5 smart Canadian moments that went viral in 2016

The true north was truly smart this year. Clever Canucks grabbed headlines with their ground-breaking decisions, near-death experiences, daredevil antics, and yoga poses. Using the Theory of Multiple Intelligences as a guide, these eye-catching occurrences are the smartest moves Canadians made in 2016.

More: Canada's smartest kids of 2016

Drake’s album drop


The 6god’s dance moves in “Hotline Bling” were an instant phenomenon in 2015, blessing the Internet with side-splitting memes and the hashtag #DrakeAlwaysOnBeat. He one-upped himself this year, with the release of his Toronto-centric “Views” album. Laden with hometown references, he drew on his musical intelligence to craft songs that highlighted his lyrical wit and his social intelligence to connect with those from his home and native land. His people-first plan worked: Drake’s tweets of his album’s song names is one of Canada’s most retweeted this year.

As well, the rapper’s brain could nab him some trophies. For the 2017 Grammys, Drake swept eight nominations  – might have helped that one “Views” track was titled “Grammys.”

Our collective reaction to “frozen cultural wasteland”

No New York Times, you don’t get to decide when we’re cool.

After the paper published a story announcing that Canada was no longer a “frozen cultural wasteland,” Canadians on social media struck back at the U.S. media outlet. For many Canadians, multiple intelligences were firing off as they typed their dismay; linguistic intelligence helped them come up with 140-character quips, as social intelligence enabled them to perceive the backhanded compliment embedded in the story.

The 61-year-old who punched a bear and lived

Photo provided to CBC News

When Rick Nelson went up against 300-lbs of black bear, he was armed with nothing but his bare hands. The Sudbury, Ont. local startled the mother bear’s cub by mistake, while walking his dog. In seconds, he was face-to-face with an enraged and protective animal.

Nelson, 61, instinctively flexed his social and physical intelligences in this ferocious encounter. He survived with mere scratches because he remembered that most bears were right-handed. By reading the bear’s movements, his social smarts could tell which way she’d swing. Then his physical prowess helped him put his boxing classes to good use, with an uppercut to her snout that got Nelson to safety.

Welcoming refugees

Syrian refugee Osama holds his baby daughter as they arrive at the welcome centre at Toronto's Pearson Airport on Friday December 18, 2015. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

As other nations closed their borders, Canada welcomed refugees with open hearts and homes. Since last November, almost 37,000 Syrian refugees have settled in communities from coast to coast. Aside from being the right thing to do, accepting Syrians fleeing devastating conditions required logical intelligence. With lives hanging in the balance, both the government and everyday Canadians dedicated themselves to figuring out how to support the newcomers, what programs would acclimate them to Canadian culture, and how to fund their living expenses. The logistical management continues to be a project Canadians are heavily devoted to, and one that Canada has been made better for.

Justin Trudeau’s yoga pose

trudeau peacock yoga pose

Justin Trudeau retweeted this photo of himself in April 2013 after it was published by Ottawa-based photographer Gregory Kolz with the caption, 'JT is level-headed & able to bring Canada to new heights. That's why he's my choice for #Liberal Leader.' (Twitter/@gregkolz)

The fact that prime minister Justin Trudeau does yoga was one feat of physical intelligence that went viral this year. A photo of Trudeau’s peacock pose from 2013 emerged online, prompting those in the throes of Trudeaumania to descend even further. (Of course, Canadians less enamoured with Trudeau made the obvious “can he balance the budget” remarks.) From an athletic standpoint, Trudeau’s physical intelligence is commendable. Also known as Mayurasana, the peacock pose is an intermediate yoga position that requires advanced core control, a strong grip, and balance for days. The nation’s far from unfamiliar with the latter: the Liberal leader often balanced babies while campaigning in last year’s federal election.