This Is Canada, By Canadians, For Americans (And Everyone Else)

A consumer-generated campaign for Tourism Canada has Canuck auteurs capturing the essence of the Great White North.

Canadians tend to roll their eyes at the clichéd image of their country as the land of beavers, bears, and maple syrup. With nearly 80% of the population living in urban areas, trying to shake the stereotype of being a nation of flannel-wearing, beer-drinking hosers is a bit of a national pastime.

But when it comes time to show off the country’s forests, lakes and mountains, cities, cuisine and sports, it turns out they’re a patriotic bunch. When the Canadian Tourism Commission asked Canadians to submit home videos of their first-hand experiences in their country, in an initiative dubbed "35 Million Directors", the citizenry responded with 65 hours of video. The result is a two-minute film from DDB Canada that’s made of user-generated clips that were voted on by Canadians called "Canada Shared by Canadians."

It features the greatest hits of Canada, from the natural beauty of vast plains and forests, fresh lakes and rivers, snow-capped mountains and stunning Northern Lights, to the energy of cityscapes, the quaintness of villages and a bounty of thoroughly Canadian activities such as cliff jumping, pond skating, snowboarding and whale-watching. With a clap-happy track from Yukon Blonde sung in English and en français, the spot paints a picture so idyllic it’ll leave many Canadians wanting to Explore Canada themselves. Which is probably a good thing: as anyone who’s backpacked Europe would know, Canucks have a bad habit of traveling abroad and taking their own backyard for granted. And as this spot clearly shows, it’s a pretty sweet backyard.

(ed: Yes we’re biased. What of it?)

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  • Günter Soydanbay

    This is just fantastic. It sums up everything Canada and Canadians stand for. Much more effective than the "Know Canada" campaign.
    For more on this subject, please read this article and let me know what you think. 

  • Dalewebster

    Actually, the reason many Canadians don't travel around Canada is because it's so darn expensive. It's much cheaper for Americans to explore their own country than it is for Canadians. Canadians don't take their own backyard for granted, far from it.

  • WilliamE

     I'm European living in Canada 4 years and traveling to Canada for 34 years. trust me, Canada is a LOT cheaper than Europe!