Canada boasts an illustrious entertainment history. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the United States, the country has contributed a host of big names to the music industry, Hollywood and gambling. Here are just some of the many Canadian exports who have gone down as trailblazers in their respective industries.
Monica Reeves, a former model and professional blackjack player, hails from Oakville, Ontario. The Canadian province is viewed by many as Canada’s answer to Las Vegas due to its impressive casinos such as the Fallsview Casino Resort, which offers wondrous views of Horseshoe Falls. She is an iconic figure in the gambling world and her success is proof of just how accessible casino gaming is in Canada these days, with online casinos as well as land-based establishments flourishing. Reeves is also an aspirational figure. While training under the Canadian poker player Jim Worth, she demonstrates that playing online blackjack is a viable option for players to begin their tutelage as a launching pad for professional careers. 888casino, for example, facilitates this learning process by providing comprehensive information about blackjack, so players can learn about the game before trying it out for real.
Canada has a rich history of music stars who have made it big across the world in many different music genres such as Justin Bieber, Shania Twain and The Weeknd, but the biggest selling Canadian export is Celine Dion.
She was born in Charlemagne, Quebec and released her first album in 1981 with her first eight albums recorded in the French language. In 1988, Dion won the Eurovision Song Contest representing Switzerland with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi.
In 1990, Dion released her first English language album entitled Unison, which sold four million copies around the world. And her second eponymous album, Celine Dion, was even more successful, selling five million copies worldwide. Her third English-language album entitled The Colour of My Love is one of the highest-selling albums of all time with 20 million copies sold. In 1996, Falling into You became Dion’s biggest commercial success, selling 32 million copies, and featured the power ballad, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.
Her album Let’s Talk About Love in 1997 featured My Heart Will Go On, her biggest hit single, which reached the number one spot in charts all over the world, most notably in the United Kingdom, Canada and in four different charts in the United States. It also featured in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1998 and netting four Grammys the following year, including the award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television.
She has revealed she did not actually want to record the single: “It didn’t appeal to me. I was probably very tired that day — very tired. My husband said, ‘Let’s hold on.’ He talked to the writer and he said, ‘Let’s try to make it, like, a little demo.’ I sang the song once and they built the orchestra around it. I never re-sang it for the recording. So the demo is the actual recording. But after that, I’ve sung it about three gazillion times.”
Dion has remained true to her roots of Charlemagne a suburb of Montreal, Quebec, as she has continued to release French-language albums.
A list of the greatest comedy actors of all time would certainly include Canadians such as Mike Myers, Leslie Nielsen and John Candy, but the greatest success has been achieved by Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey was born in Newmarket, Canada and began as a stand-up comedian in Toronto comedy clubs. He moved to Hollywood in 1983 with the ultimate aim of appearing on one of the late-night talk shows and he achieved his big break on the comedy show In Living Color.
Carrey’s life is a real rags to riches tale and he has used his vulnerability in roles such as the 1996 black comedy The Cable Guy. He has also demonstrated his versatility in the psychological comedy-drama The Truman Show in 1998 and thrillers such as The Number 23 in 2007.
But his roles in comedy movies really helped catapult the actor to stardom. His breakthrough year was 1994 with three hits beginning with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, followed by The Mask and Dumb and Dumber. It also led to his role as The Riddler in the Hollywood blockbuster Batman Forever in 1995, with his portrayal influencing the role for future actors.
Carrey demonstrated his acting talent in the 1999 comedy-drama movie Man on the Moon, a biopic about the comedian Andy Kaufman. His dedication in preparing for the role was revealed in the documentary about the movie entitled Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. It showed the extent of Carrey’s method acting as he stayed in the character of Kaufman at all times when on set.
For many, William Shatner will always be associated with Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, but his most famous role only tells part of the William Shatner story. The 91-year-old, who was born in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montréal, Québec, has celebrated a career spanning seven decades, including roles in the television series The Twilight Zone, the popular police drama T. J. Hooker and more recently cameo appearances in hit shows such as The Big Bang Theory.
Along with Celine Dion and Jim Carrey, Shatner occupies a place on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto for his achievements and in 2019, he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada ‘for achievement and merit of a high degree, especially service to Canada or to humanity at large.’
And Shatner was in the news in 2021 when he flew to space on a Blue Origin rocket developed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. He became the oldest person to do so at the age of 90.
Canada really does have a lot to be proud about with its contribution to the entertainment industry. Despite the attention the United States can get, the country has contributed to some of the biggest names in the music industry, Hollywood and gambling.