'Canadianness' and Acceptance

This year Canada celebrates its 150 anniversary and it seems fitting to begin 2017 with a blog dedicated to exploring objects and imagery that speak to ‘acceptance’ as a value in our series focussing on Canadianness.

In a world where the focus too often seems to be more on what divides us than what brings us together, the value of acceptance, that of welcoming ideas, beliefs, cultures and practices different from our own is precious. World events of the past year underscore this.

In studies exploring Canadianness images like the one above of the little monkey stroking the dove are offered up as an entry point to the ‘story;’ of what it means to be Canadian. Cultural diversity is considered a strength and Canada is depicted as a cultural mosaic and not a melting pot.  

In storytelling conversations with New Canadians, the vastness of the Canadian landscape and the diversity of the geography were considered to be physical representations of Canadianness.   Like the open, vast country, the people are characterized as open and tolerant, embracing and accepting diverse cultures.

In another exploration, a ‘loving cup’ was introduced as an object that evoked the value of acceptance and the idea that Canadianness means effortless imbibing or drinking from the cup of cultural diversity.

While Canada can genuinely claim to be a beacon of tolerance, the words of an RBC CEO ring so true for the year ahead.   ‘Simply having diversity is interesting; doing something with it is powerful’  That is our wish as we celebrate the past 150 and anticipate the year 2017.