Canada Day is the nation’s largest Canadian Day party, held annually on July 1 in the Canadian capital. This spectacular celebration offers live entertainment, family activities, and spectacular fireworks, all for free.
Canadians and tourists join a large group dressed in red and white to celebrate the streets of downtown Ottawa. It is closed for Canada Day event. The official websites of downtown Ottawa and Gatineau offer a variety of programs, including interactive activities, appearances by senior officials and special guests, live performances by the top and up-and-coming Canadian musicians, and impressive fireworks displays.
In addition to the main event of Canada Day, in many towns and cities, local governments organize a variety of events, many of which take place outdoors. These include pancake breakfasts, parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals, fireworks display, and citizenship ceremonies for new Canadian citizens. The celebration usually has a patriotic tone. The Canadian flag is flown widely and many people paint the Canadian flag red and white.
In Quebec, many home leases begin on July 1 and last for exactly one year. Therefore, many people in Quebec use Canada Day to move their belongings from one home to another. Hence in Quebec, Canada Day is also known as Moving Day.
July 1 is also Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador. This commemorates the loss of many lives in the Newfoundland Regiment on the first day of the Battle of the Somme during WWI. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the morning of July 1 is often dreary. The flag is displayed at half-staff and a memorial service is held at the memorial (monument to the war dead). In the afternoon, Canada Day celebrations in this state take place like in any other region.
All state governments keep this day. Some bookstores, pharmacies, and gas stations are open, but many organizations, businesses, and stores are closed. The post office is closed. All schools are closed because Canada Day is Canada’s summer vacation period.
Public transportation can operate on regular or reduced hours. In some areas, additional services are offered for large events. Street closures due to concerts, parades, and festivals can disrupt local traffic.
Cover Image: freepik
History of Canada Day/ Dominion Day
Canada Day, enacted on July 1, is a national holiday that celebrates Federal Day 1867 when British North American law came into effect. Until it was renamed in 1982, it was originally known as Dominion Day.
Origins and Legal Status
The British North American Act came into effect on July 1, 1867, creating a Canadian country consisting of four states: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. In June 1868, Governor Charles Stanley Monk called for a Federal Anniversary celebration on July 1, 1868. Several communities celebrated this day, but as a Dominion Day holiday Legal status was uncertain. In May 1869, a bill to celebrate Autonomy Day was deliberated in the House of Representatives, but it was withdrawn after several MPs voiced their opposition. A more successful effort, sponsored by Senator Robert Carral of British Columbia, was approved by Parliament in 1879, celebrating Dominion Day.
In the decades after World War II, several governments- and private-sector-sponsored bills were proposed to rename Dominion Day, but they were unsuccessful. In July 1982, Hal Herbert de Vaudreuil MP proposed legislative legislation to change the name to Canada Day. The bill passed quickly through the House of Representatives and was ratified by the Senate in the fall.
During the first decade of federalization, some states, such as Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, designated Dominion Day as a de facto holiday. The celebration used to be organized locally and locally and included a wide range of activities such as bonfires, picnics, sporting events, parades, and contests. Fireworks were often the highlight of the night.
Dominion Day provided an opportunity for the community to express their vision of Canadian identity and their position within Canada. Editorials in newspapers published on July 1 often covered the country’s history, its position in the world, and its future prospects.
They were also able to raise concerns about the treatment of individual states within the federal state, as is often the case in British Columbia. Locally organized events sometimes demonstrated that members of the marginalized community belonged to Canada, and at the same time provided an opportunity to affirm the identity of the community. In British Columbia, members of the Chinese and Japanese communities in the early 20th century donated floats for the Dominion Day parade, and members of the indigenous community participated in sporting events and musical performances.
Celebrated abroad, Dominion Day was a way for Canadians to celebrate their identity and reclaim their uniqueness within the British Empire. During World War I, Canadian soldiers stationed in Britain participated in events such as log wrap displays and baseball games, vindicating their robust Canadian masculinity.
In the mid-1920s, members of the Chinese community in British Columbia humiliated China against Dominion Day to protest against the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, which blocked the entry of most Chinese immigrants into Canada. Community members wore “Don’t forget to humiliate” badges, planned speeches, and distributed flyers.
The Diamond Jubilee
The federal government planned to organize a major event in 1917 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth, but it was overshadowed by the effects of the First World War. As a result, the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee on July 1, 1927, commemorating the Union’s 60th anniversary, was the first major Dominion Day activity sponsored by the federal government.
The highlight of the day was Canada’s first similar radio broadcast, featuring a speech by Prime Minister Mackenzie King and a dramatic show. Communities across Canada have marked the Diamond Jubilee in various ways that emphasize local Canadian concepts. This included a themed and historical float parade in Ottawa and Toronto, as well as an elaborate parade in Winnipeg that emphasized the immigrant community in Eastern Europe. Indian agents in some regions have allowed members of indigenous communities to become part of the local Dominion Day parade in traditional costumes, while others have messages of assimilation and conversion.
Federally Sponsored Celebrations in Ottawa and across Canada
In 1958, on the recommendation of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, Secretary of State Ellen Faircrow held a federally sponsored Dominion Day celebration on Capitol Hill. The event included a speech from the governor, 21 salutes of arms, an army of colors, and a carillon concert. By celebrating Dominion Day each year, Diefenbaker hoped to rejuvenate awareness of Canada’s British tradition and reverse the recent trend of phasing out the use of the word “Dominion” from federal agencies. After that, his rule continued to emphasize elements such as dominance and the military, but in the early 1960s, folk songs and dances were also performed at parliamentary events to attract new Canadians and children.
Image: Ray Duguay
Lester Pearson’s free government has decided to use the Dominion Day events in Ottawa as a way to increase the excitement for the 1967 Centennial by increasing the budget for these events and bringing in artists from across the country. A variety show aired in the Parliament building.
These artists were chosen to emphasize a new concept of Canadian identity that is more clearly multicultural and bilingual. Each year, significant Francophone elements were featured, always including performances from different ethnic and cultural communities and both Quebec-based artists and artists from other parts of the country.
These events included indigenous performances, but were generally conducted in a way that fits the history of indigenous assimilation. Perhaps the most obvious example of this was the 1965 appearance of the Cariboo Indian Girls Pipe Band, a bagpipe performance by a group of teenagers in Scottish tartan from a residential school in Williams Lake, British Columbia. Among the many events of the 1967 centennial, a giant birthday cake cut by Queen Elizabeth II was held on Parliament Hill on July 1 at an event hosted by Secretary of State Judy Lamarsh.
During the decade following the Centennial, the Ottawa-based Dominion Day celebration was less important. This is due to the shift in attention to the states celebrating the centennial. The variety show approach survived and was held at the National Center for the Arts or on Parliament Hill. These events continued to enthrall the locals, but were canceled in 1976 with little attention from CBC / Radio Canada and the national audience.
The election of the Parti Québécois in November 1976 stimulated a great resurgence of federal interest in the possibility of using the July 1 event to promote national unity. did not explicitly use the term “Dominion Day”, but preferred expressions such as “Canadian Birthday” were used. These broadcasts, hoping to support the unity of the people, were widely viewed across the country, but were warmly accepted in English-speaking Canada. In Quebec, the national Fete event on June 24 drew a large audience and high-profile artists.
In the wake of the 1980 Quebec referendum, the federal government shifted focus and financial support to emphasize July 1 compliance at the local level. They still hold concerts and formal events for Parliamentary Hill, but his main focus was to stimulate community celebrations. The National Committee for Canada Day (because the holidays were named after 1982) provided seed funds to the community to host Canada Day events. In addition, the community will include the “O Canada” midday song (adopted as the national anthem in 1980) and the annual scouts, transportation, or successful youth themes featured in children’s activity books. Also proposed activities to connect.
During the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the federal message on Canada’s identity on July 1 celebration. clearly emphasized bilingualism and multiculturalism. Indigenous expressions have changed significantly in recent decades, from the emphasis on assimilation to the larger First Nations, Metis, and Inuit cultures, including representations in indigenous languages on Parliament Hill until the 1990s.
Since the late 1980s, Canada Day festivals in Ottawa have been established in a standard pattern. The formal ceremony will take place at noon on Capitol Hill and will include speeches by senior officials, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Heritage, and the Governor.
These events generally feature inspection by the military guards by the Governor and some more general elements, including music and dance performances. Snowbirds flybys are common. Evening activities are more popular in orientations, usually with large concerts by artists from across Canada, ending with a large fireworks display. The noon and evening events are generally broadcast on CBC and Radio Canada.
Communities across the country continue to protect Canada Day in a variety of ways. Fireworks festivals are the most common feature and many communities host barbecues, picnics, sporting events, and parades.
How to Celebrate Canada Day?
Banks, government offices, and many other stores and businesses will close on July 1 (or the following Monday if July 1 is a weekend). Even many retailers and grocery stores close to protect your vacation. Tourist attractions and restaurants are usually open, but opening hours may be shortened, so it is advisable to call in advance. Public transportation is available in most cities, but holidays are rescheduled and less frequent. Therefore, plan more time for your trip.
Canada Day celebrations typically include parades, fireworks, backyard barbecues, and other gatherings. Many revelers wear red and white in honor of the Canadian flag, which is hung proudly in front of buildings and windows.
Image: Harvey K
It’s no wonder that the capital, Ottawa, is a great place to celebrate the country’s birthday. If you want to immerse yourself in red, white, and Canada, there is no better city. The day will be off to a patriotic start with the opening ceremony and the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Parliament Building. Highlights include an air pass from the Canadian Army aerobatic team, Snowbirds. Activities, shows, and attractions for the whole family at the Canadian Museum of History. And of course, spectacular fireworks display from Parliament Hill.
Image: Stefan Ritt
Every one love the idea of spending Canada Day at the patriotic Canada Place in downtown Vancouver (the views of Vancouver Harbor and the North Shore Mountains aren’t bad either). The party by the water begins at 10 am and continues all day with activities for all ages. The festival then moves to Georgia Street for the Canada Day Parade. This parade gives you a good idea of how the city and the country as a whole value and celebrate multiculturalism. And of course, it’s time for the fireworks. You can also experience a 9 o’clock pistol every day at Canada Place, Harbor Green Park, and Stanley Park.
Image: City of Calgary
July is the most popular time to visit the city of Calgary. The world-famous Calgary Stampede rodeo and festival takes place every year for 10 days at the beginning of the month. However, the start of the monthly schedule is Canada Day, which is a great place once the city goes into party mode. Unique celebrations here include Aboriginal displays and pow wows at Prince’s Island Park, and Calgary’s Canada Day tradition of live flags created by hundreds of people dressed in white or red. And why not pass for “the best Planet’s outdoor show “while you’re here in Canada?
The harbor, Downtown Toronto’s Queen’s Park, and Yonge-Dundas Square are home to many of the world’s most multicultural cities throughout the day. The official event of the city of Toronto takes place in the evening, with live music and entertainment in Mel Lastman Square, followed by fireworks in various parts of the city.
As one of Canada’s oldest cities with a proud maritime history, the Canada Day celebration in Halifax will inevitably focus on heritage. In addition to the more general fireworks display, the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site features the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo and Tattoo Parade, a historical military reenactment, and 21 gun salutes.
Canada Day 2021
Canada Day in 2021 is Thursday. This means that about half the country will take Friday off and extend it to a four-day long weekend! These days are because many want it to be a very long weekend.
Canadians are working on the recent discovery of an unmarked cemetery in a former British Columbia residential school, so there is a new call to cancel the Canada Day holiday this year.
The hashtag #CancelCanadaDay is receiving a lot of attention on social media, with many arguing that it should be a day to remember the injustices committed against indigenous peoples, including the lives lost in housing schools.
Beyond the hashtag, a planned protest by indigenous rights group Idle No More will take place on July 1 in Vancouver and some regions of Ontario.
“Recent discoveries at Kamloops residential schools have reminded us that Canada remains a country that has laid the groundwork for the elimination and genocide of indigenous peoples, including children. We refuse to be lazy while celebrating the history of violence, “says the most social media pages.
On May 28, the bodies of 215 children were found on the grounds of the Kamloops School, formerly run by the Catholic Church. Since then, First Nations leaders, human rights defenders, and opposition politicians have called for accountability and support from all levels of government and the cooperation of the Church to find answers.
Murray Sinclair, former chairman of the Truth Commission, cautions that similar findings are likely to continue as investigations into other former school buildings continue.
Supporters of cancel Canada Day would instead want to see a national day of mourning for those who died while attending one of 139 schools across the country.
A page titled “#HaltTransCanada for Stolen and Murdered Children” invites people to join the Anisina Abek Nation on Canada day in blocking the Trans Canada Highway. “
Reporters asked NDP leader Jagmeet Singh on Monday if he would support canceling this year’s Canada Day celebration.
“We believe that we must focus on reconciliation every day. We need to prioritize reconciliation,” he said.
Similar protests last year after brutal police acts against indigenous communities, Wetswetten state protests against oil pipelines, and systematic racist accusations in the COVID-19 pandemic healthcare system.