Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1920s American Influence on Canada: Music, Movies, Fashions, Dances

The 1920s in Canada wasn’t just a famous time period for the inventions, like the radio and Model T. It was also famous for the American influence on Canadian culture. American music, movies, fashions, dances and magazines dominated Canadian culture and the lives of young people. Almost every middle class citizen, like the members of the Ivanov family, could afford to buy tickets to watch movies in a local theater. The fare of a ticket was twenty five cents in 1924. Back then, there were only black and white silent movies. I don’t think anybody in modern here ever heard of silent movies, so let me explain it: silent movies are just like modern movies except no sound was present. Watching a silent movie today would be like amusing ourselves to death, but back then, people did enjoy them, as it was the only medium of visual entertainment. In fact, teenagers, young men and women in their twenties used to imitate characters in those movies. They wore baggy pants and greased down hats. They wore fashionable bright hats, bows and ties. Jazz was also a big part of Canadian lives. Canada idealized American movie stars. Couples, after their marriage, would continuously dance for days!! It was reported that in the later 1920s, a Canadian teenager was hospitalized due to non-stop dancing. He danced for four days, before finally became unconscious.

During the midst of American takeover of Canadian values, conservative parents, namely those who recently immigrated to Canada, were worried about their kids. Most of them wanted their kids to stick Canadian traditions and values. (I’m not saying American culture is bad :-), but I’m just reporting facts, and the information retained from the interview I had the Ivanov family.) In the 20s, Mary Pickford was a famous Canadian actress, who also had a great reputation in Hollywood. She stood up for Canadian values over the American’s. Pickford gave Canada a great stance in the American film-world, and also in a time where America took over Canadian culture. Despite Pickford’s to elevate Canadian culture, young women were prejudiced by American fashions. Flappers were the most common dress to women at the time.


  1. thanks this was really helpfull for a presentation

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Thank you, this was very helpful!


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