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The question of what it means to be Canadian is taking on a prominent role again.

2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, and all things Canadian will be in the spotlight.

Moreover, events around the world have folks again contemplating Canada’s role in the world order, as well as what makes Canada the unique place it is.

In its making and start, Canada’s destiny and social rhythms came from its Anglo template (French roots informed Quebec and French-speaking areas elsewhere). It was not until the mid to late 20th century that a major change was seen as Canada looked more to the South ┬áthan to Britain. Tea and Anglo culture was ┬áreplaced by American popular culture and its mass media.

Globalism transcended ties to the Commonwealth and bound Canada to Madison Avenue and Hollywood.

A recent article in the New York Times about the change in the place of the Grey Cup in the Canadian psyche spoke of the “Americanization of Canada’s cities”. It referred to sports but this Americanization has gone much further. Budweiser, Target and Staples are symptoms of changes that run deeper and are more profound.

As can be seen in our companion blog (Journeys into ’67), Canada is a very different place today than when Canadians celebrated the centennial.

Still, being Canadian is different and special. Especially in times like these, Canada defines itself both by not being what others are and by being what it is – even though “it” can, at times, be hard to put into words.

Over the course of 2017 and beyond we will share with you the ways folks consider what it means to be Canadian.

We look forward to the chance to journey together – especially as we celebrate Canada and how meaningful it is to us all.

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