It’s a new month and Canada has just turned 145 years old (1 July 1867). This year marks the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812 (it ended 2 years later with the burning of the White House. Now you know why it’s white – we burnt it so badly! Want it black? We’re willing to do it again. :P) and the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
In Vancouver, BC, the Olympic Cauldron was lit again (it is only lit on special occasions, such as Remembrance Day, but it was lit all day on Canada Day) and the old and new (East and West, to be correct) Convention Centres were packed with people who were out to experience Canadian pride, see the Mounties, enjoy some free concerts on the waterfront and much more. Last week was the opening of the War of 1812 exhibit at Canada Place, which will be around for 2 years – exactly when the war ended – so everyone tried to get in (sadly, I was too late). I did, however, get to enjoy Spirit of the West on stage and, thankfully, they performed Home for a Rest, which is Canada’s unofficial national anthem! 😉 It’s a great partying / drinking / St Paddy’s song!
Inside Canada Place, there was a Northwest Territories exhibit, with a dome and aurora lights projected onto the ceiling, which brought back fond memories of the pavilions during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010. As usual, there was also the Canadian Forces exhibit, with all sorts of equipment and uniforms and soldiers! Very exciting for kids and adults though I daresay they wouldn’t think the same if we were in the middle of a war and conscription was enforced! Finally, near the front of the entrance to the Pan Pacific Hotel, there was an art gallery with portraits of notable Canadians by William Meire (specifically, the Face of Canada) and exquisite Native prints/paintings by Andy Everson. If the art gallery is still there this month, I highly recommend checking them out! Both are very talented Canadian artists – and they were at Canada Place too!
At 7PM, the 4th annual Canada Day parade started and, as usual, it was a parade full of diversity, music and dancing. Our Canadian/Vancouverite parades is basically a showcase of everything in Vancouver – armed forces, police, veterans, firemen, school bands, multicultural societies, etc. Never gets boring for me! 🙂 The entire parade lasted closed to 2 hours and by the end of it, my legs were about to give way. I’d planned to stay to watch the fireworks that night but I could not be bothered to stay for an extra 1.5 hours to see them at 10:30PM. By late afternoon, Canada Place and its surroundings were JAM-PACKED with people. Thankfully, there’s a video that you can watch here:(Courtesy of Vancouver is Awesome)
Happy 145th Birthday Canada!
History of the Day (via Twitter):