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Posted June 28, 2010

Patriotic Kids: Celebrating Canada Day

by Daniella Girgenti

Getting kids involved in your region’s Canada Day celebrations is a welcome change to the sometimes less-than-inspiring lectures they receive about our country’s history in their classrooms. This special day, celebrated on July 1 every year since 1867, receives attention from almost every city in the country.

Celebrations range from traditional pancake breakfasts hosted by community centres and churches across Canada, to more enlightening endeavours that encourage patriotism in its truest form – like reciting the Canadian citizenship oath on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Here’s an overview of what’s happening in celebration of our country’s 143rd birthday:

Calgary

If you’re in Calgary with kids on July 1, take advantage of the city’s dedication to families by heading to Prince’s Island Park at noon where a whole stage is dedicated to family-friendly entertainment.

Evening celebrations continue for kids and adults of all ages, culminating in Calgary’s traditional fireworks show at 10:45pm.

Get more information on what’s going on in Calgary on Canada Day.

Halifax

Residents of and visitors to Halifax are encouraged to start off Canada Day by wearing red and white garb to illustrate their patriotism while singing Oh Canada on Citadel Hill.

Free entertainment continues all day in Halifax, where a family picnic is hosted on the Commons at lunch while the Tattoo Parade marches the streets of the downtown. Later on at 10:00pm, head to Halifax Harbour for a fireworks show, followed by musical entertainment by Juno Award-winner Joel Plaskett.

Get more details on Halifax’s celebrations.

Montreal

In Montreal, Quebec, fête du Canada will be celebrated with the city’s customary parade at the Old Port. Montreal’s Canada Day Parade began in 1977 and not only celebrates our country, but also includes the compelling presence of Montreal’s many ethnic communities – a perfect opportunity for parents to expand their children’s horizons and learn about our country’s diversity.

The city doesn’t discount the validity of old-fashioned, silly fun for kids, though – inflatable children’s games are dispersed all around the city.

Find more activities for families in Montreal on July 1.

Ottawa

The nation’s capital arguably puts on the most extensive Canada Day festivities – experienced not only by Ottawa’s own citizens, but visitors from around the world.

In an effort to play the consummate host, Ottawa’s 2010 Canada Day celebrations are definitely set to please both kids and adults. Free musical entertainment happens from noon on, featuring Canadian artists from every province and territory.

Parents can also provide their children with a definite sense of patriotism by attending such activities as the Canadian flag-raising ceremony, put on with the Canadian Forces, or reciting Canada’s citizenship oath with Citizenship and Immigration Canada with musical accompaniment.  For some Canadian-born kids it may be the first time they hear the country’s citizenship oath.

Find more activities happening in Ottawa on Canada Day.

Toronto

Toronto’s Mel Lastman Square will feature a number of free kid-centric activities that focus on healthy living this Canada Day.  Kids will get the chance to meet and take pictures with Canadian Olympic athletes and watch entertainment shows such as magical acts, dancers, and musical performances.

Like many other Canadian cities, the evening features more musical concerts and a fireworks show.

Find out more about what’s going on in Toronto on July 1.

Vancouver

This west coast city’s Canada Day activities run the gamut of fun – celebrating the nation’s birthday at multiple sites and in a variety of ways.

Granville Island will host a parade, pancake breakfast, as well as jazz performers and even a ballet performance. Meanwhile, downtown Vancouver will see a street festival that boasts four stages, as well as a parade and evening fireworks shows.

More family-centric fun can also be had by participating in the Yaletown Grand Prix, an annual Canada Day bike race that also allows kids to participate safely in dedicated children’s races.

Get more details on getting your kids involved with Canada Day in Vancouver.

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