By Pique Staff
The year 1867 was unremarkable in a lot of ways. The U.S. bought Alaska for about two cents an acre, which at the time was criticized as a waste of money. The first ship passed through the Suez Canal, although it would remain under construction for two more years. Nebraska was admitted as the 37 th U.S. State, greatly increasing that nation’s surplus of corn.
And in a frigid backwater previously known on the nautical maps as British North America, a group of politicians got together on a sunny day on the first of July (or so I imagine it in my mind) to create an awesome new country. The BNA Act declared that the three provinces, Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, would form a federation with a constitution similar to, but separate from, the United Kingdom. The Act allowed for the creation of four provinces, breaking the province Canada into Ontario and Quebec, as well as for the creation of a justice system, the House of Commons, a system of checks and balances, and rights of taxation (boo!), while also entrenching ties to the British Monarchy. It was all very boring and proper, but all very pertinent today to the creation of Canada as we know it.
To honour the occasion it’s become customary for Canadians to celebrate Canada Day with parades and fireworks, listening to copious amounts of The Tragically Hip and Rush, and patriotically sun burning our bare arms red, like the borders of our flag, and blistering our faces like the tri-corner of the Maple Leaf. Alcohol is usually involved.
It’s also become a tradition for the Pique to run a Canada Day quiz. Your citizenship doesn’t depend on answering the questions right (at least not if you were born here and don’t have to take the test), but your pride just might.
1. What longest serving Prime Minister attended séances to contact the spirits of his pet Irish Setters, his mother, and even Leonardo da Vinci?
2. Greater Toronto, Canada’s largest urban centre, now has a population of 4.6 million. In 1867 roughly how many citizens did Toronto officially have?
3. What is Newfoundland’s infamous alcoholic drink?
4. When did Nunavut become a territory?
5. What useful plant, oil and feedstock was invented in Canada?
6. What is the longest river in Canada?
7. What was Canada’s legendary spoof political party?
8. Chances are you’ve used many of these paper/cardboard covers while handing in school reports, but didn’t know that they were Canadian…
9. What is the Canadian slang for a beer gut?
10. Only one Canadian newspaper has ever won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism? If you can even guess the city you’re doing well…
Arts and Culture
11. What Canadian singer’s real name is Eileen?
12. The original teen drama/soap opera, Kids of Degrassi
Street, Degrassi Junior High, and Degrassi High, followed the lives of
Stephanie, Joey, Snake, Wheels, Lucy, Shane Caitlin, Spike and others growing
up in Toronto. What was the name of Joey Jeremiah, Snake and Wheels’ band?
13. “Oh, the good old hockey game, is the best game you can
name; and the best game you can name, is the good old hockey game!” It’s known
simply as The Hockey Song – who wrote it?
14. A group of artists known as the Group of Seven aimed to
develop a distinct Canadian style of painting. There were seven original
members: Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston,
Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald and Frederick Varley. But there were also one
well-known artist that the members were inspired by. Who was this artist?
15. Mr. Dressup was an iconic Canadian children’s television
show, starring American actor Ernie Coombs as Mr. Dressup and his trusty
sidekicks, Casey and Finnegan. In which famous prop did Mr. Dressup store his
16. Though he’s better known for his film roles as a green
ogre, this talented Canadian comedian and actor actually got his start on a
late-night talk show.
17. What Canadian comedian produces a popular skit, “Talking
18. Maud Lewis is one of the country’s most recognizable folk
artists. Born into a life of poverty in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and suffering
from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Lewis got her commercial artistic start by
selling hand drawn Christmas cards door to door for $0.25 apiece. Art Gallery
Nova Scotia (AGNS) has a permanent Maud Lewis exhibit on display – what
is the prize piece of the exhibit?
19. While the design of the Canadian National Flag –
better known simply as the Maple Leaf – may seem pretty straightforward,
its history is anything but. Which political figure finally launched the Great
Flag Debate, which resulted in the flag as we know it today?
20. Although Canada’s (English) national anthem was written
by Justice Robert Stanley Weir in 1908, when was “O Canada” officially
proclaimed as the country’s national anthem? (Hint: it was the same year that
Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research.)
21. No Canadian hockey teams have won the Stanley Cup since Montreal in ‘92-93, but four teams have made the finals since then. Can you name the teams? And the years?
22. 2008 is an Olympic year, with Beijing, China doing the honours (it was almost Toronto, but the International Olympic Committee thought the Games might ease repression in the totalitarian state). The Summer Games have never been Canada’s strong suit, but the Canadian team hit a modern low at the Athens Games in 2004 for medals — how many medals did the Canadians earn?
23. This past December what Whistler-based Canadian skier earned her first World Cup gold medal in downhill?
24. While controversial at times, there’s no question that Mixed Martial Arts has supplanted boxing as the blood sport of choice for today’s combat fans. Patrons pack bars carrying the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship matches, and Pay Per View broadcasts are hugely popular. What Canadian fighter currently holds the UFC World Welterweight Championships belt?
25. This past winter Whistler Olympic Park opened to the public. What four Olympic nordic skiing disciplines will be held at the venue?
26. Former Vancouver mayor and Senator Larry Campbell recently took an unusual step in June to ban what U.S. sport from Canadian soil, and why?
27. What NHL star recently joined the campaign against Jumbo Mountain Resort, a proposed ski resort outside of Invermere?
28. What Canadian sports group (with support from their U.S. counterparts) is taking the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) to the B.C. Supreme Court to force their inclusion in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games?
29. What team stunned the Canadian curling team at the Men’s World Curling Championships this past April?
30. In 2007 a Canadian road rider became the first to win the overall UCI America Tour title, earning Canada a third spot in the 2008 Summer Olympics? Who is that rider, and what Whistler racer is on his team?
31. How did the White House get its name?
32. Which were the first provinces in Confederation?
33. After a row between the RCMP and free trade protestors, what Canadian Prime Minister famously quipped: “For me, pepper, I like it on my plate?”
34. What did Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau do during the October Crisis, as members of the FLQ began kidnapping federalists in Quebec?
35. Which province remembers the Quiet Revolution?
36. What was the name of the first sustainable French colony settled in Canada?
37. Which First Nations group was completely wiped out on the East Coast?
38. Who did xenophobic British Columbia send to internment camps in World War II?
39. When was the metric system adopted by Canada?
40. In what year was Louis Riel hung?
41. Canada is a land of many great mountain ranges, including the Rocky Mountains, the Coast Mountain Range and the Appalachian Mountains, not to mention the Cascades, Purcells, Selkirks, yadda yadda. What is the highest peak east of the Rockies?
42. While most of Canada is too cold or damp to grow wine, vineyards do exist from coast to coast, and vintners have been at work for over 200 years. What are Canada’s two largest wine producing regions?
43. Bathtub racing has a loyal following, with ‘tubbers’ traveling across the world to participate in grueling water races. What Canadian city is also known as the Bathtub Racing Capital of the World?
44. On May 18, the U.S. government listed polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. What is the major threat to the 935 polar bears living around Hudson Bay and Churchill, Manitoba?
45. While Canada was first established as a country in 1867 the first European settlers started arriving long before then. What is the oldest continuous European settlement in Canada?
46. Where did Canada’s single greatest disaster happen? (Hint: It was in 1917).
47. Even though Canada is a country known for its cold winters, things do heat up in the summer time. Where was the hottest temperature ever recorded?
48. What is Canada’s longest road? (Hint: It is also the third longest national highway in the world).
49. Canada’s oil reserves are considered second in the world, after Saudi Arabia. What is the name of the largest oil sand reservoir suitable for surface mining in Canada?
50. What is the deepest lake in Canada?
51. Who was Canada’s first (and third) Prime Minister?
52. Who was Canada’s first female Governor General?
53. Who has been recognized as Canada’s “greenest” Prime Minister?
54. Which Prime Minister established English and French as Canada’s official languages?
55. Who was Canada’s youngest Prime Minister?
56. Who was Canada’s first female Member of Parliament?
57. Who is credited with bringing the Canadian constitution back to Canada from England?
58. According to Politics Watch, Canada has five major political parties…what are they?
59. How many seats are there in the House of Commons?
60. Who was the shortest serving Prime Minister?