Canada Day, a federal statutory holiday, is Canada’s national day that celebrates the anniversary of the July 1, 1867 enactment of the British North America Act of 1867, which united Canada as a single country of four provinces. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as internationally.
Even though Canada is regarded as having become a kingdom in its own right on that date, the British Parliament, at first, kept limited rights of political control over the new country. These were shed by stages over the years, until the last vestiges were ended in 1982 when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian constitution.
Most communities across the country will host organized celebrations for Canada Day. These are usually outdoor public events, such as parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, fireworks, and free musical concerts, as well as citizenship ceremonies for new citizens. This year in Ottawa we will also have a very special Canadian at Major Hill Park – Col. Chris Hadfield. Chris will be showcasing a slide show of all the fabulous photos he took recently while in space as commander of the International Space Station. And if you didn’t know already, Chris is also a master musician, and will be singing along with Canada’s own Barenaked Ladies. What a show it will be!
Canadian expatriates will organize Canada Day activities in their local area on or near the date of the holiday. For instance, since 2006, annual Canada Day celebrations have been held at Trafalgar Square—the location of Canada House—in London, England. These are initiated by the Canadian community in the United Kingdom, endorsed by the Canadian High Commission, and organized by a private promotions company, and feature Canadian performers and a demonstration of street hockey, among other activities. Annual celebrations also take place in Mexico at the American Legion in Chapala. Since the 1950s, our friends in Michigan, USA and Windsor, Ontario have celebrated both Dominion or Canada Day and the United States’ Independence Day with the annual International Freedom Festival – a massive fireworks display over the Detroit River (the strait separating the two cities), with hundreds of thousands of spectators attending. A similar event occurs at the Friendship Festival, a joint celebration between Fort Erie, Ontario, and neighbouring Buffalo, New York, and towns and villages throughout Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec come together to celebrate both anniversaries together.
So, no matter where you are, there is sure to be a place nearby, and we welcome you to join all of us at Dwellworks Canada in celebrating Canada’s birthday! Bon Fete!