Saturday, 1 July 2017
Happy Canada 150 Sesquicentennial!
Man, that's a mouthful, isn't it? Today we mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the 1867 creation of the modern Canadian state. And in true Canadian fashion, not everyone is thrilled about it.
Many people in Quebec couldn't care less. July 1st is just "moving day" there, when everyone's lease expires and they get a chance to switch apartments.
And Canada's Indigenous people aren't in a particularly celebratory mood either, given that they were here for millennia beforehand, have been treated badly ever since European contact and particularly so since Confederation.
But still, some of us want to party. And some of us *cough, cough* are old enough to remember Canada's 100th anniversary in 1967. We had a remarkably similar maple leaf logo for that party too.
Anyway, I was ten years old in 1967 and Centennial Year was a really big deal at our school. We had to sing Bobby Gimby's "Ca-na-da" song constantly. We had to colour endless copies of the Centennial logo. And they forced us to memorize all the provincial/territorial flags and official flowers! You name me one Canadian kid these days that knows that info -- go on, just one! Can't do it, can you.
Gawd, are your ears bleeding now? Sorry.
And, like every school, we had a Centennial Pageant celebrating our multicultural heritage. Of course, in those days, that basically just meant French, English, Irish, Scottish, Chinese and Ukrainian, at least on the prairies where we lived. I don't remember Indigenous heritage even being mentioned in that school pageant. Wow, eh? Those were insensitive days.
I played the role of CANADA in the pageant. That's me with the flag crown, white choir gown and red-lettered "Canada" sash at the back by the map, waiting to come forward to the front of the stage after the Ukrainians were finished dancing. I assume I had to recite some patriotic little speech or something but quite frankly, I don't remember now. Hey, it was 50 years ago, cut me some slack! All I remember are those friggin flags and flowers.
So now, Happy Canada 150 Sesquicentennial, my Canuckian siblings! Today My Rare One and I are going downtown to Churchill Square to take in some festivities and go to the Art Gallery of Alberta, all of which are free today. We're not above saving a few bucks, you know. Later, if we can stay awake until 11:00 pm, we'll watch the fireworks in the river valley from our friends' balcony.
I basically focused on the past in this post, didn't I, rather than on the present or the future. That's because I know damn well that I won't be here for the Canada 200 Bicentennial in 2067 and it kinda makes me sad. These festivities are making me feel my age.
But hey -- *perking up* -- I might possibly make it to the Canada 175 Dodransbicentennial in 2042 if I live to be 85! Keep a happy thought for me, everyone!