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Some things for Canada Day, 2013

Posted on 1 July 2013

Today is Canada Day, which means we’ve had a whole slew of lists of “the greatest”, “the best”, and “the most important” Canadian things. This is a list like that except it’s not a ranking, it’s just some things that are related to Canada that I’ve enjoyed lately.

Hark! A Vagrant

I’ve been reading Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant for a few years now, and just bought the book. I can assure you that even if you think you’ve seen them all, it’s worthwhile to get them in book form to rediscover a few- like this one.


Maestro Fresh Wes: Orchestrated Noise

It’s not the best rap album of 2013, and it’s not the best Canadian rap album of 2013. But it’s pretty fun to listen to one of the few elder statesmen of Canadian hip-hop up his Canuckness and lay claim to dominance. Most Canadian songs: “Reach for the Sky (Try)” for sampling Blue Rodeo, and “Black Trudeau (Rap Prime Minster)” for obvious reasons- but just to be safe, it starts with him addressing Mr. Speaker.

Day Into Night: A Porter Cassel Mystery

Basically, it’s crime mystery but it involves a fire investigator working in the northern woods of Alberta. It got bonus points for having the protagonist hit Dawson Creek and head up the Alaska Highway at the same time I was doing that on my vacation, but basically it’s just kind of a fun summer read.

“The Ballad of ‘Undergrads,’ Or How To Create A Cult TV Show Through Sheer Force of Will”

“Undergrads” was made by MTV, but in this post Derek Godin explains why it is so much more popular in Canada than America. As someone who did spend late nights in my teen years watching Teletoon’s late-night block, this was fascinating.

Sheared Canada Tee


I recently visited Toronto for the first time, and went to the standard landmarks like the Drake Hotel. Although I already have too many t-shirts, I walked away with this one- it’s made in Canada, part of the proceeds go to Canadian charity, and it’s pretty awesome. I’m rocking it today.

Intersections with Niru Kumar

This is a summer series from CBC Radio, one which promises to take a look at some of the more uncomfortable parts of Canadian multiculturalism. It’s a worthwhile investigation- I’ve heard one episode so far, and look forward to the rest.

This American Life: Who’s Canadian?

From 1997 (!), American and Canadians at This American Life take a look at the lives of the Canadians who walk among Americans. When Canadians play the game of listing homegrown celebrities who made it America I find it pretty dull, but it’s far more interesting to hear Americans try to come to grips with the notion that William Shatner is Canadian or the upset at the secret Canadian messages in “Beverly Hills: 90210” (who knew?)

Three Sisters Soup

For Christmas, I received a copy of “From Pemmican to Poutine: A Journey Through Canada’s Culinary History.” It aims to dissuade you of the notion that Canada lacks any homegrown cuisine with recipes for everything from sushi developed in Vancouver to deer jerky to seal meat. I’m trying some of the more achievable recipes, like Three Sisters Soup based on recipes developed by pre-contact agriculturalists in what is now eastern Canada.

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