Awareness Days

Oh, Canada! A Look at the Beautiful Country’s Celebrations Through The Years


Happy Birthday to my home and native land Canada! This day, observed July 1st, is our national holiday. It marks the anniversary of our confederation established in 1867 and when the British North American Act came into effect.

Canada has celebrated this day for 153 years! Throughout those years we as a nation have maintained a world-wide reputation for our kindness, politeness and openness as a country. Even taking the title as the most accepting country in the world for immigrants, according to the results of a Gallup international survey conducted during 2019 in 145 countries. There is so much to celebrate!

Traditionally, celebrations took place at the local level with games, bonfires, picnics, pageants, and of course fireworks as the finale.

For Canadians, these celebrations meant a chance to showcase the Canadian identity. Japanese, Chinese and indigenous Canadians 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, prime minister John Diefenbaker organized a federally sponsored Dominion Day celebration (now known as Canada Day) at Parliament Hill. A celebration at the federal level had never been done before. This exciting event included a speech from the Governor-General, a 21-gun salute, and a military trooping of the colour as well as a carillon concert. The event was created in an effort to revitalize awareness of Canada’s British heritage.

The federal government began to emphasize the observance of July 1st as a plan to stimulate community-based celebrations. The federal government even went as far as putting together a national committee that provided seed funding to communities to organize Canada Day events.

Heavily suggesting such activities as noonday singings of “O Canada” and celebrating industry leaders like Canadian explorers, transportation, or young achievers featured in books produced for the children’s enjoyment.

Canada Day Now

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.

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.

Canada Day.

The evening activities are especially popular and feature massive concerts with many performers from all over Canada. These exciting events are almost always capped off with a major fireworks display. All of this being televised by many national networks.

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.”

2020 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.

Canada Day.

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. Share your experience on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #CanadaDay.


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