Thursday, July 01, 2010

143 years of Canada

Happy Canada Day everyone!

After years of researching and publishing about the history of Canada Day, I'm really pleased that my article Fireworks, Folk-dancing, and Fostering a National Identity: The Politics of Canada Day has appeared in the latest volume of the Canadian Historical Review. This is also a special day for me, because my promotion to associate professor becomes official today! (My legal wedding anniversary is on St-Jean-Baptiste Day. Perhaps I should lay off having major events in my life tied to politically-charged holidays.)

The article itself is by subscription only, but as I've done in past years, I'll share some fun facts from the history of the day. Fifty years ago, in 1960, the CBC put together a special documentary to air on July 1st. Entitled "Dominion Day: A Day to Remember", it traced the stories of six new Canadians, who would be receiving their citizenship at a special ceremony on Parliament Hill. This ceremony kicked off the events taking place on the Hill that day. Somewhat ironically, this also re-launched official Dominion Day observances in Ottawa. The Diefenbaker government had tried to start this annual tradition of celebrating Dominion Day in 1958, but the visit of the Queen, which would take her out of Ottawa on the 1st, led to changes of plans for 1959. For those who are interested, she was helping out at the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Attaching citizenship ceremonies to the events of July 1st rapidly became a popular aspect of both national and local events. Indeed, this was the only official event organized by the federal government in Ottawa in 1976, after the rest of the budget for the "Show on the Hill" was cancelled as part of wide-ranging budget cuts.

Enjoy your Canada Day, however you may be celebrating it!

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At 4:46 pm, Anonymous Maurice said...

Happy Canada Day to you, too, and congratulations, Mr. Associate Professor!

Although I'm having a very low-key Canada Day, I am deep in thought about how I take even less for granted my Canadian citizenship. I may rage or feel sad sometimes about how things are, but then when I consider other countries, I realize that, on the whole, I am very proudly Canadian.

At 4:48 pm, Blogger Random University Student said...

I'm about to take a course on Canadian nationalism so your article may come in handy. Thanks and congratulations!

At 10:33 pm, Anonymous amanda said...

im actually doing a paper on your article for one of my classes, i found it very interesting and besides having to summarize and give my opinions i have to try and write what ur persective is truly saying! wish me luck!!


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