Party rolls on for Canada's 150th birthday

Photo of Suzanne Morphet

The 150th anniversary of Canada’s birth as a nation offers visitors plenty of opportunities to join the year-round party.

The fireworks are finished, the birthday candles all blown out. Canada marked its 150th year as a nation on July 1.

But this year, Canadians are celebrating their country’s birthday all year because it’s the sesquicentennial. 

And, like any good party, the more the merrier.

Last year, Canada welcomed 333,437 Aussie visitors and this year it’s hoping to see a lot more. 

According to Destination Canada — the country’s tourism marketing agency — Australian visitors spent on average $2765 per trip in 2016, the most of all their overseas visitors.

If you’d like to join in some of Canada’s birthday celebrations there are still lots of events coming up in communities across the country, from St John’s, Newfoundland (where the sun rises first each day) to Beaver Creek, Yukon (where it sets last) and from Grise Fiord (Canada’s most northerly community) to Ontario’s Pelee Island, its most southern point. 

Here are some events to consider:

Nuit Blanche, Toronto, September 30. This year’s free all-night art event focuses on Canada’s history. Installations by contemporary artists examine questions of identity and nationhood including migration, displacement, colonialism, power and privilege, settlement, the natural landscape, exploration, adaptation and reconciliation. See

The Drum is Calling Festival, Vancouver, July 22-30. With a new theme each day, this festival promises to entertain and enlighten. Internationally recognised musicians include Buffy Sainte-Marie. Among the offerings is the inaugural Indigenous Fashion Week. See

HORIZON, a new 360-degree cinematic journey is being screened in permanent and pop-up dome theatres in 25 or more communities across Canada this year. Using cutting-edge technology, the film offers a unique perspective of Canada with 20 minutes of footage and 90 scenes. For its schedule, see

The idea of Canada as a country was hatched in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in 1864. Enjoy a sound and light show on the sandstone walls of the Confederation Centre of the Arts each night until October 1. See

The Grey Cup Festival, Ottawa, November 21-26. Canadians are already looking forward to this year’s annual football championship. The festival offers performances that reflect Canada’s cultural diversity. This year’s will put the exclamation point on Canada’s 150 celebrations. See


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