One of the few things that many people notice when traveling through western Canada, is how little art there is. Don’t get me wrong, there are always small communities and areas in almost any decent-sized city that have an arts community. But art is not something most Canadians think they need.
Growing up in Western Canada, there are not many opportunities to explore your interests. Whether it’s playing the violin, singing songs, practicing fine arts, painting sunsets, or writing poetry. You have to be lucky enough to be in the right part of town to get away with it all. Otherwise, you risk losing the respect of your peers. Something that has always confused me a bit about western Canada.
Despite the negative connotations western Canadians have with art in general, it’s great to know that there is a place in Canada where the arts community is warm and thriving. That place is Eastern Canada. From the suburbs of Toronto, to the trendy metropolitan area of Montreal, to the old buildings of Quebec City. My favorite of all is Halifax, Nova Scotia.
With Halifax, you get a small town feeling with a thriving art scene in the big cities. With more than a few universities and colleges located around downtown Halifax’s, it’s just a matter of finding a place to live, and dive into this mecca of music, dance and art.
I suspect that the reason art in general remains a hobby, job, career, or popular time, is to party because of the sheer number of universities, but also the number of clubs, pubs, and bars that offer live music, and give artists an outlet to showcase their creations. Combined with the nearby museums, old buildings, and the feeling that you’re still a part of Canada’s past, it’s easy to get creative.
So for those who are stuck in a city where what you are doing is not frowned upon. If you’ve been told by friends and family to get a job, stop dreaming, or think you’re crazy. Leave. Find the city where you will be accepted. There are some amazing locations in Canada where the love of culture still exists. Sometimes you just need to get out of the nest to chase your dreams.