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What does Canada Day celebrate?
Canada Day celebrates the anniversary of the Constitution Act which was signed on July 1, 1867. This was the day that the three British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada united to form a single country.
When is Canada Day celebrated?
Each year on July 1st
Who celebrates this day?
Canada Day is celebrated throughout the country of Canada. It is a national federal holiday.
What do people do to celebrate?
Since Canada Day takes place in the summer, there are plenty of outdoor celebrations and activities. These include fireworks, musical concerts, and parades. A lot of people like to have a cookout or barbecue with a gathering of friends and then head to one of the celebrations such as a free concert or a fireworks show.
History of Canada Day
On July 1, 1867 the British North American Act united the British colonies of North America into one federation called Canada. Later the act would be renamed to the Constitution Act. This is the day that many Canadians mark as the birth of their country.
At first the day wasn't widely celebrated as most Canadians still considered themselves to be British. In 1879 the day became a national holiday called Dominion Day. This was because the country was called its own "dominion" in the Constitution Act. However, it still wasn't a widely celebrated holiday. Over time the day became more popular in Canada, especially during the 100 year celebration in 1967.
The day was officially renamed to Canada Day in 1982. There was actually a lot of debate. Some people wanted to stay with the old name, but eventually the name was changed.
Fun Facts About Canada Day
- Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has visited Canada several times to celebrate the day. In 2011, Prince William and his wife Kate attended celebrations.
- The day is not as popular in the province of Quebec where July 1st is also "moving day", a day when lease agreements are up.
- It was on this day in 1980 when the song "O Canada" was officially made the national anthem of the country.
- The first color television broadcast in Canada was made on this day in 1966.
- Sir John A. MacDonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada. He also wrote a significant portion of the Constitution Act.
- Official celebrations are held on Parliament Hill in the capital city of Ottawa, Ontario.
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