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The arts have flourished in Canada since the 1900s, and especially since the end of World War II in 1945. Government support has played a vital role in their development, as has the establishment of numerous art schools and colleges across the country.

The works of most early Canadian painters followed European trends. During the mid 1800s, Cornelius Krieghoff, a Dutch born artist in Quebec, painted scenes of the life of the habitants (French-Canadian farmers). At about the same time, the Canadian artist Paul Kane painted pictures of Indian life in western Canada. A group of landscape painters called the Group of Seven developed the first distinctly Canadian style of painting. All these artists painted large, brilliantly coloured scenes of the Canadian wilderness.

Since the 1930s, Canadian painters have developed a wide range of highly individual styles. Emily Carr became famous for her paintings of totem poles of British Columbia. Other noted painters have included the landscape artist David Milne, the abstract painters Jean-Paul Riopelle and Harold Town and multi-media artist Michael Snow.

The abstract art group Painters Eleven, particularly the artists William Ronald and Jack Bush, also had an important impact on modern art in Canada. Canadian sculpture has been enriched by the walrus ivory and soapstone carvings by the Inuit artists. These carvings show objects and activities from the daily life of the Inuit.

Canadian literature is often divided into French and English-language literature, which are rooted in the literary traditions of France and Britain, respectively, However, collectively this literature has become distinctly Canadian. Canada’s literature, whether written in English or French, often reflects the Canadian perspective on nature,frontier life, and Canada’s position in the world, Canadian identity is closely tied to its literature. Canadian literature is often categorised by region or province; by the status of the author (e.g., literature of Canadian women, Acadians, Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and Irish Canadians); and by literary period, such as "Canadian postmoderns" or "Canadian Poets Between the Wars."

In the 1980s, Canadian literature began to be noticed around the world.[citation needed] By the 1990s, Canadian literature was viewed as some of the world's best, and Canadian authors began to accumulate international awards. [11] In 1992, Michael Ondaatje became the first Canadian to win the Booker Prize for The English Patient. Margaret Atwood won the Booker in 2000 for The Blind Assassin and Yann Martel won it in 2002 for The Life of Pi. Carol Shields's The Stone Diaries won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and in 1998.


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