As we begin our Canada Day celebrations, I thought I would comment on five moments where Canadians united together. We’re a pretty modest bunch and it takes a lot for us to embrace our nation. I thought of tipping my hat off to the people from our history books and especially to the indigenous, but thought I would save that for another day. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these five moments where came together:
JUST WATCH ME
Americans may have Obamania, but we did it first with Trudeau. Joseph Phillippe Pierre Yves Elliot Trudeau mostly known as Pierre Trudeau stormed the political and social scene as the leader of the Liberal Party in 20 April 1968. He was young, charming, smart, good looking, laid back and appealed to the young people of the nation who were looking for energetic nonconformist leaders.
We wouldn’t be celebrating Pride this weekend if it weren’t for him. He legalized homosexuality. It’s hard to imagine a time when simply being you would be illegal but he saw it long before other countries did.
Not only was the first world leader to meet John Lennon and Yoko Ono, he also dated celebrities. He introduced bilingualism and multiculturalism, united against Quebec separatists, suppressed a violent revolt and established the Charter of Rights and Freedom.
His most defining moment came on 13 October 1970. The Front de Liberation du Quebec kidnapped the British Trade Consul, James Cross, on 5 October 1970 and five days later they kidnapped Quebec Labour Minister, Pierre Laporte. As events began to escalate, a reporter asked the Prime Minister how far he would go to stop the terrorists. He replied, “Just watch me” and three days later invoked the War Measures Act and four days after that Laporte was murdered. Although you could argue that things did not go exactly as planned, the phrase evoked a huge emotional response from the nation and is still regarded as one of Canada’s defining moments.
It’s hard to imagine a Canadian stereotype without someone holding a hockey stick or shooting a puck and no one knew it better than Father David Bauer. He founded Hockey Canada in 1963 as part of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. It wasn’t christened, Team Canada, until 1972 when our team won against Soviet Union during the Summit Series. Although not everyone likes watching hockey regularly or even has an interest in the Olympics, we all do come together during the Winter Olympics to support our team. We’re happy to say we’ve won twice in 2002 and 2010.
I AM CANADIAN
People currently in their twenties to forties probably recall this Molson Canadian ad campaign quite clearly. Joe’s “The Rant” debuted during the Academy Awards in March 2000, which happens to be the same year Robin Williams sang Blame Canada from the South Park soundtrack. We can thank Maclaren Lintas ad agency for putting together one of the best commercials of all time. A round of applause has to go to Canadian writer, Glen Hunt; Canadian actor, Jeff Douglas and American director, Kevin Donovan for creating something quite special. The commercial won the Gold Quill award in 2001 and subsequently had many parodies made including one by William Shatner.
We’ve been singing our national anthem for years, but people have a hard time resonating with the lyrics. It only seems appropriate that Luke “Classified” Boyd would create a song that we could sing along to with pride. The rapper and producer is from Enfield, Nova Scotia and received three Juno award nominations for the song.
Photo taken from George’s Instagram/Facebook page.
George was ten years old when he finally was able to spell his last name Stroumboulopoulos correctly. You have to tip your hat off to the little guy as most adults still struggle with spelling it. After his aspirations to be an architect were pushed aside, he continued with his passion for sports and music. After casually filling out an application for Humber College’s Radio Broadcasting program, he was accepted and began a 20 year career in radio and television. The short stint at radio rock station in Kelowna, B.C and time in Toronto with Fan590 sports radio would eventually lead to his time on Much Music. It was here that he became fed up with reporting on celebrity gossip and made a quip about him being Canada’s boyfriend. The phrase seemed to hit a chord with the audience and it continues to be part of his opening monologue on the George Stroumboloulopoulos Tonight show.
Here is an older clip from when the show was called The Hour where George discusses Canada with an American journalist.
A COUPLE OTHER CUTE MOMENTS
Here are a few clips of Canadians talking about Canada
Here’s Russell Peter’s talking about what how to become a Canadian citizen
Here he discusses the Canadian accent
Here’s Jim Carrey talking about Canada