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The history of Canada Day

June 19, 2014

Canada Day is one of the main Canadian holidays and it’s celebrated every year on the 1st of July. The holiday represents the anniversary of Canada's confederation and is commemorated with parades, fireworks, cookouts (barbecue), and concerts. Canada became a kingdom on the day and gained a substantial amount of independence from England with the Constitution Act, but complete independence was not given until 1982. Canada Day was formerly known as "Dominion Day," and it marks the anniversary of the Constitution Act of 1867. It was on 1st of July 1867 when Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province (Ontario and Quebec) created Dominion of Canada, a united country. Even though Canada gained independence from Britain, many of it’s citizens regarded themselves as British citizens. Nevertheless, representatives of the newly created federation were keen to make July 1 as the anniversary of the Confederation. That’s why this day was stated as national holiday in 1879 by the federal law. The first official celebration of the holiday was held in 1917 to honor Canada's 50th birthday. During that occasion the Governor General laid the cornerstone of the Confederation Building on Wellington Street in Ottawa. It was in 1968 when Canada included concerts on Parliament Hill for the Canada Day. But even then, the holiday wasn’t celebrated like it is today. The festivities were broadcasted and ran under the name Festival Canada until 1979. In 1980, the government decided to extend celebrations beyond the Ottawa region and sponsored and encouraged local communities to develop festivities for this holiday. As a result, it became a nationwide celebration and 15 major cities organized fireworks to celebrate it. All that time, the holiday was called Dominion Day and in 1982 was officially changed to Canada Day. Many other important events for the Canadian history happened on the Canada Day during the years: the first national radio hookup was initiated by the Canadian National Railway on July 1, 1927 and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) held their first cross-country broadcast on Canada Day in 1958. Also, the first color television transmission in Canada was held on July 1st of 1966. In 1967, the Order of Canada was inaugurated. "O Canada" was also named the official national anthem on Canada Day, 1980. Today, Canada Day is celebrated country-wide and all over the world. The festivities include great concerts, barbecue, fireworks and parades. If you would like to celebrate with your loved one, why don’t you send them a card? We wish you all happy Canada Day!

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