This week, Canadians all over the country are stocking up on beer and barbecue supplies in preparation for their annual Canada Day Celebrations. Each year, July 1st is celebrated with outdoor public events all over the country such as picnics, barbeques, musical concerts, festivals, shows and fireworks. This year we’re in for an extra special celebration: as our country turns 150 years old! Here we’ve gathered a number of facts you probably did not know about Canada’s most important national holiday!
- Canada Day is a federal statutory holiday and it’s the national day of Canada, celebrating the anniversary of July 1, 1867, when Canada signed the Constitution Act and became a new federation with its own constitution. On this day, the British colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada were united into one dominion under the name of Canada, and the colonies became the nation’s first provinces. The Province of Canada was divided in the process and renamed into Quebec and Ontario.
- On June 20, 1868, Canada’s Governor General proclaimed that Canadians should celebrate the anniversary of the confederation. The holiday became a statutory holiday in 1879 and was originally known as Dominion Day. On October 27, 1982, Dominion Day officially became Canada Day, and the new name symbolized a step away from Canada’s colonial past.
- The year 2017 marks the 150th celebration of Canada Day!
- Canada Day is celebrated each year on July 1st. If the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be off to observe the holiday.
- “O Canada” officially became Canada’s national anthem on July 1, 1980 as part of that year’s Dominion Day celebrations, even though it had been around since the 1880 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony.
- On July 1, 1923, the Chinese Immigration Act went into effect, which banned all Chinese immigration to Canada. This is why all Chinese-Canadians referred to this day as “Humiliation Day” and refused to take part in any celebrations, until the act was repealed in 1947.
- The first national broadcast took place on July 1, 1927 for the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. Telegraph and telephone companies and 23 radio stations were able to broadcast live from the CN station in Ottawa.
- Cross-country television transmission by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) began on Canada Day in 1958. Colour television was introduced to Canada nine years later on Canada Day 1967.
- Canada Day coincides with Moving Day in Quebec, when many fixed-lease apartment rental terms expire in Quebec and thousands of Quebecers spend the day packing and moving.
- Canada Day almost exactly marks the middle of the year. July 1st is the 182nd day and after that 183 days are left to go.
- Canada Day’s biggest annual celebration takes place on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, followed by the festivities at Canada Place right here in Vancouver!
- Famous people born on Canada Day include Princess Diana, Liv Tyler, Pamela Anderson, Missy Elliott, Estee Lauder and Sydney Pollack.
We hope that you’re having a fantastic time in Vancouver and plan to celebrate our country’s birthday with fireworks, barbecues, picnics or some time in the great outdoors. Lots of celebrations are taking place in Vancouver, make sure to check out the Event Page of Canada Place for updates on the city’s celebration.
There are so many great things to explore in Canada and in Vancouver this summer! To explore like a local make sure to always keep an eye on VGC’s activity calendar, so you don’t miss out on the fun!
Happy Canada Day!