Canada Day: Honoring Nation’s Rich History

Every country celebrates its day because it relates to the vast and rich history of the nation. Canada also celebrates its day under the name of Canada Day. Canada is a country in North America consisting of ten provinces and three territories.

Canada also possesses the nickname of the Great White North. Canada is “Great” because it is the second largest country in the world. It’s “white” due to the arctic tundra and snow in the country. And being the “North” of the United States, it becomes the Great White North. People celebrate Canada Day with full enthusiasm and energy. Many fairs and events will be held in Canada on this very memorable day.  

When is Canada Day?

The National Day of Canada is observed as a public holiday on July 1st. But if there is a Sunday on July 1st, the holiday will be legally shifted to the next day, Monday, July 2nd. As in this year, Canada Day 2023 falls on Saturday, so the statutory holidays are from July 1st to July 3rd, which means Saturday to Monday.

History of Canada Day

Till 1982, Canada Day was known as Dominion Day, the national holiday of Canada. The discussion of uniting the territories of British North America started in the mid-1800s. On July 1st, 1867, a dominion was made through British North America Act got approved by the British Parliament. The territories are then called Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Further, the act divided Canada into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. It also includes conditions for future merging territories that will help Canada to grow in the future. The act was considered Canada’s Constitution until 1982, and July 1st was celebrated as Dominion Day. Governor General Lord Monck signed the Proclamation with all her majesty’s loving officers throughout Canada on June 20th, 1868. The day of July 1st was a true milestone in the history of Canada, and four colonies were united on this big day.

Indeed, there is a small record of any organized ceremonies after the first anniversary until 1917. In 1917, large-scale ceremonies were being held with full extravagance. So, in 1958, a proper format for celebrating Dominion Day was arranged. It included the trooping of colors on the lawn of parliament hill in the afternoon and a sunset ceremony in the evening which was followed by band concerts and fireworks. Further, in 1968, the format included multicultural and professional concerts.

On October 27th, 1982, July 1st became “Canada Day.” Committees have been established in each province since 1985, and they plan, organize, and coordinate all the ceremonies regarding Canada Day locally. The government provides grants for all the celebrations that are going to take place.


Celebrations on Canada Day

Indeed, Canada Day was not celebrated extravagantly in the initial days. But nowadays, people celebrate Canada Day with full enthusiasm. Many fairs take place in various provinces and show their love for the country. Celebrations include:

  • Party with fireworks
  • Parades
  • Picnics
  • and Barbeques

Many people try to sing the national anthem, “O Canada!” during the day, regardless of their level of singing.

What happens if Canada Day falls on the Weekend? 

Every province of Canada has its own rules. Similarly, they have different rules for public or statutory holidays. The table below shows how Canada Day is celebrated regionally if July 1st is a weekend. The content is taken from the regional government websites.

  1. Alberta: July 1st, if there is a Sunday, only in that case July 2nd.
  2. British Columbia: July 1st; if there is a Sunday, July 2nd, replace it with Monday.
  3. Manitoba: There is no set rule.
  4. New Brunswick: There is no set rule.
  5. Newfoundland and Labrador: It is known as Memorial Day and observed on the following Monday if July 1st is a weekend.
  6. Nova Scotia: There is no set rule.
  7. Ontario: When a public holiday falls on a day that is not an ordinary working day for an employee or during an employee’s vacation, the employee can get either a substitute holiday off with public holiday pay or public holiday pay for the public holiday. The latter will have happened only in the case if the employee writes that there will not be given a substitute off.
  8. Prince Edward Island: If the holiday is on a scheduled day off, you will get a holiday on the following working day.
  9. Quebec: July 1st and July 2nd will be holidays if the former day is Sunday.
  10. Saskatchewan: The holiday will be observed on the following Monday if the holiday is a weekend.
  11. Northwest Territories: There is no set rule.
  12. Nunavut: There is no set rule.
  13. Yukon: The first working day immediately following the general holiday will be a holiday for the employees.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Is Canada Day a statutory holiday?

Yes, it is one of the five important holidays in Canada. These are New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labor Day, and Christmas Day.

  • Is Canada Day 2023 a long weekend?

Yes, it is. Due to rules, July 1st is Saturday, and the holidays are till Monday.

  • How old is Canada right now?

In 2023, Canada will be 156 years old. Independence has been counted since 1867.

  • Who founded Canada Day?

Governor General Lord Monck founded Canada Day as he signed the Proclamation of it.

  • Who owned Canada before Independence?

British Parliament owned Canada before the Proclamation was signed in 1867. It included the British North America Act.


Independence Day of any country has a great value in its citizenship’s heart. Similarly, the people of Canada have great affection for this day. They celebrate it with tremendous energy and enthusiasm. Even the immigrants in Canada love to enjoy this day with the citizens over here. People organize various events, and even government helps to celebrate the day to the fullest.

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