Canada Day 2020: Happy 153rd birthday, Canada!

Canada Day

Canada Day is the national day of Canada. July 1 marks the day the colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick became a single dominion within the British Empire called Canada.


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many activities have been cancelled and taken online, including Canada Day.

The Ministry of Canadian Heritage announced the performer’s for this year’s celebrations, most of which are online.

Similar to past celebrations on Parliament Hill, this year’s shows will be broadcast live on CBC, Radio-Canada, CPAC and the ministry’s website.

The first part of the show is called Canada Day Across the Country. It will be hosted by Serena Ryder and Pierre-Yves Lord and will start at 1:00pm ET.

The show will feature Canada’s cultural diversity, sports achievement as well as Indigenous culture. The show will also honour the frontline workers who have been working hard since the start of the pandemic, as well as celebrate the 40th anniversary of Canada’s national anthem O Canada.

Other Canadian artists who will be performing will be:

Paul Brandt
Marc Hervieux
Julie Nesrallah
National Arts Centre Orchestra
Laurence Nerbonne
Leela Gilday
Atlantic Ballet Canada
Sierra Noble
Kelly Bado
Olivia Lunny
JP Hoe
Jason Burnstick
Patricia Cano

The second part of the show will be called Canada Day Together, and will feature performances by Canadian artists including:

Alanis Morissette
Avril Lavigne
Sarah McLachlan
Shane Koyczan
Charlotte Cardin
Roxane Bruneau
Alan Doyle
The Sheepdogs
Alexandra Stréliski
Joel Plaskett
Ria Mae
Alex Nevsky
Radio Radio
Damien Robitaille
Haviah Mighty
The Jerry Cans
Natasha Kanapé Fontaine
Guillaume Côté and Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya of the Les Grands Ballets
Alanna McAdie of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

The evening show will start at 8:00pm ET and will be broadcast live on CBC, Radio-Canada, CPAC and the ministry’s website.

Tim Hortons will present a montage of fireworks from past Canada Day celebrations to end the show.


The Ministry of Canadian Heritage has made an online celebration kit so that families across the country can celebrate Canada’s birthday.

The kit includes plenty of activities that families can do together to celebrate Canada’s history and culture.

Videos exploring Canada’s diverse and multicultural society from Canadian celebrities including Chef Ricardo, Étienne Boulay and Gunnarolla will be available on June 29, 2020.


The Ministry of Canadian Heritage is the Government of Canada’s department responsible for promoting and supporting Canadian identity and values, cultural development and heritage.

The current minister of Canadian Heritage is Steven Guibeault.



Canada Day (Fête du Canada) was originally called Dominion Day (Le Jour de la Confédération). It was changed in 1982 after the Canada Act was passed.

Celebrations take place all throughout Canada, as well as in Canadian communities around the world.

Canada Day is considered by many as Canada’s birthday, but the day is just one of many important dates that eventually let to the formation of the country.

July 1, 1869 marked the inclusion of the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into the British Empire.

Canada was still a British colony, but was afforded more political control over its own domestic affairs.

While Canada exercised a degree of independence, the British Parliament still exercised control over areas including foreign affairs, national defence and changes to the constitution.

Canada became full independent from the British Empire with the passage of the Constitution Act of 1982.

Canada Day is observed on July 1, unless July 1 falls on a Sunday. If it falls on a Sunday, July 2 becomes the statutory holiday.

If July 1 falls on a Sunday, celebrations generally take place, despite it not being the statutory holiday.

If July 1 falls on a Sunday, most businesses that are closed usually takes the next day off.


When the Constitution Act of 1867 was enacted, the bells of the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Ontario were rung.

The following year, Governor General the Viscount Monck issued a royal proclamation to help Canadians celebrate the special day.

July 1 did not become a statutory holiday until May 15, 1897, when it was designated Dominion Day.

The date was not overly popular with most Canadians until the gold and diamond anniversaries of Confederation, when more Canadians took part in bigger celebrations.

A Member of Parliament from Quebec, Philéas Côté introduced a private member’s bill seeking to rename the date from Dominion Day to Canada Day.

While Côté’s bill was initially stalled when it went to the Senate of Canada, it was returned to the House of Commons where it was renamed as The National Holiday of Canada.

The Government of Canada began organizing Dominion Day celebrations in 1958. Prime Minister John Difenbaker set aside CAD$14,000 to fund the celebrations in Ottawa, Ontario.

Ever since, official celebrations at Parliament Hill includes Trooping the Colour ceremonies followed by concerts and fireworks.

Suceeding addendums to the bills included performances from folk and ethnic groups from all across the country.

When the country celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1967, Canadian nationalism was on the rise, with more and more Canadians celebrating Dominion Day with their families.

In the late 60’s, Dominion Day celebrations were broadcast on televisions all across the country to families unable to join the festivities in the nation’s capital.

In the 80’s, the Government of Canada started distributing funding to cities across the country for Dominion Day celebrations.

It was during the expansion of celebrations that more Canadians started referring July 1 as Canada Day.

Dominion Day was renamed after another private member’s bill passed in the House of Commons, then the Senate of Canada before receiving Royal Assent.

Dominion Day formally became Canada Day on October 27, 1982.


Other important events have taken place on July 1, including:

July 1, 1927 – Canada’s first national radio network hookup by the Canadian National Railway.

July 1, 1958 – Canada’s first cross country television broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

July 1, 1958 – The flooding go the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

July 1, 1966 – Canada’s first colour television transmission.

July 1, 1967 – The inauguration of the Order of Canada.

July 1, 1980 – “O Canada” becomes the country’s national anthem.


Many communities all across Canada organize celebrations that include parades, festivals, air shows and fireworks.

Many public concerts also take place across the country, with the participation of many famous Canadian artists.

Canada’s Prime Minister and Governor General usually attend celebrations on Parliament Hill.

Any visiting members of the Royal Family also attend celebrations in Ottawa.

Overseas Canadians celebrate Canada Day with many activities organized by Embassies and Consulates, as well as by many non-governmental organizations, all across the world. is NOT affiliated with the Government of Canada, the Philippine Government, or any Philippine recruitment agencies or Canadian immigration consultants or lawyers.

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