From Vancouver to Halifax, July 1 marks Canada’s birthday and the date that Canadians commemorate their independence from the United Kingdom. “Canada Day” or “Fête du Canada” is a national day of celebration filled with parades, citizenship ceremonies, free concerts and fireworks.
Canada Day Origins
Originally known as “Dominion Day,” the holiday recognizes the July 1, 1867 anniversary of the British North America Act that united Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada into the Dominion of Canada, becoming the second largest country in the world.
First acknowledged as a proclamation in 1868 and then a statute in 1879, “Dominion Day” became more widely celebrated in the 1980s. For years, observances have been held in Ottawa, Ontario—the nation’s capital—and eventually those events were nationally televised. In the early 1980s, government support and funding was made available to inspire and plan more celebrations across the country. The holiday was officially renamed “Canada Day” in 1982.
Celebrating Canada Day
Canada’s largest celebration is still in Ottawa, where activities include official flag raising and changing of the guard ceremonies. A host of public events featuring performing artists and musicians and multicultural entertainment continue throughout the day then culminate with a brilliant fireworks display behind Parliament Hill. The Canadian Prime Minister and Governor General typically preside over the festivities, and sometimes the Queen of England or another member of the royal family attends the celebration.
Since many families and friends across Canada celebrate Canada Day with picnics, barbeques and outdoor activities, we thought we’d share a few delicious recipes that use some of Canada’s favorite natural resources:
- Baked Maple Brie: Get the party started with a favorite appetizer that combines apples and maple syrup with Brie cheese.
- Montreal-Spiced Bison Steaks: This lean Canadian entrée will bring guests back for seconds!
- Ottawa Valley Strawberry Shortcake: Made with fresh strawberries and granulated maple sugar, this delicious dessert is sure to be a holiday hit!
Happy Canada Day to our friends to the north! And thank you for some of our favorite things Canadian like Hockey, Smarties candies and Velcro to name just a few.