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Canadian Identities

Each political party expresses a vision of what they believe Canada should be. What is your vision for the identity of Canada? What decisions will you make to ensure this identity is promoted? Your challenge is to examine ideas of Canadian identity, express your goals for the future of Canada and inspire citizens with your vision.

Use Further Research and Canadian Documents to help you with the activities below.


Activity 5: True Patriot Love

Compose Your Thoughts

Statement by Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919) identifying members of his political party as BEFORE AND ABOVE ALL CANADIANS, ca. 1898

Statement by Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919) identifying members of his political party as "before and above all Canadians," ca. 1898
Source ]

This statement by Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919) contains ideas about regional identity, national identity, and political identity. How can a diverse country develop a collective identity?

Every nation has symbols that represent its identity. In Canada, political parties also have symbols, including colours and logos. Your challenge is to devise symbols for your party, or symbols to represent your goals for Canada.

  1. Design or select a logo or emblem for your party.
  2. Design or select symbols for Canada.
  3. Design a new national flag.

Consider certain things in your selection of symbols: Will they be recognizable? Do they communicate a clear idea about your party or your policies? Do they represent many groups of Canadians or one group? What is the significance of colour and shape?

In 150 words, explain what your symbols say about your vision of Canadian identity. Consider the questions above as you share your views and goals.


Activity 6: Calling Dr. Spin Doctor

Compose Your Thoughts

Poster entitled OH CANADA, MY COUNTRY, MY LOVE [Translation], commemorating the life of Sir George-Étienne Cartier (1814-1873), 1912

Poster entitled Oh Canada, my country, my love [Translation], commemorating the life of Sir George-Étienne Cartier (1814-1873), 1912
Source ]

This memorial of Sir George-Étienne Cartier is filled with personal, historical, and national symbols that inform his identity as a Canadian. Is Canadian identity based on a common culture or shared civic traditions?

Using the products and symbols developed in the activity "True Patriot Love," your next challenge is to create a political brochure. Think about what issues or ideas you want to convey. Consider your objectives and who your target audience is. Some criteria for your brochure:

Cover: Put your strongest message or image here. Motivate readers to open it!

Text: Use just enough text to ensure people will receive your key messages. Use short and self-explanatory headings to guide your reader. Choose clear font and use text size and colour to guide your reader. Keep sentences short. Include memorable buzzwords and phrases. Provide contact information (address, email, and phone number).

Design: A picture is worth a thousand words. Use colour and shape to guide your reader and to reinforce your ideas. Make sure your logo is conspicuous. Some other design ideas: T-shirts, postcards, lapel stickers, yard signs, banners, bumper stickers, business cards, hats, etc.

What is your marketing strategy? In 250 words, explain your marketing strategy. Use three or four ideas and plan a logical series of steps to implement your strategy. Some helpful ideas:

Mass: How will you reach the greatest number of people?
Offence: Keep your competition in mind and strike first.
Simplicity: What is your key message?

Use Further Research and Canadian Documents for some ideas or examples of political strategy.

Photograph of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and a state trooper at a ceremony commemorating the joining of a pipeline between Quebec and Maine, August 1, 1941

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and a state trooper at a ceremony commemorating the joining of a pipeline between Quebec and Maine, August 1, 1941 [ Source ]

Explore The Canadian State Political Library, a digital collection of historical books related to Canadian politics and government.