Today is Canada Day, the yearly holiday to mark the anniversary of Canada becoming a country. This year, Canada celebrates 150 years. However, 150 years is only Canada’s official age, and does not take into account the centuries of trade and exploration before that, including the founding of the world’s oldest department store, the Hudson’s Bay Company(where both my mother and I worked, though at different stores). It also does not include the rich history of the indigenous peoples, whose culture was almost destroyed by white settlement, millennia of art and language and living with the land dismissed by our more ignorant forebears.
I lived in Canada for fourteen years. It’s where I attended high school and university, where I learned to drive, where many of life’s milestones happened to me. It’s a country I love dearly, where I still have friends, and where I met my husband. I also hold citizenship, so am proud to call myself Canadian on this day.
It is a place of wonders, of glimmering mountain peaks, vast prairies and tumbling waterfalls. Of wildlife fierce, tooth and claw, of people kind and welcoming. Its cities are bright and clean and vibrantly multicultural, and regularly place high on the list of best places to live. Canada has spawned authors and dancers and musicians, actors and directors and doctors and scientists.
And so today, on its 150th birthday, I would like to say Oh Canada! Happy Birthday to you 🙂