An Off-White Paper
It is proposed that: in the interest of fostering better understanding of the Canadian identity throughout the world, The Geist Foundation sponsor the Honorary Canadian Awards Program (HOCAP) by identifying and rewarding non-citizens who “act in a manner befitting a Canadian.”
Some suggested categories:
1. The Neville Chamberlain Medal
Awarded to non-Canadians who, in a single act, seem to characterize the Canadian identity.
2. The Ron Howard Lifetime Achievement Trophy
"The Howie." Awarded to the non-Canadian individual or institution who, through the course of a body of work or achievements, demonstrates an integrated understanding of Canadian-like characteristics.
3. The Bryan Adams Dishonourable Discharge Citation
Awarded to the Canadian who, in a single act or achievement, demonstrates a profound disregard for his or her native-born character.
Some proposed caveats:
Nominators be residents of Canada or the equivalent. All nominators must successfully answer a skill-testing question such as:
The beaver is our national symbol because:
a) it is industrious and loyal
b) it has buck teeth, interbreeds and rarely tips
Nominees should probably be alive; anything else might be seen to pose an unfair advantage. For the same reason, the following might also be found to be ineligible: documentary filmmakers, wildlife artists, career diplomats, first-born sons, citizens of Switzerland, Democratic presidential hopefuls, and the guy who played the Bruins goalie on Cheers.
Further clarification needed:
1. What, exactly, is “a manner befitting a Canadian”?
2. What is a Canadian?
3. What is a non-Canadian?
4. Can 1 or 2 above he defined as the negative of the other?
5. Do gumboots, Nelson Eddy, lumberjack shirts, or toques play any part in the answers to 1, 2 or 3?
And the winners are . . . Click here for the Honorary Canadian Awards results, first published in Geist 11.