1 July 2017
It’s Canada’s sesqui-centennial, 150 years since the founding of the nation. Americans celebrate our Independence Day with sporting events, back-yard (or tail-gate) barbecues, and a finalé of fireworks.
How do Canadian patriots celebrate? Why, with a morning pancake breakfast, a day of enjoying the “mosaic,”1 and, yes, the evening fireworks.
1 Americans’ view of immigrants results in the “melting pot” whereby newcomers integrate somewhat into main English-speaking culture. Canadians’ view is that each immigrant sub-culture that retains all its own color, resulting in a national mosaic.
Carmella and I walk across the High-Level Bridge to the Alberta Legislature grounds.
Signage surrounds the area, every few meters, saying:
“Welcome to the His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Edmonton Pancake Breakfast #CanadaDayIsmailiBreakfast #ABleg”
It’s mind-boggling to me to see the huge number of urban Canadians all excited about pancake breakfast; it’s no challenge to be swept up in the earnest energy. Here’s Carmella getting our plates. You can see the rows of seats receding all the way to the horizon.
Food and camaraderie enjoyed, it’s time to head toward the Alberta legislative building, the “Leg” (pronounced léj) with throngs of children and their families. Beautiful flower beds, food trucks, souvenir swag, and blue skies.
Remember, it’s Canada’s 150th: what better day than to become a Canadian citizen? We come across luminaries and media witnessing a naturalization ceremony. It’s really a mosaic of faces, national dress, and accents. Lots of joy.
Everyone was very happy to witness the goings-on. Even the Mounties were beaming.
At day’s end we head up to the roof of Carmella’s building, overlooking the Sasketchewan River valley, where I captured the fireworks. Enjoy!
Happy 150, Canada!