Party on, Garth. Events from July to December

How to get familiar with the language that Canadians really use day-to-day? In this series "Canadian English: Quirky, eh?", we take listeners on a romp across Canada making small talk, recognizing signature foods, and navigating head-scratching grammar rules and colloquial expressions. We’ll have you sounding like a Canadian in no time!

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Party on, Garth.
Events from July to December

Hello! Bonjour! Oi! Welcome, and thanks for tuning in to a new episode of our series Canadian English: Quirky, eh?  Let´s poke some fun – and hopefully a lit bit of learning along the way – about some of the quirkier aspects of the English language. In particular, Canadian English.

Canadians love to celebrate. Where there’s a reason, there’s a party. Hi, my name is Larry, and today we’re going to raise a glass to the many festive events that may be unique to Canada but open to the world.

If you tuned in to our last episode, you’ll be familiar with several traditions that Canadians observe during the first part of the calendar year from the Quebec Winter Carnival through to “sugaring off” and the glorious May 2/4 weekend.

Let’s pick up where we left off:

July

If experiencing “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” piques your sense of cowboy (or cowgirl) adventure, then you’ll want to check out the Calgary Stampede. It’s an annual extravaganza that celebrates western heritage, culture and community spirit. Activities range from big-name country music concerts to bronco-busting rodeo events; from carnival rides to exhibitions; from agricultural competitions through to parades. This Alberta event is one of Canada’s biggest traditions, as over one million people from around the world visit every year.

The weeks between late July and early August are the time to “Jump UP” for the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. The event has been held for more than 50 years: a celebration of Caribbean culture and traditions that has been billed as North America‘s largest street festival, attracting over 2 million visitors each year. 

The air is filled with the sounds of steel band, soca, calypso and reggae music and the aromas of rotisjerk chicken and callaloo. The grand finale of the carnival is the Parade of Bands consisting of elaborately costumed dancers, Mas bands and joyous dancing in the streets. 

August

A sure sign that the summer is nearing its end is the start of the Pacific National Exhibition Fair in Vancouver and the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. It is an annual tradition to visit the midways with exciting roller coasters, to gambol with the carneys and their fun games, to take in various concerts and cultural performances. The Horse Pavilion with live dressage competitions, the Food Building with new must-taste creations each year, the ever-present aroma of caramel corn and cotton candy… it’s a must for kids of all ages.

September

Every small town tends to host their own Fall Fair with toned-down versions of what we experience at the CNE or PNE. They are community events centred around the bounty of the fall harvest and local specialties. 

But the most significant event in September has to be the two weeks when A-List celebrities and fans eager to meet them gather for the Toronto International Film Festival. Movie premieres, red-carpet photo opportunities, local hot-spot events… the media follows their every move and star sightings make the headlines, as do the excellent movies showcased each year.

October

Zigga zagga, zigga zagga hoi, hoi, hoi! Welcome to Oktoberfest! There are several pockets of German descendants in Canada who host week-long tributes to their homeland. People come from far and wide to enjoy wiener schnitzel, bratwurst, sauerkraut and of course beer as they watch accomplished polka dancing accompanied by traditional accordion music. After a few rounds of “Ein Prosit”, everybody gets into the swing of the polka.

We differ from our American neighbours when it comes to giving thanks for the bounty of the harvest and the many, many blessings we appreciate. Canadian Thanksgiving takes place on the 2nd Monday of October, more than a month earlier than in the US. The celebration itself has many similarities, though: gatherings with family and friends, turkey feasts with all the trimmings, counting our blessings with a slice of pumpkin pie and whipped cream.

November

Canada pays tribute every November 11th to those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy today. We all purchase a poppy pin to wear on our coat lapels throughout the month to honour our veterans. We call “Remembrance Day” what Americans call “Veterans Day”, but the sentiment is the same.

During this podcast series, we have talked a lot about the multicultural beauty of the country. At no time is this more obvious than at the end of the year when a great variety of ethnic traditions receive equal attention and respect. It starts in mid-November with Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights. For 5 days, sumptuous feasts, traditional sweets and many candles and lanterns culminate with lavish galas and fireworks.

The next event, Chanukah, is also known as a Festival of Lights. It is an eight-day observance that remembers the Jewish people’s struggle for religious freedom. The religious ceremony of lighting the menorah candelabra, the eight days of gifts, the spinning of the dreidel and, of course, traditional Jewish foods are the most well-known highlights.

December

Another significant event is Kwanzaa, the cultural holiday that has been adopted around the world to celebrate African family, community and tradition.

Whatever or however one celebrates the season, it is impossible to not get swept up in the wonder of these feasts. During this time, holiday music, traditional movies, over-the-top marketing and cookie exchanges are non-stop. The gift shopping, food preparations and social engagements can be overwhelming but, as we say, Christmas comes but once a year!

And so here we are back at the end of December winding up the year on a very merry note of love, joy and peace. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Whatever time of year you choose to visit or move to Canada, you will find plenty of events and activities to keep you entertained while you soak in the culture and the welcoming people.

We hope you enjoyed  today´s  episode. Please take a moment to give us your feedback and like us with the big fans up. Fill free to play it again and share it with friends and family.

You have been listening to Canadian English, Quirky, eh? The podcast series produced by Brazilian Wave Canada. This project was made possible through the generous support of the Canadian Periodical Fund. If you want to subscribe to the series and have access to the exclusive episodes, please sign in at waveplus.ca.

Until then,

Catch you later!                                                                                 

Adieu!

Tchau!

Stay healthy!

Glossary

Accordion: Part of a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone type, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accordion)

Ethnic: Grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of folklore, ancestry, language, history, society, culture, nation, religion, or social treatment within their residing area. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group)

Extravaganza: A large, exciting, and expensive event or entertainment. (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/extravaganza?q=Extravaganza)

Observance: The act of obeying a law or following a religious custom. (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/observance?q=Observance)

Sumptuous: Impressive in a way that seems expensive. (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/sumptuous?q=Sumptuous)

Wash, rinse, repeat: Used to indicate the continual repetition of an action or sequence of events, typically in a way regarded as tiresomely predictable.(https://www.lexico.com/definition/rinse%2C_repeat)

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Podcast – Canadian English: Quirky, eh?

Produced by BRZ Group Inc., Canada, 2021

  • Director: Christian Pedersen
  • Production Coordinator: Ana Carolina Botelho
  • Scriptwriter: Lauri Richardson
  • Voices: Eric Major and Lauri Richardson
  • Vignettes: Robson DJ Estudio 
  • Website Production & Marketing: Creative Team
  • Project Management: Teresa Botelho