Photo Credit - Maple Key Camp
Happy Canada Day!
Today is my country's 142nd birthday.
Barely a teenager, compared to other countries.
One of the joys for me on Canada Day is watching the televised celebration from Ottawa, our country's capital. Besides the hundreds of thousands of people who show up festooned in red and white from top to bottom, there is always a group of new citizens to our country who want to be sworn in on that day, becoming Canadian citizens on Canada's birthday.
This year, there were 2,000 people who were sworn in, in various cities and towns across the country. In Ottawa, 142 people from 42 different countries became new citizens on Canada's birthday. I love this kind of story...people who choose to live here, who want to live here and feel blessed to be a part of this country.
Those of us born in Canada often take for granted the physical beauty of this country and the amazing freedom we enjoy, in living our lives as we wish. Only someone who has experienced a difficult life in another country can truly appreciate the lifestyle they enjoy when they move here. So, the best parts of any Canada Day celebration for me are the televised swearing-in ceremonies across the country for all of Canada's new citizens.
Photo credit - Banff, AB Canada Day
There are other lovely traditions that are a part of the annual Canada Day party in my home town...we have an all-day blow-out party complete with a parade, a free BBQ for all of the people who are a part of the celebrations and an opening ceremony with the Royal Canadian Legion veterans. There are pony rides, a petting zoo, the local celebrities' dunk tank and kids' games for every age.
I have provided Canada's birthday cake for the past 7 years. Cutting and serving a line-up of delicious chocolate, lemon and vanilla layer cakes to the hundreds of people crowding around my table is a fabulous part of the day for me. Wishing every single person, "Happy Canada Day!" as I hand them their choice of cake is totally cool for me. Cutting and serving so much cake is a huge chore, so I've switched to cuppycakes in the last couple of years. Much easier to serve to my hungry guests!
This year, we added an art show to our Canada Day. The organizers were concerned that no one would participate, but they found themselves swamped with gorgeous pieces at the last minute. I schlepped four of my large framed watercolour paintings to the gallery, and was blown away by the quality of the art on display. Everything from photography to oil paintings, watercolours and scratchboard work, exotic masks and jeweled bonsai trees...amazing!
I'm home, with 'jammies on and my slippers warming my feet. The crowd is just now warming up for the evening, ready to kick up their heels at the family dance and enjoy the midnight fireworks...I can already hear the band from my house! Later, just as I'm about to fall asleep, the fireworks will explode and wake me for a moment. Tomorrow, the town crew will clean up the party area and take down our huge blue and white tent, packing it away for another year. Then, there will be no signs left of the fabulous party that took place today.
Next year, we'll do it all over again.
More people will be sworn in as new citizens and I'll hand out another few hundred cuppycakes. Canada will be another year older and hopefully, we'll all still be here, healthy and happy, ready to enjoy the party!
"What is a Canadian?
A Canadian is a fellow wearing English tweeds, a Hong Kong shirt and Spanish shoes, who sips Brazilian coffee sweetened with Philippine sugar from a Bavarian cup while nibbling Swiss cheese, sitting at a Danish desk over a Persian rug, after coming home in a German car from an Italian movie... and then writes his Member of Parliament with a Japanese ballpoint pen on French paper, demanding that he do something about foreigners taking away our Canadian jobs."
Photo credit - AOL News