Canada Prepares to Bring in her Mighty Birthday
It’s a time of patriotic fervor when Canadians celebrate their independence from the British, that time of the year when Canadians look forward to the celebrations held every summer, on the 1st of July, the official birth of the Canadian nation. A rare opportunity to have outdoor parties with friends and family – barbecues or cookouts, picnics and fireworks. Earlier referred to as ‘Dominion Day’, most of the Canadian cities host official Canada Day festivities that include parades, music and theater festivals, and neighborhood activities. All official festivities are free of charge, and during this time, local heroes and achievers are officially recognized and feted. Shuttle services are offered to those who want to be dropped or picked up at various points along the parade route.
In Ottawa, the country’s capital, a huge party takes place on the lawns of Parliament Hill, Jacques Cartier Park, Major’s Hill Park and the closed streets of downtown, where the crowds gather for the flag raising ceremony, followed by the Changing of the Guard ceremony and the carillon concert featuring the Peace Tower Bells. At noon, the Snowbirds will paint the skies with a thrilling demonstration of aerobatic daredevilry, followed by cultural entertainment. July 1st, 2015 features a stellar line-up of Canadian Performers like country music singer Gord Bamford, Francesco Yates, and Marc Dupre, to name a few!
Patriots go to town with faces painted with the Canadian flag, with pins and patriotic emblems on their clothes, hair dyed red with white maple leaves at the center, and other patriotic gear. Pancake and Maple syrup breakfasts, taffy pulls galore, picnic lunches, treasure hunts, music and magic shows for revelers of all ages, topped off by unmissable fireworks are the order of the day!
A Brief History
The enactment of Canada’s Constitution (1867), which confederated Canada, was celebrated on July 1st of the same year, with the bells pealing at the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto and bonfires, fireworks and illuminations, excursions, military displays and musical and other entertainment, but it became a statutory holiday only in 1879, when it was called Dominion Day. In 1946, as a departure from the holdover from the colonial era, Dominion Day was renamed ‘Canada Day’, but not without protests and criticisms from many quarters, with many calling it a term of ‘crushing banality‘. It was only in 1958 that it became a prominent event and holiday, with the Canadian government orchestrating the Trooping the Color ceremony on Parliament Hill, followed by a mass band concert and fireworks. It later came to include performing folk and ethnic groups and the day became more casual and family oriented. Canada day also became an important day to launch many of the firsts in Canada, such as the Flooding of the St. Lawrence Seaway (1958), the inauguration of the order of Canada (1967), the establishment of ‘O Canada’, the country’s national anthem (1980).
Canada Day International.
Canada Day celebrations are held in Trafalgar Square by the expat Canadian community in London featuring Canadian performers, visual artists, and even a street hockey tournament! In New York, a similar program of food music and street hockey is enacted in Central Park. Canada Day International has expanded into other international cities like Hong Kong, Mumbai, Paris and Rio de Janeiro. This year, the celebrations have been cancelled in London, New York, and Hong Kong due to challenges in the economic climate that has made the collection of corporate funds difficult. “The loss of several key sponsors including both of our title partners has proven to be too significant for us to replace for all three cities. We have exhausted all possibilities including formal requests of support to the Federal Government, but unfortunately we are simply not in a position to deliver the quality of event that our audience and partners have come to expect.” Says Chad Molleken, Executive Director, Canada Day International.
Fire Works Ban
In the interests of keeping the community and its citizens safe, the Gyro Park fireworks display for the Canada day celebrations has been cancelled due to the Ministry of Forests fire ban in the area (Cadboro, Victoria, BC).
The Newfoundland and Labrador government has also put a temporary ban on backyard fireworks just days before Canada day due to parched forest conditions.
Alberta is also looking at banning fireworks for the same reasons, except in municipalities that are willing to regulate how they are used.
“We’re going to include the use of fireworks because these are incendiary devices,” said Young. “Given the conditions in the forest in that it’s so dry, and the fire fuel moisture code is so high, that it doesn’t take much to start these fires.” said Eric Young, the director of Forest Engineering and Industry Services, Department of Natural Resources, BC.
Combating Noise and Pollution
Those who aren’t able to join in the boisterous celebrations are bound to get irritated by the neighbors’ noisy enthusiasm. Keep your windows closed, and deploy your window treatments to shut away the noise and pollution. The Cellular Shades from Graber Blinds features many beautiful contemporary window dressings that include The Sun-Up-Sun-Down shades and The Perfect Vue shades that offer the best in noise and thermal insulation. Not least of the benefits the shades offers is the Top-Down-Bottom-Up (TDBU) feature that will help provide an excellent view while giving you the privacy you desire at this time. Log on to Zebrablinds.ca for some of the most incredible offers on window dressings on July 1st, Canada’s birthday.