Canada and Germany cultivate an active cultural exchange. Many Canadian artists visit Germany every year and German artists travel to Canada. Contacts between Canadian and German film and video producers are very strong. Canadian novels and short stories are very popular in Germany. More than 1,600 Canadian titles are listed in the Bibliography of Canadian authors in German translation (available in German only) and Livres Canada Books reports an increasing interest in Canadian writing.
Canadian visual artists are represented in all major art museums and galleries. German theatres produce Canadian plays and the list of musicians, both in classical and entertainment music is almost endless.
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.
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 short history, Canadian culture is above all contemporary.
This is particularly evident in its authors, almost all of whom are still alive: Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Yann Martel (three recent Booker Prize winners), Gaétan Soucy, Marie-Claire Blais and Antonine Maillet are already well-known in Germany. Over 1,000 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.
Finally, Canadian modern dance has made noticeable inroads in German festivals in recent years. In the past years, many companies were invited, the most famous of which were Lalala Human Steps, Marie Chouinard, O'Vertigo, and Holy Body Tattoo.
Music plays a historic role in Canada, one of the co-founders of the Jeunesses musicales mondiales. Its national icon, pianist Glenn Gould, is known throughout the world. The Montreal and Toronto symphony orchestras have a number of records to their credit and toured Germany several times. Chamber music also occupies a special place—Tafelmusik or the St. Lawrence Quartet have won several prizes in Germany. Singers such as Russel Braun and Michael Schade, flutist Robert Aitken and pianist Marc-André Hamelin are oft-invited performers, and composers Murray Schafer and Claude Vivier are also played regularly in Germany.