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The Great Canadian Quiz

How hoser is "hoser" enough



Every new Canadian looking for full citizenship must take the Canadian Citizenship Test, an exam that evaluates their ability to speak one of our two official languages, as well as their general knowledge of Canadian history. The answers to all of those questions can be found in one convenient document titled Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.

The document weighs in at 68-pages, but when you take away covers, photo pages, notes pages, indexes and all the creative white space, you can probably get through it all on a single trip to the can.

And fair enough - Canada is a young country in the scheme of things, just 145 years old since our founders decided that it wasn't practical, or safe, for British North America to remain entirely British. (Still, we retained close ties as a member of the commonwealth and a constitutional monarchy with the reigning English king or queen as our titular head of state - which is why Prince William and Kate Middleton are totally coming here for a visit in July!)

It takes more for a booklet, however nice and loaded with facts, to truly be a Canadian. You really have to live it to understand it or, better yet, you have to leave it for a while. Seriously - go backpacking, work abroad or study for a semester somewhere where the arches are 500 years old. The first thing you'll notice is that most people like Canadians (even if all they know about us is hockey and the Red Green Show). The second thing you'll realize is that there's really nowhere in the world like home.

To be Canadian is to share a common experience, from the beauty and inconvenience of winter snow to spring swarms of black flies; muggy summer days that don't last long enough and dissolve into the harvest beauty that is autumn. Our cities are awesome, our wilderness is unmatched. We're brave when we need to be, but mostly just try to get along. We're funny, even when we're trying to be serious. We talk funny, in both official languages.

While nobody will tell you to leave if you don't do well in the Pique's annual Canada Day Quiz, and your citizenship isn't at stake, here is our reward - score better than 80 per cent and you'll qualify for double-secret citizenship (keep it under your toque!) - a special honour reserved for people who know a little something about the faces that are on our colourful money and that our national sport is lacrosse, no matter what the beer commercials say.

Double-secret citizenship doesn't get you anything like a discount at Tim Horton's, but it does give you the right to walk a little taller, fly the flag a little higher and be proud as can be. Just try not to be obnoxious about it or your double status could be revoked.


Canadiana - Syrup on Everything


1) "L'Unifolie" is the name for what national symbol? Hint: it was adopted under Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.


2) At more than 300 years old, what is the oldest commercial corporation in Canada?


3) Why is the beaver a national symbol? Bonus: what coin is it on?


4) What are Franklin Carmichael, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, Frederick Varley and Lawren Harris collectively known as?


5) The world's third national park was established in Canada, behind Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. and Royal National Park in Australia. Where is the park?


6) The Ekati mine is located northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. What is mined there?


7) What was the first province to establish a hospital insurance plan and universal prepaid medical care? Bonus: Name the Father of Medicare, who was also voted The Greatest Canadian in the 2004 CBC TV series?


8) Canadian engineer Sir Sandford Fleming is credited with what invention?


9) "I am Canadian" was the slogan for what product for almost ten years?


10) Who was the first Canadian in space?



Canadian Politics - Watch out for the Mace!


1. Which Prime Minister served the fewest number of days in the position?


2) Which Prime Minister served the most non-consecutive terms?


3) How many Prime Ministers have come from ridings in British Columbia?


4) Who is Canada's head of state?


5) Stephen Harper just recently passed Lester Pearson in terms of time spent in office. Who is the next Prime Minister he'll pass?


6) True or false: Canada is outranked in peacekeeping around the world by countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.


7) Who has been recognized as Canada's greenest Prime Minister?


8) Who was the first female Member of Parliament?


9) Which political party has elected the first female Prime Minister, elevated the first woman to a cabinet position, and the first African-Canadian, Chinese-Canadian and quadriplegic to the House of Commons?


10) Which political party elected the first gay and lesbian Members of Parliament?



Canadian Entertainment - Justin Bieber is totally dating Selena Gomez


1) Which Canadian-born filmmaker wrote and directed the highest and second-highest grossing films ever?


2) In it's 32 year history, Saturday Night Live has mined Canada's comedic talent pool. Who are all the Canadian cast members over the years?


3) Which Canadian actress/model (or is it model-slash-actress?) was discovered at a BC Lions game?


4) Which Canadian band was named Adult Pop Artist of decade by Billboard Magazine?


5) What was the most watched television broadcast in Canadian history?


6) Which kilt-wearing Canadian musician kicked high enough during a performance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien that his genitals were visible to the studio and television audience? (He's playing in Whistler this summer!)


7) What American rock band caused a riot in Vancouver?


8) Which Toronto electronica band's name helped inspire the Harper government to cancel the PromArt program 2008 on the grounds that its recipients are "a rock band that uses an expletive as part of its name


9) Which classic Hollywood actor died in at a party in an apartment in Vancouver's West End?


10) What Canadian actor played Casey Jones in the movie adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?



Sports - More than frozen ponds and cow pies


1) In their seven game loss to the Boston Bruins, the Canucks became the fourth Canadian team to make the Stanley Cup finals and lose since the Montreal Canadians won the Cup in 1993. Can you name the other three teams? How about the years they lost?


2) At one point Canada had eight NHL teams before dropping to six. What team will be back next season after over 15 years?


3) Although Canada is not regarded as a powerhouse in Major League Baseball, three Canadians have earned league MVP honours since 1997. Can you name the players?


4) There's no question that Shaun White will go down in history as one of the greatest snowboarders of all time and, given his ability to win skateboard contests as well, one of the greatest extreme athletes. But at the ESPN Winter X Games this year, the slopestyle title went to a Canadian. Who is he?


5) There were a few big sports stories in 2010, but the biggest were the Winter Olympics and Canada's 14 gold medals and the men's World Cup of soccer (where Canada was eliminated two years before the tournament even started. Luckily the women's team is going into this year ranked sixth). There is another major World Cup turf event this year, which will likely feature a certain Squamish athlete. What's the sport and who is the athlete?


6) What 2010 Olympic medallist got back in action this year in another sport. HINT: She used to do this sport well enough before that she competed in it at a previous Olympics...


7) Speaking of the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee recently approved new sports for the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. What are the new sports? (HINT: There's six of them, including men's and women's disciplines.)


8) Speaking of road riding, Whistler's Will Routley finished a close second in a pro race in Britanny, France earlier this season. What was the race?


9) Next summer is the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. What is Canada's goal? A) Five gold medals; B) 20 medals in total; C) Top five on the medal list; D) Top 12 on the medal list.


10) The Crankworx freeride mountain bike festival, from July 15 to 24 in Whistler, is one of the best and biggest showcases of mountain biking in the world. But one downhill event has one wheel and everybody else is on foot. What is the event?


Food - Back bacon sandwiches are a good source of iron


1) What coiled leafy plant is harvested from forest floors before it blooms and tastes best fried in butter and garlic?


2) What exactly makes Canadian bacon Canadian?


3) Are Nanaimo bars from Nanaimo, B.C.?


4) What ethnic bases influenced early Western Canada the most?


5) Is poutine really a Canadian "specialty?"


6) Doesn't everybody grow up with butter tarts?


7) Was Canadian Chinese food meant for take-out?


8) How does the rest of the world survive without ketchup chips?


9) Does "smoke it" apply to another Canadian specialty?


10) What are some of Canada's worst food legacies?




Whistler - Canada's answer to Switzerland


1) What events did Whistler host during the 2010 Winter Games?


2) What is the name of moose now living at the High Performance Centre?


3) What animal was named after Dusty's, and what happened to the drinking-hole's name-sake?


4) What records does the Peak2Peak gondola hold?


5) What day did Whistler Mountain open to the public? And how much was a lift ticket?


6) How long did it take for Whistler's original residents, Myrtle and Alex Philip, to get to Alta Lake when they first settled here?


7) What was Whistler Mountain originally called and when did it change its name?


8) Where was Whistler long-time resident Andy Munster's first home and how much did it cost to build? He later gained fame for selling a luxury home in 2000 - what was the name of the home and how much did that home sell for?


9) When was Whistler's first election and who won?


10) What Whistler black bear has her own Facebook page?







1) "L'Unifolie" is French for 'the one-leafed' and is the French name for the national flag of Canada, known as the "Maple Leaf." It was adopted in 1965 and it marked the first time a national flag had been officially adopted in Canada to replace the Union Jack, the flag of the United Kingdom. The flag made its first appearance on February 15, 1965 and the date is now celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day. Time for a national holiday, we think.


2) Producer of the iconic cream blanket with the red, yellow, green and black stripes, the Hudson's Bay Company is the oldest company in Canada. It began as a fur trading business in 1670 when it was incorporated by British royal charter as The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay. It was at one time the largest landowner in the world.


3) Not the mighty polar bear, not the majestic moose but the hard-working and noble beaver was chosen as a national emblem in 1975. It was the beaver, after all, that was main commercial attraction in the late 1600s and early 1700s, when the fashion of the day demanded fur hats, which needed beaver pelts. HBC honoured the animal by putting it on the shield of its coat of arms. It was only a matter of time before the animal was upgraded to official emblem status. Bonus answer: the beaver is on the Canadian nickel.


4) The Group of Seven. They were a group of Canadian landscape painters in the 1920s, strongly influenced by European Impressionism of the late nineteenth century. Tom Thomson was also closely associated with the group though was never an official member. A.J. Casson joined the group in 1926, replacing Frank Johnston who left in 1921.


5) Banff National Park was the first in Canada, established in 1885 to protect the hot springs near Sulphur Mountain. It is 6,641 square kilometers in size. More than five million a year visit Banff National Park to recreate and sightsee.


6) The Ekati mine was the first diamond mine in Canada, officially opening in 1998. Diamond exploration is difficult in Canada because several glacial advances and retreats dispersed diamond indicator materials in a pattern very difficult to follow. The Ekati Mine produces three million carats of rough diamonds every year and the diamonds are between 45 million to 62 years old.


7) Saskatchewan established a hospital insurance plan in 1947 and followed with universal Medicare in 1962. The Father of Medicare was Tommy Douglas.


8) After missing a train in Ireland in 1876 because the schedule listed p.m. instead of a.m., Sir Sandford Fleming developed a model for the 24-hour time system for the entire world. He called it Cosmic Time. Most of the major countries adopted a standard time zone in 1929 and today every country uses standard time zones. Some countries still adapt the system to best suit their needs - China has one time zone, whereas Canada has five-and-a-half.


9) The 'I am Canadian' ad campaign promoted Molson Canadian Beer from 1994 to 1998 and 2000 to 2005. Lines from the infamous "rant" ad include: "I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack, I believe in peacekeeping, not policing... A Chesterfield is a couch and "Z" is pronounced 'ZED' not 'ZEE.'" In 2005, shortly after Molson's merger with American brewer Coors, Molson announced it was retiring the slogan.


10) Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space in October 1884, and flew on the shuttle Challenger as a payload specialist. In 2001 he became president of the Canadian Space Agency. He is now a federal Member of Parliament.




1) Sir Charles Tupper, the sixth Prime Minister of Canada, served 68 days in the job, from May 1, 1896 to July 8, 1896. He was appointed to the job after a Conservative government headed by Sir Mackenzie Bowell - who was elected under the slogan, "Join the Bowell Movement!" (Not really, but that would have been funny) - was dissolved over the Manitoba Schools Question; a political crisis that involved publicly-funded separate schools for French and English students. Parliament was dissolved on April 24, 1896 and Tupper was sworn in as Prime Minister of the Seventh Canadian Ministry. But an election was called before he was sworn in and he never even sat in Parliament as Prime Minister before Wilfrid Laurier's Liberals beat his party in the election of 1896. Talk about an historical footnote...


2) William Lyon Mackenzie King, a Liberal who also served the most years as Prime Minister. First elected to the top job on December 29, 1921, his party won the most seats in a 1925 election but not a majority. He nevertheless held on to power with the support of the Progressive party. In 1926 he asked the Governor General to dissolve Parliament and call another election, which was refused when Governor General Lord Byng asked Conservative leader Arthur Meighen to form a government and keep the good times rolling. That attempt failed as Meighen could not form a majority and he, too, advised dissolution. King was elected to a majority in the ensuing 1926 election. The Liberals again lost an election in 1930 to the Conservatives led by R.B. Bennett then won a landslide in the 1935 election. In total he served as prime minister of three non-consecutive governments.


3) Two. Kim Campbell won a leadership race for the Progressive Conservative Party in 1993 after Brian Mulroney resigned from office. The Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, she was formally appointed Prime Minister on June 25 of that year. She never sat in Parliament as Prime Minister, however, leading her party to a resounding defeat against the Liberals in the 1993 election (nothing personal, the PCs were pretty unpopular after introducing GST, the failure of Meech Lake (which empowered Quebec separatists) and a slumping economy. Campbell served 132 days in the position. Number two was John Turner, the Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra He served as prime minister from June 30, 1984 to September 17, 1984, or almost half as long as Campbell. He won the leadership of the Liberal Party after Pierre Trudeau resigned from office, but was later defeated by Brian Mulroney when the Conservative leader pinned him on his decision to make patronage appointments to the public service that his predecessor demanded. Mulroney said in the leaders' debate, "You had a chance, sir, to say no." Turner was prime minister for 79 days.


4) Queen Elizabeth II (or as she is known by her full title in Canada, Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her Other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Protector of the Faith). Canada is a parliamentary democracy, inheriting its system of governance from the Commonwealth, and the Queen is the centre of this model. Governor General David Johnston, who has the power to dissolve or prorogue Parliament on the advice of a council of ministers - the Prime Minister and his cabinet - represents the Queen in Canada and has a nice house in Ottawa called Rideau Hall. Neither the Governor General nor the Prime Minister should be confused as the country's head of state.


5) John Diefenbaker. Stephen Harper is the longest-serving prime minister overseeing multiple minority governments, serving two separate terms starting in 2006 and 2008, respectively, for a total of four years and 349 days. In so doing he surpassed Lester Pearson, who served as prime minister of minority governments for four years and 258 days. William Lyon Mackenzie King led the longest single minority government from 1921 to 1925. Harper, now prime minister in a majority government, stands to outshine Diefenbaker's period in power, which lasted from June 21, 1957 to April 22, 1963, or slightly less than six years.


6) True. As Prime Minister from 1963 to 1968, Lester Pearson was a strong advocate of the United Nations' role in peacekeeping, an instrument that sees envoys dispatched to conflict zones to aid people in implementing peace agreements that they've signed. Peacekeeping is believed to have begun with the first United Nations Emergency Force that was deployed to calm down the Suez Crisis in 1957. An initiative that was championed by Pearson (then Canada's foreign affairs minister), defined Canada's role as a global referee. Canada is largely seen as a founder of peacekeeping. Since then, however, Canada's contribution to peacekeeping has lagged, and the number of peacekeepers deployed globally (126 troops - Afghanistan is a NATO exercise and doesn't count) now lags behind Bangladesh (10,156), Pakistan (9,820) and India (9,279).


7) Brian Mulroney. In 2006 he was named Greenest Prime Minister by Corporate Knights magazine in recognition of his efforts to protect the environment while he was in office. He was the first world leader to sign the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, a predecessor to the Kyoto Protocol, and finalized an acid-rain treaty that successfully reduced sulfur emissions in North America. He also initiated the $3 billion Green Plan, which funded environmental research.


8) Agnes MacPhail. A member of the Progressive Party of Canada, a predecessor to the New Democratic Party, MacPhail was a schoolteacher in southwest Ontario and was active politically, joining the United Farmers of Ontario and its women's organization, the United Farm Women of Ontario. She was elected to the House of Commons in the 1921 federal election as the member for Grey Southeast.  She served federally until 1940 and as a member of Ontario's provincial parliament from 1943 to 1951.


9) The combined Progressive Conservative Party and the Conservative Party of Canada. Kim Campbell, a Progressive Conservative, was Canada's first female Prime Minister, while Ellen Fairclough, also a PC, was the first woman named to the federal cabinet. Lincoln Alexander was the first African-Canadian elected to the House of Commons, serving as the member for Hamilton West from 1968 to 1984, and Douglas Jung was the first Chinese-Canadian MP, serving as member for Vancouver Centre from 1957 to 1962. Steven Fletcher, a member of the Conservative Party of Canada, is the first quadriplegic MP. He was elected for the first time in 2004 and has since served as the member for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia in Manitoba.


10) The New Democratic Party. Svend Robinson was the first openly-gay MP, elected in the riding of Burnaby-Douglas in 1979. He came out publicly in 1988 and held his seat until 2004. He tried for election in Vancouver Centre in 2006 but lost to incumbent Hedy Fry. Libby Davies, elected to Vancouver East in 1997, came out publicly as a lesbian in 2001. She has been an MP ever since.




1) The Kapuskasing, Ont.-born James Cameron wrote and directed Avatar and Titanic  - respectively the highest and second-highest grossing films ever, and as of March 2011 he is Hollywood's top earner. Suck it, Speilberg. Vanity Fair reported Cameron's 2010 earnings at $257 million. Other successful directing films credits include Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens and True Lies. Overall, his directorial efforts have grossed approximately $6 billion worldwide


2) Dan Aykroyd (1975-1979), Peter Aykroyd (1979 - 1980), Robin Duke (1981-1984), Phil Hartman (1986-1994), Norm Macdonald (1993-1998), Mark McKinney (1995-1997), Mike Meyers (1989 - 1995) and Martin Short (1984- 1985). The show's creator and executive producer, Lorne McDonald, is also Canadian.


3) During the summer of 1989, a 21-year-old Pamela Anderson attended a BC Lion's game with some girlfriends in a Labbatt's T-shirt. She was shown on the big screen cheering, prompting the crowd to cheer for her. She was then taken down to the field and received an ovation from the crowd. Later that year she graced the cover of Playboy - something she would do 10 more times over the next two decades, holding the record for most Playboy front covers.


4) Despite widespread critical derision, Billboard named Nickelback the Adult Pop Artist of the decade based largely on album sales. As of 2010, the Vancouver-based rock band has sold over 21 million albums in the U.S. At the same time, their last three albums, Long Road, All the Right Reasons and Dark Horse have earned respective ratings of 62 per cent, 41 per cent and 49 per cent on Metacritic, a website that collates reviews of music and other media.


5) The men's hockey gold medal game at the 2010 Winter Olympics. It pulled in 16.6 million Canadian viewers, roughly half of our national population. So, we like hockey. That's obvious. But we don't seem to like Canadian TV all that much. According to the 2009/2010 Nielsen Media Research data, 19 of the top 20 most-viewed TV programs in Canada were American. The only Canadian program on the list? CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.


6) Ashley MacIsaac. The fiddler claimed that it was unintentional. MacIsaac has had more than his share of controversy over the last 15 years, which led media to speculate in the late 1990s about a vicious downward spiral. But he seems to be doing fine and initiating some sort of comeback - he's playing Whistler Olympic Plaza on July 1 for the Canada Day celebrations.


7) Guns'n'Roses cancelled their first North American tour gig in Vancouver and a mob of angry fans rioted. That's a fairly easy one... but do you know why the show was cancelled? Because promoters learned that frontman Axl Rose was still en route from L.A. at 8 p.m. when G'N'R was set to play at 9:30. They promptly cancelled the show and rioters, many fueled by booze and drugs, hoisted the metal security barriers and rammed them through the glass entry doors of GM Place. After 20 minutes the riot police showed up and, unlike the last riot, showed no mercy. Batons swung and kept swinging even after they had knocked people to the ground. They walloped legs and arms and heads. According to MTV, one young man was smashed in the face and walked away dazed, holding his teeth in his hands and blood pouring from his mouth. Rock and roll!


8) Toronto act Holy Fuck took the blame for the cancellation of PromArt - a $4.7 million program that subsidizes international promotional tours of Canadian artists. Bass player Matt McQuaid told the CBC in 2008, "I guess more than anything it's a little bit annoying that we've been made the scapegoat when you consider how much money we receive relative to the budget for the entire program." The band was later shortlisted for the 2008 Polaris Prize and nominated for a Juno award, and their videos had appeared on both MTV and MuchMusic. Other expletive-laden Canadian acts include Fucked Up, who won the 2008 Polaris Prize, infamous hardcore punks "bunchofuckingoofs," and Fuck the Facts....all of which are from Ontario, by the way. Those potty-mouthed Upper Canadians!


9) Australian actor Errol Flynn, best known for his romantic swashbuckler roles and his hard-partying lifestyle. He may have also spied for the Nazis, although he was probably a double agent. On Oct. 9, 1959, Flynn was at a party pleasing guests with stories and impressions. He claimed to not be feeling well and announced to party-goers, "I shall return. He went to lay down and died of a heart attack. The legend goes that after his death, friends propped him up at the Hotel Georgia lounge so people could visit him. It's not true  - his body was overturned to a coroner, who performed an autopsy and released his body to next of kin.


10) Montreal-born Elias Koteas played the role that all young boys in 1989 either wanted to be or were piss-scared of. A renowned character actor, Koteas has peformed in Hollywood blockbusters like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Shutter Island and The Prophecy. He will play a Russian soldier in the upcoming film A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas.




1) The Ottawa Senators lost to the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. The Edmonton Oilers lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. The Calgary Flames lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. Much has been made of the fact that Toronto hasn't won the Cup since 1967, but that was also the last time the Leafs even made the final round. Yet, for some reason they remain the most profitable franchise in the league...


2) The Winnipeg Jets were relocated in Phoenix in 1996. Although the new owners have yet to announce an official name, there will be an NHL team on ice in Winnipeg this winter after a group of business owners purchased the Atlanta Thrashers. The Quebec Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995, but plans are underway to build a new arena and lure a team back Quebec City in the next few years.


3) In 2010, Toronto's Joey Votto won the National League MVP award while plahing with the Cincinnati RedsMaple Ridge boy Larry Walker won the National League MVP title in 1997 while playing for the Colorado Rockies. His stats were ridiculous, especially while at bat - he won the Hank Aaron Award for top hitter and had a ridiculous on-base percentage of .424. Crazier still, in literally hundreds of batting appearances he didn't pop up once. Not once. How's that even possible? (I know, it's our quiz, but we really have no idea.)

In 2006, Justin Morneau was named the American League MVP with the Minnesota Twins. While his numbers have dropped off slightly, he also played against Votto in the 2010 All Star game.

In 1997, Larry Walker was the National League MVP while playing with the Colorado Rockies. He retired in 2006, but racked up five All-Star selections, seven Gold Glove Awards and three Silver Slugger Awards.


4) Quebec's Sebastien "Toots" Toutant is only 19 years old and is already being hailed as one of the most skilled young riders in the world. Check out his X Games slopestyle run from 2011 to see what he can do.

Toots is also expected to compete in the Billabong Ante Up on July 1, Canada Day, a big air competition outside the Roundhouse Lodge. This is a five star TTY Snowboard World Tour event, with $50,000 in prize money up for grabs.


5) The World Cup of Rugby takes place New Zealand in September and October, and Canada is heading into the tournament ranked 15th internationally - which may be a bit low considering wins against France and Italy in the last two years. Canada is in a tough pool with both France and New Zealand to contend against. The Squamish player is Jamie Cudmore, a senior member of the who was outstanding in the last World Cup until he was sidelined with an injury.


6) Clara Hughes is an athlete's athlete. She started out as a cyclist, winning two bronze medals in 1996 in the road race and time trial. Then she switched to speed skating where she won four medals over three Winter Games, including a bronze in 2010. Now that her Olympic career is over she's back on her road bike and winning podiums.


7) The new sports are: men's and women's ski halfpipe, women's ski jumping , biathlon mixed relay, men's and women's luge team relay and a team figure skating event. Several other sports are still being considered including ski and snowboard slopestyle and team snowboardcross.


8) The Tro-Bro Léon is a one-day professional road race in Finistere Brittany, rated as a 1.1 event on the UCI Europe Tour. It's nickname is the "Le Petit Paris-Roubaix" because it has 24 sections of dirt, cobblestones and gravel roads - something Routley's background as a mountain biker probably helped with. This race is a big deal in Europe, and was watched on television by millions with film crews in helicopters and on the backs of motorcycles filming every pedal stroke. Attaboy Will!


9) Canada's shooting for Top 12 in the total medal count, which would be a leap of at least three spots from 2008 in Beijing where the team won a total of 18 medals. One of Canada's lowest totals ever was in 2004 when the team earned just 12 medals - 18th overall in the standings.


10) The Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival takes places on Saturday, July 23, with hundreds of participants chasing a wheel of cheese down a steep slope on Blackcomb. The winners, male and female, get the cheese - and two season passes to Whistler Blackcomb. Well worth a broken bone or three.





1) Fiddleheads, the tightly coiled buds of new ferns before they stretch and feather into their adult state, are widely collected in Eastern Canada but can also be found in abundance in Western Canada.


2) It's called Canadian bacon by Americans, but we'd call it ham. In flavour, appearance, and texture, Canadian bacon is closer to ham than it is to bacon. The meat isn't overly marbled with fat, is slightly sweet and best served while still juicy. Unlike regular bacon, Canadian bacon does not crisp up in its own fat while it is being cooked - the meat will be dry and tasteless if it is allowed to crisp up. It is also usually served in thicker wedges than those used for conventional bacon. It's called Canadian bacon by Americans, but we just call it ham or back bacon.


3) The million-dollar question many of us have been wondering since we took our first childhood bite of the buttery, chocolaty goodness that is a Nanaimo bar - what genius came up with the recipe (and how can we get her to adopt us)? Though New Yorkers and New Brunswickians have tried to claim the recipe, we western Canadians know the truth - the dessert originated in Ladysmith, just south of Nanaimo in the early 1950s after Mabel Jenkins submitted her concoction to a recipe book compiled by the Ladysmith and Cowichan Women's Institute. The bar quickly gained notoriety throughout the province and beyond, and because so many were sold in the commercial district of Nanaimo, American tourists came to know them as Nanaimo bars. They were also referred to as Mabel bars.


4) Depending on where you're located, pockets of Italian, Polish, Scandinavian, German and Italian influence can be found across the western provinces. In the Kootenay region of B.C., Russian Doukhobors hold court, in East Vancouver, Italian, Ukrainian and all kinds of pan Asian themes dominate. Kinda makes you want to go for a long walk south of here, doesn't it?


5) A slap on the wrist to anyone who wondered if this most Canadian of Canadian foods was anything other than Canadian, or special. Born in Quebec, poutine has captured the imagination of grease lovers around the world and today exists in many forms, including slathered in pulled pork, marianara sauce or chicken curry. Though once thought of as a bit of a provincial embarrassment, poutine has been embraced by the upper echelons of the culinary scene and can be found on the menus of high end restaurants in some of the worlds most cosmopolitan cities. So own it, Canada.


6) Butter tarts have been known as a Canadian specialty for ages - literally. The history of the recipe can be traced back to the 1600s, when brides imported to Quebec - les Filles de Roi - used maple syrup, butter and dried fruit to make the rustic original. They've stayed around ever since and today are a uniquely Canadian dessert not typically found outside the country.


7) In a way. The origins of the ever-popular Chinese food buffet are rooted in the work patterns of Scandinavian loggers, who would arrive in Vancouver's Gastown to replenish with food and drink. They would ask Chinese cooks to set up a steam table on a sideboard instead of serving to the table, leaving room for their bottles of booze. Now Canada has renowned Chinese take-out of all kinds and we're proud to call it our own.


8) The answer to this question is still a mystery - how does one survive without the tangy, sweet, salty savoury of that junk food staple the ketchup chip? The 300 million residents of the USA have to live without them, but many ask their Canadian friends to schlep bags to across the border. Maybe that's why people in the north of the USA tend to be more relaxed and liberal than their southern counterparts. They have better access.


9) Why yes it can - thanks to our rich First Nations heritage, Canadians have long enjoyed smoked salmon and smoked meat. The process of smoking, which cures, flavours and acts as a preservative for certain foods, does the opposite when applied to cigarettes, so choose wisely.


10) Like humour, food preferences are rooted in social context (i.e. things that made Greek audience laugh in 300BC probably wouldn't garner a giggle today) and just as poutine has made its way out from the burden of embarrassment, lobster used to be considered a poor person's food. So yes, when it comes down to it, we're not going to own up to any poor food legacies - every dog has its day so it's just a matter of time before ketchup chips make it into the big time.






1) Whistler hosted the alpine skiing events (men's and women's slalom, giant slalom, downhill, super G and super combined), the sliding events (men's and women's luge, men's doubles luge, men's and women's skeleton, men's two-man and four-man bobsleigh and women's bobsleigh), cross-country races (men's and women's freestyle, individual classic sprints, pursuit races, freestyle team sprints, classical team relays and classical mass start), biathlon competitions (men's and women's individual, sprint, pursuit, mass start and relay races), nordic combined (normal hill and large hill) and men's ski jumping (normal hill and large hill).


2) The moose is named Slider and he still lives at the High Performance Centre in the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood .

"He is huge and he is a big hit, too," said Canadian Nordic Combined athlete Jason Myslicki during the Games of the white ungulate complete with a full rack and bold Canadian Olympic Committee tattoos.

"I think it is even cooler to see him at night. He just hangs out there and doesn't move too far."

The athletes dubbed the moose Slider. His counterpart in the Vancouver athletes' village was named Swagger.

During the Games, stories circulated of Swagger being moved around the Vancouver village but Slider stayed put. He even had his own security detail - at least when the RCMP officers weren't playing shinny with the athletes.


3) The bar gave its name to a stuffed horse with quite a tale to tell. Whistler Mountain took over the bar in the 1980s and called it Dusty's but it quickly became known instead as the Deadhorse. The poor animal was forever frozen in a bucking position, back arched and legs extended, with saddle and tack. 
Legend has it the horse came from the southern United State, and was a famous Texas bronco horse in the 1920s. His name was Dusty. Apparently he liked to travel. 
He arrived in the valley after Whistler Mountains' manager of Food Services, Werner de Filla, completed a tour of the south-western U. S. searching for new menu ideas.

The management quickly found it had to come up with a rule about riding the horse because some people apparently found it impossible to leave the bar after two or ten beers without first mounting the old bucking bronco. The rule was that anyone who got on the horses back - with their clothes on - had to buy the house a round.

The horse also figured in some April Fools Day pranks, and ended up on top of a tower on the Little Red Chair one year.

The mountain tried to auction him off at charity events but everyone who bought him donated him back to the bar. Finally a young couple living in Pemberton won him as a door prize at a Winterhawks fund-raiser. They were delighted because they had just bought a live horse and discovered how much saddles cost.
 They took the saddle off Dusty and moved him to the volunteer cabin locker room, then sold him to a guy who wanted to play a prank on a buddy of his who was a fisherman.

Dusty then travelled around the valley in the back of a pick-up as a snow covered lump. Then one day a kayaker spotted him in the bottom of the Cheakamus River.
 Not knowing he'd spotted a stuffed horse the startled kayaker called the RCMP who ended up sending a dive team to recover what they assumed was a recently deceased animal.

The horse was winched out of the river and left in a pile beside the road. By now he was in really bad shape and missing a leg, but apparently there was still one more place Dusty wanted to visit.
 He re-appeared outside a lift shack up on Blackcomb. When Blackcomb mountain management learned they had a three-legged, dead, stuffed horse decorating one of their lift shacks early one morning they reacted before first public could see him.
 Old Dusty's wandering ended that morning. "Ashes to ashes, Dusty to dust," as one of his ex-owners succinctly put it.


4) Whistler broke records in December 2008 with the opening of the brand new Peak 2 Peak Gondola . Linking the summits of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, it boasts the longest unsupported lift span in the world at 3.024 kilometres (1.88 miles) and is the highest lift of its kind with a drop of 415 metres / 1,361 feet at the highest point over the valley. It takes just 11 minutes to cross.


5) On February 15, 1966 Whistler Mountain officially opened for skiing, almost two months later than scheduled.


6) Back then the journey from Vancouver took three days, requiring a ride on a steamship to Squamish followed by a two-day hike up the rough Pemberton Trail with rented packhorses. Alex and Myrtle Philip's operated a fishing lodge on Alta Lake until 1948 when they sold it to Alec and Audrey Greenwood. The main lodge burnt down in 1977, but today the area has been preserved as Rainbow Park. Some of the original cabins and a replica of "the Bridge of Sighs" are still standing at the park.

Alex Philip was an incurable romantic and a writer of fiction novels, two of which were named the "Bridge of Sighs" and the "River of Golden Dreams and Romance."

The Philip's both remained in the valley until their deaths. Alex died in 1968 at the age of 86, and Myrtle died in 1986 at the age of 95.

In 1913 the Philips purchased ten acres of land on the northwest corner of Alta Lake for $700.


7) Trick question. Whistler Mountain was always named Whistler Mountain, although a 1928 map made the mistake of naming it "London Mountain" in recognition of a mining company that had claims on it. On August 27, 1965 London Mountain's name was officially changed back to Whistler Mountain.


8) Munster built his first house for $50 in 1974 where Whistler Village now sits. It was located on the banks of the Fitzsimmons Creek near the present-day skateboard park. In 1979 the clock ran out on the Whistler squatter and Munster's house became the first house to be burnt down by the first fire dept in the first resort municipality in Canada. The Whistler Fire Department had used it for practice. In 2000 Munster sold Akasha, a spec home he built, for $7.9 million.


9) The first election was held in 1975 with seven candidates for alderman and two candidates for mayor: Pat Carleton, president of the chamber of commerce and Paul Burrows, president of the ratepayers association. Carleton won with 185 votes to burrows 103. On Sept. 6 the people of whistler gathered for the swearing in of their first council.


10) At about 20 years old, Jeanie is probably Whistler's best-known bear. She has a distinctive swath of white fur across her chest, mottled with darker blotches. Some say the markings on her face make her look as if she might be wearing old-fashioned spectacles. Her summer range encompasses the vast coastal hemlock-cedar forests on the north slope of Whistler Mountain and the south slope of Blackcomb. Last year she had her sixth litter, though she lost all three of her cubs. This year she came out of her den with two cubs, but now only has one - and last week she fought off two coyotes to keep herself and her cub safe.

Jeanie shares her territory with ATVs, Hummers, the Whistler Bike Park, and thousands of hikers and bear-watchers each summer.

She was first identified and named by researcher Michael Allen in 1996 on the north side of Whistler Mountain.