culture & community

Oh, Canada Day! Or, In Celebration of My Perfectly Imperfect Country

by Myranda — July 2, 2018

Anne of Green Gables, Canada, Canada Day, kids, reading Canadian

Celebrating the good things about Canada this Canada Day. Good reasons to live there, great reasons to visit. Live it, love it, and travel well…

Canada is far from perfect. There’s still a lot of work to do when it comes to poverty, racism, the environment, immigration, and other issues. Issues that are getting a lot of traction in the news thanks to decisions of our neighbour to the south. However, July 1st is Canada Day, so I want to celebrate the good things.

Overall, I think my country is pretty decent. For today, I’m going to take the opportunity to celebrate some of the things I like about Canada and being Canadian.

1. Universal Health Care

This picture shows a woman in a hospital gown and hospital bracelet, looking tired.

Hanging in the Emergency room last year was stressful, but it was stressful because I didn’t know what was wrong. There was no finance-related stress.

Last year at this time, I was suffering discomfort related to kidney stones, though I didn’t know it at the time. They were small, so hard to diagnose. I went to the walk-in clinic in Yellowknife and even the hospital emergency room more than once. Then I visited another clinic in Vancouver when I was in pain while on vacation.

Doctors ran a few tests trying to figure out what was wrong. This included sending me for x-rays, blood work, and an ultra sound.

I never had to decide between suffering or incurring costs that would beggar me to end it. I didn’t pay for a single test or appointment. Not even when out of my home territory.

Regardless of wait times and staffing issues that our health care system needs to work on, I never once had to worry about crowd funding my health. It’s already built in. We take care of each other in Canada.


2. Multiculturalism

This image shows a Canada Day float. The people on the float are wearing indigenous regalia and waving Canada flags. The banner on the float reads "Drygeese Territory" and "As Long as this Land Shall Last". Flowers on the banner are made to resemble traditional beadwork.

The Yellowknives Dene First Nation float, where Indigenous identity and Canadian identity are simultaneously celebrated.

When people immigrate to Canada, we don’t tell them to leave their culture behind. I love how Canada looks to integrate rather than assimilate.  I was once in Ottawa for work and stumbled across a celebration on Mexican culture on Spark Street. There were traditional dancers and tons of fun for anyone to join in, and people felt safe to celebrate their heritage.

Here in my small city, you can see the Philippine Cultural Association march in the Canada Day Parade along with the local Métis and Dene groups and–much to my chagrin–a pipe band (I really, really dislike the bagpipes). Culture isn’t meant to be obliterated but celebrated.

Here, you are “Canadian AND”, instead of “Canadian or bust”.


3. The People

This image shows a group of people becoming Canadian at a citizenship ceremony. Some are dressed in the tradition clothing of their country of origin.

Look at this beautiful Canadians, newly minted in 2016.

There are nice people everywhere. I’ve traveled quite a bit, so I can say that with conviction. Today, though, it’s about Canada.

Canadians are pretty darned nice.

Canadians are helpful. Canadians are friendly. When you say ‘good morning’ to a stranger on the street, they’ll wish you one right back. I’ve tried this in other countries. Mostly you just get the kind of looks that suggest you have grown a second head while you weren’t watching.

Canadians are awesome. They really will apologize if you step on their toes. Or maybe that’s just me.









4. The Diverse Vastness of the Landscape

This image is a collage of five scenic Canadian photos. Top left is aurora borealis (northern lights). Middle left is an ice sculpture of a woman dancing. Bottom left is a picture of the ocean taken in Ucluelet, BC. Top right is Alexandra Fall, NWT, on a sunny day. Bottom right shows a convoy of vehicles driving the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway in front on the setting sun in winter.

These photos barely scratch the surface of the range of beauty you can see when visiting Canada.

Canada is a big country. An enormous country (the second largest in the world, in fact). I’ve marvelled more than once at the beauty of the different provinces and territories. What’s more, it’s amazing how wildly different they are.

We’ve got coasts on three oceans, each with a distinct aesthetic.

We’ve got mountains.

We’ve got prairies.

There are tundra and taiga.

There are forests and fields.

It’s not just the Prime Minister that is good-looking.

Come visit this glorious country. You’re sure to see more than one sight that will leave you awestruck.


5. The Talent 

This picture shows two young children with novels obscuring their faces, sitting together in a brightly-coloured basket swing chair.

‘Reading’ Anne of Green Gables books on Canada Day. Also, incidentally, a couple of my favourite Canadian people. 😉

Some incredible talent comes from Canada. For one, check the rosters on any NHL team. It’s not just winter sports, however. There’s great literature from L.M. Montgomery, Margaret Atwood, Terry Fallis, Cherie Dimaline, Richard Van Camp, and so many others.

Some prominent figures on the silver screen are from Canada, like Ryan Gosling, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, Ryan Reynolds… the list goes on.

Our music game is pretty great across the gamut of genres, too. Want a taste?  Feel free to check out my Spotify playlist, which more than meets the Canadian Content requirements. You can find it here: Amazing Canadian Music.




maple leaf, Canada, Canada Day

There are many more things I love about my country. Too many, in fact, to name here. It’s a good country with so much to love, as I am sure many of our Empress Tea readers can also say about their own countries of origin or residence.  And I hope you will say them. Feel free to drop by our comment box to tell us awesome things about your country. I know I’m looking forward to reading them!

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