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If you’ve been viewing some of my artworks since last September, you will know that I am a huge fan of Hetalia: Axis Powers, a Japanese anime series starring personified countries, and its Canadian fan spin-off the IAmMatthewian Project (or Project Canada, as it is now known), starring Canada from Hetalia and personifications of the Canadian provinces and territories. You will also know that I absolutely love Canada (both the country and its personifications across all media), and so naturally my heart and mind find joy in these phenomenons. (An Inside Out reference there, maybe?)

Many fan-artworks of the IAmMatthewian Project/Project Canada feature some or all of the provinces, but with Canada seemingly nowhere to be seen, as though he’s invisible (just as in Hetalia, where the other countries don’t think he exists and asks “who” he is). Like those, I often draw IAMP/PC fan-art without Canada and just with the provinces, but in a few of these (such as the New Year’s party drawing from last year) Canada appears in some kind of prominent role, whether he is in the front or not. This time, however, I wanted to see Canada take an actual lead role on an IAMP/PC fan-artwork and have the provinces as supporting roles. So here it is!

In the centre and taking up much of the page is none other than Canada himself, bursting out of the shyness and obscurity imposed on him in Hetalia and into the world of recognition at last! Surrounding him are all his province and territory children, cheering on their father (or at least most of them, anyway) as he breaks free.

There is a reason I like to think of the provinces as Canada’s children (which is, coincidentally, the title of this drawing); they could represent a part of each of their father’s personality and environments, like alter egos. However, some people just think of the provinces as being merely roommates who live with Canada (as Sherry Lai, the creator of the IAMP/PC, imagined them to be: for example, Nunavut merely “moved out” of Northwest Territories’ “house” when she became a separate territory in her own right).

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To me, though, imagining the provinces as Canada’s children has that special emotional touch to it; as in a Hetalia fan-fiction I wrote a few years ago about the conception and birth of Newfoundland as Canada’s tenth province (and final, for now at least), where Canada strove to keep the new baby province in good health and made a bond with him, and so did all the other provinces and countries. (England, France, Ireland and Newfoundland Sr. live with Canada at the time of the new province’s birth.) Though I bet Canada has to contend with intense stress at having to deal with 13 children by himself (but he does sometimes get helped by the other countries, like America, his brother).

As you may notice, the provinces were initially going to be spaced out neatly, but as I got near the bottom of the page and back up again, I had to bunch them up together so they could fit on the page while still giving Canada the lead role. That’s why Newfoundland looks a little strangely-drawn, as I wanted to space him out but his feet would be blocked off by Nova Scotia. Bunching all the provinces up together instead of separating each one of them may better represent their unity in making Canada the country that he is, as they are all coming together to make one country.

Canada is now no longer “invisible” in the Hetalia fandom, thanks to the IAmMatthewian Project/Project Canada!

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