Canadian companies enjoyed another fantastic year of sharing with the world through exporting. And the holiday season is no different. In the spirit of giving and receiving, it's an appropriate time to look at how Canada and its trading partners export holiday cheer globally.
Consider the holiday tradition of decorating and placing gifts under the iconic Christmas tree.
Canada exported more than $60 million worth of festive trees in 2018, resulting in a trade surplus of more than $26 million. Every year, real trees light up living rooms and provide an authentic Christmas smell in homes all over the world. The gift that keeps on giving, these trees often leave their mark long past the holiday season—you’ll likely find needles around your home for months to come.
While eggnog continues to be a divisive drink of choice, it’s certainly a beverage tied to the holidays.
Canada produces eggnog domestically and revellers tip back more than five million litres annually. But, we have our trading partners to thank for the spices drink-makers use to dust their ‘nog froth. Nearly $5 million worth of cinnamon arrives from Indonesia and almost $3 million of nutmeg is imported from Guatemala.
Should you choose the adult version of eggnog, you can raise a highball to the United States and Trinidad & Tobago for sending more than $40 million of rum this way.
Canada’s largest service export is tourism, with international travellers accounting for $20 billion in tourism spending. Sharing our winter wonderland with the world is part of that. Events from snowy coast to snowy coast attract visitors from all over the world.
Here are some favourites:
- Barbegazi in Summerside, PE which celebrates the fun of winter through activities, like snow skating, tree throwing and axe throwing (not at the same time).
- Winterlude in Ottawa gives visitors the chance to skate on the Rideau Canal, the world’s longest outdoor rink, with many opportunities to stop for BeaverTails.
- The season has already begun for skiing, snowboarding and snow blading. Popular tourist attractions include Newfoundland’s Marble Mountain, Quebec’s Tremblant and British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb.
- The more adventurous can consider polar bear tours and safaris in Churchill, MB.
Gingerbread: the most structurally sound of all cookies and, not to mention, a holiday staple. It’s also a big market for Canadian exporters. Statistics Canada reports more than $80 million in exports of “gingerbread and the like.” That’s a lot of dough.
Cookies of all types are baked by strong Canadian companies such as Voortman Cookies Ltd., Purity Factories, Dare Foods and Hollandia Bakeries. Without gingerbread, budding architects and urban-planners-to-be would be without the messy holiday tradition of constructing elaborate biscuit buildings cemented in thick frosting and decorated with gumdrops.
Joy to the world
The holiday season is an international celebration. Beyond the vast amount of goods exported, imported, bought and gifted at this time of year, traditions spread across the globe,as well.
2018 has been another successful year for Canadian exporters and their trading partners, with next year already full of promise. EDC is fortunate to have worked with so many Canadian companies throughout the past year and we look forward to supporting more in 2019.