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Aurora Village in Yellowknife | © Phung Chung Chyang / Shutterstock
Aurora Village in Yellowknife | © Phung Chung Chyang / Shutterstock
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Canada Turns 150 This Year and Here's How It's Celebrating

Picture of Hayley Simpson
Updated: 6 March 2017
The year 2017 marks Canada’s 150th birthday, so the country is going wild with celebrations all year long. Although the biggest events are happening around Canada Day in each province and territory, keep reading to find out how else Canada is celebrating its big milestone birthday this year.

Free entrance to national parks

For the entire year, Parks Canada is giving away Discovery Passes for free. This pass gives you free access to all of Canada’s national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas. So 2017 is definitely the year to enjoy a Canadian road trip. Parks Canada is also hosting a competition: six nights/seven days for four people in Western Newfoundland.

Lake Louise in Banff National Park | © Hayley Simpson
Lake Louise in Banff National Park | © Hayley Simpson

Canada Mosaic

Canada Mosaic is a Canada 150 Signature Project, organized by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. They are celebrating Canada’s diverse musical landscape through performances and collaborations in every province. Labeled as an “unprecedented pan-Canadian celebration,” over 40 new works will be co-commissioned and presented across Canada. This work also includes two-minute pieces titled Sesquies.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day is Quebec’s National Holiday, and it’s celebrated on June 24th each year. In Montreal, the day will begin with the Défilé de la Saint-Jean, an annual parade, and massive procession. Then there is the Grand Spectacle, which features many local musicians. Quebec City hosts a similar outdoor concert the night before to kick off celebrations on the Plains of Abraham.

Celebrating Canada | © Bruce Guenter/Flickr
Celebrating Canada | © Bruce Guenter/Flickr

Win airfare to the Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories’ tourism board is hosting a huge competition. The Secrets contest involves the board sharing 150 secrets about the territory over 150 days as part of Canada’s 150th birthday. They are also giving away 150 roundtrip tickets to the Northwest Territories from several major Canadian cities. The tourism board encourages you to visit their Facebook page and website daily to learn all about the secrets waiting for you up north.

Aurora Village in Yellowknife| © Phung Chung Chyang/Shutterstock
Aurora Village in Yellowknife | © Phung Chung Chyang / Shutterstock

Canada Day celebrations


The capital is already preparing to host the country’s best Canada Day celebrations on July 1, 2017, the official birthday of Canada as a country under the British Empire. Some of the attractions in Ottawa include festivities at Major’s Hill Park and indoor and outdoor activities at the Canadian Museum of History. But the biggest celebration happens on Parliament Hill, with ceremonial events, shows and fireworks, of course!

Parliament Hill in Ottawa | © Hayley Simpson
Parliament Hill in Ottawa | © Hayley Simpson


Toronto hasn’t yet announced exactly what visitors can expect on Canada Day in 2017, but events will be happening over four days: from June 30 to July 3, 2017. The official website confirms: “The rich fabric of Canada will be heard, seen and felt at this cultural festival in Toronto; reflecting the country’s kaleidoscopic character and highlighting cultural and artistic diversity.”


Canada Place in Vancouver is an award-winning host of Canada Day events and holds the largest celebration outside of Ottawa. For the country’s 150th birthday, Canada Place will be hosting festivities, parades, and activities over two days this year, July 1–2, 2017.

Canada Day Fireworks at Canada Place | © Kenny Louie/Flickr
Canada Day Fireworks at Canada Place | © Kenny Louie/Flickr


The 46th Annual JUNO Awards, a celebration of Canadian musicians, will be held at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on Sunday, April 2, 2017. But this year’s JUNO Week, leading up to the awards ceremony, will include events such as JUNO Cup, JUNO Fan Fare, JUNO Songwriters’ Circle and JUNOfest. It’s a unique chance for visitors and residents alike to see the rising stars of tomorrow.