Happy Canada Day! Happy Fourth of July!

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This coming weekend will see the entire continent of North America engaging in a collective long weekend, as Canadians and Americans celebrate Canada Day and Independence Day, respectively. Canada Day, considered by many as “Canada’s Birthday” takes place on July 1st, while Independence Day falls on July 4th.

While both Canada Day and the Fourth of July are holidays that celebrate national pride, one has its roots in a formal coming together of colonies, and the other in independence from monarchical rule. Canada Day commemorates the enactment of the British North America Act on July 1, 1867 which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire. (Canada only gained true independence from Britain in 1982.) Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared American independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

North American work culture gives us a lot less vacation time than our European friends, so long weekends – particularly in summer! – are sacred. Depending on what part of the country you live in, you’re quite likely heading out of town to a lakeside cottage, camping in a state/provincial park or enjoying a seaside cabin along the coast. For those who stay home there’s a lot to celebrate: cities and even small towns generally put on spectacular fireworks displays, and there will be a lot of red and white (Canada) and red, white and blue (USA) on display at lively street parties, parades and picnics.

Canada's capital, Ottawa, is gearing up for its biggest Canada Day Celebration on record, with over 500,000 people expected in front of the Houses of Parliament. The draw? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (more commonly known as Wills and Kate!) will be attending as part of their first official tour abroad as a married couple.

We wish all our North American friends and fun and safe holiday weekend.
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