Thursday, June 27, 2013
Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three coloniesinto a single country called Canada within the British Empire. Originally calledDominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as among Canadians internationally. Commemoration Frequently referred to as "Canada's birthday", particularly in the popular press, the occasion marks the joining of the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada into a federation of four provinces (the Province of Canada being divided, in the process, intoOntario and Quebec) on July 1, 1867. Canada became a kingdom in its own right on that date,[n 1] but the British parliamentand Cabinet kept limited rights of political control over the new country that were shed by stages over the years until the last vestiges were surrendered in 1982, when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian constitution.[n 2] Under the federal Holidays Act, Canada Day is observed on July 1, unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case July 2 is the statutory holiday, although celebratory events generally take place on July 1, even though it is not the legal holiday. If it falls on a Saturday, any businesses normally closed that day will generally dedicate the following Monday as a day off. National Holiday of Canada, an amendment that effectively killed the bill. Beginning in 1958, the Canadian government began to orchestrate Dominion Day celebrations, usually consisting of Trooping the Colourceremonies on Parliament Hill in the afternoon and evening, followed by a mass band concert and fireworks display. Canada's centennial in 1967 is often seen as an important milestone in the history of Canadian patriotism, and in Canada's maturing as a distinct, independent country, after which Dominion Day became more popular with average Canadians. Into the late 1960s, nationally televised, multi-cultural concerts held in Ottawa were added, and the fête became known as Festival Canada; after 1980 the Canadian government began to promote the celebrating of Dominion Day beyond the national capital, giving grants and aid to cities across the country to help fund local activities.