Canada Day

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

C'est son 148 anniversaire

by Holly Hartman
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The year 2015 marks the 148th celebration of Canada Day, which commemorates the day that Canada became a nation. The holiday is observed on July 1 (unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case Canada Day is observed the following day).

On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act united the British colonies of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into "one dominion under the name of Canada." These four colonies became Canada's first four provinces; Lower Canada was renamed Quebec, and Upper Canada was renamed Ontario.

The July 1 holiday was known as Dominion Day until October 27, 1982, when an act of parliament established the name Canada Day. The new name symbolized a step away from Canada's colonial past. The holiday had also sometimes been known as First of July or Confederation Day. Like Fourth of July festivities in the United States, Canada Day is celebrated with such summer pleasures as picnics, barbeques, and fireworks.

The name Canada derives from an Iroquoian word for "village," kanata, that French explorers heard used to refer to the area near present-day Quebec City. Today, Canada comprises ten provinces and three territories.



When the Provinces and Territories Became Part of Canada

British Columbia1871
New Brunswick1867
Northwest Territories1870
Nova Scotia1867
Prince Edward Island1873
Yukon Territory1898

Canadian National Holidays

New Year's DayJanuary 1
Victoria Daythe Monday on or preceding May 24
Canada DayJuly 1
Civic or Provincial Holidays*first Monday in August
Labour Dayfirst Monday in September
Thanksgiving Daysecond Monday in October
Remembrance DayNovember 11
Christmas DayDecember 25
Boxing DayDecember 26
*moveable holiday; the first Monday in August is observed as a holiday when no other civil or provincial holiday is observed on another date



Video: "Dreaming of July 1st"
by Imagination Works

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