From the Question & Answer session after Mary Walsh’s 1993 Spry Lecture, “A Hymn to Canada:”
Mike Corbbit: My name is Mike Corbbit. Culture is a term that I hear used a lot in a lot of places and in a lot of different ways. I’d like to hear your thoughts on just what do you mean by that word? And I hope that’s not a naive question or a stupid question, but I’d like to know your thoughts about what do you mean by culture?
Mary Walsh: Boy, that’s a big question, though, isn’t it? I mean, you know, there’s so many definitions. It’s how we express ourselves, it’s our physical culture of which we have none left in Newfoundland because we burnt it all on Guy Fawkes Night. It’s the picture of the society, really; it’s what we are. And, you know, there’s the ballet and the symphony, et cetera, and there’s Ron Hine’s songs and Figgy Duff and–
Audience: Stompin’ Tom.
Mary Walsh: Who?
Audience: Stomping Tom.
Mary Walsh: Stomping Tom, and then there’s the way we build our houses and there’s the way we express ourselves, and there’s our books and our language and our universities. I’m going on at length, but I guess that’s it. If you talk about our culture, then that is our culture: we and the way we express ourselves and how we express ourselves, through everything we do, would be our culture.
There you have it. Based on an unsolicited audience response, Canadian culture is, definitively, Stompin’ Tom Connors.