Canada’s North. It fascinates us. It defines us. Peter Gzowski, famed national radio personality, once described the North as the soul of Canada. The notion of North permeates Canadian culture. In our national anthem, we describe our country as the “true North, strong and free,” and the federal government is spending time and treasure to
Canada’s North. It fascinates us. It defines us. Peter Gzowski, famed national radio personality, once described the North as the soul of Canada.
The notion of North permeates Canadian culture. In our national anthem, we describe our country as the “true North, strong and free,” and the federal government is spending time and treasure to protect our Arctic sovereignty. We display the polar bear on our two-dollar coin. It is a romantic ideal glorified in art, poetry and song, yet most of us have never been beyond the treeline, even for a visit. Most of us are southern, urban types whose experience of North is a cottage on the Canadian Shield, but it has a hold on our collective imagination. The North is our last frontier, the last place where the adventurous can go to reinvent themselves. For that reason, and many others, it is precious to us, even if we spend time there only in our minds.
In this issue of Career Options, we investigate our relationship with the North, paying particular attention to the opportunities available to those who are willing to experience the boreal life. We examine the natural resources sector, which is an important contributor to the northern economy. We discuss the impact of innovative communications on health care and the quality of life in the North. Natural resources and technology have always been a source of employment in the Great White North, but new sectors are adding energy and excitement to the region. The arts offer new opportunities for those who live in the vast land, and for those who might be willing to go there. As the northern economy diversifies, young people will have more opportunities to stay in their home communities, close to family and friends. The result will be an even more vibrant and compelling Northern narrative.
As you read this magazine, I invite you to imagine yourself in the North. Most of you may be city born and raised, but those of you who can find your way into the hinterland will discover the rewards are well worth the trip.
Paul D. Smith is the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers and Editor-in-Chief of Career Options magazine. Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org