Canadian Centennial

From Academic Kids

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Centennial penny

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The Expo 67 site on Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame

The Canadian Centennial was a year long celebration held in 1967 when Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Celebrations occurred throughout the year but culminated on Dominion Day, July 1st. 1967 coins were different from previous (or forthcoming) years' issues, with animals on each - the cent, for instance, had a bird on its reverse.

Communities and organizations across Canada were encouraged to engage in "Centennial projects" to celebrate the anniversary. The projects ranged from special one-time events to local improvement projects such as the construction of municipal arenas and parks.

Children born in 1967 were declared "Centennial babies". The first baby born on July 1, 1967, future model and actress Pamela Anderson, was the national "Centennial baby".

In Toronto, the Caribana parade and festival was launched as a celebration of Caribbean culture and became an annual fixture of city life.

In November the Confederation of Tomorrow conference was held at the newly built Toronto-Dominion Centre. Called by Ontario Premier John Robarts the summit of provincial premiers led to a new round of federal-provincial negotiations to amend the Canadian Constitution.

Queen Elizabeth II conducted a royal visit of Canada including a visit to Expo 67 which was a year long event held in Montreal to celebrate the centennial.

Expo 67 in particular was a signifier of the nation's mood of extreme optimism and confidence on heading into its second century. In retrospect, the centennial is seen by many as a high point of Canadian aspirations prior to the anxious decade of the 1970s that saw the nation divided over the issue of Quebec separatism with traumatic events such as the October crisis. Popular Canadian historian Pierre Berton has referred to the centennial as "the last good year" in his book of the same name.

See also: 1967 in Canada

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