The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.

CBC TV & Radio shows plus HNIC

His work with Artists for Peace and Justice

UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme

Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Canada Day!!!

Early in 2008, artist, author and filmmaker Douglas Coupland paid a visit to The Hour. At that time he was promoting his book The Gum Thief and the television adaptation of another of one his works, jPod, airing on CBC. On the eve of our great Nation's 141st Birthday, I would like to draw your attention to another Coupland's a story close to's the unique story of us...Canadians.

Souvenir of Canada is compilation of not one, but two books and a rather quirky documentary that chronicles Coupland's journey "to find out what makes Canadians, Canadians". The back-story on the project is rather interesting. In 2002 Coupland published the art/essay book Souvenir of Canada. In 2004 an exhibition of his work relating to this project, entitled Canada House opened at the Design Exchange in Toronto. The exhibit was billed as "art and design objects contemplating the notion of Canada" and coincided with the release of the second book, Souvenir of Canada 2. In the fall of that year, the exhibition hit the road and headed to The Canadian High Commission, Canada House in Trafalgar Square, London. The documentary (released in 2006 and now on dvd) is the story of how Coupland created his exhibit using those everyday objects that are familiar to us as Canadians, yet set us apart from those who are not. The documentary is simply brilliant and you will most certainly catch yourself yelling at your television as you see those objects that define us and our country. If you check out the books and/or dvd, you'll know what Douglas Coupland's idea of Canadiana is...tell us yours!
Have you ever used sofa cushions & duct tape to make homemade goalie pads?

To all our readers, near and far, Happy Canada Day!


Tracy said...

I want to see this documentary now Steph. Douglas Coupland himself is as quirky and unique as the work he creates.

What defines Canadiana for me is so diverse. I think that is what amazing about being Canadian is that we aren't narrowly defined. Maybe it's our music, humour, art, cultural diversity or our kindness and compassion for people. Really - it's as much a feeling and a spirit as any one tangible thing or things.

Tracy said...

I have been thinking about it more. If I had to pick one or two tangible items that define Canadiana for me I need to look no further than my dad's mantle. Proudly displayed - my Ukrainian immigrant grandfather's pocket watch and signal lantern from when he worked for CN. These objects represent hard work, determination and a bold new start in Canada for my family. Grandpa died before I was born, but I have great pride in the values he and my baba instilled in my father during those lean days back in Winnipeg.