Celebrating Canada’s 150th this weekend

Red Deer events slated for this Saturday at Bower Ponds

The milestone is finally here – Canadians are set to celebrate the 150th birthday of our country.

Canada Day is that rare opportunity to – for one day anyways – forget about our complaints about society in general and focus on the many blessings we enjoy simply by living in this amazing country.

No, life in Canada isn’t perfect. People face hardships of all kinds, and any amount of prosperity that comes our way from calling Canada home doesn’t extinguish the many harsh realities out there – especially this past couple of years with the economic slowdown and as a result, massive job loss particularly here in Alberta, that thousands have faced.

But in the broader picture, we enjoy so many advantages and opportunities in this country that can only be dreamed about in other corners of the world.

Most of us have never known what it is to be truly hungry for any length of time.

We turn on our taps and can drink the water without fear of being stricken by some deadly disease. We can worship how we choose without fear of significant oppression or governmental interference much less violence.

We have a government that, again certainly not perfect, provides many services that would be unimaginable in much of the developing world. Our health care system (yes there are flaws) is pretty much always there for us when we need it as well. Some diseases that still ravage communities in other parts of the world are pretty much memories in Canada.

Ultimately, anyone who has had the opportunity to spend time in a developing country knows full well how privileged we are to call Canada home.

Just watching the news will give a quick education into the frightening instability so many face as they fight for even some semblance of democracy in their homelands.

Even looking south of the border the political chaos makes us grateful to be Canadians.

So the freedom and peaceful society that we so often take completely for granted is certainly something to be thankful for.

Canadians are known for their generosity, politeness and acceptance and this particular instance speaks volumes to that.

Certainly, these are critical things to keep in mind on July 1st when we are (hopefully) soaking up the sun and counting our blessings.

Locally, we encourage Red Deerians to take part in the festivities that will take place at Bower Ponds virtually all day on Saturday hosted by the Cultural Heritage Society. Officials expect there will be roughly 9,000-10,000 people in attendance throughout the celebrations.

There will be a constant stream of performers on the stage near the pond from 11:30 a.m. right down to when the fireworks start which is around 11 p.m.

So get out this weekend and celebrate the great country that we live in.