Flag Day

Animated-Flag-CanadaFebruary 15 is Flag Day in Canada. On this day we celebrate the establishment of our red and white Maple Leaf flag in 1965.  For most of Canada’s history, the Union Flag of the United Kingdom, the “Union Jack,” was official flag of our country, reflecting our status as a colony in the British Empire.  After Confederation Canada would fly the “Red Ensign” with the Union Jack in the corner, as Canada began to assert its unique status as a Dominion within the Empire. The government sought to establish a new flag in the 1960′ to more fully reflect our independence and standing in the world.  Many designs were considered. Ultimately the red Maple Leaf on the white and red flag won the day and is now amongst the most recognizable symbols in the world. For more on Flag Day:

Remembrance Day

source: wikimedia commons / Creative Commons

Remember, Remembrance Day is not one of the those holidays that is just an excuse for a long weekend. Please take some time over these next few days to reflect on what Remembrance Day is all about. And on Monday, plan to take some time to honour those that have died and those that have served. Whether you attend a ceremony in person, or check out the television coverage of the ceremony in Ottawa, take some time for Remembrance.

Veterans’ Week November 5-11

From Veterans Affairs Canada:

Each year, from November 5 to 11, hundreds of commemorative ceremonies and events will take place across the country to commemorate Veterans’ week. These are opportunities for all Canadians to recognize the contribution our Veterans have made and to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of Canada.

There are so many ways to remember and honour our Veterans:

  • Wear a poppy.
  • Attend your local Remembrance Day ceremony on November 11th.
  • Thank a Veteran by sending a postcard for peace.
  • Teachers – order some of our free learning materials and use our Teacher’s Guide to lead your classroom on a remembrance journey.
  • Students – read one of our remembrance newspapers written just for Grade 7 and above.
  • Talk to a friend or relative who served with the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan or in other areas of conflict.
  • View our Heroes Remember videos and listen to Veterans talk about their experiences.
  • Plant your own Garden of Remembrance.
  • Visit the remembrance challenge page where you will find videos and images you can use to create a mashup, build a virtual scrapbook, a fan site or just decorate your own Web space. Share what you build with others and link back to our site.

However you choose to remember Canada’s Veterans, be sure to share it with everyone you know. Together, it is our duty to pass on our gratitude and keep their legacy and memories alive. This Veterans’ Week, show you remember.


Persons Day

“The  historic decision to include women in the legal definition of “persons” was handed  down by Canada’s highest court of appeal – the Judicial Committee of the Privy  Council of Great Britain – on October 18, 1929. This gave women the right to be  appointed to the Senate of Canada and paved the way for women’s increased  participation in public and political life.” (From Status of Women Canada: Persons Day.)

source: famous5ottawa.ca

It may seem incomprehensible to us that women were not considered to be “persons”, at least under a strict definition of Canadian law prior to 1929.  The “Famous Five” led the fight all the way to the highest courts of the land to include women in the legal definition of “persons.”

“The exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours. And to those who would ask why the word  “person” should include females, the obvious answer is, why should it  not?”

–Lord Sankey of the Privy Council, 1929 (source)

Today we can celebrate that victory, and the slow but steady change in Canadian society towards equality for women.  We still have a long way to go, and sadly, in much the world, women are still denied equality, a “relic of days  more barbarous than ours.” Persons Day is a chance to celebrate how far we have come, and to reflect on how far we still need to go.

Alice Munro Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature

Canadian literary legend Alice Munro has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. She is the first Canadian woman and first Canadian based author to win the award. Munro is considered to be a master of the short story and is often compared to Russian author Anton Chekov. She has previously won the Man Booker Prize, the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award.

Come down to the school library to check out some of her books.