Awareness Days

Canada Day 2020


Canada day, observed July 1st is a national holiday that marks the anniversary of the confederation in 1867. This is when the British North American Act came into effect. It was originally Dominion Day until its change in 1982.

In the following decade, after the confederation in 1867 celebrations of the event really only took place at the local or sometimes municipal levels with bonfires, picnics, pageants, and of course the fireworks as the finale. Dominion day was about Canadian identity, and how it looked in small communities across the country. The media was able to talk about Canada’s history, it’s current situation and it’s future propositions.

In a lot of cases, it was a chance to showcase the many cultures within Canada. Japanese, Chinese and indigenous peoples put together parades, floats, and musical events to celebrate the changing face of Canada. During the First World War, Canadian soldiers stationed in the United Kingdom took part in events such as log-rolling exhibitions and baseball games, asserting rugged Canadian masculinity.

In 1958, at the urging of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker organized a federally sponsored Dominion Day celebration at Parliament Hill. The exciting event included a speech from the Governor-General, a 21-gun salute, a military trooping of the colour and a carillon concert. This was in an effort to revitalize awareness of Canada’s British heritage and reverse a recent trend of phasing out the use of the word “Dominion” from federal institutions.

The federal government shifted its focus to emphasize the observance of July 1st specifically at the local level. Although the federal government still managed to organize concerts and formal events for Parliament Hill, the main focus was now to stimulate community-based celebrations. A national committee provided seed funding to communities to organize Canada Day events. Suggesting such activities as noonday singings of “O Canada” and annual themes such as explorers, transportation, or young achievers that were featured in activity books produced for the children’s enjoyment.

Since the 1980’s when the name became Canada Day, formal ceremonies now take place at midday on Parliament Hill and include speeches by dignitaries, often including the current prime minister, heritage minister, and normally the governor-general. These events feature inspection of the military guard and some more popular elements including music and dance performances. A flyover by the Snowbirds is common. The evening activities are more popular and usually feature a massive concert with many performers from all over Canada. These exciting events are often capped off with a major fireworks display. All of this being televised by many national networks.

Canada Day Now

Multicultural celebrations are a highly anticipated part of the Canada Day celebrations. With beautiful authentic Canadian music, dancers, and food, people gather from all over the nation to celebrate the diverse and true Canadian Identity.

The Canadian Heritage plays a huge part in supporting Canada and it’s citizens. “The Canadian Heritage portfolio & organizations play a vital role in the cultural, civic, and economic life of Canadians. Arts, culture, and heritage represent more than $53 billion in the Canadian economy and close to 666,500 jobs in sectors such as film and video, broadcasting, music, publishing, archives, performing arts, heritage institutions, festivals, and celebrations.”

At Canada.ca you can access the Canada Day Celebration kit for this year’s festivities. The kit includes interactive, creative, and educational activities for the whole family. This year’s program will be done completely virtually! Canadians are invited to take part in various virtual celebrations to express their national pride. This year Canada Day is extremely important in recognizing how Canadians came together in times of need.

It’s also time to commemorate some key events in our history. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the official adoption of our national anthem, and the essential role the Métis Nation played in Manitoba joining the Confederation 150 years ago.

At Canada.ca you will have access to short videos starting on June 29, and experience these special moments with Canadians from across the country:

  • Let’s Cook Together! — A unifying and colourful culinary challenge.
  • Let’s Get Active Together! — A fun sporting challenge. Presented by GoodLife Fitness.
  • Let’s Innovate Together! — Canadian ingenuity at its best.
  • Let’s Discover Together! — Hidden treasures of digital Canada. Presented by Rogers.
  • Let’s Celebrate Together! — A celebration worthy of our country. Presented by Tim Hortons.

From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. local time (9 p.m. Atlantic time), watch the evening show Canada Day Together on CBC and Radio-Canada.

Hosts Serena Ryder and Pierre-Yves Lord bring you original artistic collaborations from all over the country. It’s going to be quite a show!

Featuring:

  • Alanis Morissette
  • Avril Lavigne
  • Sarah McLachlan
  • Shane Koyczan
  • Charlotte Cardin
  • Loud
  • Roxane Bruneau
  • Alan Doyle
  • The Sheepdogs
  • Corneille
  • Alexandra Stréliski
  • Joel Plaskett
  • Ria Mae
  • Alex Nevsky
  • Radio Radio and Damien Robitaille
  • Haviah Mighty
  • The Jerry Cans
  • Natasha Kanapé Fontaine
  • Guillaume Côté, The National Ballet of Canada
  • Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens
  • Alanna McAdie, Royal Winnipeg Ballet

The night will conclude with highlights of the best Canada Day fireworks from previous years.

Listen to the official Canada Day channel, Canada: Together in Music, on the Stingray platform, which brings together talented Canadian artists participating in the Canada Day national shows.

Don’t forget to share this post with friends and family so that everyone is able to tune in on July 1st. Also, share your experience on twitter and instagram using the hashtag #CanadaDay.

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