Disenchanted Wonder: Collecting Canadian Identity through the CBC "Seven Wonders of Canada"

James Cosgrave, Patricia Cormack


This paper examines the recent Seven Wonders of Canada project conducted by Canada's "official broadcaster," the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). This project sought to collect Canadian identity by inviting expert judges and its audience to collect essentially Canadian "things." By analyzing the unfolding of the project, we found that while it was broadly successful in terms of participation, it also generated audience resistance because it imposed a rational-legal and elitist administration designed to socialize Canadian self-desire. Ultimately we found that instead of generating "wonder," the project generated disenchantment and the ritual reinscription of CBC as official and appropriate object of Canadian desire.

Full Text: