Let's talk about love
With Valentine's Day around the corner, it is hard to avoid the topic of Love. So, let's talk aboot it. Love is a small village in Saskatchewan, northeast of Prince Albert. In its prime in the 1940s, Love had a population of 250 people but now has about 65. The lumber industry sustained the town until the White Spruce trees began to disappear. Now, it is a lovely place to visit and camp, with nature all around. We really liked this piece that appears on the Village of Love's website (circa 2012):
"Today our population ranges around 80 or so warm, friendly folk. Their family histories reflect origins from the British Isles, Europe, Russia, China, Japan and many other countries that, when blended, present a true Canadian mosaic spirit."
The post office in Love offers a special Canada Post "cancel" featuring a teddy bear and a love heart. You can request to have some mail sent from the town so that the postage on your envelope is canceled with the teddy bear stamp. Click here for more information. (You can also do the same for a few other "lovely" towns in Canada.)
And, if you find yourself in the area, we couldn't help but give the Staggerinn Bar & Grill a plug. Stop in and tell them that some Aussie Canucks sent you!
For a dizzying glimpse of Love, click on Donald Wilson's video from 2006 (below left). He then returned in 2012 for a longer glimpse (video at right).
It has so far been a very mild winter for most of Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. An interesting result is that squirrels have had plenty of access to food and they are getting very fat. Wildlife expert Iolo Williams told Wales Online that while squirrels normally put on extra weight in the winter, this season they have been extra bulky because there has been plenty of food available to them.
Did you know that Australia is the only country in the world that does not have squirrels?
Check out thedodo.com for some chubby squirrel photos.
Speaking of rodents
Winnipeg, MB has had to cancel its annual Groundhog Day event scheduled for 2 February. "Winnipeg Willow", the city's nose-to-the-ground-weather-predicting woodchuck died suddenly on Friday. As part of Groundhog Day every year, Willow gave predictions about when spring would arrive based on whether she saw her shadow upon emerging from a hole. As the CBC notes, "Spring predictions in the province now fall solely on the bristly shoulders of 'Manitoba Merv', the other local weather prognosticator. Unlike Willow, Merv is a puppet."
Two PhD candidates, Daniel Schmidtke and Bryor Snefjella, compiled more than three million geo-tagged tweets from February to October last year. When they created word clouds of the findings, something interesting emerged. It was noted that Canadians are more polite than Americans (on Twitter, at least). Canadian tweeters used more positive phrases such as "great", "amazing" and "beautiful"; whereas Americans commonly used negative words such as "hate", "hell", "tired", "hurt" and "annoying".
"What's striking is there's a huge difference in the way Canadians and Americans use language," said Schmidtke. "It's a window into their own ideas and beliefs. Canadians seem a lot more buoyant and upbeat and positive. I'm British, so I'm impartial to all of this."
Some other commonly tweeted Canadian words were "favourite", "Habs", "Leafs", "Raptors", "Jays", "hockey" and "Eh".
Late last year, the Mounties arrested a Zamboni driver in Manitoba, charging him with impaired
driving and resisting arrest after crashing into the rink's boards and moving erratically around the ice. Officers received a complaint about the man during a minor hockey game in Ste. Anne, southeast of Winnipeg. Marc Robichaud, chief of the town's police department, said that arresting a Zamboni driver for impaired driving was a first for him, but the offenc e includes operating any motorised vehicle.
Ice skating trail
We love the look of this! Arrowhead Provincial Park near Huntsville, ON creates an ice skating trail every winter.
Well, lucky for Canadians, Potato Parcels are now available in Canada. For $9.99, you can send an anonymous message...written on a potato. We're not really sure what else to say about this. (Thanks, Bernadette, for sharing this "news".)
Clear Lake is clear for skating
With the mild winter (and lack of snow) in Canada, Manitoba's Clear Lake has formed into a see-through skating rink. The phenomenon happens every 5-10 years. Visitor Experience Manager at Riding Mountain National Park told the CBC that, "If you're in a shallow area, you can see the sand, the rocks, even sometimes fish. It's kind of cool when you can see sand underneath your feet." Check out the CBC link to see great video of the sand under the ice.
It's just So Canadian. Every Christmas, the Calgary Hitmen hockey team holds a game where they invite the fans to throw stuffed animals onto the ice for charity. Once the first goal is scored, fans start tossing the toys. This past Christmas, a record 28,815 toys were donated. Watch the goal and ensuing toy-tossing Christmas chaos below. It is pretty cool!
Canuck of the Month
This month's featured Canuck brings Canadian flair to his business dealings. Along with his partner, Lisa, Robin has recently launched a great business networking and meeting space in Brisbane's CBD. Check out their website here:
Where are you from?
Toronto. (I was born in Montreal but only lived there until I was 2.)
What brings you here?
I was relocated for an executive role with a company in Gold Coast in 2004.
What do you miss the most about Canada?
Family, Jack Astor's, watching the Leafs lose and the Toronto skyline.
What do you like the most about Australia?
The weather, relaxed culture and the love of beer.
What is your favourite team?
Interesting "Timbit" about yourself:
I like working in business and learning to do things the Australian way while subtly incorporating the Canadian way into how business is done.
Drop in and see Robin sometime at The Corner Office; he'd love to have a chat!
Would you like to be featured as our Canuck of the Month? Get in touch!