Club Canada Statement of Purpose
Passed April 7, 2010
Club Canada Statement of Purpose:
Club Canada was started in the spring of 2007 with the hope of bringing a greater degree of understanding about Canada, its politics, history and culture to the University of Maine. It was felt the flagship university in the state of Maine needed a student organization dedicated to Canada because of the long-standing ties between Maine and Canada. Although part of New England, the state of Maine is virtually surrounded by the Canadian provinces of Québec and New Brunswick. Furthermore, almost half of the state’s population has ancestral roots in Canada. It is hoped that this club can foster international cooperation on the undergraduate level and deeper students understanding of our nearest neighbor. Economic connections, from energy to tourism, are close, and environmental issues frequently demand international cooperation. The Club believes that Americans need to know much more about Canada. Growing integration of the U.S. and Canadian economies, common environmental concerns, and long-standing social and cultural ties are significant reasons for studying the Canadian-American relationship. In addition, many Canadian developments have considerable relevance for the United States, including the role of the Canadian government in social and welfare issues. For Americans, Canada acts as a mirror, allowing us to better understand ourselves. We in the Canada Club believe we can enrich the University by offering a Club to cater to these needs.
To date, we have participated in numerous curling open houses down in Belfast, and three bonspiels as well. In addition, every semester we have a Canada “Fun” Night where we get together and watch well-known Canadian TV shows (“Red Green Show”, “Rick Mercer”, etc.) our most recent one featuring “Kids in the Hall”. Additionally, we have had Canadian movie nights showcasing the best Canadian produced movies, recently featuring Québécois films. Our two most recent movie night films were “Le Grande Seduction” and “Bon Cop Bad Cop” two films that won the best picture award in Canada but are relatively unknown in the States. Sports are a part of our clubs culture as they are in the lives of many Canadians. Previously we watched the Grey Cup together at the Canadian-American Center this past November and spent a Saturday in January enjoying Hockey Day in Canada at the center. Finally we hosted karaoke at the Bear’s Den that evening to share our Canadian experience with others.
Not all we do is entertainment. We’ve gathered at the Can-Am Center to watch the returns of the past two Québec elections. Likewise a handful of us gathered at the center to watch the returns on election night from Ontario October 2007 and the last Canadian National Election in October of 2008. Many of Club Canada’s members have been on the Can 101 annual field trip to Ottawa in October where they have visited Parliament, the Museum of Civilization, the Governor General’s residence, and received a briefing from a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Canada – U.S. relations. The past two years the Club has started its own annual spring trip to Montréal, where several UMaine students have been able to experience Canada’s second largest city and the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world. Closer to home, the Club has had an annual presence at Culturefest, holding a table there for the past three years and selling Canadian and Québécois food and drink for donations.
The Club is in part supported by the Canadian-American center at the University of Maine. One of the leading institutes for the study of Canada in the United States the Center was designated as a National Resource Center on Canada by the United States Department of Education in 1979,
Currently, we have over 20 members in Club Canada with a core group of 5-6 that keep the club going. Though some club members are Canadian it is not a requirement for entry. Neither is knowledge of the French language, however we do have some French language majors in the Club. All we ask is for members to have an interest in Canada and be looking for a fun social organization to be apart of for their university years. For people wanting more information on our club there is a Facebook page, a conference folder on First Class and a webpage on the Canadian-American Center’s website. New members and ideas are always welcomed.