Friday, July 1, 2016

Why Canada is Special

This is an imperfect world and no country is without it's blemishes.  Canada is no exception. However, today is not the day to dwell on Canada's shortcomings.  There will always be a time and a place for that, as there should be.  Today is a day to celebrate all that is special about this great land of ours.  I am proud to be a Canadian, but I try to express my pride without being smug.  I am patriotic, but I try to avoid jingoism.

On this Canada Day, let me provide you with some images that represent the essence of this country. Let me describe the indomitable spirit of some remarkable Canadians.  Let's reflect on Canada's accomplishments.

Canada is the National Dream, the Last Spike and Pierre Berton.

Canada is the Fathers of Confederation and Sir John A.

It is Nellie McClung and The Famous Five.

Canada is the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove.  It is the Bluenose at Lunenburg.

It is The Rock, Bytown, Cowtown, The Big Smoke and Spud Island.

Canada is L.M. Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables.  It is P.E.I. potatoes.

Canada is Expo 67 in Montreal. It is Pearson's peacekeepers.

Canada is road hockey and pickup hockey and outdoor skating rinks.

Canada is a lacrosse stick.

It is farms and factories and big city lights.  It is downtown museums and restaurants.  It is shops and malls, theatres and vast concert halls.  It is churches and synagogues and mosques.

It is snowy days in January, summer nights in July and autumn leaves in October.

It is Yorkville in Toronto and Gastown in Vancouver.

Canada is two founding nations.  It is people of many lands and many tongues and many colours.

Canada is diversity.

Canada is Cape Breton Island.and the Cabot Trail.

It is the Covered Bridge in Harland, New Brunswick.  It is the Magnetic Falls

Canada is Six Nations, Acadians and Metis.

It is Signal Hill and Cape Spear.  It is the wooden homes of Newfoundland.  It is down East hospitality. It is a sleepy Maritime fishing village.  It Halifax harbour and Pier 21.

Canada is the joie de vivre of Montreal.

It is skyscrapers in Toronto.  It is Oktoberfest in Kitchener.

Canada is the passion of Tommy Douglas and the dedication of Joey Smallwood.

It is Diefenbaker's Bill of Rights and Trudeau's Charter.

Canada is tulips in the spring in Ottawa.  It is Parliament Hill and the Peace Tower.  It is a stroll along Sparks Street.  It is skating on the Rideau Canal.

Canada is a a space nation.  It is the home of Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar, Chris Hadfield and the Canadarm.

Canada is maple syrup in Quebec.  It is nickel in Sudbury and steel in Hamilton.

Canada is butter tarts and McIntosh apples and BeaverTails.  Canada is poutine and peameal bacon.

Canada is St.Catherine Street in Montreal and Yonge Street in Toronto.

It is a drive along the Trans-Canada Highway.

Canada is picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake and historic Queenston Heights.  It is lush Niagara vineyards.  It is the Maid of the Mist and Niagara Falls.

Canada is Winnipeg's Golden Boy.

It is a sunset on the Prairies.  It is a wheat field in rural Saskatchewan.  It is a curling rink in Saskatoon.  It is Rider Pride.

It is the pristine beauty of Lake Louise in Alberta..  It is the Jasper hot springs and the Icefields Parkway.

Canada is the poetry of Pauline Johnson.  It is the Yukon Gold Rush.  It is "The Cremation of Sam McGee."

Canada is Henderson and Cournoyer celebrating a winning goal.

It is the Rocket's red eyes and Bobby Hulls's slapshot.

It is Banting and Best's insulin.

It is Alexander Graham Bell's phone call.

It is Marshall McLuhan's Global Village.

It is Naismith's basketball, the Expos of Montreal and the Blue Jays of Toronto.

Canada is the CN Tower and the streetcars of Toronto.  It is Greektown on The Danforth and Chinatown and Little Italy.

It is Emily Carr's paintings of native peoples..  It is the Group of Seven's landscapes and the wildlife of Robert Bateman.

Canada is the fruit of Okanagan Valley and the legend of Ogopogo.

Canada is Stephen Leacock's Mariposa tales.

Ir is W.P. Kinsella'a baseball yarns.  It is Margaret Atwood's novels and Alice Murnro's short stories.  It is Mordecai Richler's St. Urbain Street.

It is Glenn Gould's piano and Ashley MacIsasc' fiddle. It is Oscar Peterson's jazz and Karen Kain's ballet.

Canada is the Bonhomme and the Quebec Winter Carnival.  It is the St. Lawrence River and the Plains of Abraham and the Chateau Frontenac.

Canada is the Grey Cup, the C.N.E., the Calgary Stampede and the Queen's Plate.  It is Northern Dancer.  It is Foster Hewitt's "He Shoots, He Scores" and Danny Gallivan's "canonizing" slap shot.

It is the CBC and the National Film Board.  It is universal health care.

Canada is Stompin' Tom Connors and "The Good Old Hockey Game.  It is Rush and Shania Twain and The Tragically Hip..  It is Winnipeg's Guess Who, Nova Scotia's Anne Murray, Quebec's Celine Dion and Ontario's Gordon Lightfoot.  It is the voice of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young and Michael Buble.

Canada is Terry Fox on a mission to conquer cancer, doggedly running along the highway on one leg.

Canada is the Arctic.  It is the Inuit of Labrador and Nunavut.  It is the Inukshuk.  It is Farley Mowat, the midnight sun and the northern lights.

Canada is the puffin and and the polar bear.  It is the plaintive call of the loon.

It is Hudson Bay and kayaks and canoes.

Canada is the Banff National Park.  It is the Rocky Mountains.  It is Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island.  It is a totem pole.  It is the forests of British Columbia.

Canada is urban and suburban and rural.  It is tractors and snowshoes and snowmobiles.  It is SkyTains and gleaming glass towers.

Canada is coast to coast and sea to sea.

Canada is home.

Editor's Note:  I couldn't include everything.  I am sure some people will say I've left out some things.  However. it's impossible to please everyone.

- Joanne

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