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Canada's Provinces Each Have Their Own Official Motto & Some Are Cooler Than Others

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Canada's Provinces Each Have Their Own Official Motto & Some Are Cooler Than Others

How well do you know Canada's provincial mottos? Every province actually has its very own official phrase and some are a little cooler than others.

Some of the proverbs pay tribute to Canada's national anthem, while others have a religious element or historical context.

Whether you've heard them all a million times over or are learning something new for the first time, here's a look at official mottos from across the country:


Alberta's provincial motto is Fortis et liber – or "strong and free" in English. It's a pretty cool one as these are words also found in the English version of Canada's national anthem. You can spot "fortis et liber" on the region's coat of arms, too!

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B.C.'s motto – Splendor sine occasu – is a Latin phrase that translates to "splendour without diminishment." The province says it refers to the sun on the shield seen on its official coat of arms, which, "although setting, never decreases."

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Like Alberta, Manitoba's official motto pays tribute to the country's national anthem. It's Gloriosus et liber in Latin, which means "glorious and free" when translated into English.

Granted in 1993 alongside the Augmented Coat of Arms, officials say the motto "evokes the democratic inheritance of Manitobans."

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New Brunswick

In the Picture Province, the official motto is Spem reduxit, which means "hope restored" in English. That's a pretty nice one, eh?

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Newfoundland & Labrador

The provincial motto of Newfoundland and Labrador is Quaerite prime regnum Dei, which means "seek ye first the kingdom of God" in English. Officials in the region say the phrase is "derived from the Gospel according to St. Matthew."

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Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's provincial motto has a slightly more serious tone than some of the others. In Latin, it's Munit Haec et Altera Vincit, which means "one defends and the other conquers" when translated.

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The Latin motto on Ontario's coat of arms is Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanent, which means "loyal she began, loyal she remains."

According to the Government of Canada, this references the United Empire Loyalists who settled in Ontario back in the 18th century.

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Canada's smallest province has a pretty lovely motto, too. Parva sub ingenti means "the small under the protection of the great," as is taken from Virgil's Georgics.

The full quotation translates to "so too a small plant, beneath its mother's mighty shade, upshoots the laurel-tree of Parnassus."

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This provincial motto was created by the architect of Quebec's parliament building, Eugène-Étienne Taché. Unlike the other provinces, the phrase is in French rather than Latin.

Je me souviens means "I remember," and the region says it "symbolizes the importance of remembering Québec's history."

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Arguably one of the coolest mottos in Canada, Saskatchewan's official phrase is Multis e Gentibus Vires, which translates to "from many peoples strength."

The province says the motto "expresses Saskatchewan's multicultural heritage, the contribution of the First Nations and Métis cultures, and the key role of immigration in the province."

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While the Northwest Territories and Yukon don't have an official motto, Nunavut does.

Like Quebec, Nunavut's official motto isn't in Latin. In Inuktitut, it's Nunavut Sannginivut, which translates to "Our land, our strength" in English.

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    Helena Hanson
    Trending Editor
    Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
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