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Canada’s 150th birthday party is over. It didn’t feel to me like the 100th birthday. That’s a subjective reaction, I must admit.
In 1967, we genuinely seemed to be in a celebrative mood. Gatherings spontaneously broke into Bobby Gimbey’s anthem Ca-na-da… Expo 67 in Montreal had made the world aware of us. Neighbours held beard-growing parties.
Like the musical Dolly, we were crowin’, growin’, goin’ strong.
By contrast, Canada’s 150th – handicapped, perhaps, by its polysyllabic “Sesquicentennnial” title – felt manufactured. No catchy song kept us dancing in the streets. McDonald’s commercials had staff and customers singing Happy Birthday to each other. (I wonder if they paid royalties to the copyright holders each time?) Furniture chains offered bright-red 150th Birthday Sales, with all prices ending in 99. Parties had to be organized by civic authorities.
It felt like drinking champagne at the bedside of a dying patient.
Or am I just growing old and jaded?
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Peter Mansbridge, Canada, identity, Sesquicentennial, 150th birthday