As thousands of partygoers congregated on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill to watch Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday at the nation’s biggest bash, Canadians from across the country found other unique ways to mark the momentous occasion.
On the East Coast, approximately 75 early risers kicked off the festivities with a pre-dawn cruise off the coast of Newfoundland to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean.
Rain and low clouds didn’t dampen the enthusiastic crowd aboard the Iceberg Quest vessel Capo de Espera as they cheered and waved flags.
“It has been a wonderful experience for us and the kids. It's nice to see how much Canadians love their country,” St. John’s resident Craig Simmons told CTV Atlantic.
In Nova Scotia’s Eskasoni First Nation, the Maritimes’ largest Mi’kmaq community held a celebratory pow wow to honour the preservation of their language and culture.
“We've had a really dark history as Mi’kmaq, as Indigenous people in this country, for the past 150 years,” Chief Leroy Denny told CTV Atlantic on Saturday. “At the same time, we honour our elders, and our residential school survivors. We're celebrating survival."
In Halifax, 53 people from 21 different countries were sworn in as new Canadian citizens at a special ceremony at Pier 21’s Canadian Museum of Immigration on Saturday morning.
Many of the new Canadians were joined by family and friends and the event attracted more than 400 spectators.
“We had hundreds more than usual,” Marie Chapman, CEO of the Canadian Museum of Immigration, said. “This place was full to capacity and overflowing, which was an amazing thing for Canada 150.”
Halifax wasn’t the only city welcoming new Canadians on Saturday. There were 55 similar citizenship ceremonies held in other cities across the country on Canada Day.
In Toronto, 150 people were granted Canadian citizenship at an event held at Queen’s Park. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne presided over the proceedings and called the province and country’s diversity one of its greatest strengths.
In a more lighthearted event held at the city’s waterfront, rain-soaked attendees marvelled at a giant controversial six-storey-tall rubber duck floating on Lake Ontario, which was brought in especially for Canada 150.
Toronto staged its fireworks display around its iconic CN Tower, which made for a spectacular finale to festivities in the city.
CN Tower was lit! pic.twitter.com/ApjLdh9byX— Colin D'Mello CTV (@ColinDMello) July 2, 2017
In Montreal, a handful of protesters in the city’s Old Port held a march to voice their opposition to Canada’s treatment of immigrants, indigenous people and the environment. The group of approximately 20 protesters dressed in black chanted slogans and handed out pamphlets as they made their way through the busy tourist area.
Neither the protest or the rain were able to dampen the spirits of thousands of Montrealers, however, who turned out in droves to attend a number of the city’s parades and street parties.
Partyers in Calgary assembled at Confederation Park in the city’s northwest for a pancake breakfast and to open a time capsule from the time of the park’s opening in 1967. The capsule contained a centennial coin set from the country’s 100th birthday, newspapers and other historical documents.
Line up for free pancakes at Confederation Park appears to begin in High River. pic.twitter.com/hW4UsoiwBw— CTV - Chris Epp (@CTVchrisepp) July 1, 2017
Instead of digging up the past, those in Charlottetown, P.E.I., the birthplace of Confederation, placed a book filled with hopes about the nation’s future inside of a capsule for future generations to open 150 years from now, in 2167.
Calgarians also took part in a world record attempt at Fort Calgary on Saturday. Approximately 3,100 participants donned red and white shirts as they stood in formation to create a living Canada flag.
Winnipeg currently holds the title of largest living flag for its effort in 2016. The city was back at it for this year’s Canada Day when 3,600 people gathered at Portage Avenue and Main Street to form a red, living maple leaf.
On the West Coast, revellers in Victoria, B.C. also mobilized in the city’s Inner Harbour to participate in their own annual living flag photo on the lawn of province’s parliament buildings.
Another gigantic demonstration of Canadian pride occurred in Vancouver’s Stanley Park where the largest Canadian flag measuring 140 metres in length and 70 metres in height was spread across the grounds.
Aerial view: Record-breaking flag set up at Stanley Park
Vancouver is marking #Canada150 in a big way: With a giant, record-breaking flag at the Brockton Oval in Stanley Park. http://ctv.news/2fm5BMk The flag stands at 140 metres in length and 70 metres in height, with a total area of 9,900 square metres to reflect the total area of Canada at a scale of 1 to 1,000,000.Posted by CTV Vancouver on Friday, June 30, 2017
With files from CTV Atlantic, CTV Montreal, CTV Toronto, CTV Calgary, CTV Vancouver, CTV Vancouver Island and The Canadian Press