On Canada Day, after snapping the expected Mark-with-a-flag, Mark-with-a-moose-hat and Mark-being-cute shots, I started to focus on the crowd—Canadians, newcomers and tourists who, like us, felt like celebrating the country they had been living in for days, months, years or generations. I paid attention to the sea of red and white, these little “Canadian pride” accessories and products so many people wear during national events—temporary tattoos, hats, t-shirts, sunglasses or necklaces. Our national flag looks nice and the Maple Leaf is probably one of the most famous and recognizable in the world.
On that day of July 1, 2016, people were happy and relaxed. Canada Day is a fun affair here. Everybody is welcome to a day of family-friendly festivities. There is nothing controversial about being proud to be Canadian. Our country is being celebrated and we celebrate the people who live here, no matter where they are from and what brought them to the New World in the first place—a boat, a plane… or maybe they are First Nations, who lived here for thousands of years before explorers arrived from Europe. It doesn’t matter, anyway. For a day at least, we united, cheering for the guest of honour—Canada.
Back home, going through the pictures, I realize how diverse the crowd was. I love it. This is Canada. In the viewfinder, when snapping the shots, I saw Canadians, regardless of their ethnic origin. Taken one by one, these pictures are little pieces of a vast mosaic of a country, people from all walks of life who call Canada home.