Survey finds half of Canadians believe the Vancouver Olympic Games are more a defining national moment than the 1972 Hockey Summit Series, Expo 67 or the Montreal and Calgary Olympic Games.

February 23, 2010

Survey finds half of Canadians believe the Vancouver Olympic Games are more a defining national moment than the 1972 Hockey Summit Series, Expo 67 or the Montreal and Calgary Olympic Games.

TORONTO (February 23, 2010)  - Most Canadians think that the Vancouver Olympic Games are a defining national moment in Canadian history, says a new survey commissioned by The Historica-Dominion Institute.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that 52 per cent of Canadians believed that the Vancouver Olympic Games are a more defining national moment for Canada than the 1972 Hockey Summit Series between Canada and Russia. They also think it is more of a milestone than the 1976 Montreal Olympics (51%), the 1988 Calgary Olympics (51%) or Expo 67 (49%).

Among Canadians aged 55 and older, who have longer memories, the Vancouver Games are seen as more significant than the 1972 Hockey Summit Series (52%), the 1976 Montreal Olympics (47%), the 1988 Calgary Olympics (38%) and Expo 67 (40%).

The survey also found that three quarters (74%) of Canadians believe that the 2010 Winter Olympics are Canada’s Games, while significantly fewer (22%) believe they are Vancouver’s Games or British Columbia’s games (4%). Even in British Columbia, twice as many Canadians (61%) believe the Games belong to Canada (61%), and not Vancouver (32%) or British Columbia (4%).

Vancouver 2010 is stirring a sense of patriotism in Canadians. Nearly one half (45%) say they belong first to Canada, up from 38% a year ago. This is double the percentage who says they belong first to their town or city (20%; down from 28% in 2009); province (19% up from 16% in 2009); and the world (16%; down from 18% in 2009).

“The Vancouver Games are truly Canada’s moment,” said Andrew Cohen, President of The Historica-Dominion Institute. “We are seeing a new sense of pride, not only in our athletes, but in ourselves as a people."

The survey also found that:

  • Seven in ten (71%) disagree that ‘there is too much Canadian nationalism on display during the Olympics’.
  • Four in ten (40%) agree they’ll fly/display the Canadian flag during the Olympic Games
  • One in three (34%) agree they’ll wear Olympic/Canada clothing during the Olympic Games.
  • Two in three (66%) agree that ‘the opening ceremonies reflected Canada’ as they know it.
  • 14% of Canadians – which could represent roughly 3 million adult Canadians - agree that they’ll miss work to watch the Olympics!

The Historica-Dominion Institute is a national charitable organization launched on September 1, 2009. It was created out of two organizations: The Historica Foundation of Canada and The Dominion Institute. It is the country’s leading advocate of memory, identity and democracy, dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of Canada’s history and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Some of its signature programs are Encounters with Canada, The Memory Project, Passages to Canada and The Canadian Encyclopedia.

For more information, view detailed results.
 
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Media Inquiries:

Chantal Gagnon
Media Relations
416.575.3627
cgagnon@historica-dominion.ca