“My dream is for people around the world to look up and to see Canada like a little jewel sitting at the top of the continent.”- Tommy Douglas

In 150 years, Canada has worked immensely to make it’s mark on the world and continue to be in the forefront of leadership and progression. There’s been so many defining moments within these past 150 years that call for celebration, reflection and thanks.

There’s been times that call for protest, such as Alberta’s own Famous 5 who initiated the Persons Case of 1929, that declared women as persons within Canada’s constitution. To unforgettable, devastating and regretful actions of the Indian Act and Residential Schools that still live with so many communities, families and individuals to this day. There’s been feelings of gratitude, as Canada’s involvement with the Second World War resulted in more than 43,000 Canadian soldiers killed, and roughly a million serving in the armed forces full-time. To monumental strides made when Tommy Douglas introduced universal healthcare. All of the good and the bad of the past 150 years has brought us here today, and to say that we’re perfect is naive. Canada is a huge work in progress, but I am so proud of how far we’ve come.

More than approximately 250,000 people immigrate to Canada per year! How unbelievable is that?! When these new Canadians come to our country, they are met with open arms encouraging their culture. Canada truly is a nation full of nations. You can experience so many different cultures, it feels as if you’ve traveled around the world and back. This is something I am so unbelievably thankful I get to experience. Among the resilient Canadians that brave every kind of weather condition, we are a blessed country with magnificent lakes, rivers, and mountains. And when you’re bored of the hiking and river rafting, you can head on over to our coast for some ocean views.

On July 1st, I had the privilege of being in Airdrie’s Canada Day Parade and kicking off Canada’s birthday at Stephen’s Backpacks barbecue. It was such an honor to speak, dance and donate to a charity I hold so close to my heart. I was able to donate $150.00 to this incredible family through RBC for RBC’s Make 150 Count campaign! This was such an awesome opportunity that meant so much to me. I was so excited to present this to them and can’t wait to make some backpacks for some truly deserving individuals in the future. Speaking of dancing, I tried river-dancing with Tamara, Miss Southern Canada Globe! I gave it my best go, but I gotta say it’s not quite for me. So many cultures were celebrated on this day. I believe that’s the essence of Canada and truly represents the people of our country. Anyone can be a Canadian. No matter your size, color, sexual orientation, how you identify or your faith. Your uniqueness is celebrated.

I am Canadian. I am made of Tim Horton’s iced caps, and spend most of my winters in a hockey arena no matter how hard I try not to. I never realized how many times I say ‘sorry’ until I entered the USA, and I definitely say ‘eh’ even though I deny it. I love maple syrup on everything including spaghetti (yes, I had to try it..just call me Buddy the Elf.) And much like the North Pole, I am wearing a tuque and scarf more times than not. This is Canada, and I couldn’t be any prouder to say this is my home.

 

 

Written by: Mackenzie

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