Ice hockey is a beloved sports in Canada. File image

Most popular forms of entertainment among Canadians

The types of entertainment Canadians are naturally drawn to are shaped by its inherent landscape.

While we share a few similarities with our closest neighbour, the United States, Canada has a distinct multicultural identity thanks to its indigenous, British, French, and immigrant influences. The country also has an esteemed reputation for preserving its unique identity in the Western world.

Hockey and winter sports dominate the sports arena, the government is known to fund arts and culture initiatives, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requires that broadcasters air a certain percentage of Canadian-made content.

So, what are the most popular forms of entertainment that bind Canadians together?

The Arts: Literature, Performing Arts, and Visual Art

The arts are an integral part of Canadian culture, as the government spends millions of dollars every year to support arts organizations, give grants to artists, and fund art initiatives that keep the arts alive in the country. You’ll find incredible Canadian writers like Michael Ondaatje, countless historic and modern theatres such as the Royal Alexandra in Toronto, and visual artists like Emily Carr, all representing the vibrancy of Canadian art.

Canadians love immersing themselves in a kaleidoscope of art forms, whether it’s attending a musical or engaging with the culture of the region in some way. As each province has its own traditions and identity, there’s tons to explore. Many art centres spotlight indigenous art such as carving and beadwork, Inuit art dominates the north, and urban centres boast just about every form of artistic expression imaginable.

TV (and Film)

Canadian-specific TV and film are often understated, their international presence typically paling in comparison to the blockbusters and world-renowned TV shows that come out of the US (apart from Schitt’s Creek and Trailer Park Boys, perhaps).

But there’s something homely about our series and movies – they often speak to nuanced topics relevant to our communities and capture narratives that we can relate to or understand. While we have plenty of spin-offs of American TV shows like Dragons’ Den (Shark Tank) and Law and Order, we have our very own CTV originals such as Transplant, Sight Unseen, and 2000s sitcom Corner Gas.

Some more standout titles that explore Canadian culture include Degrassi – the teen drama where Canadian artist Drake gained recognition; Kim’s Convenience – which revolves around a Korean-Canadian family and the convenience store they run in Toronto; and Trailer Park Boys – a mockumentary sitcom that explores life in Nova Scotia trailer parks.

Sports and Recreation

While the UK goes wild for soccer and the US practically sees American football as part of their national identity, Canadians love hockey. It might seem like a cliché and generalization for some, but for avid fans, hockey is a way of life. And as Canada is cold around six months of the year, it’s only instinct that the nation enjoys winter sports above all else. Curling, skiing, and snowshoeing are beloved sports and hobbies popular among the population.

Of course, other sports like soccer, baseball, basketball, and golf are also widespread, considering Canada is home to just one team in the NBA (the Toronto Raptors) and one team in the MLB (the Toronto Blue Jays). Competing against a plethora of US teams in those leagues, there’s so much national pride for our limited presence in those big leagues.

Canada is also highly progressive when it comes to iGaming. The gambling scene itself is well-established, traditionally stemming from indigenous cultures aiming to bring communities together. Residents of Ontario can participate in sports betting or online gambling whenever and wherever they want, thanks to the 49 operators and 72 gaming websites available. Sites like BonusFinder review all the perks and promotions available at many online casinos, making the process easy for Canadians who visit their site. In just three months (October to December 2023), Ontario generated $658 million in gaming revenue.


Plenty of world-famous artists were born in Canada, some of which you would’ve never guessed were Canadian. These include powerful vocalist Celine Dion, rock legend Bryan Adams, multi-instrumentalist and folk singer Joni Mitchell, and singer-songwriter Neil Young, to name a few legends. Some of these artists are so renowned that they’ve been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, made it onto the list of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest musical artists, won countless awards, and helped define entire generations and eras of music.

Canada also proudly represents some of the top artists today, including pop sensation Justin Bieber, rapper Drake, and R&B artist Daniel Caesar, who have over a billion monthly listeners on streaming services between them. We’re also responsible for some of the top artists of the early 2000s, such as Alanis Morissette, Nelly Furtado, and Avril Lavigne, whose music evokes a sense of nostalgia today.

Cultural Festivals and Events

Canada has always sustained its position as a multicultural hub that celebrates and recognizes all cultures and identities within the country. With a range of festivals and events to prove it, its residents can enjoy a fun time year-round.

Major cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary host globally celebrated festivals such as colourful Caribana, the Calgary Stampede, and Francofolies. You’ll find food fests, art fests, and countless celebrations – big and small – that serve to entertain and introduce Canadians and visitors to a segment of our culture.

Canada’s indigenous cultures are also widely acknowledged, helping people get closer to the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit heritages through storytelling, arts festivals, exhibitions, and workshops.

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