Happy Canada Day!

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Every year on July 1st, we celebrate Canada Day. On that date in 1867, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada were united into a single country. This union was a result of the Constitution Act which granted Canada a great deal of independence from England. Over the course of a century, Canada gradually shed its dependence on the United Kingdom. It did not become fully independent until 1982, the same year that Canada Day became an official holiday.

Canada Day Celebrations fireworks near Canada parliament

Canada Day took decades to catch on due to the fact that many early Canadians identified themselves as British. It was not until Canada’s “golden” anniversary in 1917 (50 years), that an official celebration was recorded. The next set of Canada Day festivities did not occur until ten years later, in 1927. The government’s first recognition of the holiday occurred in 1958 with a trooping of the color on Parliament Hill. The first country-wide celebration was in 1967, Canada’s 100th anniversary.

Today, Canada Day is celebrated with fireworks, concerts, cookouts, and sports games. Canada’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario, hosts the most holiday activities. There are countless events, activities, and festivals to be found throughout the city in the city streets, parks,and museums. Fireworks are launched from Parliament Hill to conclude a day of patriotic festivities.

 The Creation of Canada Day:Canada Day flags

  • July 1st, 1867: The British North America Act (today known as the Constitution Act, 1867) created Canada.
  • June 20th, 1868: Governor General Lord Monck signs a proclamation that requests all Her Majesty’s subjects across Canada to celebrate July 1.
  • 1879: A federal law makes July 1st a statutory holiday as the “anniversary of Confederation,” which is later called “Dominion Day.”
  • October 27th, 1982: July 1st, “Dominion Day” officially becomes Canada Day.
  • July 1st, 2014: Canadian Heritage organizes the 147th Canada Day celebrations. As we approach Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, the government has given the Department the mandate to organize Canada Day festivities in the capital.