Celebrating July 1 and Canada’s 150th

True north, strong and free

O Canada, my home and my anchor.

Some days I want to jump for joy with the luck I had landing such an amazing country as my birthplace. Other days, I want to bang my head against the wall due to the utterly ridiculous situations our country is in. Sorry.

But this is what it means to be Canadian: to accept what we have, apologize and move forward.

Canada doesn’t have a squeaky clean past, and the notion that we peacefully became a country fully ignores the darker moments of our history.

We are still working on problems with racism, homophobia, sexism, classism, etc. Even getting our veterans the assistance they deserve can be a struggle.

We don’t live in a perfect country. Far from it. But our ability to stand tall and protect our rights and freedoms until our voices go hoarse, to open our arms and hearts to others, and to come together when times get tough – that is why I am proud to be Canadian.

I am proud of our landscape, which is as diverse as our people. I am proud of our rights and freedoms. I’m even proud of our stereotypes.

On this Canada Day, 150 years since Confederation, I will take my place with other Canadians and honour the road we travelled to get here and to celebrate the path we will walk to shape us into the best country that we can be.

Because in this true north, we are strong and we are free.

– Olivia


Take time to reflect 

Canada Day is so much more than the kick-off to summer holidays.

It’s a time to take a step away from everyday life, look around and truly think about what it means to be a Canadian.

Without fail, each year I inevitably find myself taking a moment to acknowledge how thankful I am to have been born in this country. I’m truly honoured.

This year Canada Day celebrations are on track to reach epic sizes as the entire country takes on the call to celebrate 150th anniversary. That’s huge.

But let’s put Canada’s birthday milestone aside for just a moment and think about what the celebration means.

We get to live in a country where we’re free to acknowledge holidays however we choose. And hey, if it’s not your thing, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from sitting this one out and just basking in a summer long weekend.

We have that choice. How lucky are we?

I’ve had the good fortune to travel and see different areas of the world. In some cases I’ve seen extreme poverty and in others I’ve seen extreme wealth, but at the end of each trip I’m glad to return to Canada.

And I am thankful my Canadian passport allows me the freedom to come and go as I please.

This Canada Day take a minute, think about what being Canadian means to you, and just enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

– Jaime

Olivia Rutt and Jaime Myslik