Cities around the world have events; individual and news stories that determine the way people from other regions understand and look at them. Canada has always been seen as a country with a mosaic identity. This means that Canada does not have a specific identity. Some critics believe that Canada's identity crisis is due to the strong influence of the United States. However, there are symbols, sports, and events that can only be associated with the Canadians. Calgary is one of Canada's most known cities. The city has the fourth largest population in Canada. Just as many other cities across the globe, Calgary hosts events that can only associate with the city by the people living in it. However, there are also foreigners who visit Calgary because of certain events that the city hosts. The citizens of Calgary may be used to the certain events because they have experienced them for a long time, but foreigners or people from other cities like Toronto may not be as conversant with the same events and activities. The unique culture, conditions and characteristics of being a Canadian and expressions and symbols that differentiate Canadians and Canada from other cultures and people across the world is known as Canadian Identity. This paper will aim to conduct a comparative media analysis on two different news articles covering the Calgary Stampede, to understand the Canadian cities and their identities. This essay will further look at what the differences and similarities reveal about how Toronto regional and historical differences in Canada.
Anthem, Symbols, and Sports
According to the Canadian Heritage (77), Canadians identify themselves with some common national features such as a national anthem and several symbols just like any other cultures across the globe. When the national anthem of Canada is heard, a person can quickly associate it with the Canadians. The red and white flag and the symbol of a maple leaf strongly relate to the people of Canada and Canada as a country. The maple leaf has been associated with Canada and Canadians from 1700. In 1965, however, is when the red maple leaf was added to the Canadian flag. Canadians and people from other country associate and identify it with the sport of Ice Hockey (Buma 25). In 1994, the Parliament of Canada declared the sport as the national winter sport. A Canadian in other countries has a high chance of being asked about the ice hockey league in their country because people assume every Canadian knows about the sport. As much as the sport of Lacrosse is also acknowledged as a national summer sport in Canada, hockey is the most popular sport in the country.
Activities and events
Canadians are known all over the world to be peacekeepers. Most prominent people like journalists believe that peacekeeping is as important as hockey when it comes to identifying Canada. The credit and identity as peacekeepers are because the once prime minister of Canada Lester Pearson is the person that suggested the idea of United Nations in 1956 (Carroll 44). Although there have been past activities that shaped the identity of Canada, there are some events that up to date, identify the Canadians and Canada as a country. One of such event is the Calgary Stampede that is hosted by the city of Calgary even once a year. Although the event is mostly associated with the city, it attracts millions of audience across the country and the world.
Calgary Stampede Dixon (45) states that the Calgary Stampede is a unique event that is held in the month of July in the city of Calgary, Alberta. The event includes exhibition, rodeo and festival that run for ten days. The show attracts millions of guests every year from different parts of the world. The first Calgary Stampede is estimated to have taken place in 1886 (Dippie et al. 33). Civic leaders and volunteers take part in the preparation of the Calgary Stampede helping it grow into one of the world's most popular events. The event attracts millions of tourist and it is televised on television stations across Canada. As much as Calgary Stampede has grown into a popular event, it has attracted criticism from animal rights and welfare group who are concerned about the number and treatment of animals during the Calgary Stampede.
Animal safety has been an issue at the Calgary Stampede, and very recent a third horse died after sustaining an injury during a race. There was coverage of the incident by two different independent news websites; the Calgary Sun and the Toronto Star. The news coverage about horse's death covered different aspects of the story from the two news outlet.
The first article written by Laura Booth of the Calgary Sun was entitled Third chuck wagon horse dead at Calgary Stampede. The article that was posted on the Calgary Sun website looked at the incident as an accident and seemed to distant the Calgary Stampede from any responsibility. Booth seems to protect the event from being seen as a dangerous event that can harm the animals by indicating that the animal did not come into contact with any other horse during the race. The writer further indicates that the horse withdrew from the race after pulling a muscle meaning that the horse left the race in much less dangerous condition.
The second article published in the Toronto Star was entitled Calgary Stampede to review safety after fourth horse dies. This article appeared to be more critic but indicated that the dead horse did not come into contact with any other horse or wagon. The article further states that veterinarians present were unable to treat the injured horse and acknowledged that the kind of injury sustained was common with racing horses and other types of horses. The article further mentions other incidents in the past two weeks related to animal injuries. The mention of other incidents where animals were injured can be used to emphasize the end of the Calgary Stampede or require increased safety for the animals. The article also mentioned the concerns of the animal right groups about the safety of animals at the Calgary Stampede. At the end of the article, however, there is a mention of a large number of people who attended the event.
In both articles, the writers cover the story of Calgary Stampede with the focus on the dead horse. The articles are vivid on the incident and clearly make the reader understand what happened. The articles are also similar when it comes to pinpointing that the horse was not in contact with another horse, therefore, ruling out the activities of the Calgary Stampede as the cause of death. In both articles, reliable sources in terms of veterinarians confirm that the injury sustained by the dead horse was common in racing horses and other types of horse. In general both the articles seek to protect the Calgary Stampede from looking like a dangerous event for the animals.
The articles are different on different levels. First the article by Booth from the Calgary Sun is short and precise compared to the article by the star. Another difference is that the star appears to draw more attention to the Calgary stampede incident while the Calgary Sun looks to mention the incident and nothing more. The Calgary Sun does not mention anything to do with the scrutiny of the animal right groups that are concerned about the ability of the event to protect animals from death. However, the star mentions that the Calgary Stampede has been receiving scrutiny from the animal right groups. Both coverages of the incident were accurate.
The international and national identity of the city of Calgary is tied to the Calgary Stampede. Almost every major investment from the Calgary football team to the nickname of the city is associated with the event. The Canadian football team is known as the Stampeders. The name is retrieved from the Calgary Stampede name. Furthermore, the city of Calgary is also known as the Stampede City. The identity of the city can be associated with the Calgary Stampede. Millions of people that visit the city of Calgary do so because they can relate to the city. It is, therefore, important that the Calgary Stampede reputation is protected to protect and save the image and identity of the city and Canada as a whole. The issue of animal's rights can damage the image of the image of the Calgary Stampede. As human right groups scrutinize the event, more and more people will tend to see the event as a danger to the animals. Eventually, more and more people will stop attending and associating with the event. The city of Calgary will, therefore, risk losing visitors and its identity as a stampede city.
During the Calgary Stampede, the city of Calgary comes to life and there is a party mood with many people in attendance for ten days. This period is like a universal holiday to the people of Calgary and visitors. As cases of animal deaths and injuries continue to emerge, the event possesses a negative image that might trigger a worldwide, if not internal protest from animal lovers. If the animal right groups feel that the event exploits or exposes the animal to danger then eventually there may be a demand for the end of the Calgary Stampede. With an abolishment of the event, the identity of Calgary city will also be erased.
As seen earlier, identity is the unique culture that a country, city or group of people have. The Calgary Stampede has a rich history and has been happening for a long time. There is no other city in the world with such an event, and, therefore, it is a unique event. To protect the image of the event amidst the death of one of the animals taking part in the event, the news outlets appear to protect the event. Both newspapers focus on highlighting the death of the horse. Its death is attributed to the injury sustained without any contact with other animals or wagons. At the same time the newspapers emphasis through the use of a qualified veterinarian that such injuries occur amongst racing horses and other types of horses. Reading both news articles, a reader looks at the Calgary Stampede as a social and fun event that attracts millions of guest to the country and the city of Calgary. In simple terms, the newspapers simply aimed at protecting one of the identities of the city of Calgary.
In conclusion, identity differentiates one country, city or person from others. Being that identity is a unique feature it is rare to find entities with the same identity. Canada has always been known to lack identity or has different identities. Having been known as peacekeepers, Canada boasts of unique features like their national anthem, symbols, and events. The national anthem is one of the strongest forms of identities because every nation has its national anthem. The Canadian flag is unique just like any other country's flag. The red maple leaf makes the Canadian flag even more unique. Canada is an immense country that has many cities, and one of the most popular cities is the city of Calgary. The city of Calgary hosts millions of visitors from Canada and other parts of the world for ten days in the month of July every year. The identity of the city of Calgary depends on the event called the Calgary Stampede. If the event were to be abolished, then the identity of the city of Calgary would be compromised.
Booth, Laura. Third Chuckwagon Horse Dead at Calgary Stampede. Calgary Sun, 12, July 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2015. http://www.calgarysun.com/2015/07/12/calgary-stampede-chuckwagon-race-claims-the-life-of-another-horse
Calgary Stampede to review safety after Fourth Horse Dies. The Star, 13 July 2015. Web. 26 Sept 2015. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/07/13/calgary-stampede-to-review-safety-after-fourth-horse-dies.html
Buma, Michael. Refereeing Identity: The Cultural Work of Canadian Hockey Novels. Montreal [Que.: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012. Internet...
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