Canada Day, July 1st

July 1, 1867: The British North America Act, today known as the Constitution Act, 1867, created Canada. No war. Not even a Skirmish.

Confederation refers to the process of federal union in which the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the United Province of Canada formed the Dominion of Canada, a new country. The United Province of Canada was formed in 1841 from the former Canada East, also called Lower Canada and populated by the French and Canada West, also called Upper Canada and populated by the British.

In 1864, colonial politicians, known as the Fathers of Confederation, met and negotiated the terms of Confederation at conferences in Charlottetown, Quebec City and London, England. Their work resulted in the British North America Act, Canada’s Constitution, which was enacted by British Parliament. Between then and 1999, six more provinces and three territories joined Confederation.

However, Canada was not completely independent of England until 1982. The holiday called Dominion Day was officially established in 1879, but it wasn’t observed by many Canadians, who considered themselves to be British citizens. Dominion Day started to catch on when the 50th anniversary of the confederation rolled around in 1917. In 1946, a bill was put forth to rename Dominion Day, but arguments in the House of Commons over what to call the holiday stalled the bill.

Canada’s centennial year in 1967 saw the growth of the spirit of Canadian patriotism and Dominion Day celebrations really began to take off. Although quite a few Canadians already called the holiday Canada Day (Fête du Canada), the new name wasn’t formally adopted until October of 1982.

Canadians across the country and around the world show their pride in their history, culture and achievements with parades, community celebrations, fireworks and by singing Canada’s national anthem.

O Canada:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada, 
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.