The federal government especially encourages the arts through the Canada Council, established in 1957, which awards fellowships and grants. It favours decentralizing policies that bring cultural resources within reach of the most isolated communities. Since 1972 it has supported a multicultural policy to reflect the varied influences that make up the mosaic of Canadian life, including the cultures of indigenous peoples. Of Canada’s more than 2,100 museums, archives, and historical sites, the most important are in the National Capital Region. These include, in Hull, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, which celebrates Canada’s multicultural heritage; and, in Ottawa, the Canadian Museum of Nature (formerly the National Museum of Natural Sciences), the National Museum of Science and Technology, and the National Gallery of Canada.
The National Museum Policy (1972) has encouraged and supported the growth of regional museums. The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto has collections of art, life and Earth sciences, and Canadiana. Among more specialized museums are Upper Canada Village, a restoration of 18th- and 19th-century buildings in Morrisburg, Ontario; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Museum, in Regina, Saskatchewan; and the Royal British Columbia Museum, in Victoria, which contains important displays of Native American artefacts. The National Library of Canada, in Ottawa, issues the national bibliography and maintains union catalogues of the collections of more than 300 other libraries. Its holdings, including a comprehensive collection of Canadian newspapers, exceed 15.9 million items. Particularly outstanding university libraries are those of McGill, Toronto, British Columbia, and Montreal.
The performing arts in Canada are supported by government and private grants. The National Arts Centre, in Ottawa, opened in 1969, has a resident symphony orchestra and theatre companies that perform in French and English. The chief theatrical centres are Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto where the theatres present new Canadian plays as well as imports and classics. Opera companies include the Canadian Opera, in Toronto; two companies in Montreal; and six in the west—in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon. Among the principal dance companies are the National Ballet of Canada, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (Montreal). The Toronto Dance Theatre presents modern dance. The prominent orchestras include the Montreal Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, and the Vancouver Symphony. Canadians and visitors also enjoy summer festivals, such as the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario; the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; and Cultures Canada, a series of multicultural events in Ottawa. Local traditions are preserved in the Highland Games on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia; the Sherbrooke Festival de Cantons (Quebec), celebrating French-Canadian culture and cuisine; and the Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin, Manitoba. "Canada" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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