From Dorset sculpture to the Barenaked Ladies, award-winning historian Jonathan F. Vance reveals a storyteller's ear for narrative. In a country this diverse, 'culture' has different meanings. Vance tells a story from the wind-swept Arctic where a stranded Innu woman, fighting to survive, took the time to decorate her clothing with rich designs. A British explorer was amazed at her efforts, but Vance reminds us of the inseparable connection between life and art in Inuit culture (the Innu word for 'breathe' also means 'to make poetry,' and both derive from the word for 'the soul'). No surprise that Aboriginal culture began to change irrevocably with the arrival of more Europeans (who brought their own ideas about culture). But that is another tale in Vance's fascinating History. Vance considers a range of key topics. Where, for example, is the divide between 'culture' and mass entertainment? He also considers how the hot-button issues of Canadian culture-government funding for the arts, the cultural brain drain, the drive to preserve distinctly Canadian forms of expression, concerns over copyright protection, the economic impact of cultural industries-can be traced back to previous centuries. And he shines new light on other key areas, such as the unique culture of Quebec and the CBC.