A Canadian Culture Overview Fact file o o o o o o o Official name – Canada Population – 33,098, 932* Official Languages – English and French Currency – Canadian dollar (CAD) Capital city – Ottawa GDP – purchasing power parity $1.165* GDP Per Capita – purchasing power parity $35,200*
Overview Canada is the second largest countryin the world and is characterised by an extraordinary variety of topography, climates and time zones. Canadian culture is a diverse fusion of indigenous, French and British traditions that have been significantly broadened by a wave of immigration from Europe and Asia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This vast multicultural and bilingual nation boasts a unique society withcustoms and values that must be recognised and appreciated should your organisation wish to venture successfully into Canada’s business sector. Canadian Culture - Key Concepts and Values Individualism – On the whole, Canadians are very individually oriented and ties with others are relatively loose. As a result, personal privacy is highly valued in Canadian culture and there is a clear distinctionbetween public and private life. In a business context, Canadians will generally be more open to discussion. They may also maintain a certain amount of distance and privacy within the business relationship but perhaps less so than in other Western countries. Individualism is also reflected in personal achievement and its potential to measure individual success. However, whilst other Western nationspursue a more assertive individualism, it is important to note that Canada and its inhabitants tend to share a greater sense of community and interdependence with other countries. Regional Differences – In such a vast country, regional differences are inevitable. Canada boasts an immensely varied population which includes many Asian, Chinese, Italian, Ukrainian and indigenous communities spreadthroughout the country. Each province also has its own unique culture, religious background and sense of identity. Quebec, for instance has a very different value system from the rest of Canada while English-speaking Canadians are considered to be slightly more reserved. Consequently, when doing business in Canada, you must bear in mind that the customs of business people may reflect their ethnic andregional background, which can differ significantly.
Doing Business in Canada © Communicaid Group Ltd. 2007
Power Distance - In Canada, there is a high level of equality between societal levels, where cooperation and maintaining a certain sense of harmony are encouraged. Interaction across varying power levels in a business context appears to be more evenly balanced as a result of this.Doing Business in Canada Canada was once inhabited by many different indigenous people before European settlers gradually displaced these groups in the seventeenth century. France lost its part of the territory to Britain in war but the French-speaking colonies remained. Modern Canada was formed in 1867 when colonies merged in an event known as the Confederation and the country became a selfgoverning,parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy. Canada achieved full independence in 1931 but continues to belong to the Commonwealth of Nations. As one of the world’s richest and most developed countries, Canada ranks among the top ten industrial powers and given its affluent natural resources, skilled labour force and successful economic integration with the US as part of NAFTA, Canadaholds sound economic prospects. The nation’s steady economic growth allows Canada to offer good trade and investments for companies covering a range of business areas. Canada Business Part 1 - Working in Canada (Pre-departure) o Working practices in Canada • Punctuality for meetings and appointments is a highly valued part of Canadian business culture. Therefore, you should make your Canadian...