Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday
2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday, and so far has been filled with a plethora of festivities and celebrations. Although Canada’s actual anniversary took place on July 1st, both visitors and residents alike can still celebrate the country’s achievements and accomplishments in a variety of ways. Values that Canadians hold dear to their hearts, and will be celebrating this year include diversity, multiculturalism and acceptance. Citizens will also celebrate the beauty that can be seen in our country’s natural areas and cities, as well as everything that lies between. Listed below, you can find a variety of ways to participate in celebrating Canada, and the amazing values, culture and beauty it offers.
Traditionally, Canada Day is celebrated by spending time with friends and family, parades, eating a lot and spending the night watching fireworks. Although Canada Day 2017 is in the past, we can still spend the rest of the year thinking about what it really means to be Canadian, and what this wonderful northern nation represents. You can do this both by visiting one of the many events present in every region of the country, or by digital means.
Read Stories of Canadian Diversity
150 Stories is an initiative started by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. They have committed to publishing one story per week, for 150 weeks, about extraordinary Canadians and the lives that they have lived. If you are interested in celebrating Canada’s culture and ideals, yet don’t have a lot of time, reading these riveting stories is both inspirational, as well as an amazing way to experience the amazing feats that Canadians are accomplishing, both for their country and the world.
Reminisce Through Participating in the Canadian Couch Tour
The Red Couch Tour is a project funded by the government of Canada to help celebrate what it means to be Canadian. Throughout all of 2017 the group is touring through Canada in an RV, and recording videos of Canadians talking about what Canada means to them. The group is still on tour, so if you have something you would like to say, you can see a map of their future destinations here. Videos are posted on their website, as well as on youtube.
Visit one of Canada’s Breathtaking National Parks for Free
Throughout all of 2017, Parks Canada is offering free entrance to all of Canada’s wonderful national parks. Ranging from Banff in the west, to Fundy in the east, you can see all of Canada’s plethora of landscapes and climates. Canadians have been taking advantage of this opportunity all year long, and have so far have been assuming that the free entrance is a challenge to see as much of their own country as possible. It is also a great opportunity for visitors to the country to reduce travel costs, while visiting traditionally expensive areas. Canada has 47 different national parks, so you can easily find one nearby to visit and explore.
Watch and Listen to the Canada Mosaic
A partnership between the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and many other orchestra’s nationwide brings together a celebration of Canada’s heritage through music. There are performances in every province and territory except Nunavut, which gives music lovers an opportunity to celebrate Canada in an unique way. Visit the Canada Mosaic website for concert dates and locations. The organization also created amazing versions of O’Canada sung in 12 of the nation’s most spoken languages. Watch it here.
Attend the Grey Cup
The Grey Cup is a Canadian tradition, as well as a huge professional sporting event. This year is the 105th Grey Cup, with the event taking place in Ottawa. It’s exteremely symbolic that this uniquely Canadian event is taking place in the nation’s capital. Canadian football has its own set of unique rules that differ slightly from American football, making it a proud source of patriotism. The Grey Cup will also host a variety of Canada 150 celebrations, called Our Nation. Tickets are for sale for the event, which will take place between November 21st and 26th. Watching football is not the only event, there will also be concerts and parties. Even if you are not a football fan, this will be a fun event to attend, showcasing Canada’s love for sports, along with other festivities.
Get an amazing Cinematic Experience at Canada On Screen
Canada On Screen will be presenting 150 essential works of Canadian cinematography throughout the country in 2017. A collaboration between a variety of different groups and organizations, Canada on Screen’s mission is to present Canada’s film heritage through both old and recent films. You can visit the organization’s website for screening times and other events, as well as to get film inspiration that will make you proud of the cinematography that Canada has produced. The website is also extremely informative about Canadians in the entertainment industry, as well as their careers and successes.
Overall, there are so many celebrations taking place throughout Canada this year, and although many of the larger parades and festivals took place earlier in summer, you don’t want to miss the many initiatives and events taking place throughout the rest of the year. Celebrate what Canada means to you in 2017, and think about how we can continue to make this country a great place to live, work and play in the future.
Sam Treacy is a current business student at the University of Victoria, who loves the thrill of exploring a destination’s culture, traditions and environment. After completing an exchange year in Austria in 2016, Sam is now interested in continuing her German studies, as well as studying other languages. When she’s not writing or studying, Sam enjoys travelling to both new and old destinations, as well as skiing, hiking and playing rugby.