Monday, June 30, 2014


Astronaut Chris Hadfield, the Loonie, the Calgary Stampede, Canada Geese, the invention of Insulin, Marshall McLuhan, “Corner Gas”, William Shatner, Stanley Park, the AVRO Arrow, Donald Sutherland, Keifer Sutherland, Paul Anka, John Candy, SCTV, Alanis Morissette, Hockey Night In Canada, Celine Dion and Don Cherry.  They’re all Canadian.       
Happy Canada Day to Canucks everywhere...and on Canada Day, EVERYONE’s Canadian, Who’s up for a double double and a maple covered doughnut?  This year, July 1st falls on a Tuesday and our quiz is all about Canada.  Sorry Americans, Brits, Australians, Scots, Russians, Irish, Europeans, Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, Italians, Greeks, Japanese and penguins from Antartica – you’re all out of luck this week, unless you know your Canadian pop culture trivia. 
So let’s get started, eh? 

1.  What legendary Canadian country singer/songwriter sang about Canadian cities and provinces such as Tillsonburg, Sudbury and Prince Edward Island?  Was it:  a. Hank Snow  b. Wilf Carter  c.  Stompin’ Tom Connors?                       
2.  Regina may be the capital city of Saskatchewan, but it’s Saskatoon that’s the provinces largest city.  Joni Mitchell and The Northern Pikes (“She Ain’t Pretty”) both are from Saskatoon.  Which group had a Top Ten Canadian hit in 1972 with the song “Running Back To Saskatoon”?  Was it:  a. The Guess Who  b. Bachman Turner Overdrive  c. Chilliwack   
3.  Hollywood has long looked to Canada to provide the scenery (and production expertise) for some of its biggest hits.  The “Twilight” series, starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart was filmed in beautiful British Columbia.  The Oscar winning film “Unforgiven”, direct by and starring Clint Eastwood was shot in and around Drumheller, Alberta’s Dinosaur Valley.  Which other Academy Award winning film was shot in Alberta?  Was it:  a. “Dances With Wolves”  b. Tombstone  c. Brokeback Mountain          

4.  Which recent U.S. television sitcom regularly poked fun at Canadian icons such as Mounties, Tim Horton’s, our hockey obsession and saying ‘eh’?  Was it:  eh. The Simpson’s  b. Castle  c. How I Met Your Mother 
5.  There have been a great many Canadians who’ve made it big in television in the past few decades.  Paul Shafer, David Letterman’s bandleader/sidekick is one.  Paul originally hails from Thunder Bay, Ontario.  Former Vancouver natives Michael J. Fox and Jason Priestly became stars of “Family Ties” and “Beverly Hills 90210” respectively in the 1980’s.  Another British Columbia native, Cobie Smulders co-starred in the recently ended series “How I Met Your Mother”.  Cobie also appeared in the 2014 movie, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.  But there is one Canadian who’s been on a continuous U.S. television program longer than any other host.  Can you guess his or her name?  Is it:  a. William Shatner  b. Alec Trebek  c. Marilyn Denis                                          


1.  That would be c. Stompin’ Tom Connors.  Tom was a true blue, 100% dyed-in-the-wool, fiercely proud Canuck.  “Sudbury Saturday Night”, “The Hockey Song”, “Bud The Spud” are but three of Tom’s classic songs.  Tom was born in Saint John, New Brunswick and was later adopted by a family from Skinners Pond, Prince Edward Island.  His musical career took him to every corner of Canada, including Cornerbrook, Newfoundland (that’s a joke son.  Laugh, I say laugh when you get a chance).  Tom received many honours over the years, including the Order of Canada in 1997.  The legendary Canadian troubadour passed away on March 6, 2013.          

2.  a. The Guess Who is correct.  “Running Back To Saskatoon” was written by Burton Cummings and Kurt Winter and was recorded live in May of 1972.  Although it made the Top Ten in Canada, it languished at the bottom of Billboards’ Hot 100 chart, only climbing as high as # 96.  Pearl Jam covered the song during concerts in Saskatoon in 2005 and 2011.                   
3.  c. Brokeback Mountain, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger is the correct answer.  Filmed in Calgary, Fort MacLeod and Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, this 2005 Ang Lee directed movie, won 3 Academy Awards, including “Original Score For A Motion Picture”, “Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay” and Ang Lee became the first Asian to win for “Best Director”.  1993’s “Tombstone”, starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, was filmed in Arizona and 1990’s “Dances With Wolves”, starring and directed by Kevin Costner, was shot in South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska.
4.  While The Simpson’s has made many Canadian references throughout their decades on television as well as visited the Great White North a couple of times, and Castle stars Canadian born actors Nathan Fillion (Edmonton, Alberta) and Stana Katic (Hamilton, Ontario), it’s c. How I Met Your Mother that saluted Canada in an off handed humourous way.  On the now completed TV series, the character of Robin Sherbatsky, played by Cobie Smulders is from Canada (as is Cobie in real life).  Her character was once a teen idol called Robin Sparkles who sang in malls, a la Debbie Gibson.  Actor/writer/producer Allan Thicke made several cameo appearances on the show and Robin’s TV fiancé and eventual TV husband Neil Patrick Harris, even made a hilarious trek to Canada to track down an old boyfriend of Robin’s and spent a lot of time in various Tim Horton’s.                        

5.  Alec Trebek is the name we were looking for. This June 13th, Alec bested Bob Barker’s record and went into the Guinness Book of Records for “the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter”.  Since 1984, Alec has hosted 6,829 episodes of “Jeopardy”.  Alec began his broadcasting career at the CBC as a newscaster and sportscaster.  CBC programs Alec hosted include “Music Hop” (1963-64) and “Reach For The Top” (1966-1973).  The Sudbury native’s done very well for himself, considering he has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa.  He’s won 5 Emmy Awards and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Alex was the second of three game show hosts to be honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2006 (the first was “Let’s Make A Deal” host Monty Hall and the third was Howie Mandel for “Deal Or No Deal”).

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