Happy Canada Day! This year we celebrated with ribbons in our hair, in our own neighbourhood, and with a small group of family. It was very different than past years but it was still a lovely celebration of our community.
Canada Day is THE celebration in our town. You can check out past years here; it’s an event we always look forward to and generally kicks off our summer holidays. Thousands of people gather in our little downtown for the parade, live music, food trucks, bouncy castles. It’s a day of fun and excitement where you run into everyone you know. It’s the one day of the year when you might have trouble finding a parking spot downtown.
Obviously this was quite a different celebration as we all avoid gathering in crowds. Instead of the parade through town, the district arranged for the parade to travel through the neighbourhoods of Sechelt and for residents to watch from their own driveways. Since we live on a dead-end, the parade didn’t go directly down our street but we found a spot along the route on an empty lot and clapped and waved as it went by.
While it was a shorter parade, particularly with no one on foot, it still felt festive and was something fun to look forward to. Pearl and Rose enjoyed dressing up in their red-and-white and waving flags and we all enjoyed celebrating with those we love within our “bubble”.
Celebrating Canada Day always brings mixed emotions and this year perhaps more than ever. I am proud in so many ways to be Canadian and I feel very fortunate to live in this country. For the most part, I feel that our leaders, nationally and provincially and locally, have done their best amidst this pandemic and I am proud to see the numbers grow lower in our province. We are very fortunate.
At the same time, as a nation we are grappling with the issues of systemic racism and needing to face the ways that we as Canadians have mistreated our Indigenous citizens, as well as our fellow Canadians of colour. Too often we accept our national identity as Not American and I think we can be complacent in that comparison. We are not free of guilt in the issues being faced by our neighbours to the south. There is more work to be done and I hope that we will join together as Canadians to do that work.
Let us celebrate the good, eradicate the evil, and honour the diversity that makes Canada the country it is.