take place in which the music industry is discussed. There will also be Award Shows in which the best musicians will be announced and awarded prizes.
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival: (June) This is the largest Dragon Boat Festival in North America with over 200 teams, 5000 paddlers and 75000 audience members and viewers. Concerts and cultural performances also occur during this festival. The best thing about all of them is that they are completely free of cost.
Fireworks Festival:(June) You can get the best view on the international Fireworks Festival from the Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montréal. The park itself has plenty of entertainment to offer on its own as well though. Some of the events found there are the music, dance and theatre shows, the sports events and the free time activities that people can participate in. With so much going on you will never have a boring moment.
Beaches International Jazz Festival: (July) The Beaches Jazz Festival presents a multitude of different concerts and events, such as the 'Streetfest' or the 'Sounds of Riverside'. Salsa, Swing, Afro-Cuban, Fusion, Soul and many more music styles are also playing during this festival. You may find it hard to resist the temptation to dance along!
Just for Laughs Festival: (July) Do you feel like laughing really hard? If so, coming to Montréal to visit the world's largest comedy festival since 1983 is a very good idea! The event's Motto is "Make People Happy". A selection of the most famous comedians and new comers perform at this event with said motto in mind and at heart.
International Chalk Art Festival: (September) The largest street art festival in Canada showcases the cultural diversity of Downtown Victoria at the port of Victoria. You can admire chalk artworks (even in 3D!) made by professional artists for free. You will also be able to enjoy live music outdoors whilst viewing the artists' work.
Eastside Culture Crawl: (November) 25000 visitors come to the Cultural Crawl every year, to see designs and crafts made by over 480 artists and crafts people. The goal of this festival is to promote and support the artists, whilst also creating further public awareness of these arts by hosting various workshops and seminars about them. This Festival is also completely free of charge!