Many people might have a diverse opinion on the extend of the American cultural influence on Canada, but the truth is, these two countries share a long common border, they use frequently the same language, they watch the same movies, listen to the same music and collaborate on other numerous levels, including economic and political activity. In this paper, I would like to show the extent of the influence on Canadian popular culture that comes from the United States. For my analysis I have chosen four segments of popular culture: television, printed media, music and films. In these are the main sectors where we can see the biggest evidence of this phenomenon. In the first part I would like to shortly introduce the history of this issue. The second part is the analysis of the four sectors.
In the last 20 years the penetration of the Canadian market by American cultural industries is still extremely strong. The United States is still the main source of culture products. American products represent 81% of all culture commodity imports. Canadians watch American TV shows, listen to American music, love American sports teams, drive American cars and buy American goods at American stores like Walmart. They eat American food, drink American beer (sometimes).
In the 1990s, 95% of feature films, about 70% of retail sales of sound recordings, 60% of television programs come from abroad, overwhelmingly from the United States. 80% of magazines, 70% of books come from abroad, of which overwhelmingly from the United States especially in the educational publication, only 25 %of educational book publishers in Canada were Canadian. At the supermarkets, the shops such as McDonald’s, Wal-Mart chain stores went into Canada on a larger scale. Wal-Mart, Wendy's and Pizza Hut, achieved an overwhelming superiority.
However, it is not only the market share. Many Canadians also love American popular culture. American movies, music and television programs have become Canadians popular way to spent’ leisure time. 50% of Canadians believe that American TV programs are much better than Canadian. Majority of Canadians also thought that America made the best TV Programs.
Probably the biggest American influence in Canadian culture is the TV broadcasting. There are several Canadian TV channels (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation owns the public national TV channels) but they buy the foreign products mainly because it is cheaper than to make original content. The Canadian Government tried to regulate the amount of foreign produced programs in television (and in music in radio stations as well). The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission sets the quotas for the television stations, how much of the Canadian-produced content are they required to broadcast. According to Broadcasting Act from 1991 (last amended) all television stations must include a minimum of 60 per cent yearly and 50 per cent prime-time Canadian content. Despite the...