When people ask me where I’m from I have a difficult time answering. Eventually, I say Canada. Born in Vancouver, brought up in Banff and PEI, schooled in London, Ontario, and Quebec City (La Ville de Quebec) (et, oui.. je parle le Francais!), lived in Frederiction, Ottawa, Montreal. Worked in Banff, Vancouver, and theatrically toured all the Western provinces.
Today is our country’s birthday, the day we wear red, the day Canadian flags un-wrinkle and stretch to flapping happiness expressing a little more patriotism than most days.
I’m happy to say that I feel pretty Canadian. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, raised partly in Banff, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island (where I experienced one room schools!), went to college in London, Ontario, lived and worked in Ottawa, back to Banff, began learning French at 21 years old in Pointe de l’Eglise, Nova Scotia, moved to la belle ville de Quebec to further my French, trained in l’art dramatique for three years in Quebec City, lived in Montreal, performed in PEI, Fredericton, and finally moved back to Vancouver. From Vancouver I toured all the Western provinces, exploring and performing in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and BC.
I have taken the train, driven and flown across this country too numerous to remember (but the drives amounted to at least 6 times).
I think I can really say, “I’m Canadian”!
But what actually makes us Canadian? For me, I think it’s evident that it’s the physicality of our country. I have had the good fortune to have swam in both oceans, lakes across the land, hiked very high up in the Rockies, and witnessed extraordinary skies in the Prairies. I guess Canada’s nature defines my Canada.
What about you? And, what would be a favourite Canadian moment?
Mine? You ask?
Hmmm…. my first thought is being at the top of Healy Pass in the Rockies with my friend who was a Banff Park Warden. He met me and another friend part way, and then I rode his horse for the remainder of the trail. At the top of the pass, before my other friend returned on his own, he pulled out some wine and we saluted Mother Nature.
That night the warden’s cabin was cozy but also a bit frightening with a massive thunderstorm shaking up local campers. A mini hike, the morning after, to Egypt Lake and my solo hike back to the Sunshine Village parking lot rounded off the journey. (oh… and then a good Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs soak!)
Yes.. that was ONE of my favourite Canadian moments.
Happy Canada Day…. (and if you are not from Canada, have you been? Or if you haven’t, what would you wish to experience?)