Gift for a new Canadian
August 14, 2019 7:29 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend is becoming a Canadian citizen soon. Help me think of a gift!

He is 32, American, and a lawyer. He has lived in Canada for over 15 years, and is very excited about becoming Canadian. We live together. I am thinking of a Bay blanket? He will get a maple leaf pin and a copy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms at the ceremony.

Please recommend any specific things you think would be a good citizenship gift. A print? A book? All suggestions welcome!
posted by hepta to Shopping (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
No one got me anything when I became a Canadian (though people did get me funny books and stuff when I moved here years earlier) but something iconically Canadian would have been lovely - a Muskoka chair given the room (I used to have fake shouting matches with my ex about Adirondack vs. Muskoka, it was actually very funny), or a really good bottle of rye, or ...I dunno, a canoe? A piece of Canadian art? Any of these would have made me smile.
posted by wellred at 7:34 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

I love the look of Bay blankets, but the history of HBC in Canada is not a great legacy. For a serious gift to mark the occasion, I'd consider the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada. For a fun gift, The Beaverton's history of Canada.
posted by girlpublisher at 8:00 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

(Also, I'm a lawyer, and I would consider it a nice gift to have the copy of the Charter he gets framed for him so he can put it up in his office. Maybe paired with something you can physically give on the day, since "Hey, I'm going to frame this for you" doesn't have that nice moment feel.)
posted by girlpublisher at 8:04 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

An HBC blanket is an excellent idea -- it's iconic, it's useful, and it'll last forever. (I have... seven?)

On a smaller scale, Red Canoe has lots of Canadian apparel. I have one of their merino scarves with the Maple Leaf tartan -- Canada's official tartan! All the colours of a maple leaf throughout the seasons! It's a subtle patriotism, but one which will be recognized by Canadians of a certain age. (Maple Leaf tartan scarf currently out of stock online, but you may be able to pick one up at a brick and mortar place.)

Or perhaps a pair of Laurentian Chief moccasins for around the house? Or a pair of their moosehide mittens? Also iconic and useful.

If you really want to go all-out, Gallery Indigena has you covered for Inuit and First Nations prints. Great selection, great service.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:07 AM on August 14

This is more of a novelty/conversation piece since the waitlist exceeds 100 (!!!) years, but you could put him on the waitlist for a Canadian flag flown at Parliament.
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:20 AM on August 14

Lots of maple candy. It's hard to find the kind I like best, I mostly see them at duty-free on my way back to the US - not hard candies, but the creamy stuff, usually shaped in maple leaf molds, that is grainy in your mouth and then falls apart.

The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies. Anything by Miriam Toews or Carol Shields. Bear by Marian Engel. Tanya Tagaq has recently published her first novel, Split Tooth (have not read, am waiting for paperback.)

Not sure where you're located but maybe a fine art print from one of the Inuit workshops? Cape Dorset doesn't sell directly on their website, but they do work with the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Open Studio in Toronto.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:24 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

You could also gift him an experience, like a night at one of Canada's grand railway hotels (mostly owned by Fairmont) -- Chateau Frontenac, Banff Springs, or Chateau Montebello (depending where you are). The Canadiana pours out of those places, and it's something to be remembered for a long, long time. Pair it with Pierre Berton's National Dream and Last Spike for a souvenir.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:41 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

Farley Mowat, Peter Gzowski, Stuart Mclean all are great Canadian authors. I love them all.

Does he like art? And if so, what types. There are so many great painters, photographers etc that would make a great gift. Where in Canada? Does he have any great memories of places here that he loves?
posted by Ftsqg at 9:31 AM on August 14

You guys have the best flag, and now it's officially his. I'd get a bunch of Canadian Flag patches, and sew them on his fleece pullover, jacket, socks, backpack, name it. Tuck flag picks in his lunch, flag on the doors, vinyl stickers on his car(they remove easily), go nuts.
posted by theora55 at 9:46 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

If he's watched the Heritage Minute videos (like anyone preparing for citizenship should), they make a set of small pins amongst other merch.

The Hip have a gift shop, of course.

On the high end, this gallery has some lovely Beau Dick prints, amongst many other contemporary Northwest Indigenous artists.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:19 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

If he's watched the Heritage Minute videos (like anyone preparing for citizenship should), they make a set of small pins amongst other merch.

Homeboy Trouble once sent me a set of these, and I can vouch for their awesomeness. I sometimes get asked about them if people aren't super-familiar with Heritage Minutes, so they're a conversation piece, and people who are familiar always appreciate them.

Since people mentioned Cape Dorset artists, and since a lawyer might have use for a tie, there are also ties by Kenojuak Ashevak and others that are officially licensed by Dorset Fine Arts.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:10 PM on August 14

A tattoo of Canadian maple leaf.
posted by hoodrich at 1:54 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]

a temporary tattoo of a Canadian maple leaf.
posted by wires at 11:45 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]

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