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✨ Good morning! Today is Sunday, June 30, 2019, and this is “The Long Shot,” where we do a deep dive into a trending topic that you just can’t quite figure out.
From legalizing cannabis to winning an NBA title, a lot has happened since last summer to put our nation on the map and frankly, we’re here for it.
Thankfully, we’ve embarked on the one holiday specifically designated for
gloating showing off our Canadian pride to the world.
Grab a festive donut and make room on the bandwagon, it’s time to celebrate Canada Day!
BACK IN THE DAY
Canada Day as we know it is relatively new.
This beloved anniversary actually began as Dominion Day — a commemoration first proposed in 1868 by then-Governor General Charles Stanley to mark the one-year anniversary of Confederation (which at the time only included Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia).
While many communities organized yearly festivities on July 1, it wasn’t until 1879 that Dominion Day gained official holiday status
A HOLIDAY BY ANY OTHER NAME
The late Quebec MP, Hal Herbert, is the lawmaker credited (or blamed, depending on your POV) with rebranding Dominion Day as Canada Day when he tabled a private members’ bill proposing the name-change during an almost empty summer session of parliament (seriously, there were 13 MPs in attendance).
With only a handful of members and no prime minister in session, the legislation sailed through the process and was put up for a vote on July 9, 1982. It passed the House of Commons and was ratified by the Senate a few months later.
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES
If the Raptors’ win and Pride month have taught us anything, it’s that Canadians love to P-A-R-T-Y!
And nowhere is the Canada Day celebration bigger than in Ottawa where star-studded concerts, military flybys and of course, fireworks, are just some of the activities happening on Parliament Hill.
Not going to be near the nation’s capital this year? Don’t fret.
Communities from coast to coast (with one major exception) are getting decked out in red and white to showcase their love of the Great White North. Check out this epic tribute from B.C. to see what we mean!
DOUBLE THE MEANING
Merriment is the name of the game in most parts of the country, but for others, Canada Day is marked a bit differently.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the holiday coincides with Memorial Day, a solemn occasion commemorating a tragic day in the province’s history: July, 1, 1916 when nearly the entire Newfoundland Regiment was wiped out at the battle at Beaumont-Hamel. Ceremonies include a remembrance service at the National War Memorial in St. John’s and an annual parade in memory of the fallen.
A little further west in Quebec, Canada Day is also known as Moving Day: a quirky tradition revolving around the day most of the province’s lease agreements expire.
The holiday (if you can call it that) has been around for centuries and stems from a policy that prevented tenants from being evicted mid-winter. Today, it’s become a spectacle as thousands of moving trucks, cube vans and bicycles (yes, you read that right) hit the road on July 1 en route to greener pastures. (Because moving isn’t bad enough already, everyone should do it on the same day.)
SOME TRIVIA, EH
If you’re sitting around the campfire this weekend and need to spark some conversation, we’ve got you covered with all the Canadian-themed Timbits…er, tidbits you can handle.
• The name “Canada” has Indigenous roots. It is derived from the Huron-Iroquois word “Kanata” meaning “village” or “settlement.”
• “O Canada” was proclaimed the country’s national anthem on July 1, 1980 — 100 years after it was first performed.
• The first known use of the term “trick-or-treat” was in Alberta.
• Roughly two-thirds of the world’s polar bear population lives in Canada. The northern town of Churchill, Manitoba (a.k.a. the polar bear capital of the world) has a jail for polar bears that go rogue.
• The world champion Toronto Raptors (will we ever get tired of saying that?) may be Canada’s best-ever NBA team but they weren’t the first. That distinction goes to the Toronto Huskies who played exactly one year during the 1946–1947 season.
• At more than 202,000 kilometres, Canada has the world’s longest coastline.
• Quebec produces more than 70% of the planet’s maple syrup. It’s also home to the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserves.
• The toonie was introduced as currency in 1996. The penny was discontinued in 2013. (Our wallets are grateful.)
Now, without further ado, from all of us to all of you: Cheers to a happy Canada Day!