Canada not the only place to celebrate

Andrea Klassen's editorial for the week of July 6.

It was a good day to be Canadian, if for no other reason than the sun. After a touch and go summer, a day with the seasonally-appropriate amount of warmth and rays was likely the best gift anyone attending a Canada Day celebration around the valley could ask for.

But, as communities came together to paint their faces and grab a portion of birthday cake, the good weather wasn’t the only gift on the scene.

Events like the Mountain Mosaic Festival in Invermere, Music on Main in Radium, or the celebrations in Fairmont are all about the good will of local people.

From the facepainters and game organizers and Rotarians grilling your hot dogs, to Kinsmen who arranged a very well-received Invermere fireworks display, volunteers made our nation’s 144th birthday celebration the blast it should be.

It’s that willingness to get out and make the party happen to the best of one’s ability that illustrates what’s great about daily life in this country.

While very few people are about to argue that Canada is 100 per cent perfect — except, maybe, for the ones writing tourist brochures — for a lot of us life in this country is pretty comfortable. While that’s something to celebrate, it could just as easily lead to complacency.

That we turn out year after year in our red and white fright wigs or our maple leaf t-shirts, and year after year volunteers are there to show off their talents and provide us with things to do, suggests we’re not even close to that stage.

Though Canada Day is officially a time to celebrate the birth of our country, local celebrations can’t help but be about the community they’re in.

Walking through crowds of smiling, temporarily tattooed faces throughout the day, there is a sense of pride in being part of a country where people can take a day to celebrate and have the freedom to do so in some pretty cool ways. There’s also the pride in being in a community where people do smile, and where other people put in the time to make them do so.

A good day to be Canadian? Yes. But also a great day to be part of the Columbia Valley.