Canada Culture

Canada Culture and Mass Media

According to MATHGENERAL.COM, Canada is a country located in North America. Canada’s media landscape is characterized by due to a high concentration of ownership, bilingualism and a very high use of the internet and mobile broadband. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are guaranteed according to the Constitution.

In fact, a handful of media groups control the entire market, not only in terms of production, but also distribution of TV, radio and the Internet. Although they only operate in the country, two of the world’s 30 largest media companies are Canadian in terms of turnover, Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications (2013). Both are family owned and founded in the mid-1960s.

According to PHARMACYLIB.COM, the Canadian Press (French La Pressse Canadienne), founded in 1917, is the country’s largest news agency. It was initially run as a non-profit cooperative owned by customers, but since 2010 it is owned by three of the country’s largest newspaper groups.

Internet and mobile telephony

According to MILITARYNOUS.COM, Canadians are at the top of the world when it comes to using the Internet, especially in social media. In 2013, for example, more than half of the population was active on Facebook. The most visited pages on the internet were Google, Facebook and YouTube. Especially for Canada, no traditional domestic media company is on the top-30 list. The main reason is that almost 80% of daily newspapers pay for their content on the internet through different types of paywalls.

3G coverage is very good and reaches almost 100% of households. There are about ten operators, three of which cover the entire country. The largest is Rogers Communications with just over a third of the market.

TV and radio

The first radio broadcasts were started in 1922 under private auspices. In 1936, the state-run public service company Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), now tax and advertising funded, was formed, which was also given responsibility for allocating radio frequencies to private operators. The company’s French-language operations can be found in the subsidiary Radio-Canada.

In 1952, the CBC started the first television broadcasts, but Canadians close enough to the US border had been able to watch American TV ever since the late 1940s. To counteract the strong cultural influence of the United States among the population, Canada introduced a system where the content of radio and television broadcasts must to some extent be created in Canada, or by Canadians. This also applies to music. The minimum percentage varies from 30 to 60%, depending on the type of program and type of license and is regulated by the State Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC, founded 1968). The commercial English-language ether media has in many cases found it difficult to meet these requirements, while the French-language channels have not had the same problem.

In 2013, there were just over 1,200 radio stations, of which about 250 were broadcast in French. 70% of the radio stations were commercial and were part of one of the major media groups. Public service company CBC which broadcasts in English, French and a number of minority languages ​​had less than 13% of the total listening.

Although Canada was late compared to the United States with the launch of TV, the country has been at the forefront in terms of distribution, especially via cable TV that was introduced as early as 1952. After the year 2000, distribution via satellite and IPTV has gained ground. In 2013, the residents were able to choose over 700 domestic channels, of which about 100 were French-speaking. State CBC and Radio-Canada have about 30 channels and broadcast almost exclusively Canadian productions.

Daily press and magazine

Canadians are a newspaper-reading people, almost 8 out of 10 read a printed newspaper every day, but the proportion decreases as more and more people switch to digital platforms. Paid newspaper editions have decreased by a fifth since 2000, but the magazines’ overall edition has nevertheless increased due to the advent of free newspapers. In 2012, a total of 134 daily newspapers’ circulation per day was just over 6 million copies, of which 29 free newspapers accounted for just over 1.8 million copies.

The majority of newspapers operate in a regional or local market. The country has only two national newspapers, the politically independent The Globe and Mail, founded in 1844, and the conservative National Post, founded in 1998, both with editorial offices in Toronto. The Globe and Mail is the country’s second largest daily newspaper with a circulation of just over 300,000 items. (2012).

Canada’s largest daily newspaper is the liberal Toronto Star, founded in 1892 and with a circulation of just under 360,000 copies. (2012). The third largest paid newspaper is the French-language Le Journal de Montréal, founded in 1964. The magazine, which was created with English sensational tabloids as a model, has no editorial page but often has a Quebec nationalist perspective on the news site. Le Journal de Montréal is owned by Québecor, the country’s largest newspaper group.

Since 2000, some 30 free magazines have been started in Canada. First was Metro Toronto, which is part of the Swedish Stenbecks sphere and in 2013, Metro appeared in eleven cities. In 2003, Metro got competition of 24 hours / 24 heures, owned by Québecor and published in six different cities. Metro Toronto and 24 Hours Toronto have editions of 250,000-290,000.

Canada has a rich flora of magazines and magazines and several of them are made in editions in both major languages. The biggest is Chatelaine, published by Rogers Communications, a lifestyle magazine with female target groups that is published in both languages ​​and has a combined edition of almost 711,000 items. (2013). Rogers also publishes the country’s leading news magazine, Maclean’s, founded in 1911, and its French-language sister magazine L’actualité. Edition: 313,000 and 154,000, respectively. (2013).


According to CALCULATORINC, culture has always been a heart issue for Canadians as a means of creating their own identity in the shadow of the United States. The government and provinces invest large amounts annually to promote Canadian film, music, theater and literature.

The country’s premier scenes are in Montreal and Toronto. The most renowned theater director is Robert Lepage. A significant part of the film industry is located in Montreal. Well-known filmmakers include Denys Arcand, Atom Egoyan, Jean-Claude Lauzon and David Cronenberg. Several young filmmakers have been recognized in recent years, not least Xavier Dolan and Sarah Polley. Large film festivals are held annually in Montreal and Toronto.

In 1920, a group of artists in Toronto formed the “Group of Seven” with the intention of renewing Canadian visual art and showcasing their country’s distinctive character. The group had close ties to one of the country’s best-known visual artists, Tom Thomson.

Among the most interesting contemporary artists are Rebecca Belmore (anishinaabe people) and Edward Poitras (métis) who both represented Canada at the Venice Biennale.

The classic books about Anne at Grönkulla were written by LM Montgomery. William Kurulek has in several books depicted his upbringing on the prairie in Saskatchewan in the 1930s. Today’s most renowned author is Margaret Atwood. A TV series based on her novel The Handmaid’s Tale of 1985 attracted great attention in 2017. Other prominent writers are Yann Martel, Michael Ondaatje, Mordecai Richler (1931-2001), Margaret Laurence (1926-1987) and Alice Munro (Nobel Laureate in Literature 2013), as well as a younger generation such as Emma Donoghue, Naomi Klein, Patrick deWitt, Esi Edugyan, Lisa Moore and Shane Koyczan.

Other cultural profiles are the singers Leonard Cohen (1934−2016), Neil Young, Bryan Adams and Joni Mitchell. A new generation of stars include Arcade Fire, Feist, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Alanis Morisette, Alessia Cara, Diana Krall and Justin Bieber.

Ice hockey is the major national sport in Canada.

Mass Media

Freedom of the press and press is guaranteed by law. Contempt can lead to imprisonment for up to five years. Several press freedom organizations criticized Canada in 2016 and 2017, among other things, for the police in several cases monitoring journalists to search for their sources. Concerns have been raised that the authorities are using the anti-terrorism legislation, C-51, to limit freedom of expression (see also Political system).

In the fall of 2017, a law change was made that gives journalists the right to refuse to disclose information that can be used to identify a source that has requested anonymity. However, a judge may make exceptions if they consider that the authorities cannot obtain the information in another way, or if the investigation is considered more important than the source protection.

In 2016, it was revealed that a few years earlier, the Quebec police had tracked a reporter’s mobile phone for several months in order to search for his sources. Several other obscure journalists had also been monitored. The provincial government of Montreal promised after that a review of the legislation in order to secure freedom of the press. The deal is being investigated since the fall of 2016 by the so-called Chamberland Commission, which will present its final report to the provincial government in the spring of 2018.

At the same time, the federal police have ordered a journalist to hand over their background material about a suspected terrorist to them. The journalist appealed against this, but lost a process before the Court of Appeal in March 2017.

Another journalist has been indicted for watching a protest against a powerhouse in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2016. He is accused of breaking into the power plant’s area along with a group of activists in violation of the law. If convicted, he risks imprisonment for up to ten years.

Criticism has also been directed at the reform proposal put forward by a Liberal MP to improve access to public documents and shorten processing times. The critics believe that it contains too many exceptions, and that it does not provide that authorities must document all important decision-making processes.

Industry with problems

Lack of profitability has resulted in many smaller newspapers being closed or staff being laid off when newspaper editions have been merged. Advertising revenues for print media fell by almost a third during the period 2014-2015, and the number of subscribers to paper magazines has fallen rapidly. There is no state press support.

The media market is now dominated by a few large companies. The largest newspaper company is Postmedia Network Inc, which owns, among other things, the national newspaper. In 2015, the company acquired the English-language newspapers published by Quebecor Media Inc, which was previously the largest in the newspaper market. In the fall of 2017, Postmedia Network Inc and another media group Torstar sold dozens of smaller newspapers to each other, most of which were closed shortly thereafter. The purpose of the deal was for the companies to try to increase profitability by concentrating their issuance to certain geographical areas.

In the spring of 2018, the Montreal newspaper La Presse announced that it would turn into a non-profit publication, thus breaking contact with the former owner family Desmarais. The steps would allow the newspaper to receive private donations and possibly federal press support (the Liberal government has signaled that such may be the case).

When it comes to etheric media, telecom company Bell Canada Enterprises Inc, which operates the TV channel CTV, has a prominent role. Rogers Media, which has been strong in the magazine industry, sold its last seven magazines in 2019, including Maclean’s magazine to Toronto Life to invest in ethereal media. Several of the magazines would be closed down.

Ever since the 1970s, there has been a concern for the consequences of the strong concentration of power in the media market for democracy when news reporting, especially at the local level, disappears or falls into the hands of a few actors.

In 2015, there were 90 English- or French-language newspapers. Only three of them reach the entire country: Globe and Mail, National Post and Financial Post. Other major newspapers include the Toronto Star, Le Journal de Montréal, the Toronto Sun, The Vancouver Sun, and La Presse (Montreal). The weekly magazine Maclean’s addresses culture, business issues, domestic politics and foreign news. There are also about 10 free magazines.

The most important news agency is Canadian Press.

The state-run radio and TV company CBC was founded in the 1930s and broadcasts TV and radio in English and French (then under the name Societe Radio-Canada). Special radio broadcasts are made in the north, aimed at the indigenous peoples. CBC also publishes news texts online.

The major regional TV channels include CTV and the French-language TVA. Television and radio broadcasts are also available in Native American and Inuit languages, including via Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (which is based in Winnipeg). A number of US TV channels can also be seen in Canada.

According to the law, the etheric media must work to strengthen national identity by broadcasting Canadian-produced programs.

Most Canadians have internet access.


Percentage of the population using the internet

91 percent (2017)

Number of mobile subscriptions per 100 residents

89 (2018)



Senators shut down after corruption deal

November 25

Canada’s Senate votes in early November to shut down three Conservative senators who are suspected of having demanded large reimbursements they were not entitled to. Since all three were hand-picked for their missions by Stephen Harper, the scandal is also dying off on the Canadian head of government. The deal demanded his first victim earlier this year when Harper’s Chief of Staff Nigel Wright was forced to resign after it was revealed that he lent 90,000 Canadian dollars to Senator Mike Duffy so that he could repay compensation he probably was not entitled to. Few believe, given Harper’s reputation for wanting to control everything, that he is telling the truth when he says he is not aware of the transactions. Duffy has also publicly said that all statements he made after the scandal broke out were controlled from the prime minister’s office. The three designated senators, alongside Duffy including Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, have also said that they have not been given a proper opportunity to defend themselves before the Senate’s decision.

In April 2016, Duffy is acquitted of all charges. He sues the Senate and police in 2017 for how he has been treated by the Canadian judiciary. In 2016, the charges against Wallin, Brazeau and a liberal senator, Mac Harb, are dropped.

Toronto’s mayor loses authority

November 15

Toronto’s city council votes on two occasions to remove Mayor Rob Ford for much of his powers. Ford has now admitted to smoking crack cocaine and driving a drunken car while being mayor.


47 dead in accident with freight train

July 6

A severe train accident occurs in the town of Lac-Mégantic in Québec. 47 people are killed and nearly 40 are injured when a train loaded with crude oil runs off the rail and explodes. Following the accident, the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) train company loses its license to operate traffic.


Montreal mayor resigns following corruption charges

June 18

Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum resigns after being charged with corruption. Similar charges are being filed against another six mayors or former ones in Quebec.

Toronto mayor in windy weather

June 1st

Demands are made for Toronto mayor Rob Ford to resign after accusations that he smoked crack cocaine. He denies this, but a picture of him is published where he is seen together with three young men arrested by police in connection with a crackdown on a drug network. The criticism of Ford grows throughout the year and raises notoriety far beyond Canada.


Two arrested for terrorist plans

April 22

Police say they have arrested two men in Ontario who are accused of planning a terrorist attack on a passenger train in Canada. According to police, the men had support from factions of al-Qaeda, which had their base in Iran, but that they had been arrested at such an early stage that they posed no threat to the public. The arrests have been made following tips from an imam in Toronto. The men dispute the charges and Iran denies any involvement. The Canadian police emphasize that it is not believed that the Iranian state has any part in the plans.

Justin Trudeau becomes the new leader of the Liberals

April 14

Justin Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, is elected new leader of the Liberal Party. For the first time, party members and supporters at grassroots level also take part in the party leadership election, where Trudeau receives more than 80 percent of the vote.


Indigenous peoples in new protests

In early 2013, activists in Idle no More prevented a freight train from leaving Pointe-a-la-Croix in Québec, and similar actions are also being implemented elsewhere in the country. Prime Minister Harper will meet the leader of the Indigenous Peoples’ Assembly, the Assembly of First Nations, on January 11, but it does not lead anyone. The protests also highlight the harsh economic and social conditions prevailing for the indigenous peoples. During the previous liberal governments, greater attempts were made to remedy the problems than the Conservative government is prepared for. Instead, state appropriations have been cut. On January 17, a protest day will be held in at least six provinces.

Canada Culture

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