I haven’t watched our small town Canada Day parade for a couple of years, so when my 14 year old said she’d be “ok” with going (that’s teen speak for “I”ll be so disappointed if we don’t see it”, or that’s how I interpreted it anyway), off we went – coffee and hot chocolate in hand – because you can see that it’s not raining, but not exactly warm either. This parade starts with the town crier and ends with the fire department. The only bands are the fiddle orchestra, the local concert band, the air cadets and the pipe band – you have to have a pipe band in a parade, or it’s not a parade. Oh, and this year we had a band called “Black Rum”, waving their Newfoundland flag and belting out some classic Maritime tunes – my teen put space between us in case I did something silly like sing along . It’s the kind of parade where everyone watching knows at least someone in it – and that is really what makes it such great fun – although my teen tells me that the candy is the whole reason for going. I must say, the one on one time with my girl was pretty great too. So what kind of parade does your town put on?
This is a shamelessly patriotic post – which is very un-Canadian, eh?
July 1st is Canada Day nowadays, but when I was a child, it was called Dominion Day, to commemorate the day in 1867 when Canada became a Confederation of 4 provinces. Interestingly, not all the provinces existed at that time – BC didn’t join till 1871, Newfoundland not until 1949. It was changed to Canada Day in 1982 probably to get people’s thinking away from the connotation of dominion and the fact that we are not “independent” in the sense that the US or France are. I’m not Quebecois or First Nations, so it’s easy for me to say this, but I’m OK being part of a commonwealth of countries bound by allegiance to one figurehead. I guess if that figurehead was a despot and tyranny was the order of the day, I’d feel differently.
There are many things I wish Canada would do differently. There are things I wish had never happened here. But there is so much that is good about this place and this group of peoples, that for today and becaues of who I am, I’ll raise my glass to Her Majesty and my country, and thank God that I am able to call this home.
Following is a video version of the poem “We are More” written and narrated by Shane Koyczan, a Canadian poet who shared this at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics: