On the Art of Being Canadian by Sherrill GraceOn the Art of Being Canadian by Sherrill Grace

On the Art of Being Canadian

bySherrill Grace

Paperback | March 15, 2010

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When Vincent Massey wrote On Being Canadian in 1948, he acknowledged the importance of the arts to education and the production of good Canadian citizens. What he did not consider was what the arts and artists can tell us about being Canadian.

In On the Art of Being Canadian, Sherrill Grace begins with the premise that the arts have shaped and continue to inform Canadian identity. Drawing upon a wealth of artistic expression that spans over a century of painting, fiction, poetry, drama, and film, she traces how the arts and artists have contributed to three key themes in Canadian culture, commemoration, and myth making: the North, war, and iconic national figures such as Louis Riel, Emily Carr, Tom Thomson, and Mina Hubbard.

By telling stories in their chosen media and genres about life here or about events and figures from the past, she shows that artists help us to understand the Canadian landscape and to create a shared history. All students of Canada, whether at home or abroad, will find much to savour, enjoy, and reflect on in this beautifully illustrated volume.

Sherrill Grace is a professor of English at the University of British Columbia. She was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.
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Title:On the Art of Being CanadianFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.56 inPublished:March 15, 2010Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774815795

ISBN - 13:9780774815796

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Reviews

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: On Being Canadian

1 Creating a Northern Nation

2 Theatres of War: Battle Fronts and Home Fronts

3 Inventing Iconic Figures

Epilogue: Listening for the Heartbeat of a Country

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

When Vincent Massey wrote On Being Canadian in 1948, he acknowledged the importance of the arts to education and citizenship. He did not consider what the arts can tell us about being Canadian. In On the Art of Being Canadian, Sherrill Grace traces how painters, writers, and filmmakers have shaped Canadian identity in three fields of representation that are staples of Canadian culture – the North, iconic national figures, and war. By telling stories in their chosen media and genres about life here or about events and figures from the past, she shows that artists help us to understand the Canadian landscape and to create a shared history.Rather than re-visiting the old conundrum of “What is a Canadian?” Sherrill Grace asks the infinitely more complex and compelling question, “What is the process of being Canadian?”... This passionate and evocative study teaches us how to enjoy the cold, how to vanish, and how to celebrate our elusive state of “being” in the magnificent imaginative construct we call Canada. - Aritha van Herk