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As we prepare for Canada Day next week on Wednesday, July 01, 2015 I am reflective of how proud I am to be a Canadian. Canada is a wonderful country to live in and better yet, a great country for a young girl to dream big. When I was in my early twenties, I dreamed of owning a successful Event Company where I would develop long standing relationships with my clients, producing multiple events for them annually. I am proud to say I am living my dreams today. See some of our past work.

Twenty five years ago I believed I could do anything if I set my mind to it. I felt safe and protected in my country. I never bothered to worry about war, famine, terrorism, disease. Canadian was a strong, country where you could be gay, straight, French, English, sick without worry, practice any religion you choose, and hail from any background and not have to worry about persecution. Canada’s isn’t perfect, but it’s my home and I love it.

Canadians are proud people; not the obnoxious type of proud but the “grateful for what we have” proud. This feeling has been building over the years and even Molson Canadian tried monetizing it when they released this beer commercial My Name Is Joe. What started off as a quiet type of pride evolved. The notion of “keep your love of Canada inside Canada” was more or less obliterated after the recent 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC. There was a call to arms to cheer loud, embrace our differences and show the world that our country represents many ideals that the world looks to and finds inspiration in.

According to the 2011 Global Peace Index, Canada scores in the Top 10, at a charming number of 8, just behind Finland (7) and Austria (6). This index looks at up to 23 different measures, including military spending, percentage of violent crime, possibility of violent demonstrations, deaths from conflicts with neighboring countries, along with the political terror scale, which apparently we didn’t score too high in due to the G20 Protests in Toronto. But to most Canadians, you don’t need a fancy number to know we’re a pretty peaceful and kind bunch.

We are Canada. The land of everlasting sorrys, a free country built on a strong foundation of coffee and donuts. The majority of our violence is kept on the ice (thank goodness), one of the few places the majority of Canadians can agree is a completely acceptable place to air your frustrations with another through the use of hard body-checks. We do not have a nuclear program, despite being one of the largest providers of uranium in the world. Gun crime is crazy low, so the chances of getting shot are pretty minimal unless you’re chasing illicit drugs or a member of a gang.

We’re raised in a country where health-care is free, where you accept your neighbor regardless of race, creed, or sexuality. We have flaws like any other country, but for visitors spending any amount of time in my country, it becomes easy to see that Canada is ultimately a peaceful country. One that I’m proud to live in and so happy to call home. “Happy Birthday Canada” and Happy “50 Years” to the Canadian Flag.

To celebrate next week, we have compiled a list of our Top 5 FREE Events on Canada Day.

Event #1: Canada Day at Canada Place (Waterfront Party & Parade)

Canada place

Canada Place hosts Downtown Vancouver’s biggest Canada Day celebration with a free Waterfront Party that includes live music and entertainment on three stages, followed by the annual Canada Day Parade.

The Waterfront Party features performers Hannah Georgas, Hairfarmers, Watasun & Rumba Calzada. There’s also plenty of street food and interactive games, as well as a display by the Vancouver Circus School.

Also stop by the Vancouver Convention Center’s open house, where you can learn about its six-acre living roof, enjoy a brew on the Pacific Terrace and even see the Olympic Cauldron lit for Canada Day. Activities start at 10am Canada Place, Vancouver Convention Center and Jack Poole Plaza.

Waterfront Party @ Canada Place 10:00am – 6:00pm
Canada Day Parade starts at the corner of Georgia & Broughton and starts at 7:00pm

Event #2: Canada Day Burrard Inlet Fireworks Show

With barges in Dundarave and Coal Harbour, the annual Fireworks Show will be visible from NW Downtown (Coal Harbour, parts of Stanley Park), West Vancouver (the seawall between Ambleside and Dundarave), North Vancouver (Lower Lonsdale). You can’t see the fireworks from English Bay or Spanish Banks / southeast Vancouver beaches.  You need to be on the NW side of downtown Vancouver.

When:  10:30pm – 11:00pm Where: Vancouver Downtown / Coal Harbour

Event #3: Canada Day at the Steveston Salmon Festival & Ships to Shore

Steveston, Richmond’s historic fishing village, celebrates Canada Day with two huge, free events: The Steveston Salmon Festival which includes a Parade and Steveston’s famous Salmon Barbecue, where over 1200 pounds of wild salmon filets are grilled over open fire pits.

Also visit Ships to Shore Steveston, where 20 working and historic ships are on display at the waterfront, within a short walk of the Salmon Festival.

When:   6:30am – 5:00pm Where: Steveston Village, Richmond

Event #4: Surrey Canada Day


This event is not actually in Vancouver, but it has to go on this list because Surrey’s Canada Day celebration is both the biggest Canada Day event in western Canada and one of the biggest outdoor concerts in B.C. John Donnelly does such a great job at producing this event.

World-class entertainment, great food, games and amusement rides. And it’s all FREE! The Fruiticana Fireworks Spectacular follows the concert.

Event #5: Canada Day at Granville Island


Granville Island’s huge Canada Day celebration includes a Parade, an official Canada Day Ceremony with cake, a Lobster Man Cookout, live jazz, performers, and MELA!, a South Asian cultural fair.

This is the best venue for families with young kids: bring a picnic blanket and take breaks to let the kids run at the free Granville Island Water Park.

When:    8:00am – Midnight Where:  Granville Island


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