Search This Blog

Saturday, July 01, 2017

A Canadian Sesquicentennial

Sesquicentennial.  That's the word of the day.  At least, it is in Canada today.

The definition of the word sesquicentennial is a celebration of an event that is 150 years old.  Unless medical breakthroughs are made, I don't think any of us will experience a sesquicentennial.  But if you happen to be in Canada, please join me in wishing this great country a very merry sesquicentennial.

Yes, Canada is turning 150 years old today.  And let me tell you, it is shaping up to be one of the biggest parties this nation has ever seen.  The country may be older than the Canadian flag (yet younger than the city of Montreal, Quebec), but on July 1, 1867, the first four provinces joined in unison to declare its independence.

(Those four provinces would be Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and my home province of Ontario.)

The last time I remember a Canadian birthday party being so huge was back in 1992, when Canada turned 125.  We even had a Canada 125 logo on the front door of our house - which stayed until 1997.  True story.  I was only eleven years old back then, but I remember the huge celebration in my town.  It started off with a trip to the downtown core where some businesses opened up to serve customers with ice cream, cool beverages, and souvenirs.  Then we partook in the Riverfest activities which usually involved the cutting of a gigantic cake that was big enough to give everyone in my small town a taste of freedom and independence...or vanilla.  Whatever you like, I suppose.

The day culminated with a gigantic fireworks display - usually gigantic sparklers in various shades of red and white to celebrate the nation's birthday.

It's hard to say what the Canada 150 celebrations are going to bring us - but there are a few things to look out for that are exclusive to the Canada 150 celebrations.

For one, if you're one of the Americans who happen to be at an American Tim Horton's store, you can sample the poutine donut.  Which to me sounds incredibly disgusting, but hey, to each his/her own.  I mean, I absolutely love poutines.  I absolutely love donuts.  But together?  I don't know.  I bought the bacon and hot fudge argument, but cheese curd and a honey glaze?  I'm still undecided.

You can also try to go through your pocket change in hopes of getting some of the special Canada 150 currency that is floating around.  There is a special design for every coin in circulation (well, minus the penny which was banned from Canada in 2013).  So far, I have only managed to find the quarter, but the coin that everyone is looking for is the toonie.  The two dollar coin dated 2017 happens to be the very first glow in the dark coin to be released ever.  And naturally, the Royal Canadian Mint only released a limited supply.

Consider it a sesquicentennial treasure hunt of sorts!

And of course, there's the official Canada 150 logo - a logo which seems to have gotten a lot of reaction, both positive and negative.  I posted it at the beginning of this blog, but have another look.

It seems as though while there are different points of view on the subject, two seem to pop up the most.  There's the camp that state that the design is a lovely testament to what Canada really is and appreciate the artistic look of the logo.  And there's the camp that think it is a horrible design and a slap to the face to Canadian values.

As far as my own take's just a logo.  And honestly, I think it's quite nice to look at.  I mean, yes, if I was to design a Canadian logo, I may not have used so much colour and just stuck with the red and white...but this works.  I mean, looking at the multicoloured leaf in the middle, it's a perfect representation of the way that Canadian values are.  We're the proverbial melting pot of nations, welcoming people all over the world, and seeing a great blend of their positive traditions with our own positive Canadian values.

(Emphasis on positive, of course.  We won't discuss that incident at the Canadian Tire store some time ago where I completely agree that the perpetrator should be deported.  However, this is an extreme case in Canada and does not reflect the number of wonderful people who have settled in Canada over the last 150 years.)

Yes, there are some that feel that the Canada 150 flag is ugly and that the Canadian flag should be the only flag that needs to be flown.  To that I say, fly the Maple Leaf flag if you want to.  But, keep in mind that we've only had that flag for fifty-two years.  Prior to that, we used the Union Jack or variations of that flag.  And I certainly don't think that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would reject the current design of the flag to make the Canada 150 flag the official country's banner.  For one, it would be irrelevant come next year.

And for those who think the design is you remember the Canada 125 logo?  The one where the maple leaf looks like someone cloned the Triaminic cough syrup logo three times?  Seriously, it could be a lot worse.

But I suppose that is the beauty of living in a country that is as beautiful and fantastic as Canada.  We have a nation filled with free thinkers and eloquent citizens who can discuss things like the Canada 150 flag, or glow in the dark toonies, or poutine donuts and still feel obligated to buy each other a double double at Tim Horton's while listening to Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" album.  We're a nation that is filled with some of the greatest people in the whole world, and all of us are coming together to give our nation the best birthday bash she's ever seen.

Happy birthday, Canada!  Here's hoping I'm around for the bicentennial in 2067!

No comments:

Post a Comment