Student presentations primarily focused upon two themes: economic and Canadian Popular Culture. The presentation on McGill University and the presentation on Molson Beer clearly focused on economic issues.
James McGill founded McGill University in 1813. It is located in the heart of Montreal. The university has undergraduate and graduate degrees in 300 disciplines. This theme of this presentation is economical because students and faculty who attend the university patronize the businesses located in Montreal. These businesses include stores, restaurants, hair salons, etc. Visitors to McGill University, both visitors for special events and those visiting family or friends at the university, also patronize the businesses.
As a result, these businesses profit from consumers from a variety of different countries who attend McGill. The Montreal Government benefits economically because part of every student’s tuition goes to fund the government. This promotional presentation was meant to sell the concept of the university by attempting to convince people, both undergraduates and graduates, why they should attend the university. It did this by comparing appealing characteristics at universities in the United States to McGill University. Examples of comparative characteristics include prices of tuition, price of on-campus housing and board, student services, and athletic programs.
Molson Beer’s history first started in 1786 with its first brewery on the Saint Lawrence River in Montreal. It was the first grain distillery in Canada and the first to ship its product to England. Businesses in Montreal that sell alcohol can easily obtain and sell Molson Beer and do not need to buy exported beer. The quality management team ensures that Molson Beer is of high quality and new types of beer are always being tested. The money that Molson Beer makes is donated to local charities, programs to encourage adults to drink responsibly, to the sport of hockey in Canada, and helped build the Molson Center. The Molson Center is an arena where hockey teams play in the winter and roller hockey teams play in the summer.
The presentation on Lacrosse and the presentation on Canada’s Roadside Attractions were examples of presentations focused on Canadian Popular Culture.
Lacrosse was the National Summer Sport of Canada in 1994 and is a Native American game first played in 1689. It is considered a spiritual and a sacred game to Native Americans. Lacrosse has special importance to Canada because when it was first created, the game was used to settle land disputes, train people for battle, to gamble, and for recreation. It was dubbed Canada’s National Sport in 1859 and George Beers, a Canadian, and the founder of the National Lacrosse Association (NLA) created rules and boundaries for games. Lacrosse is part of Canadian Popular Culture because the sport started and has roots in Canada, many Canadians take pride in the history of Lacrosse originating from Canada, and Canadians are known to attend Lacrosse games similar to how Americans are known to attend baseball games.
Roadside attractions were first popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s to catch the eye of motorists who would see these attractions in the middle of nowhere. Canada’s Popular Culture is shown through the variety of attractions that were built. The presentation featured pictures of many of these roadside attractions.
The town of Davidson, Saskatchewan features a coffee pot and cup. This roadside attraction was created because Davidson is located between Regina and Saskatoon and is often a meeting place where groups from both cities get together. The pot is capable of holding 150,000 8-ounce cups of coffee. Different murals are painted on each side of the coffee pot.
The world’s largest nickel is located in Sudbury, Ontario. This roadside attraction was created to commemorate the bicentennial Canadian nickel that was created in 1951 celebrating the two-hundred year life of Canada from 1751-1951. The nickel features Canadian houses and the Canadian leaf, which is also displayed on the Canadian flag.
These unique attractions continue to define communities by both its history and its present. They often enable visitors to see objects at a larger than life scale. In the United States, we see roadside attractions all around us. The Frog Bridge in Willimantic is a bridge featuring four giant spools of thread symbolizing the importance of the cotton thread industry to Willimantic in the 19th century. Four 11-foot frogs sit atop these spools are a reminder to the Frog Fight, a night in 1754 in which much noise was heard outside by townspeople. They awoke the next morning to find scores of dead frogs, all who were fighting for the last puddle of water in a drought-stricken lake.
The 1994 movie “Canadian Bacon” has several stereotypes about Canadian culture. After Bud spray paints “Canada sucks” on his truck, a Canadian police officer pulls him over and instructs him that he is being prejudice against the French Canadians by not having the French translation next to the English. This shows the stereotype that Canadians want everything to be in both languages. The police officer fines Bud and tells him he can either pay $10,000 Canadian money or $10 U.S. money. This is a stereotype that everything costs much more in Canada than it does in the United States since Canadian money is worth much less than United States money.
In the part of the movie when Bud and his friends break into the hydro plant, they discover that the facility is not locked and Bud says that in Canada nobody locks their doors because the country is boring and nothing happens there. They also discover that the power plant’s control room is vulnerable because it is protected at night by an elderly couple. This shows the stereotype that Canadians are trusting people.
The stereotype is further portrayed in the fact that the climax of the movie involves the Canadians attempt to set off United States weapons to the former Soviet Union. A military general explains that a past military program was terminated and since the military department needed money, they just sold it to Canada knowing that Canada would not attack the United States because according to they are a peace-loving people.
Canada’s desk in the Central Intelligence Agency was small compared to other countries showing how important it is viewed amongst other countries. Another stereotype that was shown was the fact that Bud and his friends thought that Toronto is the capital and failed to believe the police sheriff who was honest in telling them that the capital is Ottawa. Americans often think that Toronto is the capital when it really is not.
The free healthcare system component of Canada is illustrated in the movie when Bud’s wife stays at a hospital for free but soon realizes that she is on a waiting list for surgery and that it will be a long time before she can actually see a real doctor. This stereotype explores the problems with Canada’s healthcare system.
The stereotype that Canadians are only mad when they must deal with rude people is one Bud finds out when he is at a hockey game and says, “This beer sucks”. The entire hockey arena falls silent before the hockey players and everyone else rushes over to Bud to beat him up and then a police officer arrests him. This scene also illustrates the stereotype that Canadian beer is not as good as American beer.
The politeness of Canadians stereotype is also portrayed when Bud goes into a cabin and threatens a Canadian sheriff with a gun. The sheriff is calm, peaceful, and even tells Bud what his prisoners are there for – they are all there for minor criminal infractions – so here the stereotype that Canada is a safer place to live is portrayed.