Interesting comment by Derek Kent, chief marketing officer for the Canadian Olympic Committee, about the Team Canada campaign “We Are Winter”: “The essence of this campaign originated from conversations with our athletes who all said the same thing: Winter defines them and defines who we are as a country”.
Winter defines us as a country.
This reminds us of the lyrics of Québec poet and singer-songwriter Gilles Vigneault’s famous song “Mon pays”. Composed by Vigneault in 1964, the song’s lyrics are best known for this line: “Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver”. (My country is not a country, it’s winter.)
According to this Globe and Mail article, “the COC and its agency, Proximity Canada, worked with a literary consultant to comb through 19th-century Canadian poetry looking for references to winter – which is a bit like finding a needle in a stack of needles.”
Vigneault’s poem could have been one of those needles.
Unless it was judged to be a tad too nationalistic for Team Canada. According to Wikipedia: “The song was written for the NFB film La Neige a fondu sur la Manicouagan, directed by Arthur Lamothe. The song, with its lyrics about winds, cold, snow, and ice, of the solitude of wide open spaces and of the ideal of brotherhood, has become a kind of anthem in Québec, with many people seeing it as expressing the free spirit of the province; Vigneault, however, has denied that this was ever his intention.”