Canada Day


‘ On behalf of all the Canadians, sorry for being wonderful all the time.’

This wonderful country’s formation is celebrated every year on July 1st as the national holiday, Canada Day. Until 1982, Canada Day was known as the Dominion Day. On July 1st, 1867, a dominion was formed through British North America Act as approved by the British Parliament. It consisted of territorrories then called Upper and Lower Canada and of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The Act divided Canada into provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and it included provisions for other colonies and territories to join in future, which made possible the growth of Canada into its present form. The Act served as Canada’s constitution until 1982, and July 1st was celebrated as Dominion Day.

By terms of Canada Act of 1982, the British North America Act was repatriated from the British to the Canadian parliament and Canada became a fully independent country. At the same time, the name of the national holiday was changed to Canada Day. 

Every year, this day is celebrated with parades, displays of the flag, the singing of the national anthem, ‘O Canada’ and fireworks. When July 1st falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on the following day.

This year, however, some municipalities have chosen to cancel their festivities following the discovery of remains of children at a residential school. Penticton and Port Hardy have issued statements that they do not consider celebrations appropriate out of respect for indigenous communities across Canada who are grieving. Penticton mayor John Vassilaki issued a statement which announced, “ We encourage you to spend the day with your family and take time to reflect on Canada’s history and consider what we can each do to work towards an inclusive community.”  

According to Stats Canada, one in five Canadians was born someplace else, and nearly 40% are recent immigrants or part of immigrant families. To celebrate this diversity, there will be #CanadaTogether , a special broadcast with a message of hope, airing at 11 a.m. on July 1st on Global BC. There will also be an augmented reality experience with Tim Horton’s Canada Day Virtual Fireworks.

Coronavirus has also led to cancellations of most in-person July 1st celebrations this year. North Vancouver will celebrate Canada Day this year with an online event showcasing local artists, places and community organizations. The local Rotary Clubs will hold a virtual Canada Day event at 1p.m. on July 1st. With gatherings being restricted to no more than fifty, backyard barbecues will be a fun way to celebrate! The sidewalks can be decorated with red and white chalk. Getting out in nature and exploring parks is also a great way to celebrate.

Although #cancelcanadaday is trending on social media, Canadian history can still be celebrated, as no time like now to let the love in our hearts speak loudly to drown out hatred and uncertainty.

Bartika Dutta

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