With Canada Day coming up on July 1st, I'd like to say a few words of thanks to important Canadian icons. These Canadians make me proud to be a Canadian myself - in the quirkiest of ways.
To Leonard Cohen: Thank you for your beautiful words. Television wouldn't be the same without the moving chords of "Hallelujah" playing over every dramatic scene of every show ever.
To Alex Trebek: Thank you for hosting the best game show of all time. I don't even care that you now have to sit on a stool instead of stand behind the podium. You make Canada more intelligent by association.
To Alanis Morissette: Thank you for making a lesson on irony necessary for all Canadian English classes. No example in your song "Ironic" is ironic and students need to learn the difference. Oh, and thank you for "You Oughta Know," the best break-up song of all-time.
To Sidney Crosby: Thank you for shifting the public's attention from Justin Bieber, if only for a moment.
To Ryan Gosling: Thank you for being the hottest person in show business and not letting your Canadian-ness get in the way. The "Hey Girl" meme is one of our country's greatest accomplishments. (Plus we still watch repeats of Breaker High, a cherished Canadian gem. Google it.)
To Avril Lavigne: Thank you for teaching us not to make things so complicated, that there's nothing more obvious than a boy and a girl, and convincing every 13-year-old girl to wear neckties that one summer of my childhood.
To Mike Myers: Thank you for Austin Powers, Wayne Campbell, The Cat in the Hat, Shrek, and Fat Bastard. Yeah, baby.
To Margaret Atwood: Thank you for putting Canada on the literary map. The rest of the world thinks you're our only author, but that's okay because we like keeping secrets. We're also too polite to argue otherwise.
To Bryan Adams: Thank you for writing a song that everyone in the world has no choice but to sing along to at the top of their lungs whenever it is played on a car radio. I got my first real six string...
To Lucy Maude Montgomery: Thank you for making Prince Edward Island - and red haired girls - a worldwide phenomenon. Little orphan Annie has nothing on Anne of Green Gables.
Maria Vicente is a literary agent intern living in Ottawa, Canada. She likes coffee, books, snail mail, and magic. You can find her on Twitter (@MsMariaVicente) or check out her website (mariavicente.com)