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Cultural Relations

Canada and Germany cultivate an active cultural exchange. Many Canadian artists became an integral part of German cultural life and German artists are active in Canada.

Canadian visual artists are represented in major art museums and galleries. Canadian Dance companies are well established and German theatres produce Canadian drama. Canadian classical musicians are represented in concert series and popular musicians enjoy a huge followership in Germany. German readers are very fond of Canadian litrerature. More than 1,600 Canadian titles are listed in the Bibliography of Canadian authors in German translation. There are numerous coproductions between Canadian and German film companies. Young filmmakers participate in German film festivals such as the Berlinale.

A cultural agreement between Canada and Germany was signed in 1975.




The objectives of the Cultural Relations Section of the Canadian Embassy in Berlin are to give the German public an overview of the contemporary cultural scene in Canada and to increase the presence of Canadian artists in Germany.

We cooperate with experts from all areas of the German cultural scene to enable Canadian artists to take part in cultural events in Germany and to encourage the exchange between German and Canadian cultural representatives. We support projects of German cultural institutions which involve Canadian artists or which are developed in cooperation with Canadian cultural institutions.

Acting as advisers and mediators, we encourage contacts between German and Canadian representatives of the cultural scene and inform experts about the cultural networks in both countries.

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About Canadian Culture

Canada has two official languages - English and French - and a highly diverse culture, thanks to the contribution of Canadians of all origins. Because of its relatively short history, Canadian culture is above all contemporary.

This is particularly evident in its writers like Margaret Atwood, Nicolas Dickner, Barbara Gowdy, Yann Martel, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Mordecai Richler or Gaétan Soucy, who are well-known in Germany. Over 1,600 Canadian literary titles have been translated and published in German.

In recent decades, Canada has gained recognition in Europe in the visual arts thanks to cutting-edge artists. Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, Ken Lum, Ian Wallace and Geneviève Cadieux introduced new uses for photography techniques, Janet Cardiff and Louis-Philippe Demers used new technologies in artistic creation, and Jana Sterback invented never-before-seen conceptual environments. Each year, Canada receives awards for its new media creators at Berlin's Transmediale or the European Art Festival in Osnabruck.

Cinéma d'auteur is becoming increasingly common, thanks to veteran filmmakers such as Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg, Denys Arcand and Léa Pool, but also because of young directors such as Jean-François Pouliot, Denis Villeneuve, Don McKellar, Keith Behrman and Guy Maddin.

Flowing from a very strong oral tradition, Canadian theatre has not only world-renowned stage directors such as Robert Lepage and Denis Marleau, but also a large number of authors who have been translated into many languages, including German. In this vein, German companies recently staged works by Michel-Marc Bouchard, Daniel Danis, Michel Tremblay, George Walker, David Young and Colleen Wagner.

Canadian modern dance has made noticeable inroads in German festivals in recent years. Many companies were invited, the most famous of which were Lalala Human Steps, Marie Chouinard, O'Vertigo, and Holy Body Tattoo.

Canadian composers and performing artists enjoy international recognition and are regular guests on German stages. The name Glenn Gould (1932-1982) stands out from others. Called the "James Dean of the piano", Gould left an impressive collection of recordings and his theories continue to be discussed. Contemporary pianists like Marc-André Hamelin and Louis Lortie perform regularly in Germany, as does the young pianist Jan Lisiecki, who, aged just 19, is the shooting star of the scene. Composers such as R. Murray Schafer, Claude Vivier, Robert Normandeau and Robin Minard are represented in German repertoires. Schafer became world famous for his ecological sound research and Robin Minard's sound installations can be seen at international new music festivals. Stars like Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Paul Anka represent the early years of Canadian popular music. With his poems and recitals, Leonard Cohen is a singer-songwriter legend.  

Information about culture in Germany is provided by the Goethe-Institute.

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