Canada is about to turn 150. Imagine that! I am old enough to remember the excitement and anticipation of Canada’s 100th birthday. Bobby Gimby, the Pied Piper of Canada, penned the wonderful anthem for our 100th birthday “Canada“.
They designed an amazing symbolic maple leaf as a logo that taught me more about geometry than my math class did.
But more than that, they inspired people, families, communities, businesses, cities, provinces and territories to do amazing things to celebrate this wonderful country of ours. They inspired us to: be better than we were; to strive harder; to imagine more beautifully; to work together; to include different ideas, people and cultures in our lives; to create things that lifted us to a higher plane.
In the 60s we were in the middle of a very cold war with the Soviet Union and the Americans were engaged in a terrible war in Vietnam. We had air raid sirens on our public schools. The crime rate was at record highs. Residential schools were still in full swing. But somehow even with all of this negativity, Canadians embraced this magnificent country and planned and executed so many wonderful projects that it lifted us all out of the mire and helped set us on a path towards a more hopeful future.
In her doctoral thesis, Helen Davidson noted that:
“From an organizational perspective at least, Centennial was a remarkable achievement, with public participation far exceeding official expectations. Key to this success was the fact that Canadians, encouraged to celebrate in their own personal way, were not forced to express one vision of Canada or Canadian identity. In the end, Centennial functioned as a catalyst that engendered in many Canadians a new belief in themselves and the nation, launching them into what they believed was a bright future, full of promise.”
But I am concerned that our celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday does not seem to have created the same excitement and anticipation yet. We need to recapture that sense of excitement and the sense of being able to create a brighter future! This isn’t just something that would be nice to have, it is essential to our survival as a nation! We cannot leave this up to the government or to the private sector…Canada needs each and every one of us to reach out to our families, our neighbours and our communities and to plan thing we can do individually or as groups to make a lasting difference for our wonderful nation. We need to use this opportunity to decide together what we want this nation to look like in the future.
We did it before in 1967 and we can do it again in 2017. #Canada150 is for everyone. Please don’t be left out.
Oh, if anyone knows of a website that lists any of the projects that various groups carried out for the 100th anniversary, please post it as a comment to help give the younger folks an idea what kinds of things they might want to be involved in for the 150th anniversary in 2017.
Let everyone know that you plan to get involved: