Canada day is coming up here in Canada, and it is also the 150th birthday for our country, so we thought we’d go a little into the history of the celebration of this day.
Originally, Canada Day was called Dominion Day, named so because it is the day Canada as a country celebrates the fact that on July 1st 1867 Canada was formed as a dominion under the enactment of the Constitution Act, which at the time was called the British North America Act. This act united the three separate colonies of Canada (Upper Canada: the now province of Ontario and Lower Canada: the province of Quebec), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia into one dominion with its own federal government. The rest of the provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan) and territories (Nunavut, The North West Territories and the Yukon) followed in the years after. In 1982, under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the day was re-dubbed Canada Day after the signing of the Canada Act, which separated Canada from British influence once and for all.
Canada Day is usually accompanied by fireworks, concerts and other celebratory actions but back when it was Dominion Day, in the years directly following confederation, typical celebrations would have consisted of activities that involved family and family friendly fun. There would have been Dominion Day Picnics hosted by the community, which everyone would have contributed something to. There would be activities like egg races, raffles, and bake offs.
Dominion Day is included in two episodes of Road To Avonlea,season two episode one: “ Sara’s Homecoming” and more notably season seven episode two: “Love May Be Blind, But The Neighbours Ain’t”. In both of these episodes we see aspects of the celebrations that would have taken place, including the activities mentioned here! While times may have changed, the spirit of the day has not.
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