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Canada Day is a federal statutory holiday celebrated every July 1 in commemoration of the Canadian confederation in 1867. Under the Constitution Act passed on July 1, 1867, the separate colonies of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were placed into one united dominion with the British Empire as Canada.
Key Facts & Information
- Originally known as Dominion Day until 1982, Canada Day marks the anniversary of the British North America Act in 1867. From this act, the country of Canada composed of the provinces Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick was created.
- In the late 15th century, lands covering present-day Canada were explored and colonized by French and British expeditions. In 1534, New France was claimed. By the beginning of the 17th century, permanent settlements were established.
- Following the Seven Years’ War, France ceded all its colonies in North America to Britain. Under the 1763 Treaty of Paris, Great Britain gained the French colonies of Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Grenadines, Tobago, Dominica, and Guadalupe. The treaty marked the beginning of British dominance outside Europe.
- In 1791, the present-day province of Quebec was divided as Upper and Lower Canada. By 1840, the Act of Union combined the two provinces as the Province of Canada.
- Aside from the 1763 Treaty of Paris, France also ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain under the Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1762. The treaty only became known to other countries in 1764.
- Between October 10 and 24, 1864, the Quebec Conference was held to discuss the formation of a Canadian Confederation.
- The Conference was attended by 32 delegates from Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. The conference resulted to the comprehensive 72 Resolutions which later became the foundations of the British North America Act.
THE BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
- Received by Queen Victoria on March 28, 1867, the British North America Act made Ontario (Upper Canada) and Quebec (Lower Canada), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick a single and united dominion under the name Canada.
- It created a federal dominion which included the structure of the government of Canada. Under Section 10 of the act, the administrator of the government is tasked to govern on behalf and in the Name of the Queen.
- Section 13 defines the Governor General to act with the advice of the Privy Council. Moreover, the Parliament of Canada includes the Queen, the House of Commons and Senate of Canada.
- The British North America Act or the 1867 Constitution Act was enacted by the British Parliament.
- It is believed that the federation emerged because of the following reasons: (1) Britain wanted Canada to defend itself, (2) emergence of British-Canadian nationalism,(3) exertion of control over Quebec by French-Canadians, and (4) fears of US expansion.
- Signed in 1867, the official celebration of Dominion Day as a public holiday began in 1879 through the sponsorship of Senator Robert Carrall of British Columbia.
- Unlike Canada, Dominion Day was only occasionally celebrated in New Zealand in commemoration of becoming part of the British Empire in 1907.
- It was Governor General Lord Monck who signed a proclamation to celebrate the formation of the Confederation. However, it was only in 1879 when the celebration was recognized by the Federal Government.
- The Dominion status was used by the British Empire between 1907 and 1948 to categorize the self-governing nations under the Name of the Queen. It was accorded to Canada (1867), Australia (1901), New Zealand (1907), South Africa (1910), Newfoundland (1907) and the Irish Free State (1922). India (1947), Ceylon or present-day Sri Lanka (1948) and Pakistan (1947) also became dominions of the British Empire for a short period.
- In the early years of celebrating Dominion Day, local and municipal level organized communal activities such as bonfires, picnics, parades, fireworks, and sporting events.
- Every July 1, newspapers in Canada often published materials which covered Canadian history and identity.
- The 50th anniversary in 1917 was halted by the First World War.
- In 1927, the first federally sponsored Dominion Day celebration was held to commemorate its Diamond Jubilee. The celebration witnessed the first simulcast radio broadcast in Canada. It featured an address by Prime Minister Mackenzie King. Local communities had separate ways to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.
- There are historical parades in Ottawa and Toronto, while Winnipeg celebrates with pageants.
- In 1958, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and Secretary of State Ellen Fairclough led a federally sponsored celebration of Dominion Day on Parliament Hill. It included a Governor General’s speech, a military trooping of the color and a 21-gun salute. Diefenbaker believed that celebrating Dominion Day every year would raise awareness of Canada’s British heritage.
- By the 1960s, celebration on Parliament Hill also included folk dances and songs.
- In 1967, a televised variety show on Parliament Hill was added in the celebrations. Most promoted Canada’s multiculturalism and bilingualism. In the same year, Queen Elizabeth II joined the celebration.
- In the 1980s, a national committee promoted seed funding to celebrate Canada Day. The song “O Canada” was adopted as the national anthem. Speeches on Parliament Hill often included the governor general, prime minister and heritage minister.
- In 1981, 15 major Canadian cities began the tradition of simultaneous fireworks display. By 1984, the National Capital Commission or NCC organized Canada Day activities in Ottawa.
- In 2010, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh joined the celebrations. The following year, their Royal Highnesses Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge participated in the activities on Parliament Hill.
- In 2017, the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the festivities. In the same year, the Bank of Canada released a commemorative $10 banknote for Canada 150th anniversary.
- Despite being a federal holiday, Canada Day was overshadowed by Quebec’s National Holiday celebrated every June 24. The National Day was a festivity brought by the French in Canada and the United States.
- Canadians in many parts of the world also celebrate Canada Day. At Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong, Canadian expatriates celebrate on June 30. In London, Trafalgar Square is used to celebrate this day.
Canada Day Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Canada Day across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready to use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about Canada Day – a federal statutory holiday celebrated every July 1 in commemoration of the Canadian confederation in 1867. Under the Constitution Act passed on July 1, 1867, the separate colonies of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were placed into one united dominion with the British Empire as Canada.
Complete List of Included Worksheets
Below is a list of all the worksheets included in this document.
- Canada Day Fact File
- Mapping Canada
- Dominion of Canada
- Through Time
- The Truth
- Celebration in Pictures
- Canadian Nationalism
- The British Empire
- Canadian Flag
- The Pearson Pennant
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Link will appear as Canada Day Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 28, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.