The World Needs More Canada

We all have our own Canada, – a subjective take on what it should be, what it means, and why it matters. Given our vast size, diverse regions, multiple languages, and citizens who hail from all over the globe, it’s little surprise we interpret and experience Canada in different ways. Still, as you will clearly see in the pages that follow, we Canadians know in our hearts and minds what it means to be Canadian.

Marshall McLuhan once famously said, “Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity” Today as is evidenced here, it is clear we know exactly who we are.

At only 150, we are still a work in progress. But there can be no doubt that our future is bright. We most only honour our history and stay true to the overarching values and ideals that beat deep within us.

Heather Reisman
Editor in Chief

What does it mean to be Canadian?
What makes you proud to call yourself Canadian?
The truth about Canada is

What does it mean to be Canadian?


Being Canadian is about being tough, but also about being kind, caring, and accepting. We are a tough people but we are a caring people

Eric Walters
Young Adult Author


It means I am/one is conversational, curious, filled with self-deprecating humour, and internationally minded, if I dare generalize. Polite until we aren’t. And yes, we say ‘sorry’ often enough for it to be noticeable….. but we truly are an empathic bunch

Alanis Morissette
Musician, Songwriter


When the going gets rough, Canadians don’t retreat behind borders. We reach out to help people, no matter where they are. We understand we are part of a world that’s large, complicated and not always fair. And we know how important it is to act as global citizens.

Kirstine Stewart
Media Executive, Author


When I think about what it means to be Canadian, one word that comes directly to mind is respect. Canadians are respectful and big-hearted. We respect our land, our wildlife, each other, our elders, their stories and culture.

Wayne Bourque


To be Canadian is to be human. And humane. It means you have the right to advocate for your own best interests and those of your loved ones, but it also means that you respect the inherent dignity and fundamental rights of every person on this planet.

Lawrence Hill


For me, the very word ‘Canadian’ conjures a welcoming stance: powerful, planted, with arms outstretched wide. This is a stance of courage and compassion.

Ann-Marie MacDonald
Author, Playwright


To be Canadian is to be filled with respect and love for each other and our environment

Michael Smith
Chef, Author


Being Canadian is about serving my country and being part of something greater than myself. It’s like an instinct for me.

Jody Mitic
Author, Politician


To me, being Canadian means embracing diversity, inclusivity, equality, and openness.

Amanda Lindhout
Humanitarian, Author

What makes you proud to call yourself Canadian?


Walking the streets of Toronto and hearing myriad languages around me, somehow in harmony, together creating the unforgettable, penetrating music of Canada

Judith Thompson
Playwright, Author


I’m most proud to call myself Canadian because only in Canada can one go from being raised in an at-risk community to becoming, according to the CBC, one of Canada’s greatest singers of all time. All without compromising who I am, my values, morals, ethics, or self-respect. Canada celebrates and encourages diversity, and I see it as a blessing to have been born in this generation, because we build bridges from one heart to the next, – not walls! We are Canada.

Jully Black


I feel most proud to be a Canadian when I see citizens act with bravery and grace under extreme pressures.

Nadia Litz
Actor, Director


That I can be who I am; whatever I wear, whatever my religious background is…I am Canadian first.

Vikram Vij
Chef, Author


What makes me proud to call myself a Canadian is to be part of an ongoing experiment that is unlike anything else going on in the world. No where else can one find so many people from so many parts of the planet making such an earnest and hard-fought attempt to get along with each other. It’s not always easy, and there are certainly hard questions ahead, but we are having these conversations in an open and honest way.

Atom Egoyan


I continue to believe in the potential of Canada becoming a great world leader in true, healthy democracy, – total equality, inclusion, and service to the community, – with compassion, civility, and balance of economy, nature, and development.

Raymond Moriyama

The truth about Canada is


The origin of the word or name of Canada derives from the word kanatan that is found in the languages of the Iroquois, the Cree, and the Algonquin-speaking peoples of North America. Kanatan means ‘it is pure, clean, sacred’ – it becomes an action. By understanding the word kanata in this way is to see the name of our country as a verb and not a noun. From which we are reminded every day, to seek ways in which to make kanata into kanatan.

Lorne Cardinal


The truth about Canada, – and we are becoming increasingly aware of the full gravity of this, – is that this nation was founded on the genocide of Indigenous people. Our sesquicentennial happens to fall at a time when many of us feel not quite celebratory, but more motivated than ever to reckon properly with the past and create a better future.

Musician, Songwriter


The truth about Canada is that there is no single truth. We are a nation born from our First Nations and from everywhere else on earth. Our truth is in our stories, which belong to the world.
Kim Echlin


“As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, let us also celebrate our diversity. It united us in the past. It binds us together today and it is at the very heart of our future success. No matter our faith, where we were born, what colour our skin, what language we speak, or whom we love, we are all equal members of this great country. We have all worked very hard to build this diverse, inclusive, and prosperous nation that we all love so much.”

Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada