Road to 2017

The 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation is a time for Canadians to celebrate our history, our stories, our accomplishments, our innovations, and the collective values that continue to shape our country.

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Road to 2017


The bicentennial of the beginning of the War of 1812


The War of 1812 marked a significant moment in Canadian history, when the English and French settlers of Canada joined together to defend their land against an American invasion. Combined with the efforts of Aboriginal peoples and the British military regiment, the Americans were successfully deterred. This victory was a key element that helped shape Canada into what it is today.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee


The Queen’s diamond Jubilee celebrates the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne. This celebration gave Canadians an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Crown’s role in Canada.

Bicentennial of the Red River Settlement


The Red River Settlement, granted to Lord Selkirk by the Hudson’s Bay Company, was originally developed to provide farmland to Scottish settlers. The settlement grew into what is now Winnipeg.


Centennial of the start of the Canadian Arctic Expedition


The Canadian Arctic Expedition, which began in 1913, was the first significant exploration of Canada’s Northern Territories. Guided by the Inuit, the five year expedition led to a number of valuable discoveries and established Canada’s modern Northern border. This exploration showed Canada’s commitment and sovereignty to the Arctic region.

20th anniversary of the Medak Pocket Battle


United Nations Protection Force soldiers, from Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, forged into Medak Pocket in Croatia to render a ceasefire between Croatian soldiers and Serb irregular forces. The courage displayed by Canadian troops earned the soldiers of the Battalion a UN unit citation.


Bicentennial of Sir George-Etienne Cartier’s birth


George-Etienne Cartier, one of the founding fathers of Confederation, played a significant role in the incorporation of British Columbia, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories into Canada. Cartier was joint Prime Minister with Sir John A. Macdonald from 1856 to 1862. Cartier maintained a close relationship with Macdonald long after his time in office.

Centennial of the First World War


Canada’s involvement in the First World War continues to be a significant moment in Canadian history. Over seven percent of Canada’s total population fought at some point during the war, which resulted in more than 66,000 casualties and over 170,000 wounded. November 11th was designated by King George V as a day to commemorate the bravery of our Canadian soldiers.

150th Anniversary of the Quebec and Charlottetown Conferences


The Quebec and Charlottetown conferences were essential to the development of the Canada that we know today. Decisions made at these conferences led to Confederation and the eventual formation of Canada in 1867.

75th Anniversary of the start of the Second World War


More than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders enlisted in the Second World War. Both men and women battled against Germany, serving on land, the sea and in the air. More than 44,000 lost their lives.


Bicentennial of Sir John A. Macdonald’s birth


As one of Canada’s founding Fathers, Sir John A. Macdonald played an important role in shaping Canada into what it is today. Macdonald, along with George-Etienne Cartier, played an integral role in the expansion of Canada to the Pacific Ocean. Some of his other major accomplishments include the creation of the North West Mounted Police, which have transformed throughout the years to become what is now known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

50th Anniversary of the National Flag of Canada


The red and white maple leaf flag was officially introduced in 1965, and has since been an integral part of our nations’ identity. February 15 was declared National Flag Day, and provides Canadians an opportunity to celebrate their flag’s history and symbolism.


175th anniversary of the Election of Baldwin and Lafontaine – Leaders for Responsible Government


In 1841, Sir Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin, along with Joseph Howe in Nova Scotia, strived to establish a responsible government. This system of government is responsible to the people rather than a monarch, and is the system of government that we currently have in Canada. Lafontaine went on to become the first leader of a responsible government.

175th anniversary of Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s birth


Sir Wilfrid Laurier, born November 20, 1841, was the first French-Canadian Prime Minister since Confederation. Laurier’s accomplishments include the creation of the Royal Canadian Navy, the inclusion of Alberta and Saskatchewan into Confederation, and compromises between French and English Canada.

150th anniversary of the Fenian Raids


The Fenian raids, led by an Irish Republican organization, prompted the need for Confederation by encouraging the establishment of a united defence. The successful defence of Canada’s border against Irish-American raiders showed the loyalty and pride that Canadians have towards their nation.

Centennial of the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel (First World War)


Although the battle of Somme virtually extinguished the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the experience prepared Canadians for future victories, such as Vimy Ridge. The Beaumont-Hamel National Historic Site, located in Northern France, commemorates the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the battle.

75th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong


Canada’s first engagement in the Second World War began in December 1941, when two Canadian battalions defended the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong against a Japanese attack. The inexperienced Canadian troops showed the courage of seasoned veterans, but were eventually overrun on Christmas Day, December 25, 1941. Those who survived were taken hostage as prisoners-of-war for almost four years.

Centennial of Women’s suffrage


The women’s civil rights movement in Canada began in 1876, when the Women’s Literacy Club, later named the Women’s Suffrage Society (WSS), was established by Emily Howard Stowe.  The WSS focused on sexual equality and sought for women’s voting rights. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta were the first provinces of Canada to grant women the right to vote. This was an early milestone that paved the way to women’s equality.


150th anniversary of Confederation


On July 1st, 1867, the federal dominion of Canada was formed. As a result, three British colonies were transformed into four Canadian provinces: Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The formation of the federal dominion of Canada marks the birth of what is now the second largest country in the world, and marks the creation of a strong and proud nation.

Centennial of the Battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele


The battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele are both significant moments in Canadian history, and established the Canadian military as a powerful and effective force.

125th Anniversary of the Stanley Cup and the Centennial of the National Hockey League (NHL)


Organized in Montreal during the First World War, the NHL has grown into a professional hockey league. Out of 30 teams, seven of them are located in Canada. In 1893, Governor General Lord Stanley donated the Stanley Cup to the NHL. It was the first trophy awarded to professional athletes in North America.

75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid


Many Canadians gave their lives on August 19, 1942, as the Allies launched a raid on Dieppe in Northern France. The battle of Dieppe influenced preparations for Normandy landings and valuable lessons were learned, but at the high cost of 4,384 lives.

50th anniversary of the Canada Games

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As part of Canada’s centennial celebration, Quebec City hosted the first ever Canada Games sports event. 1,800 athletes from 10 provinces and two territories competed in 15 different sports. This event has grown to become Canada’s largest multi-sport competition for amateur athletes.