Content To Be Canadian.

22 Jan

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) » is Canada’s public film producer and distributor ». They are probably best known for producing documentaries that people rarely get to see, outside of the public school system. Well, the NFB has recently made a part of its collection available online. This is welcome news, and a step in the right direction.

Exploring by Keywords, on their site, yields the following, somewhat limited, trove:

Ballet »
Barn dances »
Cuba »
Dance »
Dancing »
Flamenco »
McGarrigle Kate and Anna »
Ritual dances »
Salsa »

Sometimes, I would pass the NFB Mediatheque » building in Toronto, and think to myself, “This is probably a place where I could go and watch some NFB films for free.” But I am always just passing the building, on my way to somewhere else. I would think about my tax dollars, and the Arts, and how I like the idea of my tax dollars funding the Arts, but then feel somewhat nonplussed at how the Arts, while accessible on a factual level, feels inaccessible on a practical level.

I think about Canadian content » requirements for radio and tv, and aside from the News, I wonder what else I watch that has Canadian content. Does Friends » have Canadian content? Howie Mandel » is Canadian. Does it count if I don’t watch his game show, but think he’s really funny? What is the purpose of Canadian content requirements? Is it so that a certain amount of Canadian content gets aired, or that a certain amount of Canadian content actually reaches my eyeballs, and the eyeballs of other Canadians. If no-one watches, does Canadian content exist?

Is the purpose of Canadian content requirements to foster a Canadian culture? I try not to think too hard about Canadian culture, to avoid experiencing cultural cringe ». When I say to myself, “I Am Canadian” », the first thing I think about is beer. How did that happen? Should I instead be thinking about hockey and curling? Maple syrup and Beaver Tails »? Inuit throat singing? The Sunshine Girl »?

I think about the recent funding plight of the BC Ballet ». I think they found their funding, but at the time, I felt bad about the potential loss of some Canadian culture. I don’t know how Canadian ballet differs from non-Canadian ballet, but Arts is Arts, and I like the Arts. I have never actually seen a performance by the BC Ballet, and likely never will. Why should this be? With an abundance of technology, YouTube and the Internet, there must be some artistic/ creative » way for me, here in Toronto, to enjoy tax-dollar sponsored performances by the BC Ballet, don’t you think? Ok, they may not be my tax dollars or my funding dollars, but gimme, gimme.

With all their recent media exposure, I must not be the only one in Toronto who now wants to experience some BC Ballet, or watch obscure Canadian documentaries, or dedicate my eyeballs to some other pursuit of Canadian content consumption. There is a lot of content out there. So much so, that there is no way for my eyeballs to ever catch up. If Canadian content is not practically accessible, my eyeballs will find something else to watch.


2 Responses to “Content To Be Canadian.”


  1. Flamenco Dancing Guitar and Cajon Spanish Music » Blog Archive » Content To Be Canadian. « Salsa Gigolo in TO - January 22, 2009

    […] To Be Canadian. « Salsa Gigolo in TO unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptPosted by salsagigolo under flamenco, […]

  2. The Salsa Mandarins. « Salsa Gigolo in TO - May 1, 2010

    […] book partly because a dancer visiting from France lamented to me the lack of culture in Canada. I cringed ». Rather than try to defend Canada’s cultural honour, I thought I’d try to understand […]

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