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I took my dear Canadian-American step-mother to a theatrical performance last Friday, and she remarked at how light the traffic was that evening, compared to a usual Friday night. I told her that this was probably because it was Lincoln's Birthday, and, although not that many people had this day off, I believed that schools and state workers got it off. Most of us get only today (Monday's) Presidents' Day, which was meant to consolidate Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday. We also get MLK's Birthday off in January, and the schools here have also managed to finagle Cesar Chavez Day on March 31st (it would be a nice break from the long stretch between Presidents' Day and Memorial Day, the longest stretch between holidays in the US).

I asked her for which Canadians there was a holiday in her native country, and she could only recall Queen Victoria's Birthday in May. Of course, she hasn't lived in Canada in over 50 years. Which would be the Canadian person in history that Canadians revere the most? I suppose that the Canadian I most admire would be Céline Dion, but I'm sure that wouldn't be the one most Canadians would think of. Who usually comes up on the short list for Canadians' favorite personages in history?

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There are tons of great Canadian's in the entertainment business. I suppose at the top my list:

Ryan Gosling

Joni Mitchell

Michael Buble

 

It's a shame that people from the US know so little about Canadian politics and history (me included). There's only a handful of people that I can think of without going to Google:

Pierre Trudeau

Justin Trudeau

Stephen Harper

Rene Levesque

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I don't know that there are any 'most revered' Canadians. Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Mackenzie King? In the same way there are no 'revered' Australians. There are certainly iconic Australians, like (A.B.) Banjo Paterson, Peter Lalor or Ned Kelly but few come to mind who are revered. Is Canada like that? Given that Australia and the US are so similar it is surprising that there are no figures like Lincoln or King who have become national figures who are lionised. There are certainly people who deserve our approbation. Monash was knighted in the field, something that had not happened for 200 years. Canadian generals excelled in WW1. With all that, we colonials, with so little in common do not seem to have heros that we worship the way Americans do. I'm not sure why this is so.

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There are tons of great Canadian's in the entertainment business. I suppose at the top my list:

Ryan Gosling

Joni Mitchell

Michael Buble

 

It's a shame that people from the US know so little about Canadian politics and history (me included). There's only a handful of people that I can think of without going to Google:

Pierre Trudeau

Justin Trudeau

Stephen Harper

Rene Levesque

 

I don't know that there are any 'most revered' Canadians. Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Mackenzie King? In the same way there are no 'revered' Australians. There are certainly iconic Australians, like (A.B.) Banjo Paterson, Peter Lalor or Ned Kelly but few come to mind who are revered. Is Canada like that? Given that Australia and the US are so similar it is surprising that there are no figures like Lincoln or King who have become national figures who are lionised. There are certainly people who deserve our approbation. Monash was knighted in the field, something that had not happened for 200 years. Canadian generals excelled in WW1. With all that, we colonials, with so little in common do not seem to have heros that we worship the way Americans do. I'm not sure why this is so.

 

It could be that Australians and Canadians, as a group, have not treated large groups of people with as much disregard as Americans have. Yes the Australians have treated indigenous peoples poorly and Canadians as well, but as a whole, of the three, America has treated people badly enough that it has taken great people to help correct that course. Also, Americans also did a lot of political things first or bigger and we talk about how great we are ALL the TIME. It is not that Americans as a whole are not great. It is more that we are not shy about telling you how great we are.

Lets see....US Constitution GREAT Slaves are 60% of a person NOT SO GREAT

Freeing Slaves GREAT Having slaves in the first place REALLY UNGREAT

Women Voting GREAT Women as second class citizens NOT SO GREAT

Civil Rights GREAT Denying those rights to some for centuries NOT AT ALL IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM GREAT

Maybe there are many great Americans because we have been just so fucked up for a long time.

 

Entertainment industry GREAT Celebrity Culture of Acquisition of Power and Wealth Blah....

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I don't know that there are any 'most revered' Canadians. Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Mackenzie King? In the same way there are no 'revered' Australians. There are certainly iconic Australians, like (A.B.) Banjo Paterson, Peter Lalor or Ned Kelly but few come to mind who are revered. Is Canada like that? Given that Australia and the US are so similar it is surprising that there are no figures like Lincoln or King who have become national figures who are lionised. There are certainly people who deserve our approbation. Monash was knighted in the field, something that had not happened for 200 years. Canadian generals excelled in WW1. With all that, we colonials, with so little in common do not seem to have heros that we worship the way Americans do. I'm not sure why this is so.

 

no revered Australians? one word: KYLIE!!!!!!!!

 

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I don't think I can speak on behalf of all Canadians, but my impression is that there isn't a list of revered Canadians because culturally we are not a boastful crowd who idolize personality. You know, in the States the whole culture supports and demand people to be bigger than they are, louder than they should, to leave name to be remembered forever. We don't have this in Canada. We are happy when everyone is happy, when we can live a good life and everything is working.

 

There are a few celebrated Canadians, some politicians, some sportsmen, some artists, some in the entertainment industry, some scientists, but we do not look up to heroes or iconic figures in the same way you guys do. A small portion of the population would go crazy for hockey players, but that is not a nationwide thing.

 

Reverence, in Canada, is saved for nature, science, beauty, space. Humans can be respected, but it doesn't go farther than that.

 

I think of her more like Satan Dion

 

Yeah, I am with you there.

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Yeah, I am with you there.

 

Seriously, what do you two have against Céline Dion? I think she's a national treasure. Some 5 or 6 years ago, my ex and I visited the Canadian Rockies, and attended the "Oh Canada, Eh?" show which was a celebration of Canadian culture, aimed at tourists, of course. They played songs of multiple Canadians, but none of Ms. Dion. When I inquired about this they said "We wanted to, but her voice is so exceptional, that we could never find someone to do her voice justice." She is a recipient of the Order of Canada, the National Order of Quebec, and France's National Order of the Legion of Honor. According to Wikipedia, Dion remains the best-selling Canadian artist in history and one of the best-selling artists of all time with album sales of over 200 million copies worldwide. Why do you dislike her?

 

http://www.ohcanadaeh.com/

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I've always had a an affinity to Canada. I grew in the U.S. along the U.S./Canadian border. Except for my father, the few other members of his family, who immigrated from Europe, all settled on the Canadian side of the border. Those few on my mother's side of the family, who immigrated from Europe, settled on the U.S. side of the border. My parents met, and married on the U.S. side of the border. I grew up, as many of us who lived along the border, crossing back and forth between countries very easily, as if we were just going to the next town.

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Seriously, what do you two have against Céline Dion? She is a recipient of the Order of Canada, the National Order of Quebec, and France's National Order of the Legion of Honor. According to Wikipedia, Dion remains the best-selling Canadian artist in history and one of the best-selling artists of all time with album sales of over 200 million copies worldwide. Why do you dislike her?/

 

As far as I am concerned, she could have been recipient of the Nobel Prize for belting a song and could have been the finalist of "all stars The world has talent" and I would still be unimpressed. She does have an incredibly powerful voice and her pitch is next to none, it's amazing someone has that ability; however, I find her unbearable because (just like that girl Rachel on Glee) she can sing as perfectly as she wants but if you don't understand the song or are not emotionally connected to it, then you are just doing gymnastics.

 

A lot of people like gymnastics. That is fine. I don't. I am only touched by the genuine emotion that comes from personal experience.

 

In other words, she is always putting on a performance that is -in my opinion- soulless. If you want an example, watch the video of her husband's funeral. I have no doubt she was really, truly sad, but every time the camera hits her and she knows it she starts acting grief, as we saw it in the movies from the 30's. Again, it might just be cultural. French Canadians have a different approach to theatricality and they really do fucking adore her.

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So, Céline Dion had an Order of Canada. Much the same as Order of Australia awards and the various imperial honours (medals, members and officers of the order of the British Empire - BEM, MBE and OBE), things that Commonwealth countries seem to have, but of which the US has no equivalent. They are public recognition of worthy service but they don't indicate national adulation in any way. They also do not indicate that the recipients are any sort of national hero. The mindset on the two sides of the 49th parallel is clearly different.

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As far as I am concerned, she could have been recipient of the Nobel Prize for belting a song and could have been the finalist of "all stars The world has talent" and I would still be unimpressed. She does have an incredibly powerful voice and her pitch is next to none, it's amazing someone has that ability; however, I find her unbearable because (just like that girl Rachel on Glee) she can sing as perfectly as she wants but if you don't understand the song or are not emotionally connected to it, then you are just doing gymnastics.

 

A lot of people like gymnastics. That is fine. I don't. I am only touched by the genuine emotion that comes from personal experience.

 

In other words, she is always putting on a performance that is -in my opinion- soulless. If you want an example, watch the video of her husband's funeral. I have no doubt she was really, truly sad, but every time the camera hits her and she knows it she starts acting grief, as we saw it in the movies from the 30's. Again, it might just be cultural. French Canadians have a different approach to theatricality and they really do fucking adore her.

 

I could have written this post. I think her voice is amazing and until I saw her perform I enjoyed her but when I did finally see her it was like watching a manaquine do dead and lifeless. I couldn't believe her or feel anything. Then she got popular and her stuff was played so much it was like being in hell listening to her screeching the song. Absolutely no emotion.

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I've heard that Celine's Las Vegas shows are way too overproduced and any emotion is overshadowed by the staging. But, IMHO, tons of emotion comes through in her songs that I know best, which are mostly from the 90s. Maybe if I saw her perform live I'd think differently. Listen to her singing "Immortality" with the Bee Gees. Maybe she's faking emotion with technique, but whatever... I love how she sings it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8SEvNJibns

 

PS. I deliberately chose a youtube of the song that doesn't show Celine singing because, I must admit, her personality can be off putting.

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