The best way to learn about any culture is to take part in it. This is a good way to learn how people in Canada live as well. If you can, it is a good idea to learn about Canadian history and values before you arrive.
Every society has values which make it unique and are important to its members. Many Canadians feel that our values are part of what makes Canada an attractive place to live. It is impossible to provide a simple description of Canadian culture and Canadian values. It isn’t really something you can study in a classroom; you have to experience it for yourself. If you want to understand more about Canadian values ask a friend or consult the New Canadians Centre, they will be able to provide you with some advice.
Canada is a large country that has distinct geographical regions. Each of these regions has its own traditions and customs, but there are many common values that are embraced by Canadians in all parts of the country.
A democratic nation, Canada has a value system that is founded on equality, freedom, and respect for all individuals in society. This is reflected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, legislation which is a part of the Canadian Constitution. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act is a piece of legislation that is meant to preserve and enhance diversity in Canada. The Canadian Human Rights Act provides Canadians with protection from discrimination and harassment.
In recognition that Canada is one of the world’s most successful pluralist societies, the Global Centre for Pluralism chose to locate its major new international institution in Ottawa. Established there, it can work in collaboration with the Government of Canada and Canadian institutions. The Centre is dedicated to the promotion of successful pluralist societies, and the study, practice and teaching of pluralism worldwide.
As Canada is a multicultural society, you can help to enrich the community by sharing your culture.
Some information about Canadian culture and identity can be found at the following websites:
- The Virtual Museum of Canada contains virtual exhibits, educational materials and many pictures; with over 2,500 Canadian museums, the VMC brings together Canada’s museums regardless of size and geographical location.
- Canadian History articles from the Government of Canada
- Multicultural Canada – a digitization project that grew from the conviction that the cultural groups that make up Canada had little-known stories that needed to be researched and told
- Making the Mosaic: Multiculturalism in Canada from the CBC Archives
- An American Guide to Canada: How to Tell you are in Canada, a humorous view of the differences between Canada and the United States
- Guide to Canadian etiquette from Tripadvisor.ca