Less than week after Canada celebrated its sesquicentennial – or 150th birthday, we’re all still reeling from the all-out party over the weekend, and the joys our new home gave us to be thankful for, such as the rich celebrations of Canadian art, culture, history, and the country’s booming diversity.
150 years is a huge feat, so it’s no wonder that the entire country, coast to coast, came out to celebrate Canada 150. And whether you hosted a family barbecue at home or up in a cottage, went out with friends and got lost in the unique sounds of Canada’s music and the sights of the country’s local art – you’re one of the many Canadians, immigrants, refugees, and tourists all out on the streets, and in on one of the most historic and festive celebrations worldwide. While you were out taking part in the festivities, here’s everything that happened, and worth reliving coast to coast.
Who knows, maybe next year, or the next 150, you and your family will be taking part in these Canada Day celebrations?
Ottawa: Where the Biggest Party’s at
Ottawa is Canada’s capital for many reasons, and in the Canada 150 celebrations, the capital naturally took center stage, hosting the country’s biggest and most-awaited party in years. Parliament Hill alone hosted an outpour not just of locals, but many Canadians from coast to coast turning up at the capital to be at the heart of the celebrations – and it wasn’t just them. Led by PM Trudeau and the Cabinet, Ottawa welcomed Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, along many celebrated Canadian artists like Louis-Jean Cormier, Marie-Mai, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Laurence Nerbonne,Serena Ryder, and Patrick Watson. And despite the rain, the spirits in the capital where nowhere near dampened.
East Coast: Where the Sun Rises
Early risers sailed along off the coast of Newfoundland on the Iceberg Quest Vessel Capo de Espera to watch the sunrise along the Atlantic Ocean. Filled with pre-dawn activities, happy Canadians took part in the merriment and waved flags aboard the ship to welcome a new day, and a historical year for the country.
Cape Spear, N.L | Photo credit: Destination St. John’s | Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press
Nova Scotia: Bigger than Canada 150
In Nova Scotia, it wasn’t just Canada 150 that was celebrated, but a cause that dates back to the country’s real beginnings – the First Nations. Nova Scotia’s Eskasoni First Nation, the Maritimes’ largest Mi’kmaq community hosted a celebration that honoured the preservation of their language and cultural heritage. Learn more about them from this video:
This was a hallmark for Indigenous people in the country, as Mi’kmaq Chief Leroy noted their challenging history as a people, and to have come such a long way – all the way to Canada 150 – with their culture preserved and very much alive, is a cause for celebration, primarily of their survival as a people.
Meanwhile in Halifax, over 50 people of 21 different nationalities were sworn in as new Canadians in a special ceremony at Pier 21’s Canadian Museum of Immigration on Saturday morning – marking Canada 150 a very momentous and heartfelt occasion that marks a new life for these new Canadians.
Photo credit: @CitImmCanada
Montreal: A City of Lights (and Fireworks)
Heavy rain could have easily dampened Montreal on any other day, but not during Canada 150. With music abounding in the streets, and entertainment at just about every corner, there was clearly much to celebrate. New Canadians were also sworn in at Old Port, the heart of Canada 150 celebrations in the city, while Place des Festivals witnessed a great number of festival-goers swaying to the music of Men Without Hats, Yann Perreau, and international pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen.
Nightfall only gave way to more festivities as the Jacques-Cartier bridge was lit with red ‘digital fireworks’ before the actual display took place to close the evening of merriment.
— Canada 150 (@canada150th) July 1, 2017
— Tourisme Montréal (@Montreal) July 1, 2017
Toronto: The6ix Goes 150
Toronto lined up a diverse range of celebrations, performances, and attractions during a weekend-long party, centered in The6ix’s Nathan Philips Square at the heart of downtown. The world-famous CN Tower lived up to the party and hosted a spectacular fireworks display that definitely lit up the city, and the hearts of both residents and those visiting Toronto for the weekend.
— CN Tower/La Tour CN (@TourCNTower) July 1, 2017
In Lake Ontario, a giant floating rubber duck also made an appearance, which was especially brought in for Canada 150. Hence all the cute giant duck photos lighting up everyone’s feed all over the country!
— Metro Toronto (@metrotoronto) July 1, 2017
Over a hundred new Canadians were also sworn in at Toronto’s Queen’s Park where Ontario Premier Kathleen Wyne presided over the ceremony, welcomed new citizens, and lauded the province and country’s diversity – calling it its biggest strength.
Prince Edward Island: To the Next 150
Known as the birthplace of the Confederation, Charlottetown, P.E.I. chose to await the next 150 years of the country. In a book filled by residents, their hopes and dreams for the country’s future were memorialized and placed in a time capsule to be opened by future generations 150 years from now, the year 2167.
Julie Pelletier-Lush delivered A Book of Canadian Hope to Premier Wade MacLauchlan be put in a time capsule in the walls of Province House for the next 150 years in a ceremony on Canada Day. | Photo credit: Robert Tsonos for CBC News
Winnipeg: A Canada 150-Worthy Flag
Just like last year, Winnipeg came out to celebrate Canada Day by forming the largest human flag at Portage Avenue and Main Street. Happy participants formed a red, living maple leaf, with 3,600 making the milestone and record happen.
Photo credit: @DanHarperPhoto
Saw this neat video of the making of a “human flag” in Winnipeg for Canada’s 150th. pic.twitter.com/gPxp02JyLp
— Fergus Tyson (@Pastor_Fergus) July 3, 2017
Calgary: A Momentous Flashback
Residents of Calgary came out to assemble at Confederation Park for a pancake breakfast, and open a time capsule from when the park opened in 1967. Finds from the capsule included a centennial coin from Canada’s 100th birthday 50 years ago, and other prized historical documents.
Over 3,100 participants also set out in red and white shorts to form a living Canadian flag. Though no match for Winnipeg, the attempt at Fort Calgary gathered many locals for various causes of celebration.
— CBC Calgary (@CBCCalgary) July 1, 2017
Victoria and Vancouver: Living it Up in the West Coast
In Victoria, British Columbia, residents came out to mobilize in the city’s Inner Harbour and participated in their own annual living flag photo on the Parliament lawn.
— CoffeeGeek (@CoffeeGeek) July 2, 2017
In Stanley Park in Vancouver, the largest Canadian flag measuring up to 140 meters in length and 70 meters in height was spread across the grounds, a brilliant display of Canadian pride. And like all the way to the other coast, concerts, parties, and fireworks also took place all over the city. By Sunday, an afternoon parade commemorated the Canada 150 celebrations, giving residents ‘one last chance to say Happy Birthday Canada’.
— CTV Vancouver (@CTVVancouver) June 30, 2017
Where were you during the Canada 150? You and your family could be here or in the next Canada Day! Book a consultation with us today, or call us at 604-917-0355 , and learn how you can be part of these celebrations and rich cultural heritage.