Canadian Mosaic

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Canadian Mosaic was a book by John Murray Gibbon, published in 1938. Gibbon's book, the full title of which was Canadian Mosaic: The Making of a Northern Nation, heralded a new way of thinking about immigrants that was to shape Canadian immigration policy in the latter part of the Twentieth century. The idea of a mosaic, in which each cultural group retained a distinct identity and still contributed to the nation as a whole, was in contrast to the melting pot, a popular metaphor for the more assimilationist American approach to immigration.

The idea of a mosaic of cultures forming a nation was adopted by Canadian sociologist John Porter in his study of social class, entitled: Vertical Mosaic: An Analysis of Social Class and Power in Canada. The mosaic theme became a part of Canadian multiculturalism policy in the 1970s, which envisioned Canada as a "cultural mosaic".


  • Gibbon, J. 1938. Canadian Mosaic: The Making of a Northern Nation. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.
  • Henderson, S. 2005. "'While there is Still Time..': J. Murray Gibbon and the Spectacle of Difference in Three CPR Folk Festivals, 1928-1931." Journal of Canadian Studies, Winter 2005.
Preceded by
My Discovery of the West
Governor General's Award for English language non-fiction recipient
Succeeded by
Confessions of an Immigrant's Daughter