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Jul 1 2021

Canada's National Day

Canada Day is the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of Canadian Confederation which occurred on July 1, 1867, with the passing of the Constitution Act, 1867 where the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were united into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. 

Originally called Dominion Day, the holiday was renamed in 1982 when the Canadian Constitution was patriated by the Canada Act 1982. Canada Day celebrations take place throughout the country, as well as in various locations around the world attended by Canadians living abroad.

Meet Lieutenant Colonel Martell Thompson with the Canadian Armed Forces at SHAPE. We asked him a few questions about his country and about Canada day.

Read his answers below:



Lieutenant Colonel Martell Thompson

Chief Media Operations - SHAPE Public Affairs Office

1. What do you miss most about home?

Family, in particular we miss our two older boys who are attending school in Canada. It also goes without saying that we miss, family barbeques, skating on the Rideau Canal at night with the kids, while enjoying beaver tails. There are definitely certain foods that I miss…I'd do anything for a Halifax donair right about now.
Having said all of that we enjoy traveling Europe as a family and making new friends while eating new foods, it's all about the food. But there is no substitute for family and the opportunity to worship with friends and family.

2. What have you found rewarding about working in such a multinational environment as SHAPE?
The opportunity to work in an environment with different cultures is the reward. I'm learning new things and different ways of doing things daily. My biggest take away is that we have more in common than I would have anticipated. If NATO didn't already exist, we'd be trying to create it – thank God for the "Greatest Generation" their sacrifice continues to secure our tomorrow.

3. What is something unique about Canada that others might not know?

Canada is roughly the size of Europe, with the population of Poland.

4. During normal non COVID times how would you usually celebrate this national day?

If there were no COVID, we would host a large BBQ for our friends and neighbours and celebrate Canada. Normally, we enjoy attending the Canada Day parade, especially in Ottawa before enjoying a BBQ or a Pub or both. We will celebrate this Canada Day with the Canadian community, while taking the time to reflect it on what it means to be truly Canadian and the debt that our great country owes to its indigenous communities.

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Rue Grande
7010 Mons

Media Operations

Public Affairs Office
Attn: Media Section
7010 Mons