How Much Do You Know About The History Of Canada Day?

John Miller

Canada Day is a relatively new name for this holiday. What was it originally called?

It hasn't always been called Canada Day. It was called Dominion Day all the way up until 1982, when Canada achieved full independence from Britain.

What was the Constitution Act of 1867 originally called?

The Constitution Act of 1867 originally had a different but equally boring name. It was called the British North America Act, 1867.

The Constitution Act established a dominion. But what was that dominion called?

The act established the Dominion of Canada. With its semi-independence, the Canadians had to begin the process of developing a form of self-government that started the separation process from Britain.

With the passing of the Constitution Act of 1867, Canada became ______.

Politicians played extensively with the exact language, of course. In the end, the Act established Canada as a dominion, "a kingdom in its own right."

How do Canadians commemorate Canada Day?

If you're familiar with the American Fourth of July celebrations, Canada Day is similar. There are fireworks, special meals and parades galore but not necessarily all over the country.

What does Canada celebrate, anyway?

Canada Day is not a northern version of the Fourth of July. It celebrates the uniting of several provinces into one political entity.

On Canada Day, the country's national anthem is played over and over agan. What's the name of Canada's anthem?

The national anthem of Canada is, of course, "Oh, Canada." In keeping with Canada's diverse history, it can be sung in both English and French.

Which major activity also coincides with Canada Day?

Sure, many Canadians will drink beer. But Canada Day is also the day that many new Canadians (who passed the citizenship exam) are officially sworn in as citizens.

Dominion Day was established in 1879 to celebrate the new dominion, but few Canadians celebrated the day, Why?

In the late 19th century, Canadians regarded Dominion Day as just another step in their country's evolution. Most still thought of themselves as British colonists.

It wasn't until 1958 that the federal government officially organized celebrations. They were designed for what purpose?

Even in 1958, Canadians weren't ready to let go of their British origins. Federally-organized ceremonies that year were heavy on British values and customs.

The Constitution Act established what sort of governmental entity?

The Constitution Act established a federal dominion of sorts. It gave the Canadians some ability to guide their own politics while still tethering the country to Britain.

The year 1967 was the 100th anniversary of Canada Day. How did Britain respond?

Unlike with the American colonies, there's no latent animosity between the Canadians and British. The British sent Queen Elizabeth's to join in Canada's 100-year celebrations.

What day of the year is Canada Day?

Canada Day is celebrated annually on July 1. It is a day of celebration all over the country.

When did Canadians finally start celebrating Dominion Day?

It wasn't until the 50th anniversary that Canadians started taking their special day seriously. That was 1917 -- right about the time that Canadian soldiers had proven their mettle in the battles of World War I, helping the country establish it's own identity.

Which city is considered the best place to celebrate Canada Day?

Canada's capital of Ottawa is widely regarded as one of the best places to celebrate. The capital is jammed with people and festivities each July 1.

In 1982, the name of Dominion Day was finally changed to Canada Day. Why were some people up in arms about the change?

Changing from Dominion Day to Canada Day was what many people thought was a silly break from a long-established tradition. Why change a good thing?

Canadians often celebrate Canada Day by _____.

As with the Fourth of July, Canada Day is considered a perfect time to grill out. It is summer, after all, and after the long Canadian winter you don't need more excuses to be outdoors.

There was political resistance to changing the name of Dominion Day to Canada Day. How did legislators manage to pass the bill?

The name change bill was introduced into the House of Commons when hardly anyone was around to vote. It was kind of a sneaky way to make the name change a reality.

True or false: Canada Day a holiday for federal employees.

It's true, Canada is indeed a federal statutory holiday for government employees. That means it's time to get after those walleyes, eh?

On July 1, 1867, Canadian politicians signed which famous act?

The Canadians signed the Constitution Act, which set guidelines for uniting the scattered provinces. The signing of this act sparked Canada Day ... but it wasn't called that back then.

On Canada Day, the country did gain more independence from Britain. But it didn't become totally independent until which year?

It took more than a century for Canada to achieve total independence from Britain. It finally happened on April 17, 1982.

Upon uniting the three provinces, the province of Canada was promptly split into two new provinces. What was NOT one of provinces created from the split of Canada?

There is no Frenchland province. The province named Canada was split into two brand-spanking-new provinces: Ontario and Quebec.

How do Canadians regard fireworks on Canada Day?

Like everyone else on Earth, Canadians love fireworks. In some places, there are strict laws governing these fun explosives.

How did the American Civil War affect the structure of the Constitution Act?

Canadians took one look at the Civil War and said, "No way, we don't want a republic." So they established a style of government different from their southern neighbors.

What was NOT one of the reasons that gave rise to the Constitution Act?

No, the great pike fishing had nothing to do with it. Rampant political discord, both inside and outside Canada, was one of the biggest reasons to unite the various provinces into a more central government.

True or false: Canada didn't even exist as a country before 1867.

It's true, Canada existed as colonies and provinces long before 1867. The French and British established populations in Canada hundreds of years ago.

How many provinces did the Constitution Act unite?

The Constitution Act of 1867 united three Canadian provinces. They were: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and...drum roll, please: Canada.

True or false: There are VERY standard ways to celebrate Canada Day throughout the country.

Unlike America, where the Fourth of July is celebrated in pretty standard ways, Canada's celebrations vary widely. What's common in Vancouver may be weird in Montreal.

In Quebec, Canada Day is traditionally a big day for _____.

It's a Quebec tradition ... moving day! Many, many leases traditionally expire on July 1, making this a huge moving day for people in this province.

True or false: Canada Day celebrates Canada's birthday.

You've been paying attention during our quiz, right? Canada Day is only sort of Canada's birthday. It marks the signing of the Constitution Act of 1867. The country became totally independent in 1982.

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About This Quiz

A lot of countries around the world have special days when they celebrate nationhood. In Canada, they celebrate...Canada Day! How much do you know about Canada Day's history?

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