It is no secret that I have a soft spot in my heart for all things Canadian. This Saturday (July 1) will be Canada Day, or la Fête du Canada, for our friends in the Great White North. It was previously called Dominion Day until 1982. Canada Day celebrates the enactment of the Constitution Act of 1867, which joined the colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec (the latter two being split into two from the former colony of Canada) into the federation Dominion of Canada. Also, the new Dominion of Canada was given greater autonomy, with certain provisions, from parliament in London.
It is Canada’s national holiday. It is a day filled with outdoor celebrations, parades, and fireworks. Most communities and cities offer something in celebration, but the highlights happen in Ottawa, the federal capital. This year is special because it is the 150th anniversary. Events start on June 30, and will go until July 2.
Every year, the Opening Ceremony on July 1, the Prime Minister and Governor General officiate and give speeches, and occasionally they are joined by members of the Royal Family. This year, they will be joined by Prince Charles, and his wife Duchess Camilla. Around 11 PM, the fireworks will go off in a panoramic view, best seen from Major’s Hill Park.
Not only could you expect to find memorable celebrations around Canada, but there are even celebrations around the United States as well. Cities near the border, especially cities with cities directly across the border (such as Detroit-Windsor) will have joint celebrations that last about a week long, celebrating both Canadian and American national holidays. Also, Canadian expats in America (or Canadian friendlies, such as myself) host parties around the United States as well. The closest to me (Bloomington-Normal) will be in Millennium Park in Chicago.
Suggestion: find a Canada Day party near you, or even better if you can make it to Canada, especially Ottawa, get yourself a pint and poutine, and celebrate for our neighbours in the Great White North. It will be a great time for all.
Happy Canada Day!