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Canada Day was celebrated at famous Trafalgar Square in London this past weekend. July 1 commemorates the establishment of 1867 act of accession of the British North America Act which amalgamated three colonies within British Empire to form the nation of Canada. For the past seven years, London has been proudly observing the Canada day celebrations.
The day provides a unique opportunity for cosmopolis population of London to come together to celebrate the heritage and culture of Canada. The main symbol of Canada Day is its national flag with maple-leaf, a national anthem and its friendly, exuberant people.
Though the forecast of the day was typical English showers, luckily for the organizers, showers only persisted twice throughout the day, allowing people to wallow in sunshine, clear blue skies and enchanting festivities. The day commenced with ceremonial drop of the puck by Mr. Gordon Campbell, High commissioner for Canada in London.
Hosted by province of Alberta, visitors had an opportunity to immerse in the taste of delicious pancakes with a topping of choice at the prestigious square with the Canadian flags and music providing a thematic background. The day also provided its visitors with reflections on the delights of Canadian cuisine, which was showcased by numerous cooking demos by famous chefs. From coffees, to Canadian beers to chips to freshly cooked lobsters to prime burgers, there was something to tease everyone’s taste buds.
The day was packed with fun-filled activities that showcased Canada Day’s heritage to all. It also provides a platform for Canadian expats living across UK to come together in unification to celebrate their identity and promote Canada. Throughout Canada, July 1 marks a national holiday.
There were manifestations on the achievements of the nation through the ovation it paid to its Canadian mounted police, called Canadian Mounties and to its soldiers. Nikki Archer-Waring, Managing Director from Spirit of Remembrance told Toonari Post, what Canada day means to her: “well it’s a very special day because it gives us a spirit for remembrance, which is a battlefield, and most importantly a remembrance to our company, the opportunity to say thank you to all our troops past and present. Today is a celebration and hopefully there will be 100,000 people here to celebrate together.”
The High Commissioner spoke to Toonari Post about the day and its ambiance: “the atmosphere is very good as you can see, it’s very playful, they are playing street hockey out there, there is street hockey tournament going on because hockey is our national sport. People feel pretty good about Canada right now and they are very excited to be here I think. 50-60,000 people will come through today and it’s a celebration of Canada. It’s our 145th birthday and we hope everyone has a great day.”
He further added that “this is the biggest Canada Day celebration we ever had and I don’t think it’s because of Olympics. London is an international city, people want to visit it and there is a large population of Canadians here. We would like Canadians to know that there is Canada Day celebration going on and this is a second largest Canada Day celebration outside Canada.”
On the day, Canada Day celebrations reflected contemporary Canada: the diverse society was presented through its music with various singers; its rugged landscape was on display through artistic portrayals, sponsored by James Wright Cup Street hockey competition was held in the centre of square and visitors also enjoyed divine experience of Yoga by lululemon athletic company.
22 year old, Cuifen from Beijing said “I am here to see what Canada is and I see it is a bit similar to the UK, but also different, very different to America. I’m happy to be here. Everyone is friendly and it is fun.”
Ben from London said “Canada day is all about being Canadian, I come here every year and I always still till end. It is just a great day.”
After the full day of sport activities, fun fair rides, photo sessions with Canadian Mounties and Olympic athletes, face painting and tantalizing food stalls, the Canada Day took a center stage in its eagerly awaited musical concert. The prestigious line up for the concert consisted of Kids koala, Rich Aucoin, Shad, Hedley and our lady peace.
In its essence, Canada Day is a day driven by communities, and the celebration held in Trafalgar Square is a testimony to what’s great about Canada and being Canadian – which inevitably is the foundation of its ongoing 7th year of success.
Image Courtesy of Canada Day London