Royal blue gift

Royal blue Sapphire Snowflake Brooche

Photo: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall

True north, beautiful & rare. Aptly named ‘Beluga’ sapphires are the natural royal blue gems featured in a gift given by Canada to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to honour her 65 year reign.

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British Monarch on September 9, 2015.

This week at a Canada 150 ceremony at Canada House in London, Governor General David Johnston presented Her Majesty The Queen with the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch.

Unlike many blue sapphires which need heat to enhance their colour, the royal blue of these Beluga sapphires is naturally occurring.

This brooch celebrates the historic and profound relationship between Her Majesty and Canada. — HRH, Governor General of Canada, David Johnston

A rare find

The 48 royal blue Beluga sapphires were a rare find in Canada’s far north in 2002.  On Baffin Island, Nunavut, two brothers, Seemeega and Nowdluk Aqpik discovered the gems on a hilltop. The design of the brooch — appropriately a snowflake — features an ombré effect created by the different shades of blue. The darkest blue sapphires are at the centre, with lighter blue stones at the edge and surrounded by diamonds.

Symbolic gifts and royal visits to Canada

Maple Leaf pin worn by Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton on her royal visit to Canada July 2011

The platinum and diamond Maple Leaf pin a gift from Canada in 1939

The new Sapphire Snowflake Jubilee Brooch is meant to be a companion to other symbolic gifts.  At the Canada 150 ceremony, the Queen wore platinum and diamond Maple Leaf brooch, also a gift from Canada. It was given to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by her husband King George VI, to mark the first tour of Canada by a reigning monarch in 1939.

That same pin was loaned to then Princess Elizabeth for her first royal visit to Canada in the summer of 1951, just three months before her coronation.

Her Majesty inherited Maple Leaf brooch in 2002. She has worn and shared it often. Camilla wore it on her inaugural trip to the Canada in 2009. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton borrowed it for her official visit to Canada in July 2011 with Prince William.

Protecting The Queen’s collection of royal blue jewels

Imperial State Crown has 17 royal blue sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, and 2868 diamonds

The Imperial State Crown has 17 royal blue sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, and 2868 diamonds, and is guarded by Yeoman Warders

We don’t know if royal blue is the Queen’s favourite colour, but seems possible since a number of famous jewels include royal blue sapphires.

Perhaps most spectacular is the Imperial State Crown,which makes up part of the royal regalia. It features 17 sapphires, the largest oval shaped one is known as the ‘Stuart Sapphire’. A plate behind it is engraved to mark the history of the Crown.

This crown is exchanged at the end of the coronation ceremony, and also used at the annual State Opening of Parliament. When not in use, Yeoman Warders guard the crown and other royal assets on public view at the Jewel House at the Tower of London. You might notice the same crown is a prominent part on the front of their scarlet uniform insignia, originating from the 15th century. The outfit causes the guards to be commonly misnamed as ‘Beefeaters’, possibly because of their presence on the label of the popular Beefeater, a brand of London Dry Gin.

Canadians can see the Royal Crown Jewels, or view an equally impressive collection of contemporary Canadian art and design at the newly renovated Canada House in Trafalgar Square.

Canadians can visit the spectacularly renovated Canada House in London's Trafalgar Square on Fridays

Interior of Canada House, Trafalgar Square, London

Canada 150 Day Trimtag Trivia Quiz Answers

The maple leaf flag of Canada was introduced in 1965 by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson Our Canada 150 Trimtag Trivia Quiz answers are in. How did you do?  We heard from many it was ‘tough’. Expats complained they were not up on current affairs. Millennials thought the Last Spike, was either a volleyball move, or a new ‘artisan’ drink. Many Boomers longed for more hockey questions to show their deep love of the game of their youth. We got thanks from our American cousins for priming them for Can-AM tournaments (Happy 4th!). Brits will jolly well borrow some of our questions for an upcoming pub quiz night. PS thanks for sending Prince Charles to our birthday bash – Canadians are a wee bit more excited about spotting Prince Harry, and look forward to his return in September for the Invictus Games in Toronto.

Score: out of 85, including up to 18 bonus points

Cheers to completing the Canada 150 quiz celebrate with a Molson Canadian retro stubbie beer trivia quiz0 – 15  Sorry, you are un-Canadian, possibly due to consuming too much American TV, we recommend tuning in to the CBC
16 – 35 Well, your mom might worry you are spending too much screen time, not enough learning time. We recommend you hit the books, you know, those things made of (Canadian) wood pulp with black marks.
36-50 Passable, but while taking the quiz, you were likely suffering from mosquito distraction (or with intermittent internet connection at your campsite). We will give you a chance to study, and re-take the quiz next January, when those pesky things are (hopefully) in the deep freeze, and you are back in 4G territory.
51-65 Good mediocre job! You will fit in nicely here. Celebrate with the new Tim’s Canadian collection, or if you like, a Molson Canadian in a retro brown stubbie.
66-85 – Impressive, so long as you were honest. ‘Cause you know real Canadians don’t cheat. If you scored over 85, you are a genius, and we assume Alexa helped you.

The Canada 150 Trimtag Trivia Quiz Answers

Science & Nature:
L'Anse au Meadows Newfoundland and Labrador tourism trimtag trivia quiz answer

Watch the video about the Viking settlement at UNESCO site: L’Anse aux Meadows, NL (Photo: Sheldon Stone)

What animal is getting help to migrate to Nova Scotia? Moose
What is the name of the cultivar the NRC developed? Rapeseed, from which canola was developed
What type of apple was found in Dundela, Ontario? MacIntosh
What is the fastest growing segment of alcohol ? Cider
What iconic Canadian brand grew from a close association with beavers and Algonquin Park? Roots
What did a Toronto chemist add to soda water in 1890? Fruit juice. Bonus, what is the brand name? Canada Dry
What fauna did Napoleon choose as his symbol? Eagle, yes we know that’s not Canadian, but reminds us of our neighbour to the south who’s national emblem is also the eagle.
What did a genetic research team from University of Toronto and SickKids do this year? Mapped beaver DNA, which may be able to help scientists understand autism in children.
What delicious treats do Canadians make out of sugar, salt, lard and flour? Beaver Tails
What transportation company put the beaver back on its logo? CP
What will be counted on the Polar Prince? Ducks, marine mammals, killer whales, algae, ocean plastic
How many UNESCO World Heritage sites in Canada will the C3 Expedition visit? Six: including L’Anse aux Meadows, NL where Vikings landed 5,000 years before Columbus
What green energy company is sponsoring the C3 Expedition? Bullfrog Power

Geography:

The Polar Prince Canada C3 expedition vessel, on a 150-day journey from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage. (CNW Group/Bullfrog Power)

How many kilometres is it from Cape Spear, NL to Mount St. Elias, YK? 9,306 km
In what city was the Mounties first outpost, called Fort Whoop Up? Lethbridge, AB
Where is the Chignecto Isthmus? Nova Scotia, its the 23 kilometre strip of land that joins it to New Brunswick
In what Saskatchewan town is the largest canola refinery in North America? Clavet, population 386, about 15 minutes from Saskatoon
Where will the famous RCMP Musical Ride be on Canada Day 2017? Ottawa
Which company named Canada as the #1 travel destination in the world for 2017? Lonely Planet
Which government agency helps you livestream an aurora borealis? Canada Space Agency
In what Canadian city would you find a volunteer group of snow angels? Vancouver
What is Winnipeg‘s persistent nickname? Winterpeg
What Quebec town shares the same name as winter boots? Sorel
What is the symbol of Parks Canada? Beaver
Where is the Confederation Bridge? Northumberland Straight, the ‘fixed link’ of Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick
Where is the Canadian Canoe Museum? Peterborough, ON
Where is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum? Mount Hope, ON (but if you said The Hammer, or Hamilton, we will give you 1/2 point)
Where is the Canada C3Expedition going? From Toronto to Victoria, in 150 days via Canada’s three seas and the Northwest Passage, so long as the icebreaker can get through.
What Royal Canadian Navy vessel can Canadians board in Toronto on Canada Day? HMCS Ville de Québec. Bonus points if you can name its class too. Halifax-class frigate

History:

Photo: Vimy Soldier’s work, Imperial War Museum/Library and Archives Canada.

What was Ottawa called before Queen Victoria name it the capital of Canada? Bytown
What brewery had to relocate after the 1917 Halifax Explosion? S. Oland & Sons (if you said Moosehead, we will give you 1/2 a pint, er point)
What house does Canada’s Governor General live in? Rideau Hall, which the Canadian government bought for a steal in 1882 for C$82,000
What is placed on the ceremonial red table at the Firefighter’s Memorial every September 11? helmets
What did King Charles grant his cousin, Prince Rupert, in 1670? The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson’s Bay, aka Prince Rupert’s Land
What do the points on a Hudson Bay point blanket signify? size
Name the tartans of Canada’s two oldest military regiments. Black Watch and Davidson, of the Royal Highland Regiment, and 48th Highlanders respectively
In what year was Canada’s official Maple Leaf Tartan designed? 1964, 1 year before the maple leaf flag
Is there an official Canadian plaid? no, unfortunately
Where is Hill 70? Loos-en-Gohelle, France
Who wrote the poem In Flanders Fields? John McCrae Bonus points if you know when and where. 1915, after the battle of Ypres, Belgium
Which French explorer first arrived where the Richelieu and St. Lawrence rivers meet? Samuel de Champlain
What does couriers de bois mean in English? wood runners
Who gave royal ascent to the British North America Act on March 29, 1867? Queen Victoria
What did Martin Frobisher bring back from Canada when he returned to England in 1578? fool’s gold
When was NAFTA signed by Canada, the United States and Mexico? 1989 Bonus points if you can name who signed for each country. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, President George H.W. Bush, President Carlos Salinas
What does CETA stand for? Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and 28 (27 if Britain bails), set to come into force this summer
What was The Last Spike? Final ceremonial spike in the national railway. Bonus points if you know where and when it happened. Craigellachie, BC, November 1885
What did Sir John A. MacDonald promise British Columbia? A railway connecting it to the rest of Canada
What iconic WWII airplanes have been restored and are currently flying? Avro Lancaster Bomber
One hundred years ago, what WWI battle was fought and won by Canadians? Vimy Ridge
Approximately how many names of Canadian WWI casualties are engraved on monuments? 19,660
Who cast off the Polar Prince to begin its 150 day mission from the Toronto harbour? Royal Canadian Navy
What did Gord Downie ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do at a concert? Do something; commit to fix the wrongs of Canada’s history toward indigenous peoples.

Sports:

What teams played in the outdoor Centennial Classic? Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings. Bonus points if you know who won. The Leafs! Extra bonus points if you know who scored the winning goal and the final score. The 19 year old Auston Matthews, 5-4. He scored the 4th too. The 5th winning OT goal, apparently worth $212,500, based on hitting a contract target.
Which NHL team is the most valuable brand? The Leafs, despite not having won a Stanley Cup for 50 years! Bonus points for correctly stating its Canadian $ value. C$168m, probably a bit less now that they are going to have to up Mr. Matthews pay packet.
What was the original name of the Saskatchewan Roughriders? Regina Rugby Club. Bonus points for number of times they have won the Grey Cup. 4
What sports team is referred to as the ‘Habs‘? Montreal Canadiens (you must spell it correctly, otherwise you might be a Leaf’s fan) Bonus points if you can name the last time they won the league’s top trophy. 1993 Well at least most of the Canadian teams made the playoffs this season. Go Sens!
What are the full names of the original six? Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings

Arts & Culture:
Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, MB Trimtag Canada 150 trivia quiz answer

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Manitoba (CNW Group/PCL Construction)

What famous Canadian has a statue in the Fountain of Hope? Terry Fox (actually not a statue, it’s a dedication. First commemorated in 1982, it was re-built in the main entrance to Rideau Hall and re-dedicated this year by the Governor General.
Who is known as the Godmother of Beer? Susannah Oland
What insignia does His Exellency the Right Honourable David Johnston wear around his neck? Companion of the Order of Canada

Name the artist who created the sculpture for the Canadian Firefighter’s Memorial? Douglas Coupland
What sports team ran a design contest with CAFA, the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards? Toronto Maple Leafs
What is the name of the Aboriginal owned footwear brand based in Winnipeg? Manitobah Mukluks
What are traditional mukluks made from? sealskin Bonus: what additional materials are used now? rubber, for the soles
What skills program ran this year by the Bata Shoe Museum? Storyboot school. Bonus who founded the museum?  Sonja Bata
Which shade has been named the Colour of the Year for 2017? dark green
What does ‘qanik‘ mean in Nunavik dialect? snow falling
What do we call Canadians who migrate south at the first sign of winter? snowbirds
What museum opened in 2014 in Winnipeg? Canadian Museum for Human Rights
What is the mid-winter festival called in Quebec? Carnaval du Quebec
What does the Algonquin word “adawe” mean? to trade. Bonus points for the city name derived from it. Ottawa
Which Canadian designers created the new livery and uniforms for Air Canada? Tyler Brule (livery), Christopher Bates (uniforms)
How tall are the limestone sculptures at Vimy Ridge? 110m
Who published the Dictionary of Canadianisms? University of British Columbia
Where does the French word ‘habitant‘ come from? early settlers of New France who were given land grants by seigneurs from 1627 until 1854. If you said a can of ‘pea soup’, deduct 2 points.
What is the occupation of Canada’s top cultural exports? comedians Bonus points if you can name two. Shaun Majumder, Russell Peters, Martin Short, John Candy, Mike Myers, Alan Thicke, and Saturday Night Live creator/producer Lorne Michaels
How do Canadians pronounce the last letter of the alphabet? zed
What company fooled around with re-branding themselves as the “Most Canadian“? WestJet, as an April Fool’s joke tradition
Who is the other person part of the Chanie Wenjack Fund ? Gord Downie, lead singer of the band The Tragically Hip along with his brother Mike are the founders of the fund.
What Canadian publication dared to compare a duck to the Royal Canadian Navy ships? Maclean’s
What is the English version of the motto of the HMCS Ville de Quebec? I will be worthy
What did an estimated 11.5 million Canadians watch or listen to on August 20, 2016? The final concert of the Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Tour in Kingston, Ontario
What is the Secret Path illustrated book and movie about? The story of Chanie Wenjack, the 12-year old boy who died trying to walk 600 km home to his family from a residential school.
Besides a song, what is Ahead by a Century? Chardonnay

Thank you for playing the Canada 150 Trimtag Trivia Quiz!

Happy Canada 150 Day!

 

 

Take the Canada 150 Day Trimtag Trivia Quiz

Canada Day celebrating Canada 150 with a new Trimtag Trivia Quiz free and fun for allO Canada, we are just a few days away from the great big Canada 150 birthday bash. Have you lined up your plans for the long weekend?  Ready to dive into a lake, paddle a canoe or camp in the woods? Maybe you will attend a community event, or visit one of our historic places? Or, just relax with friends and family for a backyard BBQ, then take in a fireworks display.

Everyone, we’re pretty sure, will want to play our just-released Canada 150 Trimtag Trivia Quiz.

Game Changer

Calling all Canadians (and anyone else who is up for the challenge): We invite you to play the brand new Canada 150 Trimtag Trivia Quiz! Inspired by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott the beer-drinking photographer and sports journalist who created Trivial Pursuit back in 1979, we made one up. Gather ’round. It’s free and fun for all ages. If you have been following our Brandspotting blog journey across Canada, you will have home ice advantage.

Play The Canada 150 Trimtag Trivia Quiz

Test your knowledge of all that is unique and special about Canada. Take our Trivia Quiz today. Amaze your friends! Start a conversation! You could win….um, bragging rights! (as long as you are humble about it, eh?) Have fun. Play safe. Answers to the Trivia Quiz will be posted on Canada Day!

Rules: None
Except we will know you are a real Canadian if you can answer the Trimtag Trivia Quiz questions without assistance from Americans named Google or Siri.

Science & Nature:

SickKids and University of Toronto map the beaver; Trimtag Trivia Quiz category: Science & Naturec

What animal is getting help to migrate to Nova Scotia?
What is the name of the cultivar the NRC developed?
What type of apple was found in Dundela, Ontario?
What is the fastest growing segment of alcohol ?
What iconic Canadian brand grew from a close association with beavers and Algonquin Park?
What did a Toronto chemist add to soda water in 1890? Bonus, what is the brand name?
What fauna did Napoleon choose as his symbol?
What did a genetic research team from University of Toronto and SickKids do this year?
What delicious treats do Canadians make out of sugar, salt, lard and flour?
What transportation company put the beaver back on its logo?
What will be counted on the Polar Prince?
How many UNESCO World Heritage sites in Canada will the C3 Expedition visit?
What green energy company is sponsoring the C3 Expedition?

Geography:

Confederation Bridge; Trimtag Trivia Quiz: Geography category

How many kilometres is it from Cape Spear, NL to Mount St. Elias, YK?
In what city was the Mounties first outpost, called Fort Whoop Up?
Where is the Chignecto Isthmus?
In what Saskatchewan town is the largest canola refinery in North America?
Where will the famous RCMP Musical Ride be on Canada Day 2017?
Which company named Canada as the #1 travel destination in the world for 2017?
Which government agency helps you livestream an aurora borealis?
In what Canadian city would you find a volunteer group of snow angels?
What is Winnipeg‘s persistent nickname?
What Quebec town shares the same name as winter boots?
What is the symbol of Parks Canada?
Where is the Confederation Bridge?
Where is the Canadian Canoe Museum?
Where is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum?
Where is the Canada C3Expedition going?
What Royal Canadian Navy vessel can Canadians board in Toronto on Canada Day? Bonus points if you can name its class too.

History:

Certified orginal image of Canada BNA Act of 1867 Trimtag Trivia Quiz: History category

What was Ottawa called before Queen Victoria name it the capital of Canada?
What brewery had to relocate after the 1917 Halifax Explosion?
What house does Canada’s Governor General live in?
What is placed on the ceremonial red table at the Firefighter’s Memorial every September 11?
What did King Charles grant his cousin, Prince Rupert, in 1670?
What do the points on a Hudson Bay point blanket signify?
Name the tartans of Canada’s two oldest military regiments.
In what year was Canada’s official Maple Leaf Tartan designed?
Is there an official Canadian plaid?
Where is Hill 70?
Who wrote the poem In Flanders Fields? Bonus points if you know when and where.
Which French explorer first arrived where the Richelieu and St. Lawrence rivers meet?
What does couriers de bois mean in English?
Who gave royal ascent to the British North America Act on March 29, 1867?
What did Martin Frobisher bring back from Canada when he returned to England in 1578?
When was NAFTA signed by Canada, the United States and Mexico? Bonus points if you can name who signed for each country.
What does CETA stand for?
What was The Last Spike? Bonus points if you know where and when it happened.
What did Sir John A. MacDonald promise British Columbia?
What iconic WWII airplanes have been restored and are currently flying?
One hundred years ago, what WWI battle was fought and won by Canadians?
Approximately how many names of Canadian WWI casualties are engraved on monuments?
Who cast off the Polar Prince to begin its 150 day mission from the Toronto harbour?
What did Gord Downie ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do at a concert?

Sports:

What teams played in the outdoor Centennial Classic? Bonus points if you know who won. Extra bonus points if you know who scored the winning goal and the final score.
Which NHL team is the most valuable brand? Bonus points for correctly stating its Canadian $ value.
What was the original name of the Saskatchewan Roughriders? Bonus points for number of times they have won the Grey Cup.
What sports team is referred to as the ‘Habs‘? Bonus points if you can name the last time they won the league’s top trophy.
What are the full names of the original six?

Arts & Culture:

Rideau Hall official Governor General of Canada's residence Trimtag Trivia QuizWhat famous Canadian has a statue in the Fountain of Hope?
Who is known as the Godmother of Beer?
What insignia does His Exellency the Right Honourable David Johnston wear around his neck?
Name the artist who created the sculpture for the Canadian Firefighter’s Memorial?
What sports team ran a design contest with CAFA, the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards?
What is the name of the Aboriginal owned footwear brand based in Winnipeg?
What are traditional mukluks made from?  Bonus: what additional materials are used now?
What skills program ran this year by the Bata Shoe Museum? Bonus who founded the museum?
Which shade has been named the Colour of the Year for 2017?
What does ‘qanik‘ mean in Nunavik dialect?
What do we call Canadians who migrate south at the first sign of winter?
What museum opened in 2014 in Winnipeg?
What is the mid-winter festival called in Quebec?
What does the Algonquin word “adawe” mean? Bonus points for the city name derived from it.
Which Canadian designers created the new livery and uniforms for Air Canada?
How tall are the limestone sculptures at Vimy Ridge?
Who published the Dictionary of Canadianisms?
Where does the French word ‘habitant‘ come from?
What is the occupation of Canada’s top cultural exports? Bonus points if you can name two.
How do Canadians pronounce the last letter of the alphabet?
What company fooled around with re-branding themselves as the “Most Canadian“?
Who is the other person part of the Chanie Wenjack Fund ?
What Canadian publication dared to compare a duck to the Royal Canadian Navy ships?
What is the English version of the motto of the HMCS Ville de Quebec?
What did an estimated 11.5 million Canadians watch or listen to on August 20, 2016?
What is the Secret Path illustrated book and movie about?
Besides a song, what is Ahead by a Century?

Thank you for playing the Canada 150 Trimtag Trivia Quiz!

While this has been fun, we encourage you to take time out on July 1, 2017. Pause to reflect on what Canada has in abundance. A vast, diverse and beautiful land and people. All of it is what makes Canada, Canada. Nothing like it in the world, and the future is a spectacular view from here.

Happy Canada 150 Day!

 

 

The Tragically Hip more than music

Got plans for JCBC to rebroadcast Tragically Hip concert on June 24, 2017une 24? The CBC will re-air The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration.

Perfect way to kick off the summer—general manager of programming at CBC TV, Sally Catto

The CBC had originally told viewers the final concert of the Tragically Hip would be a one-time event. A few weeks ago, the network changed its mind. The CBC will rebroadcast the show at 8pm on June 24, 2017.

A show to remember
The final concert of the Tragically Hip was held last August 20 in front of their hometown crowd in Kingston, Ontario. The 15-date Man Machine Poem tour began in Victoria, and had already made sold out stops in seven cities.

By the time it reached its climax in Kingston, over 11.7 million, an astounding one in three Canadians, tuned in. Broadcast commercial-free on CBC’s television, radio and digital platforms.

Tragically Hip says goodbye in Kingston, August 20, 2016A few months earlier, the band’s lead singer, Gord Downie, announced he had terminal brain cancer. The tour, and especially the man, touched a national nerve.

Viewing parties and public screenings allowed people to share The Hip’s music: It was in Bobcaygeon, Fiddler’s Green, the classic campfire ballad Wheat Kings. Most of all: Courage.

Downie and band members Paul Langlois, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair & Johnny Fay, more than lived up to it. No doubt it must have been a most difficult final performance.

It was a rare collective shared moment which will remain in Canadians hearts.

The Hip was not always so popular.  Poetic lyrics and indie rock sound were somehow combined into music that could bridge genders and generations. That night in Kingston, and across Canada, the Canadians cheered, sang, laughed and most cried knowing it was likely the Hip’s last performance.

Urging Canada to move Ahead by a Century
Appealing to all Canadians, and directly to Prime Minister Trudeau who was in the crowd, Downie made a passionate plea: “Do something” commit to fix the wrongs of Canada’s history toward indigenous peoples. It was heard loud and clear.

Their lyrics their sense of place, the sound…a piece of the extraordinarily layered definition of Canada that we try and give ourselves–Hip fan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a CBC interview with Don McLean before the Kingston show.

Incredibly, the Hip and Gord Downie, despite his health, has continued to do much with their fame. And hold the Prime Minister to account.

The best thing
watch the film Secret Path by Gord DownieGord Downie played two performances last October in support of his Secret Path project to tell the story of Chanie Wenjack. Fifty years earlier, the 12-year old boy died trying to walk 600 km home to his family from a residential school.

The idea of the Secret Path started with poetry. It grew to include a 10-song album, a graphic novel and film illustrated by Jeff Lemire.

This is the best thing I’ve ever done. We made a record. It’s an attempt to capture the feeling somehow of trying to get home — Gord Downie

Founded by Gord and his brother Mike, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund  support initiatives of reconciliation.

Above all else, that’s what Gord and I wanted to create: something that can’t be ignored. Every Canadian should know Chanie Wenjack’s name and I hope Secret Path helps to make that a realityMike Downie

Branding a Band
The Hip might be uncomfortable with the term brand. Yet they have successfully cultivated what the essence of a brand is: a rare combination of unique point of view, forever fans, critical acclaim and industry accolades. Forming Tragically Hip in the mid 1980’s, their first album released in 1987. Releasing 14 more studio albums, 20 #1 hits helped sell millions of records.

Earning industry kudos was part of it too. The Hip has won fifteen JUNO Awards, been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

Tragically Hip Ahead by a Century chardonnay by Stoney Ridge WineSelling records and tour tickets and t-shirts is not all The Hip does. Recent commercial activities included wine Fully Completely Grand Reserve and Ahead by a Century chardonnay – to commemorate 20 years since the release of Trouble in the Henhouse.

The original band remains a united force. They have not played together since that last concert.  Instead they continue to use their influence to lasting effect.

This year, an online auction of 23 Hip hockey jerseys for the Kingston Frontenacs raised over $73,000 for the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research-Sunnybrook Foundation.

Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip are Canadian rock stars leaving far more than a music legacy.

Canada C3 sets sail

Unlike the funding of a giant rubber duck, CanadaC3 expedition is one Canada 150 activity likely to deliver a more durable impact on Canada’s future leaders, marine wildlife and the public. It set sail on an epic journey navigating Canada’s three seas: Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific.

#CanadaC3 #Canada150 watch the video describing the Canada C3 epic journey

Watch the Canada C3 video

#Canada150 #CanadaC3

CNW Group/ Bullfrog Power

The C3 Polar Prince is painted red and white and parts sea ice. Experiments will count ducks, killer whales, measure marine plastic and test algae. Over 150 days it will travel 23,000 km and visit 70 coastal communities and six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There will be music, art, dance, film and hopefully, glimpses of northern lights.

Oriented to youth, funding for C3 is from Canada 150 and private sponsors which enables research to benefit all of Canada. Developing future leaders is another goal.

It is a journey that will…lead to a greater awareness and deeper understanding of our country, its vastness, beauty and the enormity of opportunities ahead of usGeoff Green, C3 expedition leader

Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack FundThe Canada C3 ship is part icebreaker, part floating science lab, part reconciliation effort. Launched in Toronto’s urban harbour with surprising little fanfare. A ceremonial escort by Toronto Fire Service Wm Lyon Mackenzie fireboat and Toronto Police Marine Unit. Cast off was provided by a few Royal Canadian Navy men and women in dress white uniforms.

Waving small Canada 150 paper flags, a small crowd of family and friends gave it a low-key send off.  Attended by Mike Downie, brother of Gord Downie, lead singer of Tragically Hip. They are co-founders of Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund which will support a Legacy Room on board the C3.

Duck duck, go

It’s a stark contrast to a festival happening just down the quay over Canada Day weekend. The Toronto Redpath Waterfront Festival will feature HMCS Ville de Québec …and thousands of people and a giant American duck. At six stories high, Maclean’s pointed out how the duck dwarfs many of Canada’s navy ships. Good thing the navy will host a 5k run and cook-off to get out from the shadow of the plastic extravaganza.

#Canada150 Maclean's sizes up Canada's navy and a giant rubber duck

Maclean’s measures the Canadian navy vs a giant duck. HMCS Ville de Quebec, a Halifax-class Frigate, will float into Toronto for a Canada Day festival

 A worthy search for answers

Meanwhile, the comparatively small C3 ship is poised to punch above its size. For each of fifteen segments of the C3 journey, 60 people will be on board – including scientists, artists, educators, elders and journalists. The crew will ensure it sails safely in Canada’s three seas through the icy Northwest Passage.

The coastal marine wildlife survey will record sightings of migratory birds and marine mammals  – particularly killer whales which have been seen further and further north. In another study lead by Peter Ross, a toxicologist at the Vancouver Aquarium, will look at the impact of ocean plastic pollution. Canada C3 could easily borrow the motto of the HMCS Ville de Quebec: Don de Dieu feray valoir (I will be worthy).

Follow #CanadaC3 research into the future
Satellite and sonar enables the crew to stay connected. Live updates throughout the C3 journey will trace the country’s spectacular coastline. Cataloging biodiversity from bacteria to baleen whales, Canadians are encouraged to follow along and join the online discussion using the hashtag: #CanadaC3.

The hands-on experiences of the participants and the interactions with communities throughout the journey are important opportunities to recognize the impacts of climate change and send the message…there is action that we can all take todayRon Seftel, CEO, Bullfrog Power, a sponsor of the Canada C3 expedition

Impact of the C3 expedition will go beyond data gathered for science and connections made at ports of call. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience of the 300 Canadians who will take part and the countless others who observe from afar. The journey will end in Victoria, British Columbia on October 28, 2017.

Distinct Canadianisms

#Canada150 A Dictionary of Canadianisms first editionDistinct Canadianisms are unique Canadian expressions created by a mashup of history and languages. In 1967, The Dictionary of Canadianisms was first published for Canada’s centennial. It is not the standard Oxford Canadian Dictionary.

For more than ten years, linguistics scholars at the University of British Columbia have been working to update the dictionary for Canada’s 150th birthday.

From A to Zed with a French accent
From “admiral” to “zed”, the second edition of The Dictionary of Canadianisms is free to access online. It explains the origins of words, and how meanings change over time.

With Canada’s history, it is no surprise French words permeate and influence Canadian English. Maybe this is why many believe all Canadians are bilingual. The dictionary is a window into Canadian culture. It shows how English and French words can cohabitate.

The word Habitants refers to rural residents of QuebecH is for hockey; h is for a distinct French society:
The dictionary shows how a capital letter changes everything. Browse under the letter ‘H’ and find habitant. The French word is used in English to describe a Quebec farmer, or anyone from la belle province. Its origins comes from land grants given by seigneurs to early settlers of New France from 1627 until 1854.

When capitalized, ‘Habitants’ are Canadiens with very different occupation.  Habitants are members of the Montreal Canadiens professional hockey team. Les Canadiens (spelled the French way) or the Habs, all means the same thing to generations of hockey fans of the club founded in 1909. That was even before the NHL began–the Habs are one of the original six. Alas, unlike the Ottawa Senators, this season is over for the Habs, so some players will be back on the farm, or golf course.

Watch Shaun Majumder distinguish Canadians from Americans

A Cultural Export
Besides French and English, a mix of many other languages have produced a people who speak using distinct Canadianisms.

Newfoundlandisms account for a stunning 40% of all regional terms –  Stefan Dollinger, Gšteborgs Universitet & University of British Columbia, and chief editor of the Dictionary of Canadiansms project.

No wonder comedians such as Rick Mercer and Shaun Majumder have long played up their regionally distinctive English language to hilarious effect. Many of these talented Canadian comedians are among Canada’s top cultural exports. In this clip, Majumder uses language to mock the national past time of Canadians: distinguishing themselves from Americans.

A Canadian is undefinable, Eh?
Funny or not, Majumder adds to the endless effort by many to define: What is Canadian? English has been in Canada for over four centuries. The language will continue to evolve to reflect what Canada becomes in the future. It is clear UBC scholars will have to continually update their work long past Canada 150.

Maybe being undefinable is who we really are. Quirky, historic and nuanced, language makes Canadians, Canadian. Eh?

Contribute a Canadianism
Are you a word nerd?  You can participate in this ongoing scholarly exercise. You can submit a word, expression or meaning that might qualify as a Canadianism, i.e. originated in the country or is “distinctively characteristic” of Canada

Editor’s note: when composing this post, the American-English spell checker underlined the words habitant and Habitant highlighting an error, whether capitalized or not. Technology we use daily shows the influence of our southern neighbour – ah, there is another error message.

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Canada Day countdown

Canada Day countdown to celebrating Canada 150Hooray! Spring has sprung across the country. But we are already turning our attention to the Canada Day countdown. July 1, 2017 is about 70 days away. Please allow us to light a firecracker a bit early. You see, we want to make sure you join the thousands across the country, and even far abroad, who will receive one of our official Canada 150 items.

Join the celebration
Trimtag official Canada 150 pin, individually wrapped or in bulk, order by May 15, 2017 to ensure delivery by Canada DayWeTrimtag's exclusive Canada 150 pin have already sent thousands of our most popular item – the Canada 150 pin – to all types of groups and organizations. We’re thrilled so many will have a chance to wear and celebrate Canada 150: like little league sports teams and Girl Guides to all types of businesses, event planners and municipalities. All across this great land, we are proud that people will wear our pin in a celebration of Canada’s unique 150-year history, diversity, and strengths.

We know spring fever is focused right now on all the Canadian NHL teams in the playoffs – even the Toronto Maple Leafs ! Unlike last year’s playoff shut-out of Canadian teams excitement is in the air.

Here’s hoping our Canada 150 pin might even be traded like the hockey cards of the past to our American hockey team foes. For all Canadians, here or abroad, its fast becoming a highly sought after souvenier for a year worth noting in history. Wear it proudly on a uniform, a toque, backpack or a Canadian plaid shirt.

Trimtag Canada 150 collection

Countdown to Canada Day: order by May 15, 2017
We don’t want you to miss out on all the fun! To be sure you will get delivery before Canada Day, the deadline to order CANADA 150 items is May 15, 2017.

Ok, thanks for allowing us to interrupt. We will now return to our regular Brandspotting programming…celebrating Canada 150!

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Vimy-Ridge-Canadian war memorials

Canadian National Vimy Memorial

Vimy Ridge was a major battle fought by all four Canadian batallions in WWI

Photo: Vimy Soldier’s work, Imperial War Museum/Library and Archives Canada.)

One hundred years ago this April, Canadian soldiers fought and won a pivotal World War I battle at Vimy Ridge in France. On April 9, 2017, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial will be the site of special 100th anniversary ceremonies.

Fighting Together
Vimy Ridge has become a seminal moment, in part because it was the first time all four Canadian Regiments fought side by side. It is also significant for its staggering loss of life. Over 10 decades, it has come to signify a key moment when Canada became a country. Unified in the war effort, battling together, suffering together, and ultimately victorious together.

The Vimy Memorial
Vimy is possibly the most well-known war memorial for its spectacular 110m limestone sculptures. Situated at the highest point of Vimy Ridge, on 100 hectares of land France donated to Canada in perpetuity in 1922. It was in gratitude for sacrifices made by Canadian troops in capturing Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

The memorial was designed by Walter Seymour Allward and completed in 1936. It includes 20 sculptures carved in place over eleven years. Looking from the stone terrace, one can see some of the 30 war cemeteries within a 16-kilometre radius. It is where more than 7,000 Canadian soldiers are buried.

The price of freedom won is recognized at Vimy, at the new Hill 70 memorial, as well as in nearly every town and city in Canada, where the names of 19,660 casualties are engraved on Canadian World War I memorials.

Honouring the 100th Anniversary of Vimy
On Saturday, April 9, 2017, a very special memorial will be held at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, and at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. It is expected the Vimy event will be attended by delegation from Canada and France including the Prime Minister, along with thousands of Canadians. They will to participate in the commemorative ceremony, including the opening of a new Visitor Education Centre.

From April 6 to 9, 2017, Vimy memorial events will be held at the Citadel in Halifax, Fort York in Toronto, and Fort Rodd Hill on Vancouver Island. Canadians can visit Veterans Affairs to find out if you have a Vimy memorial event in your community.

War memorials and storytelling help us remember all

Forgotten Hill 70 by Roy MacGregor, Globe & Mail

Click for the story + video The Globe & Mail

An update to our post on Hill 70 from last November: the new obelisk monument to honour the 8,700 Canadians who lost their lives there is being unveiled on April 8, 2017, one day before the Vimy Ridge ceremony.

Hill 70 is mostly a forgotten battle fought by Canadians in WW1 at heavy cost. It was the first time Canadian Corps. were under full Canadian command. Lieutenant-General Arthur Currie, lead the 10-day battle in August, 1917, after playing a key role at Vimy.

The recent Globe & Mail feature by Roy MacGregor tells the significant story of Hill 70, how the new obelisk war memorial can be seen for miles. A short video is well worth watching.

Canada’s fallen are honoured every November 11 at Remembrance Day ceremonies where we gather to remember their sacrifice. As there are no remaining WWI veterans still living, it falls to us to remember those who gave their lives 100 years ago. We must continue to follow the final line from John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields:

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

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Most-Canadian

#Canada150 West Jet #Most-CanadianWest Jet is now Canada Air. In a surprise move, West Jet announced today it would commemorate Canada 150 with a #most-Canadian re-brand. Airline brands are fiercely competitive on price, routes and especially for consumer loyalty. The new Canada Air aims #Canada150 West Jet rebrands to Canadian Air to be the #most-Canadian of airline brands. Seems the company was playing catch up. With the recent re-design of the Air Canada livery, West Jet couldn’t allow their bigger competitor to win over Canadian travelers during the peak booking season.

We are sorry we didn’t do it sooner — Richard Bartram, West Jet president in a video press release.

#Canada 150 West Jet wants to claim to be the #mostCanadian airlineThe new Canada Air brand builds on a friendly and fun image. They are out to be top-of-mind capture the hearts and minds of travelers as the busy summer bookings season takes off.

The people who make up our brand and airline represent many of the Canadian values we are known for globally. Kindness, a great sense of fun, warmth, a desire to do the right thing and an incredible sense of caring are what make Canadians Canadian and we believe it’s time for our name to reflect this reality — president, Canada Air (formerly West Jet)

Just Kidding
We told you at the beginning of this journey we were going to challenge some of the cliches about being Canadian. April Fool. West Jet will remain West Jet.

Many brands #Canada150 #Most-Canadian hockey clicheshave been wrapping themselves in maple leaves, beavers, and hockey cliches. West Jet’s video pokes fun at their competitor and gets buzz for their brand in a lighthearted way.

Corporations try to create a halo effect from the symbols and iconic examples of Canadian-ness will fail if their brand’s connection to Canadians is not genuine. West Jet’s April Fool video shows they understand Canadians very well. We are proud of Canada, but don’t like strident nationalism. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we know how to laugh at our own expense.

Kudos to West Jet for having some fun with Air Canada and all Canadians. The joke’s on us, and a good reminder not to become too smug about being Canadian. Sorry, eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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transportation flying high

Getting Around
Canada is flying high celebrating 150 years since Confederation. The vision of the country’s founders included the practical understanding that Canada could only survive as a country if it connected its vast and challenging geography. Transportation was essential. #Canada150 Early transportation in Canada relied on canoes and guidance from Aboriginals who knew the landscape

Transportation continues as both a national obstacle and unifying challenge. Canada only succeeds when we move resources, products and people. Access to global markets, moving goods between provinces is key to our trading nation. Connecting people with their jobs and families, and communities with each other is key to our culture.

Tied to Canadian identity are companies who have engineered and built transportation infrastructure. These are a big part of the reason Canada is flying high today.

Canoe

Canadian Canoe Museum Logo Getting around when Canada began a hundred and fifty years ago wasn’t so easy. Early explorers and settlers navigated a vast harsh landscape by dogsled or canoe with guidance from Aboriginals. Their survival depended upon it. A fascinating look into our past mode of transportation can be found at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario.

Their logo shown here is a symbol of the founder’s great respect for Canada’s indigenous peoples and their connection to the land through the canoe.

The ability to paddle, portage or flip a canoe, are skills still learned at summer camps. These are often cited as a badge of Canadian-ness. The canoe remains a preferred method of water transportation to explore Canada’s National Parks, or one of our thousands of lakes and rivers. Maybe you will spot a beaver, or moose. At the very least, you will have a chance to breath clean air, swat some mosquitoes, and reflect on what it it might have been like before Canada was a country, and what it means to be Canadian today.

Rail
CP rail a vital transportation link for resources, goods and peopleIn November 1885, The last Spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway signified the completion after 10 years of a national railway connecting central Canada to the west coast.

That was the promise made to British Columbia by Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald. An historic and compelling reason for the province to join in Confederation. It was a monumental accomplishment of infrastructure building by Canadian Pacific.

Canadian Pacific began in 1881, and can trace its history as a company and transportation brand including trains, ships and airplanes. It has served the country as a mover of munitions, supplies and troops through world wars. All sorts of royalty and foreign dignitaries, as well as everyday people have been moved from town to town by rail, and put up for the night in luxury CP hotels. Symbolically, earlier this year, CP re-introduced the beaver to its logo (shown). Today CP, as it is known, has departed from other businesses, and is once again a rail company.

I am excited to say that the beaver is back, Thanks to a lot of hard work in the last few years, we have taken our rightful place as an industry leader and the time is right to re-connect with our past by bringing back this iconic symbol for Canada, and for CP — Keith Creel, CP president and chief executive officer

Air
Air Canada unveiled new livery uniforms for #Canada150Air Canada, is Canada’s national flag bearer airline. It began 80 years ago. Today its 30,000 employees move about 45 million passengers a year. In February the airline revealed a new livery. The old-fashioned term for the logo and colours painted on its airplanes and the uniforms of employees. The logo for the fleet was designed by  Tyler Brule, award-winning Canadian graphic designer, founder of Wallpaper and Monocle magazines and design agency Winkreative. New uniforms were created by Canadian fashion designer, Christopher Bates. Two years in the making, the new Air Canada uniforms will be worn by pilots, pursers, gate staff, and ground crew. Both designers refreshed the symbols of excellence in air transportation and are a maple leaf beacon for travelers worldwide.

As brand ambassadors who travel around the world it is important that Air Canada employees feel stylish, confident and comfortable in their uniforms as they take care of millions of customers every year–Christopher Bates, designer

It is a privilege to fly Canada’s flag, and we are proud to showcase some of the best of this nation’s talent–Benjamin Smith, president, passenger airlines, Air Canada.

Warplanes

Avro Lancaster WWII bomber at the Canadian Warplane Heritage MuseumCanada’s transportation contribution includes building and flying the Avro Lancaster Bomber – a key to the RAF fleet during WWII. Thousands of Canadian airmen and ground crew served with RCAF and RAF Lancaster squadrons in England. Thousands more Canadians worked at Victory Aircraft in Malton (Toronto) to produce 430 of these iconic planes which were used to fly Arctic reconnaissance, maritime patrols afterwards. Two have been re-conditioned and are in regular flight at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario.

Canada succeeds in traversing the landscape by water, road, rail, or air. Overcoming vast distances and finding practical means of transportation remains at the heart of Canada’s identity. Canada can fly high when transportation soars.

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trade builds a nation

Trade is fundamental to Canada

#Canada150 Making the Voyageur World Travelers and Traders in the North American Fur Trade by Carolyn PodruchnyEven before there was Canada, there was trade.

Aboriginal nations traded with each other. Seeking routes to Asia through the arctic, European explorers discovered Canada accidentally. In the 17th century couriers de bois (literally wood runners in English) traded with First Nations in exchange for protection and local guidance through a vast, harsh wilderness.

Independent coureurs des bois played an important role in the European exploration of the continent and in establishing trading contactsCanadian Encyclopedia

French Voyageurs in the 18th century traveled Canada’s interior waterways in search of furs, fish and wood. Historian and author, Carolyn Podruchny, notes traces of Voyageurs remain in place names all across North America. Ottawa is derived from the Algonquin word “adawe”, which means ‘to trade’.

Country formed with a grand bargain
Certified orginal image of Canada BNA Act of 1867

Image of 1867 BNA Act, original is kept in the United Kingdom

On March 29, 1867, Queen Victoria gave Royal Assent to Canada’s British North America Act. The grand bargain to form a nation was a trade deal too, since it gave Parliament the power over:

 The Regulation of Trade and Commerce – 1867 British North America Act.

Not just hewers of wood, drawers of water

Since extracting and trading natural resources is how Canada began, ingrained in this history is a common description of Canadians. ‘Hewers of wood, drawers of water’ is a national image of menial labourers and lumberjacks. A continued fondness for wearing plaid keeps the image alive.

Yet, things have evolved quite a bit. The world has demanded different goods and services. Canadians respond with innovation and ingenuity. Eventually fur was replaced with prairie production and exports of grains like the Canadian crop invention, canola. Feats of Canadian engineers created The Shard, the Canada Arm and the Confederation Bridge. All are symbolic of our efforts to build connections at home, abroad and in outer space.

Confederation Bridge opened in 1997 connects Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick

 

Today, Canada is one of the world’s leading trading nations. Exports reached US$390 billion in 2016, an increase of more than 23% since 2009. That’s about $11,000 for every one of the 35 million Canadians.

Wood remains one of Canada’s top exports. Minerals, including gold, silver, and diamonds, now make up the fourth most valuable trade sector, worth $18 billion in 2016. That is much improved since 1578 when Martin Frobisher broughtfools gold’, or worthless iron pyrite, from Canada’s arctic back to England. From energy to aerospace and telecommunications, Canadian’s development and use of technology has changed labour from menial to more knowledge-based.

A history of international trade deals

The Auto Pact of 1965, the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement of 1989, and the subsequent NAFTA agreement in 1994 exponentially allowed for expanded trade with our largest customer, the United States and brought Mexico into the deal. Automobiles are Canada’s number one export by value: $64 billion.

Canada trades with the world as a member of the World Trade Organization, and through numerous bi-lateral agreements with diverse  countries including Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Israel, Jordan, Korea and Peru.

CETA Canada-Europe Free Trade AgreementCETA: trade with Europe comes full circle

By the time Canada celebrates 150 years on July 1, 2017, it is expected that laws on both sides of the Atlantic will be passed to allow CETA, or Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement to come into force. CETA re-connects Canada’s trading heritage with 28 countries in Europe. It took 10 years of talks.

The signing of CETA is a historic occasion. This modern and progressive agreement will reinforce the strong links between Canada and the EU, and create vast new opportunities for Canadians and Europeans alike
Rt. Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, October 30, 2016.

Trade is a founding pillar of Canada. It remains fundamental to the country’s present and future. Canada continues to build bridges with Japan, India, and has entered ‘exploratory discussions’ with China on new agreements.

Negotiating sound trade deals is the challenge and responsibility granted by Confederation.

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Beaver Tales

Animal Symbolism

Fierce animals like eagles, elephants and lions have historically been used as symbols both by monarchies and nation states, clans and companies. The Roman empire and Napoleon, chose an eagle as a symbol of military victory. The Castor Canadensis, or common beaver is Canada’s national animal symbol. It is much less about war, and much more grounded in our nature.

UofT SickKids maps the beaver genetic code

Watch the video from University of Toronto / SickKids on mapping of the beaver’s DNA

Humble, hard-working the beaver builds houses that can survive winter. It was well chosen for common traits shared with Canadians: a love of water, wood and wilderness. Shared also is a determination to flood the landscape in the form of dams, whether for food or hydroelectricity.

The beaver is in our DNA

The world’s largest rodent relates to its history in Canada’s development as a trading nation. Native peoples used the beaver emblem to sign treaties with the first Europeans. It has been on our nickel since 1937. Early this year, University of Toronto professor Stephen Scherer and his genetic research team at SickKids honoured Canada 150 birthday with the beaver’s first genome sequencing. He describes the rodent glowingly as diligent, methodical, meticulous. So too are the genetic researchers who will use some of that beaver DNA sequencing and apply it to other work in understanding autism in children.

This is the most important animal in Canadian history. Like humans, the beaver is the only species that can modify its environment.” Stephen Scherer, director of the McLaughlin Centre and professor in the department of molecular genetics at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine.

Food for thought

Fried dough treats are found in many cultures. Made with simple ingredients of sugar, salt, lard and flour, its comfort food in various forms. Known as beignets in French, or fritters in English, and long churros in Spain, Philippines and Latin America. The Tim Horton’s Canadian coffee chain is famous in part for its doughnuts.

A unique variation in Canada is branded the BeaverTail. This version is broad and flat, about the size of adolescent animal of the same name. The plain canvas allows toppings to be added to suit expressions of personal taste: classic cinnamon and sugar, to wacky flavour variations. Thecompany is holding a contest to create the next iconic flavour for Canada150. Other countries sell their fried dough at carnivals and fairs. In Canada, BeaverTails are most commonly enjoyed on frozen canals, at mid-winter Carnaval du Quebec, or at the top of ski-hills.

Well-travParks Canada free for Canadians in 2017eled Canadians

From aboriginals and couriers-du-bois to fashionable fur top hats in Victorian England, the role of the beaver in early Canada is significant. It has continued as a symbolic motif on our coins, stamps, and on Victory Bond posters. The beaver is well traveled. Appearing on logos of luxury hotels, railways, and on tough bush planes, which land on water and make our remote northern lakes accessible.

Most memorably the beaver has been the symbol of Parks Canada for more than 100 years. In 2017, Canada’s spectacular and vast national parks system that is the envy of the world will be free for all visitors.

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