Canada’s 150: the Best Ways for Families to Get Involved

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Is your family excited to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday? 2017 will boast a variety of family-friendly events highlighting Canada’s identity and culture across the country. Whether you want to plan a family vacation and check out a new corner of our great country, or want to stay in your own neighbourhood and engage from home, there is something for everyone to love. Here are our picks of the best events and activities for families during the #Canada150 celebration. Be sure to check back frequently as we update this article with new events!

Have your kids get creative for their chance to win
Know a child between the ages of 8 and 18? They may want to enter the Canada Day challenge contest! Entrants are submitting photos, creative writing and drawings that represent what young people see for Canada’s future, and that embrace Canada’s history, heritage and cultural identities. Applications are accepted until March 31. Winners chosen will be awarded an all expenses paid trip to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa.

Get active, the Canadian way
Enjoy Canada’s 150 year by making a pledge to become more active. You won’t find a more comprehensive list of ideas than the Participaction 150 Play List. The Canadian play list highlights 150 activities that define Canada—from hockey, to fishing, to playing on monkey bars, your family can spend 2017 trying to cross each one off the list. Click on each activity for details on what equipment you need and the rules of the game, plus, all of the health benefits of playing. We love the uniqueness of the list and the variety of indoor and outdoor activities listed. Have you taken your kids bowling before? Or maybe you want some silly fun like a pillow fight. Quidditch is even on the list!

Participate in the largest film festival
Celebrate Canada’s cinematic contributions with the Reel Canada’s Canadian Film Day on April 19. It will be the world’s largest one-day film festival ever and involves the entire nation. Free events and film screenings will take place all across the country. Want to start early with your own family marathon of Canadian films? Visit their website for a list of 150 titles to choose from! It’s a great opportunity to see some truly fantastic Canadian film.

Head to the water
Take to the water for your celebrations with Rendez-Vous 2017, the Tall Ship Regatta—on from June 30 until August 20. There will be 40 Tall Ships sailing the waters and docking at 35 Canadian ports across the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario.  A large celebration will be planned in Quebec City from July 18 – 23. Psst: the scuttlebutt is that interested Canadians (youth primarily) can apply to become crew members as well.

Be a part of an iconic image
2017 will dance its way into our hearts with events across the country and the National Ballet of Canada is taking the opportunity to not only highlight the pointe shoe, an iconic symbol, but also Canada’s birthday and their own 65th anniversary celebrations. They are looking for organizations and individuals to take pictures of a pair of pointe shoes in front of favourite places and landmarks across Canada. Where would your family recommend? Submit your request for your chance to participate online!

Embrace the great Canadian outdoors
Parks Canada is offering free park passes to National Parks, marinas and historic sites run by Parks Canada in 2017. No matter where your travels may take you this year, you might be able to stumble on a majestic gem that will ignite your family’s adventurous or curious side.

Wave the flag
Wave the Canadian flag on February 15, National Flag of Canada Day. Join in the celebrations online by sharing pictures or video with a Canadian flag and using the hashtag #canadianflag during the Share your Moment with the Flag Challenge. What better way is there to teach the kids a bit about Canada’s history and highlight a symbol that we care so much about.

Celebrate with trees, leave a legacy
Your family can contact your local municipality and put together a plan that would invite the planting of trees in your communities thanks to a Tree Canada grant. In the spring or fall, you could host a tree planting celebration. Grants are being distributed all across Canada as part of their Tree to our Nature, Canada 150 Legacy Program. You family can also look up local community events and offer to volunteer to plant trees!

Welcome winter fun
It may not be an event just for Canada’s 150th, but Ottawa’s annual winter celebratory festival, Winterlude, is an annual tradition that should be experienced, especially this year. From February 3-20th, bundle up and head outside for a skate on the Rideau Canal, enjoy a tasty Beavertail and view the ice sculptures. There are outdoor slides, family shows and many more activities that you won’t want to miss.

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