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Canadian Culture and Art in the 1920s

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Abigail Iyekekpolor

on 9 May 2016

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Transcript of Canadian Culture and Art in the 1920s

Canadian Culture and Art in the 1920s
Group of Seven
• Canada’s most famous group of landscape painters

• Founded in 1920; members were: Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Frank (Later Franz) Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, and F.H. Varley.

• common goal; to capture the spirit of Canada in art.

• Travelled to places like Algonquin Park, Algoma wilderness, The Prairies, The Rockies, The east and west coast and the Arctic.

• Last art show in 1931 and group disbanded in 1933

The Group of Seven was able to break through a traditional style of painting in Canada that was considered more European. Through their unique art works, they founded a style of painting that they believed was able to capture the beauty and spirit of the Canadian wilderness.

Emily Carr
Emily Carr is one of Canada's most famous painters.

Her painting consisted of natural beauty of the mountains, rivers, and forests with Aboriginal designs and materials.

People did not understand nor appreciate Carr’s new form of expression that emphasized strength, emotion and spiritual beauty in bold, bright colors.

During the 1920’s Carr travelled with the Aboriginals exploring the interior of British Columbia. She loved the land and painted scenes that reflected its grandeur and beauty.

Many were shocked by her eccentric lifestyle; “ladies” did not travel in canoes through the wilderness unsupervised by men.

Carr’s artistic breakthrough came in 1926 when 26 of her works were exhibited by the National Gallery of Canada along with paintings of the Group of Seven. They shared a similar artistic style and more importantly a great love of the beauty of the Canadian countryside. She was known for her artistic interpretation and technique, which was similar to the Group of Seven.
Golden Age of Sports
Rise of Radio
The first radio broadcast in North America was on May 20, 1920 on station XWA in Montreal..

The first radios were very crude, listeners needed earphones to hear them, however the quality of the radio quickly improved.

new type of entertainment for everyone.

1924 -- Canadian electronics engineer, Ted Rogers, came up with the method of plugging the radio into an electrical current; this did away with batteries and crystals.

By 1930, 80 percent of what Canadians hear came from the United States.

Some were concerned that Canadians were too influenced by American programs

CBC was created in 1936 to protect Canadian content

The first Canadian program to be widely listened to was Foster Hewitt’s Hockey Night in Canada.
Rise of Movies
Canada had been making films as early as 1897—mostly promotional movies to show Canadian life and encourage people to settle the West

By the 1920’s film makers focused more on fiction.

Canadian theatres and distribution companies came under direct Hollywood control and more Hollywood-produced films were shown. (greater exposure to American influences)

Silent Film Era: no synchronized recorded sounds or spoken dialogues. Actors used more prominent body language and exaggerated facial expression to convey their character’s emotions.

Sound Film Era: Developed in early 1925 when sound recording technology was being developed. Actors now focused more on acting emotionally and emphasizing the intonations in their lines.

By then end of the 1920s there were more than 900 movie houses across Canada
Many Canadian actors made great contributions to the arising movie industry such as Mary Pickford, Glenn Ford, Florence Lawrence and Marie Dressler.
Fear of US Cultural Domination
• Canadian officials were aware of how the US might influence Canada

Mackenzie King: "I have found some apprehension as to the Americanisation of Canada. Certainly our business and social relations are very close, and are bound to be closer, and many phases of our life reflect United States influence."

• Between 1919-1929, Canadian culture prospered, but Canada also experienced a great amount of influence from the US.

• The popularity of radio and films increased the influence of the US as American programs and radio broadcasts flooded Canada. 

Canada had pioneered the radio; first radio programs in North America were broadcast in 1919 from station XWA in Montreal.

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The Canadian Encyclopedia
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The Canadian Encyclopedia.

West, J. and Peter Lindsay. 2001. "Sports History".
The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Oscars. "Mary Pickford Receiving an Honorary Oscar®."
. November 24, 2009. Accessed May 03, 2016.

"Vancouver Art Gallery - Emily Carr - About Emily Carr."
Vancouver Art Gallery - Emily Carr - About Emily Carr.
Accessed May 03, 2016. http://www.museevirtuel.ca/sgc-cms/expositions-exhibitions/emily_carr/en/about/index.php.

"Canadians in Hollywood."
Canada in the 20s and 30s.
Accessed May 2, 2016. https://canadainthe20sand30s.wikispaces.com/Canadians in Hollywood

"1920s The Roaring Life in Canada."
Slide Share
. Accessed May 04, 2016. http://www.slideshare.net/mrbjwalters/1920s-the-roaring-life-in-canada.

Prime Minister Mackenzie King, Imperial Conference, October 25, 1926,
Documents on Canadian External Relations,
1926-1930, Vol. IV.

Varley, Christopher. "Group of Seven."
The Canadian Encyclopedia
. November 07, 2011. Accessed May 04, 2016. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/group-of-seven/.

"Lawren Harris Biography & Paintings - The Group of Seven."
The Art History Archive
. Accessed May 05, 2016. http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/canadian/Lawren-Harris.html.
Hockey; Canada's favorite sport

One of the first Canadian accomplishments in sports came from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia through a racing schooner; Bluenose (also nicknamed Queen of the North Atlantic)

Canadian male and female athletes had tremendous success at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Holland.

The Track and Field Team surprised their opponents by winning both gold and silver medals in several events;

Women competed at a high level in almost every conceivable sport, and took their rightful places as competitors and record setters, becoming heroes of an entire generation of women.
Did Canadian culture help develop nationalism in the 1920s? If so, How?
Did movies and radio threaten Canadian culture?
How did art, entertainment and sports in Canada combat the fear of US cultural domination?
From the evidence provided, do you believe the 1920s were a turning point for Canadian culture?
Indian Church, 1929, Emily Carr
Kitwancool, 1928, Emily Carr
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