50 Ways to Celebrate Canada!
We bet you’ve never thought of these ways to celebrate Canada, like subterranean science labs, sourtoe cocktails and 48 other surprising facts, quotes and stats about life across this country.
Oh, Canada: Amazing Ways to Celebrate
Prepare yourself to be amazed about these unique amazing ways to celebrate Canada.
Ways to Celebrate Canada: Canadian Potato Museum
Here’s an interesting way to celebrate Canada: The Canadian Potato Museum, in O’Leary, P.E.I., boasts a hall of fame for tater-industry advocates and a macabre exhibit featuring diseased spuds in tiny coffins.
Celebrate Canada at the Anne Murray Centre
A purely Canadian celebration, the Anne Murray Centre, in Springhill, N.S., is an interactive tribute to the beloved Canadian singer, located in her hometown. (Superfans can attempt to duet with Murray-or at least her disembodied voice-in the on-site recording booth.)
Fête Canada: Musée de l’accordéon
Find yourself fêting Canada at the Musée de l’accordéon, in Montmagny, Que., includes specimens of proto-accordions that date back thousands of years.
Fête Trek in Alberta
Fête Canada in Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station, in Vulcan, Alta., is shaped like a spaceship and boasts more than 800 pieces of Star Trek-themed memorabilia.
Go Canada! Gopher Hole Museum
The Gopher Hole Museum, in Torrington, Alta., is a unique way to celebrate the true north. It features a bevy of the little rodents dressed up in different outfits, posed in striking dioramas.
The Great Canadian Grouch
A great celebration, and wonderfully Canadian: Each year, residents of Evansburg, Alta., elect a town grouch, a citizen who’s given free rein to pester, harass and grumble without fear of backlash for the next 12 months.
Canada (Dark) Matters!
Thing to laud about the north: Sudbury, Ont., is home to SNOLAB, a facility located two kilometres underground, where scientists have performed experiments on dark matter.
Laudable Land of the Free: Talking Beach
When you step on the sand of Prince Edward Island’s Singing Sands Beach, it talks back. Walking along the shore produces a sound that visitors describe as akin to singing or squeaking. Scientists have yet to determine the cause.
Canada: Super Sourtoes?
Canada: A toe ahead? In Dawson City, Yukon, more than 100,000 people have consumed a “sourtoe cocktail,” an alcoholic concoction distinguished by the mummified human toe left to marinate in the liquor.
Glorification of Canadian Gourds!
No country glorifies gourds like Canada. During the annual pumpkin regatta in Windsor, N.S., 50-plus paddlers take to the lake in boats made of giant carved-out squash.
Canada: Land of the Lovely Large Yard Sale
Canada loves a yard sale. Bargain hunters with stamina peruse treasures for days during the annual 70-Mile Coastal Yard Sale, which has its epicentre in Wood Islands, P.E.I., and features close to 200 vendors selling their wares along a route that stretches more than 112 kilometres within the southeast corner of the island.
The Coolest of the Cold in Canada
-63°C: Canada’s (coolest!) coldest-ever temperature, recorded in Snag, Yukon, in February 1947.
Revel in Canda’s Record-Breaking Record-Breaker
It wasn’t enough for Doug McManaman, Canada much-celebrated record breaker, to be the best just once. Over the past decade, the 71-year-old Nova Scotian, who describes himself as a “balance king,” has set or broken nearly 1,200 world records-more than any other Canadian, he claims. McManaman makes the most of his superhuman ability to balance objects: for his first record, which he set in 2005, he held 56 golf balls on a stick on his chin. McManaman says he sets or breaks 30 records a month.
The secret to his success: “I don’t prepare for any records,” he says. “I was just born this way. I can balance off my ears, nose, toes. All sorts of places!”
Extoling the Cirtues of Canada: The Epidemiological-Research Pioneer
Further extoling the virtues of our country: Since the early ’80s, Vancouver’s Julio Montaner has dedicated his life to the eradication of HIV/AIDS.
The pioneer researcher was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014, to recognize his work establishing a global standard of care for HIV/AIDS. The UN and others have adopted his Treatment as Prevention protocol, which uses antiretroviral drugs to eliminate the risk of disease progression and transmission.
The Secret to his success: “My motivation came from my patients’ determination to beat the disease that was killing them and their friends,” he says. “I couldn’t let them down.”
Excellent Canadiana: The 14-Year-Old Eco-Activist
What better way to fete your homeland than recognize this inspiration! At 10 years old, Ta’Kaiya Blaney marched up to the Enbridge Northern Gateway’s B.C. office with a letter expressing her concerns about the toll its proposed pipeline might take on the surrounding environment. At 14, her activism continues on a larger scale: Blaney works to draw attention to the challenges faced by aboriginal youth in marginalized communities, both at home and abroad.
The secret to her success: “If I don’t encourage others to be more involved in preserving our environment and our culture, [those things] will be lost.”
Applauding the North: Octogenarian Strongman
Applauding Canada does not discriminate on the basis of age. Being a champion weightlifter requires the kind of upper-body strength few of us can even imagine, let alone muster. But at 84, Campbellford, Ont., resident Donald Buchanan is still pumping iron. Although he retired from active competition last year, Buchanan was winning titles into his eighth decade, including snagging the gold medal in his age group and weight class in last year’s Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships. He still trains a few times a week and can handily lift around 50 kilograms.
The secret to his success: “I still enjoy it,” Buchanan says. “It puts you in a good mood. It’s nice to know I can still move my joints.”
Canadian Acclaim: Teenaged Microbiology Mastermind
Like many university students, 19-year-old Jessie MacAlpine loves team sports and Doctor Who. But there’s so much more to this acclaimed Canadian. Unlike most of her peers, she already has seven years of laboratory research under her belt. Now double majoring in microbiology and computer science at the University of Toronto, MacAlpine started conducting experiments in her parents’ basement at the age of 12. By 14, she was credited as the lead researcher on a study published in an academic journal. In 2013, MacAlpine set to work creating a new drug to fight malaria made from mustard oil.
The secret to her success: “I just really love science,” she says. “I love analyzing new information.”
Cheer Canadian Thespians
“Nothing looks as good or smells as good as your own baby’s poop.” – Donald Sutherland
What’s not to celebrate, Canada?
Another Reason to Party for the Penny, Canada
Another excuse to party for our pennies? There’s 94 million, The weight of those pennies, in kilograms (nearly twice the weight of the Titanic!).
Even More Reason to Party for the Penny, Canada
16: Number of times those pennies would circle the world if laid side by side. Penny party, Canada?
Canadian Laudable Literary Genius: Alice Munro
“I have never kept diaries. I just remember a lot and am more self-centred than most people.” – Alice Munro
What’s not to celebrate, Canada?
Applaudable Canadian Coast
243,042: Length, in kilometres, of Canada’s coastline-the largest continuous coastal expanse in the world, an applaudable expanse.
Canada: Saluting Our Syrup
72.9 million: Amount, in kilograms, of maple syrup produced globally in 2014, Canadian tree tapping worth saluting.
Quebec Commendation: More Syrup
71: Percentage of that maple syrup that was produced in Quebec, a commendable Canadian feat.
Commending Canadian Civility
A commendation of Canadian civility is found in the Criminal Code, which states it is illegal to both challenge another person to a fight duel and accept an invitation to fight a duel.
Celebrating Canada’s Strange Laws Pt. I
In Canada, we honour our eccentricities. Residents of Souris, P.E.I., who live on corner lots are not permitted to build any snowman that stands more than 76.2 centimetres tall.
Celebrating Canada’s Strange Laws Pt. III
Further honouring our eccentricities in Canada: It is illegal to pretend to practise witchcraft in Canada-though actually being a witch is allowed. A Mississauga, Ont., man was charged with this crime as recently as 2012.
Cheering Cherry in Canada
“[Always wear] appropriate ties. When I wear one of my wild jackets, always a plain tie…. When wearing a striped shirt, only a plain tie. Don’t try to gild the lily, and always a single Windsor.” – Don Cherry
How can you not cheer that, Canada?
Canada: Cheering the Corporate and Compassionate
“We have to change public perception of ex-convicts. Most Canadians don’t realize that, when you come out of prison, you’re a complete pariah. You can’t get a car loan or money from a bank to start a business, so most end up back in prison within 24 months. It’s just so wrong. We need to fix this problem.” – Kevin O’Leary
How can you not cheer that compassion, Canada?
Canada: Acclaim for Age Pt. I
4.28 billion: Age, in years, of the oldest rocks in Canada, discovered along the northern Quebec coast of Hudson Bay in 2008, and worthy of our acclaim. Go Canada! (And keep going and going and goi…)
Canada: Acclaim for Age Pt. II
5,825: Approximate number of centenarians living in Canada in 2011. Keep celebrating those birthdays, Canada! (And celebrating, and celebrating, and cele…That number is projected to rise to more than 20,000 in the next two decades.)
Ornithological Commendation in Canada: The War Pigeon
Ornithological commendation? Only in Canada.
Birds of a feather… aid in combat? Well, they help. In 1942, commanders in the Canadian Forces were alerted to their troops’ landing on the shores of Dieppe, France, by a valiant little pigeon named Beachcomber. In 1944, the brave bird became the only Canadian carrier pigeon ever to be awarded the Dickin Medal for bravery-the animal version of the Victoria Cross.
Hurray for Equine Canadians: The Horses of Can Praxis
Hurray for these equine Canadians. Horses have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emotions. For this reason, since 2013, military veteran Steve Critchley and psychologist Jim Marland have employed six docile Haflinger mares to help former members of the Canadian Armed Forces work through experiences of post-traumatic stress disorder. At a barn in rural Rocky Mountain House, Alta., PTSD sufferers work to manage feelings of anxiety as they walk alongside their animal companions. In many cases, the process helps them feel better.
Canada: Fêting Our Feline Fire-Rescue Friends
We raise a glass (of milk) to this furry Canadian. In April 2013, Lisa Kosior of Brandon, Man., awoke to the sound of urgent meows from her cat, Opal. A fire had started in Kosior’s attic, eluding the smoke detectors. Heeding Opal’s warning, Kosior had just enough time to grab a few possessions and flee the house before its ceiling collapsed.
Crazy About Canadian Canines: Fido, Seizure-Response Dog
We’re crazy for this Canuck canine. When 22-year-old Fiona Zhang, currently of Coquitlam, B.C., was diagnosed with stress-induced epilepsy from a brain infection in 2007, Fido, her seizure-response dog, helped her retain her independence. The golden retriever (bred at the Lions Foundation of Canada) is trained to bark whenever Zhang has a seizure, alerting others to severe complications. With Fido’s help, Zhang was able to safely attend school and is thriving.
Applauding an Amazing Canadian Alpaca: Ozzy, Therapy Alpaca
Canadian animals are always applaudable-just ask Ozzy, a 10-year-old Huacaya alpaca from Enniskillen, Ont. For the past decade, Nancy Hutchinson, owner of 1Stop Alpaca Farm, has taken Ozzy to call on seniors with mobility issues, children with non-verbal autism and adult day programs throughout the GTA. Ozzy’s calm nature and teddy bear-like fur can coax even the most reserved patients out of their shells.