Theme Ride Thursday: Canada Day

Background

Canada Day, or Fête du Canada, celebrates the anniversary of the July 1 enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867. The Act united the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. Although Canada existed prior to 1867 within both the French and British empires, Canada Day is the anniversary of this one important national milestone on the way to the country’s full independence in 1982.  

Celebrations

Much like July 4 for the United States, July 1 is a day of celebration for Canadians; it’s an opportunity to celebrate our country and our Canadian-ness. Most communities across the country will host organized celebrations for Canada Day, typically parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, free musical concerts, and citizenship ceremonies, all topped off with a magnificent fireworks display. Celebrations are also planned in other countries for patriots living abroad, while many will celebrate at home with backyard barbecues; sharing a drink with family, friends, and neighbors is very popular. You will find Canadian flags draped from windows, hanging over fences, and attached to cars. There is no standard mode of celebration for Canada Day.  

The largest celebration will take place in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, Ontario, where large concerts and cultural displays are held on Parliament Hill with the Governor General and the Prime Minister (currently Justin Trudeau) typically officiating. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is, oddly enough, still the Queen of Canada and Head of State and sometimes attends. This may explain our fascination with the royal family.

Things That are Uniquely Canadian

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When people think of Canadians they think of a group of very polite folks who say “I’m Sorry” and “Eh” a lot. These stereotypes are true! We do apologize all the time; if you bump into me, I will automatically apologize to you. And “Eh” can indicate puzzlement or confusion, it can be a statement or express indifference, it can be a question, a hello, or a confirmation, among other many other things.

And yes, we really are very polite and reasonable. Except, as the world just found out, we won’t be pushed around.

But what other things are uniquely Canadian or bring Canada to mind? Maple syrup. Yes, the majority of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Canada (by the way, it goes great with Canadian bacon); we even have a maple leaf on our flag. Hockey. We do love “the good ol’ hockey game”! Many Canadians still remember the day that Wayne Gretzky left the Edmonton Oilers for the Los Angeles Kings; it was a difficult day for Canadians. Beavers. Those little destructive creatures clogging our waterways with their dams—they are our national animal. And did you know that we replaced our one- and two-dollar bills with coins and now call them “loonies” and “toonies”?

Don’t forget about bagged milk; ketchup and all dressed chips; beavertails (a classic Canadian carnival treat); poutine—fries with squeaky cheese and gravy (yes, please!); “Caesars” instead of Bloody Marys; strong beer (need some hair on your chest?); sweet treats such as Coffee Crisp and Kinder Surprise; coffee giant Tim Horton’s; and the little red-haired girl from Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables. Although, it’s likely not true that we all know how to make love in a canoe. 

But we did take care of 7,000 strangers on 9/11.

Canada has an eclectic music scene with artists from all genres. A small collection of popular Canadian artists consists of Great Big Sea, the Barenaked Ladies, the Tragically Hip, Neil Young, the Guess Who, Justin Bieber (we really are sorry), Anne Murray, Celine Dion, Gordon Lightfoot, Rush, Shawn Mendes, Drake, Leonard Cohen, Bryan Adams, Joni Mitchell, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Serena Ryder, Sarah McLachlan, Loverboy, k.d. Lang, and the Weeknd. The world’s most hated band, Nickelback, belongs to us, and who can forget Carly Rae Jepsen and “Call Me Maybe”?

Canadians are very prevalent in Hollywood as well. Everyone knows our Ryans, Gosling and Reynolds, but did you know that the following actors are also Canadian: Dan Akroyd, Mike Meyers, Michael J. Fox, Rachel McAdams, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin, Pamela Anderson, Seth Rogan, Jim Carrey, Donald and Kiefer Sutherland, William Shatner, Leslie Nielsen, Nathan Fillion, Howie Mandel, Keanu Reeves, and the list goes on! Canadians are everywhere.  

If you’d like to consider adding some Canadian music or songs about Canada into your classes to celebrate Canada Day, please consider some tracks from the playlists below. The first playlist contains songs from some iconic Canadian artists, while some are more obscure. These songs should easily slide into a playlist; maybe some are already in your rotation. The second playlist consists of songs that are silly, unique, quirky, or funny and perhaps you can use a few of them as warm-ups, recoveries, cool-downs, or just songs to play before and after your class. I’d be delighted if you gave a little shout out to “the Great White North” on July 1.

 

 

 

 

 

OK, hosers, I hope you find something you like! If you have any other favorites to add, please let us know in the comments below. And as Bob and Doug would say, “Take off, eh!”

2 Responses to “Theme Ride Thursday: Canada Day”

  1. Allyson Carter says:

    While it Ottawa last December,I learned of the group 54-40. Check out their song Ocean Peal. Also the original version “I go blind.” Not a Hootie original, who knew. 😉

    • Julianne Lafleur says:

      Ocean Pearl is a great song; it’s an oldie but goodie! I’ve added it to the list. Thanks for the suggestion!

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