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Welcome to Canada Day...

A short history of Canada Day - Canada Day 2005 will be celebrated on Friday, July 1st. The history of Canada Day began on June 20, 1868, when a proclamation was signed by Lord Monck, the Governor General. All of Her Majesty's loyal subjects throughout Canada were called upon to join in the celebration (later known as Canada Day) of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st. The July 1st holiday was established by statute in 1879, under the name Dominion Day.

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Canada Day Fireworks      Canada Day Events

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In the history of Canada Day, there is no record of organized ceremonies after this first anniversary, except for the 50th anniversary of Confederation in 1917. The next celebration (of what would become known as Canada Day) held in 1927 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation.

Since 1958, the government has arranged for an annual observance of Canada Day with the Secretary of State of Canada in charge of the coordination. The Canada Day Celebrations provided for a Trooping the Colours ceremony on the lawn of Parliament Hill in the afternoon, a sunset ceremony in the evening followed by a mass band concert & fireworks display. The format of Canada Day Celebrations changed in 1968 with the addition of multicultural & professional concerts held on Parliament Hill including a nationally televised show. Up until 1975, the focus of the Canada Day Ottawa Celebrations, under the name "Festival Canada", was held in the National Capital Region during the whole month of July. Canada Day festivities included numerous cultural, artistic & sport activities. Municipalities & voluntary organizations also participated in the Canada Day events. The Canada Day Ottawa celebration was cancelled in 1976 but was reactivated in 1977.

A new formula was developed for Canada Day in 1980 whereby the National Committee stressed & sponsored the development of local celebrations all across Canada. "Seed money" was distributed to promote popular & amateur Canada Day activities organized by volunteer groups in hundreds of local communities. The same approach was also followed for the 1981 Canada Day celebrations with the addition of fireworks displays in 15 major cities across the nation. On October 27, 1982, July 1st officially became "Canada Day". Since 1985, Canada Day Committees are established in each province & territory to plan, organize, & coordinate the Canada Day celebrations locally. Grants are provided for Canada Day celebrations by the government to those committees.

Canada Day takes place on July 1st, unless it falls on a Sunday. In that case Canada Day would be celebrated on Monday. Canada Day 2005 is on Friday, July 1st. Canada Day parties will take place all across the country.

Canada Day celebrates the multiculturalism of this great land. Picnics have always been a traditional Canada Day activity. Just check any small town park, municipal or provincial conservation area, or backyards & beaches on Canada Day 2005 & there will be plenty of celebrants waving the flag and eating their favorite foods. At Canada Day picnics across the country you will find everything from hot dogs to souvlaki to barbecued chicken. European immigrants such as the Greek, Italian and Portuguese take their Canada Day picnics seriously. Whole families gather outdoors on Canada Day, play a game of soccer, roast a lamb or pig over a spit & dine on sumptuous fare washed down with homemade wine. In years gone by preparations for the Canada Day feasts would take days. In the early 1900s the social event of the year was the Canada Day community picnic. In every region of the country, picnics were a favorite form of socializing in the summer with food being the star attraction. These Canada Day traditions are still as popular as ever.

Fireworks were first introduced as part of the Canada Day festivities in 1981. Dazzling displays of pyrotechnics are now as much a Canada Day tradition as the picnic. Fabulous fireworks shows, some choreographed to music, can be seen in every city on Canada. Canada Day 2005 will be no exception. One of the most spectacular ways to enjoy Canada Day is aboard a Canada Day Fireworks Cruise. Canada Day Fireworks Cruises provides an evening of enchantment & excitement that you must attend! Canada Day Fireworks Cruises will thrill you with a fabulous display of pyrotechnics while you cruise aboard a luxury yacht dining & dancing in the magnificent harbour of Toronto. Feel the sizzle with Canada Day Fireworks Cruises!

Celebrate this great land of ours! Come out & join the festivities on Canada Day 2005!

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