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July 5, 2012Well, wasn’t that a party? It seems that Canada Day gets louder and more colourful every year.

Too often, especially when we’re in the grip of winter, Canadians grumble about the things that are wrong with the country and ignore the freedoms and security that make it possible for us to determine our own future, and achieve our own dreams.

But for one long weekend at the beginning of summer, we let our hair down and celebrate the things we love about our country. For some of us, that’s the wonderful mix of cultures and races that make up modern Canada.

I live in a neighbourhood with a large Italian population, so I was in a hub of action on Canada Day as people gathered on patios to watch the 2012 European Football championship. My parents (Cape Breton Scots) joined in the fun.

I like to think that our Catalyst Canada staff members also represent a pretty broad spectrum of Canadians. Some of us are urban creatures, while others long for the call of the loon over a distant lake, or the pounding of ocean surf. Some love crowds and parties; others prefer small gatherings with friends and family. But, when we asked them, they all had plans for Canada Day!

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Erin:

Classic Canadian: I will be camping, fishing, and jet skiing with my hubby, friends, and their little ones. I’m looking forward to enjoying the beautiful Canadian outdoors, reminiscing around the fire pit, and roasting the ultimate: S’mores!

Sylvia:

Canada Day celebrations in Greece? You bet! We’re bringing Canada flags, banners, hats, and horns to celebrate this great country with my parents, my brother, sister and their families, who are Canadian citizens and now live in Greece. There may be lamb roasting on the spit involved (and maybe a bit of ouzo), just to make it a true multi-cultural celebration!

Christine:

I’ll be spending Canada Day at a friend’s cottage ... that happens to be located in a provincial park (which feels particularly fitting!).

Emily:

Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks! I also hope to enjoy some good grilled food with good friends.

David:

Canada Day coincides with Toronto Pride this year, and I will be spending the day celebrating diversity with some great friends, and being thankful that I live in a country that allows me to be myself every day of the year.

Sunniva:

I will be at a lake in Ontario in the company of 10 friends. It’s a reunion to celebrate all of our reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro this time last year. I’ll be enjoying canoeing and playing in the lake, a great BBQ, good friends—and my sister is even flying in from California. What could be better? I LOVE SUMMER!

Jessica:

I am spending my Canada Day long weekend at my cottage in Haliburton—most likely swimming.

Joanna:

I will be spending this Canada Day with family to celebrate two birthdays, our country’s 145th and my nephew’s third. An afternoon of bubbles, hotdogs, and ice cream cake will be followed by an evening watching fireworks and enjoying a beverage on my building’s roof top.