Canada Day, originally known as Dominion Day, marks a critical moment in Canadian history. On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act was proclaimed, which brought together Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Canada Day 2021 is going to be different from past years due to the pandemic. Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways you can celebrate Canada Day safely.
Fun ways to celebrate Canada Day.
Make your Canada Day memorable with these ideas.
- Call family and friends in Canada and those living abroad. Did you know there are an estimated three million Canadians who live outside of Canada? Specifically, more than 750,000 Canadians live in the United States, and more than 100,000 Canadians live in Mexico and other Latin American countries at least part of the year. With the Ooma Premier Plan, you can call your friends living in Mexico or the United States easily. Use the following ideas to share what you’ve learned about Canadian history and culture.
- Enjoy some classic Canadian foods. Poutine (a French Canadian specialty with French fries, cheese and brown gravy) and Tim Hortons coffee (now available for online order in the U.S.) is just the start. You could also try to make a new recipe like Nanaimo bar for dessert.
- Discover Canadian history. Learn about the history of Canada through the online Canadian Encyclopedia, or read “John A: The Man Who Made Us,” by Richard J. Gwyn,a widely reviewed award-winning biography of John A. MacDonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. You can also discover the country’s history through the Extraordinary Canadians biography series, which has profiled significant Canadians like Maurice Richard, Tommy Douglas, Big Bear and Emily Carr.
- Watch a Canadian documentary. Make some popcorn and sit down with a few episodes of “Canada: A People’s History.” This documentary series covers Canadian history up to 1990.
- Enjoy Canadian TV shows. There have been several great Canadian TV shows made recently like Schitt’s Creek (winner of nine Emmy Awards), Kim’s Convenience (a series set in Canada that has won multiple comedy awards), Alias Grace (a historical drama inspired by the Margaret Atwood novel), and Can You Hear Me? (set in Montreal).
- Learn new words in Canada’s official languages. You might know that Canada has two official languages: English and French. However, you might not know that Canadian English is different in some ways from American and British English. For example, Canadians tend to say “sorry” often in daily speech. The tendency to say sorry frequently has even been recognized in law—Ontario passed the Apology Act in 2009 which “allows the communication of expressions of sorrow or regret without worrying that the comments can later be used adversely in a civil court.” In addition, several Canadian words (e.g., colour, neighbour, and favour) are spelled with a “u” while the corresponding word in American English would be spelled without the letter “u.” In terms of Canadian French, learn some new words like “dépanneur” (i.e., corner store). Canadian French is sometimes different from France. For example, Canadian French has the phrase “fin de semaine” to refer to the weekend, while those in France say “le weekend.”
- Listen to Canadian music. If music is your jam, explore the works of world-famous Canadian singers, songwriters and bands. As a starting point, listen to some of the artists who have won several JUNO awards like Anne Murray, Bryan Adams, Céline Dion, The Tragically Hip, Alanis Morissette and Jim Cuddy.
- Enjoy the outdoors. The warmer temperatures of July make it easier to enjoy the outdoors without having to pile on heavy clothing. Consider going for a hike at national parks like the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (British Columbia), Banff National Park (Alberta), or Mont-Tremblant National Park (Quebec). Keep local public health guidelines in mind.
- Celebrate Canadian multiculturalism. In 2021, Canada will mark 50 years of official multiculturalism. In some cities like Toronto, more than 50 percent of the population was born outside of Canada. Take pride in other cultures that have contributed to Canada in the past and present by learning from others and sharing what you learn in a call with friends and family.
- Check for local Canada Day events. Like 2020, Canada Day celebrations will be different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If fireworks and other events are canceled in your area, think about ways you can celebrate at home with a BBQ, music, books and the outdoors.
Celebrate Canada Day your way.
Whether you celebrate Canada Day inside or in the great outdoors, make the most of the holiday by planning. Your plans could be as simple as making a call to a few friends to say “Happy Canada Day!” or “Bonne fête du Canada!” Or you might spend more time with historical books and movies. There’s no one right way to celebrate.