This week in honour of Canada Day, we're doing something a little different - ten FBC members are featured sharing their best Canada Day memories over on the Foodies 100 Ten at Ten today and we saved a few to share here as well.
I have traditions that come from memories of past Canada Day celebrations. Born and raised in the Nations’ Capital, my wife and I get up to watch the morning festivities, including the changing of the guard at Parliament Hill, ceremonial inspection, and 21-gun salute. This is followed by tucking into a box of poutine (must be from a fry truck) for breakfast. Afterwards, we usually head home to run errands until evening. We wander back downtown, sometimes with friends or family in tow, to see the aftermath of the celebrations at Major’s Hill Park. There, we usually end buying and splitting the Chicken Farmers of Canada “Canada Day sandwich.” Then, it’s back to the ByWard Market for a light nibble and searching for a clear vantage point with which to watch the fireworks. Here’s what 2012′s Canada Day looked like. When it comes to celebrating Canada with “Canadian” food, I think Steve Mitton, chef/owner of Murray Street Kitchen in Ottawa got it right. Get Canadian chefs together and pair Canadian music with dishes made with local ingredients.
As a relatively “new” Canadian (I’ve only been a citizen since 2007, though I have lived here since 2000), Canada Day isn’t something I’ve been used to celebrating. Most years I am travelling through July so I tend to find myself not in Canada and not surrounded by Canadians hence, no celebration.
One summer when I was in Canada for July 1st that does stand out in my memory however, is in 2003, when I found myself on Bowen Island in BC at a language teachers’ workshop. We were a fairly small group – around 60 – who had gathered to learn about a revolutionary new method for teaching second languages (at that stage, it was just French). On Canada Day we sang O Canada in English AND French – and it was the first time I truly felt a part of the Canadian teaching community.
To this day I am still friends with many of the teachers I met there and am still using that method to teach French, hopefully inspiring my students to become bilingual Canadians, so they, too can proudly sing O Canada in both our official languages.
My memories of Canada Day revolve around baseball. While little league season in BC always wrapped up when school did in June, all star tournament ball started right after and the first major tournament of the season would be the July 1st long weekend. My family’s weekend would revolve around my younger brother’s tournament schedule.
We always seemed to be somewhere hot and dusty with no shade, sitting in those old mesh folding lawn chairs that I don’t even think you can buy anymore! We drank lots of cold drinks and cheered on my brother’s team. Some meals would be picnics my mom had packed but she would usually let us have a concession stand hot dog with fried onions on it at some point through the weekend. And of course… eating unshelled, salted sunflower seeds by the bag, which resulted in many sunflower seed spitting contests – very ladylike, I know!
I missed out on the whole Canada Day fireworks thing – we never seemed to be anywhere near a fireworks display, although, now, even though I don’t live in downtown Vancouver, I still live close enough that I can hear them every year – 10pm sharp!
My Canada Day memory isn’t an original one, but it shouldn’t be. July 1 always meant fireworks. As a kid, it involved lighting some in our crescent with my family and the other neighbours. As I grew up, my family graduated to grabbing a big blanket and heading down to one of the many parks to watch the “professionals” do it which always involved lots of “ooohs” and “ahhhs”.
For more FBC members' Canada Day memories head on over to the Foodies 100 Ten at Ten!
Have a great long weekend!