Sample Writing

That's Very Canadian! book cover

That's Very Canadian!
An Exceptionally Interesting Report
About All Things Canadian, by Rachel
Maple Tree Press, 2004


That's Very Canadian!

I've been learning all about Canadian symbols and other things that are especially Canadian. I'm now a wiz, symbolically speaking. Watch out--you're about to find out all about these symbols, too. I'll show you all kinds of things I've found that are "Canadian," from maple leaves to words like "toque." I've also put in the things that people think are Canadian, even if they aren't, like that all Canadians live in igloos. As if!
Ladies and gentlement, boys and girls, moose, geese, and beavers, turn the page to enter a country where hockey-playing beavers and maple-syrup-slurping moose live in igloos and paddle birch bark canoes in both official languages...voici le Canada!

A Buck-Toothed Beaver Becomes a National Icon

What's short and squat, has a flat tail, buck teeth, and a big rump? Our national symbol, that's what. Okay, maybe a beaver is not as noble as the lion, Britain’s symbol. Or as dignified as the United States’s bald eagle. But Canada’s beaver is, um … cute! And busy. Yes, beavers are very hard-working, chopping down trees to build lodges and dams.

Why Beavers?

How did beavers become a symbol of Canada? Back in the late 1600s, European gentlemen wore fancy beaver-skin hats. These hats were so popular in Europe that suppliers needed new sources of beaver. And guess what—across the ocean in Canada, there lived about six million busy beavers. To catch them, the fur traders needed help from the locals, the aboriginal people. So French and English traders arrived with trading goods such as blankets, guns and copper pots. They traded these goods with the First Nations people for canoe-loads of beaver skins.

The Fur Trade took off! Fur traders made lots of money, and beavers became the symbol of Canada’s importance to the world. What’s more, while they were looking for furs, Europeans explored this vast and unknown land. Settlers arrived to start a new life here. The aboriginal people were outnumbered by the newcomers, and their way of life was changed forever. Over time, a railway was built from sea to sea. A new country, “Canada,” was born. But it started with those beaver hats.

Branding Canada: Episode 1

[a brainstorming session with Moose and Goose]

Here’s our task, Goose: we’re going to brand Canada.

Brand Canada?

That’s what they call it in the marketing biz. Branding Canada means coming up with a nifty little phrase or logo that we can use to advertise who we are. .

So we need to sum up what Canada is all about in just a few words, Moose?

Right. We need a catchy slogan.

Okay, here’s one: “Land of Honking Great Geese!”

Well, certainly wildlife is part of the Canadian appeal. I’ll write it down. What about something with beavers—Canada’s national symbol?

How about: “A Tail-Thwapping Destination!” Or “A Country You Can Really Chew On!”

On second thought, maybe not beavers. What other animal is associated with Canada?

I know, “Canada: A Million Mosquitoes Greet You!”

That's welcoming, but it might make people itchy. Let’s switch gears. Maybe something about Canada’s natural wonders. Like, “Discover Our True Nature.”

Say, that’s good, Moose!

But I didn’t make it up. It’s used by Canada’s tourist industry. We need to come up with something else that captures the idea of our vast wilderness and wide-open spaces.

I've got it: “Canada: We’ve Got Lots of It!”

Catchy. But what is the “it” that we have lots of?

Bog. We have a lot of bog in Canada. Marsh and muskeg.

I can’t see bog being a selling point for most people.

Then how about this: “Canada – Not All Bog!”

Hmmmm. Let’s take a break and come back to this. It might take us a few sessions to come up with the perfect Canada brand.

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