Canada Day 2020

Happy Canada Day! This year we celebrated with ribbons in our hair, in our own neighbourhood, and with a small group of family. It was very different than past years but it was still a lovely celebration of our community.

Canada Day is THE celebration in our town. You can check out past years here; it’s an event we always look forward to and generally kicks off our summer holidays. Thousands of people gather in our little downtown for the parade, live music, food trucks, bouncy castles. It’s a day of fun and excitement where you run into everyone you know. It’s the one day of the year when you might have trouble finding a parking spot downtown.

Obviously this was quite a different celebration as we all avoid gathering in crowds. Instead of the parade through town, the district arranged for the parade to travel through the neighbourhoods of Sechelt and for residents to watch from their own driveways. Since we live on a dead-end, the parade didn’t go directly down our street but we found a spot along the route on an empty lot and clapped and waved as it went by.

While it was a shorter parade, particularly with no one on foot, it still felt festive and was something fun to look forward to. Pearl and Rose enjoyed dressing up in their red-and-white and waving flags and we all enjoyed celebrating with those we love within our “bubble”.

Celebrating Canada Day always brings mixed emotions and this year perhaps more than ever. I am proud in so many ways to be Canadian and I feel very fortunate to live in this country. For the most part, I feel that our leaders, nationally and provincially and locally, have done their best amidst this pandemic and I am proud to see the numbers grow lower in our province. We are very fortunate.

At the same time, as a nation we are grappling with the issues of systemic racism and needing to face the ways that we as Canadians have mistreated our Indigenous citizens, as well as our fellow Canadians of colour. Too often we accept our national identity as Not American and I think we can be complacent in that comparison. We are not free of guilt in the issues being faced by our neighbours to the south. There is more work to be done and I hope that we will join together as Canadians to do that work.

Let us celebrate the good, eradicate the evil, and honour the diversity that makes Canada the country it is.

Of course Justin Beaver celebrated with us!

11 thoughts on “Canada Day 2020”

  1. Justin Beaver is my favorite. He’s been around for so long. I love you how approach this day so thoughtfully. In the U.S., most people get drunk, eat a lot, and blow things up. And that continue to blow things up through the month of July. *sigh* I, too, think about the word “American” quite a bit, and I know that when we say “American” we don’t mean all Americans, we mean people in the U.S. I try to not “steal” the world American by calling people in the U.S. as such.

    1. I don’t even know what we’d do if something happened to Justin!

      There are definitely people who celebrate Canada Day like that too though (I think) it’s less common. It seems like a much more low-key holiday than the 4th of July – even before kids we usually just had a barbecue or beach day with friends. I know some people take issue with the US use of the word Americans but honestly I only use it to refer to US residents. I don’t think of myself as an American in any way but I’ve heard Latin and South Americans who do. What word do you prefer to use?

    2. I feel like there should be a new word. I used to teach with a man who was from Canada, and he’d get so angry when other faculty used American. Actually, I have this fear that there are Americans, encompassing North and South America, and then there are people from the U.S.: ‘Muricans. I see that all the time, lol.

    3. In Canada we often refer to the US as “the States” but I’ve been told this is a uniquely Canadian term and one you don’t use in the US. I think on the West Coast we feel a fair amount of camaraderie with the Western states, especially Washington and Oregon but the rest of the your country is a bit of a mystery to us!

    1. A very talented and generous woman in our church! She also made a beautiful knit dress for Rose, which she has sadly outgrown but I might just save for potential granddaughters!

  2. I’m glad you had a good Canada Day despite the changes in the celebration! The hair ribbons are so cute. 🙂

    You strike such a good balance between appreciating the day and your country and noting what should still be worked on. That’s such a healthy attitude, whereas in the US, I know there are a lot of people who won’t be celebrating Independence Day at all this year, and I’m sure to counter it the people who are celebrating will be more enthusiastic (read: obnoxious with the fireworks) than usual. It should be a day for people to join together in common cause, but there’s so much enmity lately. It’s hard to hope for a “middle ground” to be found when there’s no middle ground with racism, but I do hope more peaceful (and safe!) times are on the horizon for us all.

    1. Thank you! It can definitely be hard to find that balance. We love celebrating as a family and especially this year it felt special to come together as a community. I wish there could be more inclusion/ participation with the local Indigenous tribe but I also understand that they may not want that. I hope you have a fun and peaceful 4th of July!

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