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Canada 150
The Canadian! Friendly, somewhat shy, and always apologetic the Canadian spends most of his winters clumped together in cities along the southern border of Canada. It is not so much that Canadians hibernates in the wintertime. Rather they are busy working, shoveling snow and gathering up holidays for the upcoming summer. Yes, occasionally during the winter, you will find a Canadian out playing in the bleak frozen landscape. However, as the snow melts and ice once again turn to water, Canadians will emerge in large numbers from their winter dwelling ready to take on the vast and magnificent landscape of Canada. The Canadian, is especially fond of water and likes to play near or in the water be it the oceans, the great rivers or the millions of lakes dotting the planes. Where there is water, you will often find Canadians frolicking about making up for the long cold winters spent indoors.

On a more serious note, there can be no doubt that Canadians have a unique relationship with the land. Being a Canadian means living with contradictions that can’t help but shape us as a nation. As the second-largest, and thirty-eight most populous country in the world, Canada comes in close to the bottom of the list in population density. As well, being a Canadian also means access to a diversity of landscapes and climates unparalleled anywhere else in the world. From oceans to deserts, mountains to prairies, and glaciers to lakes – it is all part of a massive country larger than Western and Northern Europe combined. The Paradox is that our choices of where we live and play become both liberating and limiting at the same time. Liberating because Canadians have an almost infinite choice of the landscape they want to live in and limiting because many places can be nearly inaccessible and out of reach due to size and lack of infrastructure.

Add to this vast landscape one of the most culturally diverse groups of people in the world, and a mosaic of both cultural and geographic dimensions begins to emerge. In this series of Digital photographs, I am exploring the relationship Canadians have with the land they live and play in. With such diversity, I am especially interested in the duality of how Canadians are shaped by the land and how, in turn, we shape the land.

Jannik Plaetner
July 2017