What’s up with Canada 150?

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You may have heard and seen all the buzz lately about Canada 150. But what is it exactly?

What is Canada 150?

We are commemorating the 150th anniversary of Confederation, or the union of the first territories to form the nation (Confederation, Canadian Encyclopedia). In essence, we are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday or, if you want to be fancy about it, Canada’s sesquicentennial.

This extra special year, the four days leading to Canada Day will be called “Celebrate Canada.” It begins on June 21 with National Aboriginal Day, continues with Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24) and then Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27). It comes to a spectacular finish on Canada Day (July 1).

What will happen?

Aside from “Celebrate Canada,” many spectacular events and activities are slated all over Canada throughout the year. Actually, all sorts of activities have already been happening. For instance, last New Year’s Eve, 19 urban centres all over Canada including Winnipeg launched the Canada 150 celebrations.

The Canada 150 website has an extensive list of local and community events as well as national celebrations that you can participate in. They even launched Passport 2017, which is an “event-discovery” website and a mobile app that you can install. Passport can keep you in the loop about all the upcoming events related to Canada 150. You can download the app here: Passport 2017.

In Manitoba, here are some of the upcoming events near you:

Canadian Museum for Human Rights exhibits:

  • 1867 Rebellion & Confederation (ongoing until May 7, 2017) – learn about the story of Confederation and the historic struggles of Canada’s first government through a unique collection of artifacts.
  • Our Canada, My Story
    Seven Canadians share their experiences with human rights through short films. Opens on Feb 28.

  • Points of View: A National Human Rights Photography Exhibition (opens July 1) – features the winning images of the nation-wide photography contest. The photos will reflect four themes/categories: freedom of expression, inclusion and diversity, reconciliation, and human rights and the environment.

Canada 150 Ultra Marathon, Eastman Region (July 1):
Athletes will participate in this 150- mile journey across the Canadian Shield in Manitoba’s Eastman Region. It will begin alongside the Winnipeg River at Great Falls until the south end of Falcon Lake in Whiteshell Provincial Park. A 3 x 50-mile relay option is also offered for trios who want to participate. Interested in joining? Register here: Canada 150 Ultra Registration.

Canada Summer Games (July 28 to August 13, 2017)
Winnipeg hosts the 50th anniversary of the Canada Summer Games this year. This is an event featuring 16 sports and over 250 events for young athletes. The city is expecting to host 4,000 athletes and coaches, and more than 20,000 visitors from all over Canada.

Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Art Express’d
This is a coast-to-coast project involving three mobile art studios (20-foot shipping containers), each travelling with a contemporary artist. The art studios will traverse the country, stopping in 15 communities to lead collaborative art projects. They will finally converge in Winnipeg, the heart of the country.

Community-driven projects – These showcase regional talent and expertise as well as Canada’s diversity. These are some of the listed community projects in Manitoba for Canada 150:

  • Canada 150 Mosaic– This is an ambitious two-year project to create a gigantic mural mosaic that will include all provinces and territories. They are expecting over 80,000 paintings and 150 individual murals (each province and territory will represent 5 – 15 individual communities). The mural will “represent a cultural mosaic, time capsule, a visual portrayal of history, an art masterpiece from the soul of the nation.”(Canada 150 Mosaic, The Project).

    For Manitoba, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, and Steinbach have submitted their murals. Cranberry Portage is set to unveil its historical mural on June 24. To follow the progress of all the Canada 150 mosaic murals, go to the Canada 150 Mosaic site.

How can you get involved?

It’s the best time to learn about or brush up on Canadian history and discover Canada. You can read about Canada’s history one day at a time through #OnThisDay. With a Free Parks Canada Pass, you get free admission for the entire year to all Parks Canada places from coast to coast. You can explore many national and urban parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas. In Manitoba, you can use the pass at these national parks and historic sites:

Volunteering is one of the best ways to participate in the celebrations. For instance, Canada Summer Games is looking for 6,000 volunteers to help out to assist in more than 20 positions. To find out how you can help and to sign up go to: Volunteer.

For more information on Canada 150 projects, events and activities you can participate in go to:

How will you celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday?

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Community Resources

Learn more about Canada’s history and the illustrious men and women that made it the country that it is today: About Canada.

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