Canada Day is on July 1st and is often considered to be Canada’s birthday. It commemorates the federation of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec in 1867. This is when Canada became a self-governing dominion. The British Parliament did not give up complete control over Canada until 1982. Prior to the Canada Act, Canada Day was known as Dominion Day.
Today, Canada is made up of ten provinces and three territories. From west to east, the provinces are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (PEI), and Nova Scotia. The territories are the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Due to the cold climate and rugged terrain up north, the majority of Canadians live within 100 kilometers of the US border.
As the 2010 Olympics showed, Canadians are as patriotic as their American neighbours. On Canada Day, friends and families get together to celebrate their personal freedoms. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that Canadians have the right to choose their own religion and vote for their own leader. Canadians also have the freedom to express their own beliefs. On Canada Day, people wear red and white and have the Canadian flag to celebrate these freedoms. Communities have BBQ’s and watch fireworks together. “O Canada” is sung throughout the day.
Canada Day events take place across the country, both in small towns and in capital cities. The most noteworthy celebration takes place in Ottawa. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the home of Parliament Hill. The prime minister and the governor-general attend the annual event along with tens of thousands of Canadians. Canada’s top talent entertains Canadians of all ages. From folk and hip hop music to comedy and dancing, the lineup is as diverse as the people. One of the highlights is when the Snowbirds fly over the city. The aerobatic flying team is a well-known symbol of Canada.
Throughout the years, historic moments have taken place on Canada Day. The St. Lawrence Seaway was flooded on Canada Day in 1958. The first colour TV transmission was held on July 1st, 1966. On Canada Day in 1980, “O Canada” became the official national anthem. Prior to that, “God Save the Queen” was the official anthem. In 2011, Canadians were very excited to learn that newlyweds Prince William and Duchess Kate would make their first overseas trip to Ottawa’s Canada Day festival. Canada still shares the British monarchy, though the role of the royal family is largely symbolic.
Citation: Red River Press Inc. (2018). Canada Day. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from https://ellii.com/courses/93/lessons/1882/print.