For those who don’t know, July 1 is Canada Day! What’s it all about, you may ask? Isn’t it the same as July 4th in the States?? In fact, no, and here’s why…
(Ahem. Just putting on my pontificating historian voice…)
July 1, 1867. Canada woke up a colony of the British Empire, and went to sleep a country in its own right. This was the day on which a rather drunken Scot, John A. Macdonald, became our first Prime Minister. Now, this is different to Independance Day in the US, because of what it symbolizes. Canada Day (formerly known as Dominion Day) celebrates a continuing, but different relationship with Britain and the Empire (or Commonwealth, as it is known today). Independance Day in the States is the day that they celebrate kicking the British out of their country. Slightly different ethos there. However, both countries take it as an opportunity for a good party, as both are statuatory holidays and are full of patriotic fervor.
So today, pull out those maple leaves, put on something red and white and listen to a great Canadian musician, read a great Canadian author, watch some great Canadian actors, or look at some great Canadian art today. Here are some suggestions:
The Group of Seven
You could also read some stuff by a mate ‘o’ mine, another displaced Canadian, Carla. She’s got a blog called Across the Pond.
Or, if you’re in London, join the celebrations at The Maple Leaf pub
You could even buy Canadian products at the online Canada Shop in the UK.