Canada Dreams
The Canadian Dream was for years the railroad that connected the country from sea to sea. As we reached the modern communication age the dream was replaced by the Cultural Mosaic. The dual founding European languages opened the way for us to accept all languages and cultures and eventually the original cultures. We are a nation that was created in deference to the state. Pierre Berton pointed this out in his book "Why We Act Like Canadians." In our history the RCMP went West first to set up forts, then the settlers were allowed to come West to the already established law and order. This was completely the opposite for the United States where the people were followed West by the law. For us Canadians it is not the individual but the common good that prevails. This is the sentiment that prompted Robertson Davies and Robert Kroetsch to describe Canada as a more Jungian nation than the United States. The social watch dog Ralph Nader describes Canada as the conscience of the United States.
It often takes a trip outside Canada for a Canadian to really feel pride in the country. Americans look to Canada to learn how to find the heart to care for its sick (Medicare). Refugees look to Canada for sanctuary, the world looks to Canada for it peace keepers, and the world's city dwellers look to Canada for its pristine wilderness. I am not saying that Canadians are not patriotic, but we live in a culture where it is difficult to place our loyalties. We have the choice of being loyal to our cultural roots or our country. Our country is still loyal to the Queen or American TV culture. On top of that we feel uncomfortable boasting about our country because bragging is unseemly.
When artists make art they in most cases dive into their unconsciousness. They come to Canada. When I make this statement I think of the aforementioned metaphor, but I also think of the vast open tundra, forests, seas and lakes. When I make art or the colleagues I have questioned make art, we dive in to the unknown. This is much the same as the original settlers did and the new arrivals to the country do. Each new piece of canvas is a clean sheet like the Great White North. Kandinski viewed the colour white as being pregnant with possibilities. In this gallery you will see the works of Canadians and guests. You will see glimpses into the beauty and ruggedness of the Canadian landscape and the Canadian people. You will have a taste of Canada as its artists see it.

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