Written by: Katherine Nocera
Hello everyone! Did you know that a Canadian survey of 1000 people discovered that almost half of the participants didn’t know why Canada celebrates Victoria Day?! To be completely honest, I would have been a part of those participants. Maybe even some of you reading don’t know exactly why we get a Monday off to celebrate by lighting fireworks and being with family. Lucky for you, I am here to inform you on why Monday May 23rd 2016 is an important part of Canadian history.
Now, let’s flashback to the year 1867. It was in this monumental year that Canada officially became a country by signing the British North America Act. Why, you may ask, am I discussing Canadian independence? You see, this is where Queen Victoria comes into the picture. At the time of the signing, Queen Victoria was Canada’s sovereign and, truth be told, the Confederation could not have created the new country without her royal help. A decade earlier she even turned Ottawa into Canada’s national capital. In 1901, Queen Victoria died and as an act to commemorate her for all that she did, Canada declared May 24th (Queen Victoria’s Birthday) as an annual holiday.
I hope that this tiny bit of information has pulled you closer to our Canadian and British heritage. While lighting fireworks and hanging with friends on the special day in May, it is important to recognize why we celebrate it because it is a part of our Canadian identity. Happy Victoria Day!