Canada Day last year?

Canada Day last year? (

It’s Canada Day, and I am thinking about that poet at the Vancouver Olympics: Shane Koyczan, spoken word performer. I think that was brilliant, figuring out a way to put a writer into an international sports event. Although maybe a performance poet wouldn’t call himself a writer… Best ask him. Anyway, my point? On Canada Day writers are not on stage. Search “Canada Day celebrations” and you get beer, ball or floor hockey, and live bands. Wings, burgers, poutine. But a poet? Am I wrong? Has there been a writer warm-up act at the Ottawa Canada Day celebrations? Maybe there has — let me know.

Writers are, I guess, on the other side of the stage, watching, observing, hoarding it up, and having, er, fun. This particular writer is so much not fun that I forgot to sign up for the reception at the High Commissioner’s residence. Is it sacrilege that I cleaned the toilets instead? I love Guardian columnist Lucy Mangan, who hates going out so much that her husband has proposed home schooling so that they don’t have to deal with other parents. Ok, the truth is that I am going out later — to Evensong at Westminster Abbey.

A Kenyan brewski and a hat now frayed

A Kenyan brewski and a hat now frayed

What are other international Canadians up to?

London’s Trafalgar Square splash has been cancelled this year. Maybe a Canada House under scaffolding doesn’t look so festive? No, actually, Canada Day International events in London and New York were cancelled for lack of sponsorship. The feds don’t pay for fun anymore? A local pub is stepping up to fill the gap (see Toronto Star article).

And in Berlin? Wait, what? The embassy is inviting you to watch a dance performance? (Alice) In Stuttgart? As found on Deutsch-Kanadische Gesellschaft website.

In Paris, the embassy is having a pre-registered gathering. Then you can repair to the pub. Maybe when I get home from Evensong I’ll try out the Paris Star’s Canada Day Playlist. Or not. I’ve got lots of reading to catch up on.

Read On

Spoken Word: Shane Koyczan: from bullied boy to Olympic poet (

The Canadian Press article on Canada Day International cancellations and private/public enterprise (

This not-new link refers you to Canadian themed pubs in Spain and Mexico and elsewhere (

Lucy Mangan’s weekend column  (

Three cities is hardly representational. What other events are happening around the world for Canada Day?


Posted by Debra Martens

author, editor


  1. barbarasibbald July 2, 2014 at 07:17

    You didn’t miss much fun in Ottawa, just the usual swarm of paramedics tending to underaged, over-refreshed teens, mostly third-rate music and a shorter-than-usual fireworks display (I wonder how much money was saved there?). And there were no writers to be seen. That’s probably WHY it wasn’t much fun!


    1. Were you at the hill?


  2. Happy Canada Day, Debra, however you celebrate it!


    1. I hope yours was good too. What did you do?


  3. Dory Reimer July 1, 2014 at 09:07

    Hi, I wanted to respond “like” but the page doesn’t accept my email address nor my pin word. Have I done something wrong? Very good “Canada Day” post! All is quiet here too but that’s probably good. Why go all out with rah rah rah.


    1. I think to “like” you just have to click the “like” button, which should work if I’ve remembered to activate it. The address is required for comments, to ensure that you are not spam. So thanks for the comment!


  4. Clare Hall, Cambridge is celebrating for the entire week!
    Happy Canada Day!


    1. What was the Canadian-themed dinner? Would you like to share with us what you said about Alice Munro? Very impressive schedule.


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