British North America Act

The constitutional act, passed in 1867 and was once called the British North America Act, aligned Canada and was celebrated on July 1st. They had rung the bells at the Cathedral church of St. James in Toronto. The contemporary accounts described it as fireworks, bonfires and illuminations, military displays, excursions, and musicals with other entertainments. The following year, on June 20th, Viscount Monck, the Governor-General, had issued a royal proclamation asking the Canadians for the Confederal anniversary.

The Holiday

Until May 15th, the holiday was not established statutorily in 1879 when Dominion Day was designated, alluding to the reference used from the British North America Act as a dominion to the country. In the national calendar, the holiday was not dominant in the beginning. The celebrations by the local communities mounted, and the governor-general had hosted the party at Rideau Hall. These large celebrations were never held till 1917, and there were no such celebrations in the future for a decade. They were known as the gold and diamond anniversaries of confederation, respectively.

Dominion Day

Dominion Day

Philéas Côté, a Quebec member of the House of Commons, in 1946, introduced a bill, the private member’s bill, to rename Dominion Day to Canada Day. The bill was stalled by the Senate but was quickly passed by the lower chamber, which was why they returned it to the Commons with the recommendation to declare a holiday in The National Holiday of Canada. It was the amendment that killed the bill effectively.

Events It Is!

The Canadian government orchestrated the Dominion Day celebrations at the beginning of 1958. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker had requested that State Ellen Fairclough’s Secretary organise many appropriate events with a massive budget of $14000(which was plenty at that time). On July 1st, the parliament was in session traditionally, but the Diefenbaker was persuaded by Fairclough and the federal cabinet remaining members to attend. Trooping the Colour ceremonies were the official celebrations on Parliament Hill in the afternoon and the evening. It was followed by a mass fireworks display and a band concert.

Fairclough’s changes

Fairclough became the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship. He later expanded the bills, which was a proposal to include performing ethnic and folk groups. The day also became family-oriented and more casual. In 1967, the Canada Centennial machine was an important milestone often in the history of Canadian nationalism and Canada measuring as an independent country, as a distinct, after which, among average Canadians, the Dominion became more popular. In the late 1960s and the early 1970s, multicultural concerts, nationally televised held in Ottawa, were added and known as Festival Canada. The promotion of celebrating Dominion day began by the Canadian government after 1980 beyond the national capital by giving grants and aids to the city all over the country to help in funding the local activities.