Canada: Ruffling feathers
Canada is the United States’ quiet neighbour in the north. While America is big, bold and brash, Canada minds its own business and evolves peacefully, organically and calmly. Its vast forests and chilly plains speak of adventure and an outdoor lifestyle, while its cities, such as Vancouver, have been voted some of the world’s best places to live.
Canada rarely starts wars. Its citizens can go almost everywhere and be accepted. Canada is not often embroiled in controversial activities and prefers to stay out of the global spotlight. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of this, the country has carved itself a positive national identity that revolves around inclusivity, openness and tolerance.
According to a recent conversation with Nouveau North, a Canadian media outlet focused on promoting stories of Brand Canada, things are changing. There is ‘an assertive element’ to Canada’s national brand at present.
Jamie Black, founder of Nouveau North, says, “[Canada has] been ruffling some feathers at the moment, especially in stances on foreign policy and climate. Many are not used to it. I think audiences over time have grown used to a perfectly indifferent Canada. I believe it is part of the process towards maturing.”
As with many countries, Canada has its own share of national symbols and associations. The most famous include the beaver and the moose, maple syrup and the national sport of ice hockey.
Black says, “Brand Canada is very strong globally, but I’m not sure if you would define it as a legacy brand, hence it has untapped potential. Historically, ‘Brand Canada’ was anchored around a few strong symbols and they made sense to bring a bilingual, multi-cultural country together.”
He adds, “Today it’s working to keep pace with the nation’s desire for greater global relevance, especially its emerging urban experience.”