Canada visa holders should keep in mind that understanding the cultural values of Canada is important to enjoy the stay in the country.
The main ‘cultural’ season is I-Tom November to May; however, first-rate productions are performed through the summer as well. Toronto and Vancouver are the largest English-speaking cities and have particularly noteworthy theatre and dinner-theatre Facts for the Visitor – Entertainment 89 scenes. Montreal is the capital of French theatre and performance arts. Nightclubs and bars present nightly jazz, blues, and rock of widely varying caliber. National and international names perform regularly in the main centers. Most large cities and towns have at least one comedy club. There are two widespread trends in city bars. The first is sports bars with numerous televisions for watching an array of live sporting events. The second is clubs featuring pool tables coupled with recorded music. Theatre, ballet, opera and symphony orchestras can be enjoyed across the country.
Casinos are increasingly new coming as governments seek new ways of raising revenue. Gretzky was as much a symbol of Canada as the beaver or the maple leaf. Gretzky retired in 1999, causing tears and homages across the country. Now with excellent players and teams in such countries as Sweden, Finland, the Czech and Slovak republics and Russia, as well as semi-professional and college teams in the USA, international matchups are always close and many European players are drafted by NHL teams. Still, despite this influx of players from Europe and increased US influence and expansion, the majority of players in the NHL remain Canadian. Although ‘he shoots, he scores’ is perhaps the most Canadian of phrases, hockey is a game for girls and women.
Women have played the game since its formative stages but in a much less organized fashion. The most Canadian of sports while amateur leagues are plentiful, there is still no professional women’s league. The first Women’s World Championship was held in 1990 and, incidentally, was won by Canada. Women’s hockey is now included in the Winter Olympics; it’s the same game but without body checking. The Hockey Hall of Fame can be visited in Toronto and professional hockey games can be seen in many major Canadian cities. At any outdoor rink during the winter you are likely to find a pick-up game in progress.
If you’ve got skates and a stick, you’re in the game and a part of a Canadian tradition. Facts for the Visitor – Spectator Sports For more information on Canadian arts see the Arts section in the Facts about Canada chapter. 1,- SPECTATOR SPORTS Technically, Canada’s official national sport is lacrosse, a Native Indian game similar to soccer but played with a small ball and sticks. Each stick has a woven leather basket in which the ball is caught and carried. The sport that really creates passion, and is the de facto national game, is ice hockey. This is especially true in Quebec, home of the Montreal Canadians, a hockey legend and one of the most consistently successful professional sports teams anywhere. If you’re in Canada in winter, a National Hockey League (NHL) game is recommended. The season runs from October to April.
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