About four years ago I celebrated Canada Day with about 40,000 fellow Canadians on the lawns of our legislative buildings in Victoria BC. It was a hot, sunny day and grabbing a square of that cool green grass, was worth giving up drinks in a steamy and crowded restaurant. Claiming a square on that grass guaranteed cool seats during a much anticipated free concert. We waited for several hours for the first performers to hit the stage. Amongst the set list of veteran Canadian staples to young rock stars, was an Iconic figure who words would penetrate my ear drums, make their way to the creative centre of my brain and plant the seed of inception. The seed was this simple statement, "With all the crazy things going on in the world today I feel fortunate to call Canada my home and I am proud to be Canadian."
The wordsmith was, Burton Cummings and the words really permeated my soul like no moment before. Maybe it was the heat, the crowds, the Snowbirds flying over head, the music, the poutine or even the lubricating beverages, whatever it was it started me on a journey of asking the question, 'What does being Canadian, mean to me?" Following that came the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver where Canada took home a Gold medal in hockey and Vancouver put on an inspiring display of Canadian culture leaving us glowing with pride like we had never before in this province.
A Goalie's mask painting and a few years later I found myself with a whole new body of work revealing answers to my question. More than anything what I have found is, being Canadian means being light-hearted. Embracing quirkiness, comedy, sport, nature and all the cultures that make up a truly diverse country. We are a prolific country, just when you think you can brand us, we surprise you with a new direction. Although there are many symbols that represent Canada, our brand is not as simple as a maple leaf, mountains or a toque. I think more than anything our brand is, peace and love, eh.
Here's wishing you some Peace and Love, eh, this Canada Day! Get out there and do your thing, whatever that may be, it's cool with us.