Trent Ernst, Editor
This upcoming weekend marks Canada’s birthday, number 146.
While 146 years sounds like a long time, and a lot has happened in the last 146 years, Canada is not an old country. While it is difficult to define what constitutes a country when you look back on history (is it when the country was founded? When the constitution was written? When the country gained its current geopolitical bounds?), Japan is often considered one of the oldest, having been originally founded in 660 BCE, or close to three thousand years ago.
Canada is not the world’s youngest country, either. That would be South Sudan, a county that was formed when it seceded from Sudan on July 8, 2011.
In fact, most countries in the world, in their current incarnation, are younger than Canada, from Germany to Australia to South Africa to Egypt to Madagascar. Though one could argue that Canada only took its current form as a nation when Newfoundland joined the confederation in 1949. Or 1982, when the country signed into effect the Constitution Act.
But that is quibbling, and, while there is much to quibble about, politically, socially and weather-wise in Canada, let us accept that this is birthday 146 for the country.
In Tumbler Ridge, Canada Day is traditionally celebrated with Fireworks. This year, the fireworks are happening on the day before Canada Day.
Yes, you heard that right: Canada Day Fireworks are happening the day before Canada Day. The reason is that Canada Day falls on a Monday this year, while Tuesday is a work day for many of the volunteer firefighters, who are usually up until well after midnight cleaning up after the show. In order to give the firefighters time to recuperate, as well as the audience, the fireworks will be held on June 30.
This might seem a bit odd, but it actually allows the community to stretch its Canada Day celebrations out over two days instead of the usual one. On the actual day of, there will be a series of events happening down on the TRSS field.
Many, if not most, of the events have been seen before: a best dressed contest, a family barbeque, free cake, the singing of O-Canada, a Children’s Carnival, Oatmeal diving for dollars, a Jell-O eating contest, etc. Something that is new for this year is “Paint the Donkey”. Chris Whyte is bringing Victoria down and visitors are encouraged to deface the donkey. I don’t understand it either, but it’s been done before with great success, says Whyte.
There will be a band of face painters on hand, painting faces for free for kids aged 3–12, the District is breaking out the mini-golf course they picked up a few years ago, and Carli will be there with her bouncy Castles. Oh, there will also be an outdoor market square and a variety show and karaoke.
Those are just the things we know about. Expect a few last-minute additions between now and Canada Day.