Incentive Destinations: What Happens on Canada Day

Canada Day FireworksToday is Canada Day and Canadians from coast to coast and, in fact, around the world, are joining in the celebrations. For companies located in the USA and other parts of the world, it's an ideal opportunity to plan an event in Canada and enjoy the color and excitement of the day. You group will still be home in plenty of time for Independence Day Last year, we showcased some of the historical venues with Canada Day significance. We traced the events behind Canadian Confederation and the significance of each venue for the birth of a new nation. Today, we'll provide you with a glimpse of how Canadians celebrate Canada Day.

Canada Day is the first long weekend of the summer. As it's a Federal holiday, most businesses and all banks, Government offices and post offices are closed. For Canadians who own cottages, it's a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban areas and kick back with families and friends at a cottage. Many families that don't have cottages head to a lakeside resort for the weekend.

Canadians who remain in the urban areas spend the day relaxing. In many communities there are parades, picnics, garden parties and strawberry socials. There are festivities at each of the Provincial Parliaments with speeches by dignitaries, the singing of the National Anthem and multi-cultural music and dancing performances and, of course, cake for everyone. 

The biggest celebration is on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the location of the Canadian Parliament. Sometimes there are visits by members of the Royal Family to mark the occasion. There will be no visiting royal dignitaries this year but the Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge were enthusiastically welcomed received at the 2011 Canada Day celebrations and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was warmly received in 2010.

For 2013, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has unveiled a full day celebration commencing at 9:00 with  the Peace Tower Carillon concert. This will be followed by the  flag raising ceremony at 9:30 and, at 10:00, The Changing of the Guard.

After the singing of the National Anthem, there will be a flypast of CF-18 fighter jets and the Snowbirds at noon. Last year, the timing was perfect.

Internationally acclaimed soprano, Measha Brueggergosman, will host the noon show with special guest Helene Campbell, a double lung transplant recipient who has raised awareness for the importance of organ donations. It will feature performances by Canadian pop, rock, musical theater and dance artists from just about every Province.

In the afternoon, there will be a showcase of aboriginal and multi-cultural music and dance on the East and West Lawns. Here is how it all comes together. In the evening, Parliament Hill will come alive with a televised rock, pop and dance concert.

Canada Day always ends with dazzling displays of fireworks on Parliament Hill and in parks from coast to coast. 

Make plans to join the festivities next year or on July 1, 2017 to mark the 150 year anniversary of Confederation.

Photo Credit: ijokhio

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