Happy 145th Birthday Canada! Will and Kate may not be joining us this year but there are still an incredible number of options across the country for people who want to celebrate our country’s big day.

As usual Ottawa is buzzing with events. The day show at noon and the evening show starting at 7:30 p.m. promise to be amazing with great performers, like Feist, Simple Plan, Roch Voisine and Jully Black.

A big theme for Canada Day in Ottawa and around the country this year is the commemoration of the War of 1812; an important milestone in our collective history.

On Parliament Hill, to highlight the War of 1812 and celebrate 200 years of peace, there will be a giant interactive battle map called the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s Giant Map. Canada Day visitors can step onto the map and explore the battle sites on land and water, the borders of British and American territory and much more. 

In Major’s Hill Park (located behind the Fairmont Château Laurier), there will be an 1812 coin exchange in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Mint. Bring in a toonie and exchange it for a new one commemorating 1812.  

Parks Canada will host Halifax’s official ceremony to celebrate Canada Day at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Sitefrom 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. In addition to the Tattoo Choir and Stadacona Band, plans include a 21-gun salute, a fly-past and full costumed re-enactors dressed as 1812 soldiers.

Just southwest of Montreal at Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site, part of their family activities focus includes an 1812-period recruitment sergeant offering kids a chance to get involved and be recruited for the war. In the evening, enjoy a musical concert and fireworks.

Remember, too, that on Canada Day Parks Canada offers free entry to all national parks, Parks Canada-administered national historic sites and national marine conservation areas across the country. The festivities begin with the annual sunrise ceremony at 6 a.m. atop Signal Hill National Historic Site in St John’s Newfoundland.

At Green Gables Heritage Place in Prince Edward Island they will be celebrating the best of yesterday and today with a number of fun activities for the family.  At 10:30 a.m. Canada Day cake will be served following the singing of “O Canada.” At 11:00 a.m. a guided mystery walk will be held along the Haunted Wood Trail. At 1 p.m. there will be ice-cream making, as well old-fashioned games and races. 

At Fundy National Park, along the majestic Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, they are hosting a concert and cake in the Park event beginning at 7 p.m. Following the concert, in Fundy National Park's quaint fishing community of Alma, there will be a bonfire on the beach with guitar playing and marshmallow roasting to celebrate the day.

Parks Canada will also present a free concert by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) to kick-off the Canada Day weekend celebrations in Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park. The WSO has been providing Manitobans with an exceptional musical experience for 65 years. The event will take place in Wasagaming on Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m.