Canada Day is that rare opportunity to – for one day anyways – forget about our complaints about society in general and focus on the many blessings we enjoy simply by living in this amazing country.
No, life in Canada isn’t perfect. People face hardships of all kinds, and any amount of prosperity that comes our way from calling Canada home doesn’t extinguish the many harsh realities out there – especially this past year with the economic slowdown and as a result, massive job loss particularly here in Alberta, that thousands have faced.
But in the broader picture, we enjoy so many advantages and opportunities in this country that can only be dreamed about in other corners of the world.
Most of us have never known what it is to be truly hungry for any length of time. We turn on our taps and can drink the water without fear of being stricken by some deadly disease. We can worship how we choose without fear of significant oppression or governmental interference much less violence.
We have a government that, again certainly not perfect, provides many services that would be unimaginable in much of the developing world. Our health care system (yes there are flaws) is pretty much always there for us when we need it as well. Some diseases that still ravage communities in other parts of the world are pretty much memories in Canada.
Ultimately, anyone who has had the opportunity to spend time in a developing country knows full well how privileged we are to call Canada home. Just watching the news will give a quick education into the frightening instability so many face as they fight for even some semblance of democracy in their homelands.
Even looking south of the border the political chaos makes us grateful to be Canadians. Big news in Canadian politics runs along the lines of the prime minister’s wife floating the idea of hiring an assistant.
So the freedom and peaceful society that we so often take completely for granted is certainly something to be thankful for.
Canadians have much to be proud of. An example is an overall willingness to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees to our country who fled their homes with nothing. They arrived on Canadian soil earlier this year, and while there was much in the way of discussion upon their arrival and shortly following, we don’t really hear much about it these days. A testament that Canadians have embraced and accepted the idea.
Canadians are known for their generosity, politeness and acceptance and this particular instance speaks volumes to that.
Certainly, these are critical things to keep in mind on July 1st when we are (hopefully) soaking up the sun and counting our blessings.
Locally, we encourage Lacombians to take part in the festivities that will take place throughout the City and area virtually all day on Friday. Events will kick off with a pancake breakfast and family activities at the English Estates Centre (5842 Hwy. 2A) at 8 a.m.
There will also be festivities at the Michener House Museum and Flatiron Museum & Interpretive Centre from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Flatiron Museum will also host a free walking tour at 2 p.m.
Live demonstrations will take place at the Blacksmith Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Bluebird Festival will run at Ellis Bird Farm from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. which includes live jazz music and activities and crafts for the entire family.
A Colour Guard March and Flag Raising Ceremony will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lacombe Legion followed by a barbecue which will run until 3 p.m.
The Lacombe Community Market will also run from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The grand finale for the day will take place at Cranna Lake where a free concert by Randi Boulton and Flashback Freddie will take place from 8 – 10:30 p.m. Fireworks at dusk will cap off the day’s events.