In addition to the national symbols placed on representative banners, almost always indicating animals, plants or natural places, Canada can boast two very important ecological symbols:
- Greenpeace, a well-known non-governmental organization that seeks to protect the environment and which was founded in Vancouver in 1971.
-Gray Owl, often referred to as the first environmentalist in history, was believed to be a Native American for many years, until his death revealed that he was a native English grown in Canada and had voluntarily married the Native American cause since his youth.
The beaver: the beaver was elevated to an official symbol of Canada on March 24th 1975, when “the law that recognizes the beaver (castor canadensis) as a symbol of the sovereignty of Canada” received royal approval. Today the beaver, Canada's largest rodent, survives and thrives in the country thanks to Canada’s strict wildlife conservation policies.
Together with the moose, another animal which symbolizes our country and which is protected by the Law.
Regarding literature…Canadian born authors mainly write about and reflect Canada's perspective on nature, frontier life and Canada's position in the world. Canada's ethnic and cultural diversity is reflected in the literature through its prominent writers. Canadian authors often analyze the effects of climate and geography on people's lives and also frontier life is often mentioned in Canadian literature. Many authors evoke, as a theme, the march towards the west through Canada. Others document the drama in the fishermen's life. Furthermore, the ever-present northern frontier is a theme widely used together with the constant expansion in the Arctic.
French Canadians authors often consider themselves surrounded by their English neighbors, which is why they firmly preserve their institutions and culture and choose to write – and publish – exclusively in French. Similarly, English Canadians feel surrounded by the people and culture of the United States so many novels and poems show how Canadian writers view this as a problem.
As far as French-Canadian literature is concerned, we can mention François-Xavier Garneau and the poet Louis Frechet, influenced by Symbolism. The French-Canadian writers sought out both an original folk tradition and local themes to be immortalized.
Always admired for its natural beauty and wide-open spaces, Canada has now become a center of contemporary artistic creation.
The originality of Canadian art stems from several factors: the geography of Canada, its climate, its ethnocultural diversity and its history. Today, in literature, dance, cinema and other artistic sectors, Canadians are increasingly required to participate in major international cultural events.
For instance, over the years, Canada has funded over 500 feature films and thousands of TV shows. The National Film Board, the largest public film production organization in the world, has produced over 10,000 works since the 40s, winning national and international awards.
Egoyan and Cronenberg and other film directors have brought international fame to the Canadian film industry, while actors like Mike Myers, Dan Ackroyd, Jim Carrey, have made the Great North known to the whole world. Since 1975, the Toronto International Film Festival opened to the public has become one of the largest film festivals in the world.
Canada boasts more than 100 professional dance companies and nearly 400 theater companies. The National Ballet of Canada has many dancers and a symphony orchestra. Theater and dance companies, such as Cirque du Soleil and visual artists such as Wallace, confirm the important place Canada has earned in the art world. Toronto has become the third center in the world for the performing arts, immediately after New York and London.