Canada Day occurs on July 1st, the anniversary of Canada’s confederation. Canadians commemorate the day with parades, fireworks, cookouts, and concerts. Formerly known as “Dominion Day,” Canada Day marks the anniversary of the Constitution Act of 1867, joining Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province (now Ontario and Quebec) into a single country. The Constitution Act granted Canada a substantial amount of independence from England, although complete independence was not given until 1982. Prior to 1900, there was little Canadian nationalism as many Canadians regarded themselves as British citizens. The first official celebration was held in 1917 to honor Canada’s 50th birthday.
Canadians are very proud with multiculturalism as its foundation. Forming the country with a patchwork of cultures and ethnic backgrounds from the past, is equally as important to continue it into the future. It is a country that is truly ‘strong and free’. To observe and celebrate Canada Day, many towns and cities start the day with a parade.
As a tradition, many families go out to watch their neighborhood parade in the morning and then continue the day with celebrations of the red and white. To add variety to Canada Day parades, the Spentz Family takes adventures to different small towns and small cities to watch other parades. They see the diverse range of what and who are the faces that makes Canada, and exploring the area with local activities.
“There is an old saying “everyone loves a parade” and it is certainly true in small towns everywhere. It is true, there is a different sense of “community and country” in rural communities than urban ones. While there is a strong pioneer spirit across the prairies, it is much stronger in small towns and villages. It is a great day out to explore the corners and crevices of Canada and be a part of the celebrations. The kids always look forward to this yearly adventure. At some parades, they even throw out candy!”
While visiting small towns and cities, each area is unique. From the start of a parade, to coming across events like, ‘Strawberry Socials’ (strawberries, whipping cream and cake) being served at community gatherings. Each place celebrates in a different flavor – something Canada is known for. Try a new Canada Day tradition, by picking a different local town to visit each year!
Photography: Chris Loane