Celebrating Canada: Holidays, National Days, and the Crafting of Identities

Celebrating Canada: Holidays, National Days, and the Crafting of Identities

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Edited by Matthew Hayday and Raymond Blake
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2016
World Rights
464 Pages
ISBN 9781442627130
Published Dec 2016
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Holidays are a key to helping us understand the transformation of national, regional, community and ethnic identities. In Celebrating Canada, Matthew Hayday and Raymond Blake situate Canada in an international context as they examine the history and evolution of our national and provincial holidays and annual celebrations.

The contributors to this volume examine such holidays as Dominion Day, Victoria Day, Quebec’s Fête Nationale and Canadian Thanksgiving, among many others. They also examine how Canadians celebrate the national days of other countries (like the Fourth of July) and how Dominion Day was observed in the United Kingdom. Drawing heavily on primary source research, and theories of nationalism, identities and invented traditions, the essays in this collection deepen our understanding of how these holidays have influenced the evolution of Canadian identities.

Matthew Hayday is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph.

Raymond B. Blake is Professor and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Regina.


Introduction: Nationalism, Identity, and Community in Canada’s Holidays
Matthew Hayday & Raymond B. Blake

1. Taking it to the Streets: Negotiating National Identities in Montreal’s Parades, 1840-1880
Gillian I. Leitch

2. “Righteousness Exalteth the Nation”: Religion, Nationalism, and Thanksgiving Day in Ontario, 1859-1914
Peter A. Stevens

3. The Politics of Holiday-making: Legislating Victoria Day as a Perpetual Holiday in Canada, 1897-1901
Chris Tait

4. Promoting a “Sound Patriotic Feeling” in Canada through Empire Day, 1899-1957
Marcel Martel, Allison Ward, Joel Belliveau & Brittney Anne Bos

5. “One Flag, One Throne, One Empire?” Espousing and Replacing Empire Day in French Canada, 1899-1952
Joel Belliveau & Marcel Martel

6. Love the Empire, Love Yourself? Empire Day, Immigration, and the Role of Britishness in Anglo--‐Canadian Identity, 1920-1955
Brittney Anne Bos & Allison Marie Ward

7.  From Armistice to Remembrance: The Continuing Evolution of Remembrance Day in Canada
Teresa Iacobelli

8. Dominion Day and the Rites of Regionalism in British Columbia, 1867-1937
Forrest D. Pass

9. Dominion Day in Britain, 1900–1919
Mike Benbough-Jackson

10. A Chinese Counterpart to Dominion Day: Chinese Humiliation Day in Interwar Canada (1924-1930)
Lianbi Zhu & Timothy Baycroft

11. Canada’s Day: Inventing a Tradition, Defining a Culture
Matthew Hayday

12. Dreams of a National Identity: Trudeau, Citizenship and Canada Day
Raymond B. Blake & Bailey Antonishyn

13. The Redundant “Dominion”: Refitting The National Fabric At Empire’s End
Stuart Ward

14. “Adieu le mouton, salut les Québécois!”: The Lévesque government and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day Celebrations, 1976-1984
Marc-André Gagnon

15. The Rootedness of Acadian Neo-nationalism: The Changing Meaning of le 15 août, 1968-1982
Michael Poplyansky

16. Marketing the Maple Leaf: The Curious Case of National Flag of Canada Day
Richard Nimijean & L. Pauline Rankin

17. Conclusion
Matthew Hayday & Raymond B. Blake

Appendix: National Days and Holidays


"This volume’s great achievement lies in its breadth. It explores not one Canada, but many. The solitudes of language, ethnicity, region, and religion meet, mix, clash, and come together in ways expected and unexpected. Matthew Hayday, Raymond Blake, and the book’s contributors have embarked on a fascinating study, full of the lives Canadians and their Canadas have led and lead still."

Norman Hillmer, Chancellor’s Professor of History and International Affairs, Carleton University