I wholeheartedly, unabashedly love Canada Day. The first of July every year heralds summer here and we typically go out of our way to make this celebration of our country a fun family experience.
Maybe it’s the fireworks. Or maybe it’s because it is the day before my eldest daughter’s birthday. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a time when we moaned at length through high school and university about the lack of a true Canadian culture. The lack of a Canadian identity. Entire careers and courses were made or taught on the topic.
But somewhere in the last 10 years I think we discovered our Canadianness and tapped a source of pride. I believe we’ve found it – that quintessential Canadian identity. It may have taken us longer than the United States, and we may be quieter asserting it, but I believe we have arrived.
My Payton, seen here at the right, would agree. Thankfully she may never grow up knowing a diffferent time when we paled in comparison to our southern neighbour, when we argued even as literary greats like Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, Leon Rooke and Margaret Laurence wrote our history and our future, that we did not exist distinctly separate from the Americans. Tommy Douglas, Pierre Trudeau, Hollywood North, Diefenbaker, Carol Shields, Alice Munro.
Two years ago on Canada Day weekend our family witnessed the fireworks July 1 over Niagara Falls. It was the most impressive display I’ve ever seen. Last year we went to Chatham in the rain and stayed overnight at Wheels Inn. Sadly, that indoor amusement park has closed.
How We Spent This Canada Day
This year we almost let rainy weather sink us. But in the end once again we piled into our minivan and drove to the beach, joining family at a cottage near Point Clark. And remarkably the clouds parted, jokes and memories were shared and we took a road trip again. This is now our new family tradition. Our identity.
Happy Birthday Canada!