Canada Day, Saturday, July 1st, 2017, marks a significant moment in the History of Canada. Call it Canada 150 or simply 2017. It is our 150th birthday!!
The major themes for this year’s day of Confederation are diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the environment and youth. (Canada is actually a federation, but the term Confederation caught on in the in the 19th century and it stuck.)
Canada Day has been called various names over the years. It used to be known as Dominion Day, the First of July, Confederation Day, and July the First. On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act created the Canadian federal government. This act stated that Canada would become an “independent dominion” (territory) of England, which is why Canada Day was originally called Dominion Day.
Did you know? The world’s only flying saucer launching pad is in St. Paul, Alberta. It was built in 1967 for the country’s 100th anniversary.
Canada – who are we in 2017?
For the second year in a row, the Great White North was ranked second in the annual “Best Countries”. Although Switzerland edged out Canada for the number one ranking, we still scored 9.7 overall thanks to our #1 place standing for Quality of Life. That score was based on a variety of sub-factors, including politics, economy and health care.
Did you know? More than half of people around the world say they would abandon their homeland and move to Canada if they could.
Canada is big and beautiful!
We are the second largest country in the world. We have endless lakes and rivers as well as access to three oceans. We have four, yes four, real seasons and several world-renown Ski Resorts. In fact, it is in Canada that you can ski and surf on the same day while breathing fresh air under a vast sky.
Canada takes up about two-fifths of the North American continent. We are big – ten provinces and three territories that extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. Our land mass is approximately 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles). The only country larger than Canada is Russia and they are almost twice our size!
Canada is rich in many natural resources with more lakes than any other country in the world — about 3 million. The province of Ontario alone contains about a third of the world’s fresh water. In a recent national air quality study by the World Health Organization, Canada placed third for the cleanest air on the planet. Europeans have said that they see Canada as the way it wishes it had stayed: full of natural beauty.”
Canada’s border with the United States is the world’s longest binational land border. We are a sparsely populated country (Just over 35 million people) concentrated in major urban areas. One third of our population lives in one of three large metropolitan areas (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver) and an estimated 75% of Canadians living within 161 kilometers (100 miles) of the U.S. border.
What makes Canada so great?
Ask any Canadian and they will give you an endless list. Although we are a people who are humble in our love of the land, we are nonetheless very proud of our country. Canadians may display a quiet custom of patriotism, so sometimes we need to make more of an effort to be more vocal on our country’s birthday.
Just a few of the many things for which Canadians are thankful include:
- Canadian students rank higher than American students in Math, Science, English and Reading as well above the performance of students in 65 other countries.
- Students in Canadian schools performed better than students from any other English speaking country.
- 1/3 of Microsoft programmers come from the University of Waterloo in Canada.
- Canada is a high-tech industrial society with a high standard of living.
- Canada is the US’s single largest trading partner thanks to trade agreements made in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Canada has the second oldest federal democracy worldwide and is an important member of the G7 and G20 group.
- Canada’s health care is public (taxpayer) funded: payment is generally not required for medical treatment.
- In 1971 Canadians adopted a national policy of multiculturalism that celebrates our country’s diversity and encourages all citizens to honor their own cultures.
- We have passed a right to die legislation, which means that anyone who has a terminal illness can ask a physician to assist them with suicide.
- Canada has laws in place to avoid discrimination and abuse.
- Nine years ago Canada legalized same-sex marriage.
Canadian contributions to the world
- We own more than 2 million Canadian patents with several inventions that have contributed to progress around the world such as the telephone, cable television, am radio, 56K modem, MAX screens, walkie talkies, prosthetic hand, snowblower, fog horn, sonar, insulin, plexiglass, , etc.
- Canada introduced five sports that are now played in many countries of the world – ice hockey, lacrosse, 5-pin bowling , basketball and ultimate frisbee
- Canada gave birth to some of the most recognized, respected and talented actors such as Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Seth Rogan, Ellen Page, Taylor Kitsch, Carrie-Ann Moss, Keenu Reeves, Brendan Fraser, Eric McCormack, Neve Campbell, Michael Cera, Jason Priestley, Donald and Keifer Sutherland, Sandro Oh, William Shatner, Christopher Plummer, etc., etc.
- Canadian comedians are on the world stage in the likes of Jim Carrey, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, Will Arnett, Tommy Chong, Leslie Neilsen, Howie Mandell, etc., etc.
- Canadian directors such as James Cameron, David Cronenberg, Ivan and Jason, Reitman, Paul Haggis, Denis Villeneuve, Denys Arcand, Atom Egoyan, Sarah Polley, Deepa Mehta, Mina Shum, Anne Wheeler, Arthur Hiller, Norman Jewison, etc., etc. win awards for notable films
- Canadian writers of fiction, non-fiction and screenplays are endless and include Margaret Atwood, who has more recently regained notoriety, thanks to Handmaids Tale…..
- AND, we have an abundance of extraordinary Canadian musicians (and bands) – Alanis, Sarah, Avril, Drake, Nelly, Carley-Rae, Justin, Shania, K.D., Bryan, Neil, Robbie, Joni, Gordon, Michael, Leonard, Celine, Buffy, etc. Not to overlook many others who are our personal national treasures including The Tragically Hip, Bare Naked Ladies, Chilliwack, Jann Arden, Bif Naked, Valdy, etc.
- Canadian sports hall of famers and legends too numerous to list could go on forever and ever…….. Don’t forget that Canadians Hockey Players are some of the best in the world and play on almost every American team! (Canadian female hockey players happen to also be #1 In the world!)
What is said about Canada by those in other countries?
Canada has a great, world-wide reputation with other countries. Our inter-ethnic relations in Canada are relaxed and tolerant, allowing ethnic or linguistic particularism to exist without question. Canada proudly considers itself to be a mosaic of multi-culturalism.
Canada’s reputation in some areas is even stronger than our Canadian vanity. Citizens of five countries, (South Africa, Australia, France, Indonesia and South Korea) are all more likely than Canadians to describe Canada as a country where rights and freedoms are respected.
Canada is instantly recognized around the world by a red maple leaf. There is no national symbol as ubiquitous as ours. Generations of flag-bearing Canadian backpackers are famous for sewing maple leaf patches onto their bags just to make sure everyone’s clear at a glance who we are.
Canada has developed our own identity in the academic world. Hundreds of international scholars and thousands of students study and research in our universities.
Did you know that many German universities use Canada as a model for a multi-faceted immigrant society with many different voices and multiple forms of cultural expression — including that of First Nations?
It has been said that Canada, as an immigration nation, “can make almost anyone feel welcome and also without making anyone feel like a complete outsider.” Many non-Canadians refer to Canada as “the European version of America.”
From clean drinking water and maple syrup to Santa Claus and Trick or Treat. Here are 20 Reasons Canada is too Cool!
This Canada Day 150 please toast our country with your favorite Canadian Beverage be it an award winning wine, locally brewed Craft beer or our nation’s infamous proudly Canadain Bloody Ceasar.
Join with us as we celebrate an incredible 150 years!