Fireworks, Flags and Photos: Canada Day 2011

This post is winging its way into cyber space slightly later than I hoped; partly because it’s been a very busy week, but mainly because I managed to lose my camera cable (and therefore Canada Day photos) in the move. Luckily, I am the kind of geek who takes photos on her iPhone for tweeting purposes, so this post has been rescued and I’m able to tell you all what I got up to on my first Canada Day.

Preparing for the Parade at Granville Island

I’ll start with the briefest of history lessons for background purposes. Wikipedia tells this much better than I can, but Canada Day is the anniversary of the three pre-existing British-owned Provinces becoming one country, called Canada, on July 1st 1867. For all intents and purposes, it’s Canada’s birthday and a statutory holiday across Canada. Cue fireworks, parades, BBQs, flags, temporary tattoos and a day off work.

My first Canada Day started with a visit to nearby Granville Island to watch their lunchtime parade. It was a small affair which ended with a short ceremony at which there were various speeches and a chorus of ‘O Canada’. I wore a red cardigan for the occasion, and the vast majority of people in attendance displayed the uniform of white pants/red top. There were visitors from all over the world all waving their flags and joining in the fun, and it was a great atmosphere.  My afternoon was slightly less patriotic, and consisted of an emergency visit to The Future Shop to buy electrical essentials (indoor TV aerial and a wireless router) for our new apartment. Even so, Downtown was a sea of red and white, with Granville Street, the main thoroughfare, closed for the occasion.

Granville Island Canada Day Ceremony

We finished off our day of celebrations by returning to Downtown with friends to watch the annual Canada Day parade that starts at the Canada Place Convention Centre. Unfortunately we arrived a little too late and couldn’t see much of the action, so went for sushi before heading to the Waterfront to watch the much anticipated fireworks display. The crowd was in place. The clock was counting down. The fireworks started. And half the crowd realized that we were standing in the wrong place and couldn’t actually see the fireworks due to the Convention Centre blocking our view! The crowd moved right, and we did get to see most of the display. Cue drinks in a nearby bar, and then home time.

In all honesty, my first Canada Day was a tad anti-climactic, however this was largely due to having moved house the evening before and being slightly preoccupied on the day itself. Even so, it was great to see Vancouver come together once again, particularly in the light of the recent hockey riots. I enjoy excuse to sport a temporary tattoo and wave a Canadian flag, and a day off work is always a good thing, right?

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About MarmitetoMaple

I'm originally from the UK and have been working and living the dream in Vancouver, BC, since January 2011. I am a firm believer in travel, good cheese, volunteering and community engagement.

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