What we do to celebrate the national day of Canada


Summer’s going by so fast and soon it will be July 1. Everyone has a different way of celebrating or acknowledging our national holiday. In this issue, RCP contributors share their special traditions and memories. 

Canada Day can also be a time to reflect on our country’s painful choices. | Pixabay

We always put on our best Canada shirts (sometimes it takes a trip to Value Village beforehand) and head down to the Legislature grounds for a picnic. It’s such a lively atmosphere, with activities and performances, but the best part is seeing the diversity of Canadians that throng the grounds, enjoying and celebrating our country together. If I’m feeling energetic, I try to make all the picnic food red and white, like strawberry shortcakes in a jar, or bocconcini and grape tomato skewers. This year our little boy is off his training wheels for the first time and the separated bike lanes run from the corner of our Spruce Ave neighbourhood all the way to the Leg, so I’m hoping we can do our annual jaunt on bicycles.

  • Nadine Riopel

We talk about the colonization of this land, and how nationalism is a cheap PR stunt to distract from lack of universal access to basic necessities for many who live here. We also discuss why we don’t celebrate the achievements of white people who stole an entire country and then made the original inhabitants second-class citizens. We also talk about ongoing colonization and our responsibility (and necessary actions) to dismantle the systems of white supremacy.

  • Franki Harrogate

Edward Koehler and I like to go on a country day trip on or around Canada Day, pack a picnic, visit Alberta small towns, and take our picture with “big things”. Last year we went to Dewberry (giant chuckwagon) and Elk Point (giant fur trader).

  • Wes Andreas

On July 1, 2007, my partner Larry Loyie and I arrived at our new log house near High Prairie, Alberta. Our next-door country neighbours hosted a party with fireworks on the gravel side road. What a welcome! Goodbye Vancouver, hello the fun province of Alberta. I still love fireworks on Canada Day.

  • Constance Brissenden

My Canada Day celebrations change from year to year. My birthday is two days prior, so depending on the day of the week I may be celebrating my birthday that day as well. Anything from heading to a northern Alberta lake to a quiet night at home are options. No matter what, I take the time to reflect on the history of this country: the good and the bad, and how to make things better in the future. 

  • Victoria Stevens

We generally road trip it somewhere that is peaceful and less populated so we can be in nature and at peace and recharge OR at a raucous Edmonton Prospects baseball game with neighbours. We make sure to take time to remember the painful choices that have been made in creating what we now call Canada and remember that no country is infallible and that it is our responsibility as citizens to be part of doing and being better.

  • Nicola Dakers

Featured Image: Everyone has a different way of celebrating Canada Day. | Pixabay