Manitoba joined in July 1870, British Columbia joined in July 1871. The Terms of Union negotiated by the governments of Canada and British Columbia included a Federal commitment to quickly build a railway connecting British Columbia to the railway system of Canada. Prince Edward Island joined in July 1873, once there was a guarantee by the federal government to operate a ferry link or, later, Confederation Bridge in 1997. Alberta and Saskatchewan finally confederated in September 1905 and Newfoundland in March 1949. Nunavut officially separated from Northwest Territories in 1999.
Over the years since Confederation, Canada has seen numerous territorial changes and expansions, resulting in the final union of ten provinces and three territories in 1999. It became a unified nation by gradual consent, not by war.
In 1925, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King established a committee to design a truly Canadian flag. Despite the failure of that committee, citizens still wanted to fix the flag problem and new designs were proposed for decades later. After committee meetings in the early 1960s, Elizabeth II Queen of Canada proclaimed the new flag in January 1965.
The Centennial in 1967 was when most people believed they were looking at being distinctively Canadian and actively creating a Canadian identity. So Expo 67 was a World's Fair held in Montreal from Ap-Oct 1967. With pavilions from 62 nations and 50.3 million visitors, Expo 67 was considered to be one of the most successful World's Fairs of the C20th.
Canada Day in Victoria BC
But the battle over symbols was one small manifestation of a larger shift. After the Centennial, Canada started to seriously confront the divisions and gross inequities that had been masked in the past, beneath a patina of colonial gloss. Canada would have, over the next 50 years, two secession crises - a battle over the North American economic identity and a hard-fought political reawakening of Canada’s indigenous nations. Yet these were the crucial struggles of becoming a real country, of finding a governing mechanism and a common culture to bring together those long-disparate peoples.
Leaders liked to believe that starting in the late 1960s, a series of political decisions, parliamentary votes, court rulings and royal commissions descended upon an innocent, paternalistic, resource-economy Canada and forced upon it an awkward jumble of novelties: non-white immigration, bilingualism, multiculturalism, refugees, indigenous nationhood, liberation of women and gays, the seeds of free trade, individual rights and religious diversity. But the great majority of Canadians had already moved on; one could see the 1967 centennial struggling to catch up with them.
So the 150th celebrations will need to be different from the 50th. This year, 2017, the Celebrate Canada festivities will be bigger than ever! They will highlight the evolution of the country from its Indigenous origins; the history with the French and the birth of Canada’s Francophone heritage; through to more recent waves of immigration that have led to the development of a modern society. Diverse, inclusive and democratic!
In cooperation with national Indigenous organisations, the Government of Canada designated 21st June as National Aboriginal Day, a celebration of Indigenous culture and heritage. This date was chosen because it corresponds to the summer solstice, the day many Indigenous groups celebrated their culture and heritage. National Aboriginal Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the cultural diversity of Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples, and discover their unique accomplishments in the arts, agriculture and the environment. Colourful performances will be held in 8 Canadian cities as part of National Aboriginal Day Live.
A new silver $1 coin that celebrates the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.
The Government of Canada, by Royal Proclamation, designated 27th June as Canadian Multi-culturalism Day. This is an opportunity to celebrate diversity and commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect, and to value the contributions of the various multicultural communities to Canadian society. This year, major celebrations will be in three Canadian cities with live performances.
The cultural pride and heritage of Canada’s Francophones are expressed in the colourful parades and festivities that mark Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Fête nationale du Québec et de la Francophonie canadienne. Celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, especially in Quebec, where 24th June is an officially declared National Holiday. Major performances showcasing Francophone artists will be held in six Canadian cities.
These major celebrations will culminate in Canada Day (1st July), a time to celebrate the heritage passed down through the works of authors, poets, artists and performers. It is a time to rejoice in the discoveries of scientific researchers, in the success of entrepreneurs, and to commemorate the nation’s history. A full weekend of activities is planned for Canada’s Capital Region (Ottawa–Gatineau metropolitan area) to celebrate Canada Day. Celebrate the shared achievements which were born in the ancestors’ vision and which are voiced in every language through the contribution of New Canadians.
As the birthplace of Confederation, Charlottetown always enthusiastically celebrates Canada Day. A ten-hour concert will showcase Prince Edward Island’s musical talent with everything from jazz to fiddles to rock. The city’s harbour will also be a guest port in a trans-Atlantic 150th Celebration Regatta, bringing forty tall ships and a waterfront festival focusing on Canada’s historical seafaring.
For an authentically Canadian experience that’s boisterous and historic, pack up the Klondike regalia for Dawson City. The pancake breakfast, parade, paddle races, country picnic, stern-wheeler tours, bannock fry up, Cancan girls and gold panning competitions will reawaken the gold rush days.