What Others are Doing

What kinds of gifts are other Canadians working on to celebrate Canada’s 150th? Read on for inspiration…


Artists Paul Scott Birnie and Alex Park are creating a visual novel of 50 Canadian heroes. Birnie and Park will create visual explorations of people who have defined the cultural, social and economic fabric of our country. Those people will each get their own chapter in a coffee table book to be created for 2017. The works will also tour the country. The intention is to use the ability for art to create dialogue about our legacy of success and failures as well as what our values are.

Canada 300

Prince Edward Island’s Watermark Theatre wants us to start thinking about 2167. Its Canada 300 project aims to start a new national conversation by commissioning nine short plays that talk about our hopes and fears for Canada in the next 150 years. The plays will be shown in 20 communities across Canada including performances in each area to an audience of 150 community builders. When the tour is over one person from each community will travel to Charlottetown for a national conversation. (watermarktheatre.com)

People of Canada Portrait Project

Visual artist Brandy Saturley is asking Canadian couples — husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends, siblings, partners – to snap a pictures of themselves at their most patriotic and posing at a Canadian location. She’ll take 20 of those pictures and turn them into a portraits. The portraits will be exhibited across Canada for 150 celebrations. (peopleofcanada.ca)

One Five Oh

This project is Canada’s digital campfire. It’s the place where we can share our stories. It’s asking Canadians to submit 150 stories on its website, app and travelling story booths and studios. Stories can be up-voted and the best will be turned into 150-second films with the help of up-and-coming filmmakers, musicians, performers and animators. In 2017, 150 of those stories will be screened in theatres and in networks across Canada. (onefiveoh.ca)

My Giving Moment

This campaign began with His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnstone, Governor General of Canada. He is encouraging every Canadian to use their time, talent and money to give back in ways that are small and large. You can find ideas for giving back on mygivingmoment.ca. The idea is that many small gifts will make us into a more caring, compassionate nation. (mygivingmoment.ca)

A Bold Vision

In 1864, 23 men met in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island to create a bold vision, build relations and discuss what Canada could be. The result was the confederation of Canada. Now 150 years later, a coalition of women’s organizations in P.E.I. have come together to ask what 23 women will do with that same opportunity. This initiative includes a conference of Canadian women leaders from September 24 to 26, 2014. (aboldvision.ca)

Canada One Fifty
There are some interesting statistics associated with Canada — the green ink used in American money was invented in Canada, we have more lakes than all other countries combined, we have one of the longest highways in the world. This project will assign 150 stats to 150 Canadians artists to produce 150 original artistic pieces. Those works will tour across Canada, be captured in a commemorative book and showcased digitally.   (CanadaOneFifty.ca)

Canadian Mosaic
Since 2008, photographer Tim Van Horn has been taking portraits of Canadians in every corner of the country. He’s been to remote fishing villages and metropolitan centres. So far, he has 31,000 portraits and by 2017 will have captured the image of 54,000 Canadians. Those portraits will be combined to create a single, 30-by-100 foot Canadian flag. It represents a tiny fraction of our country’s population, but this photograph collection will be the most comprehensive Canadian portrait to date. (canadianmosaic.ca)

Thank You Canada Book
This project gathers everything we are grateful for into one book. Photographs from coast to coast to coast as well as the wilderness, urban gems, native communities and more in between will be collected in a coffee table book. There will also be stories from well-known personalities and every day Canadians. The project will go on tour. And, the organizers are asking for your input on where and what to include in the book. (one50canada.ca)

Sing Me A Song
The B.C. Lieutenant Governor, Judith Guichon, has launched a song contest. She wants participants to write and perform an original song about what Canada’s 150th birthday means to them. Songs have to be shorter than five minutes, include at least 15 voices and have originally composed music. It is ideal for schools and community choirs.  A panel of B.C. musicians will judge the competition and award $1,000 in three categories. The rest of us get to see the results when all of the entries are posted on Youtube. Entries are due May 7, 2014. (ltgov.bc.ca)

Spark National Conversation
This conversation starts with a play commissioned by P.E.I.’s Watermark Theatre that will talk about the possibility of Canada’s future told from three points of view. The play will be performed in 20 communities across Canada between September 2014 and May 2015. A pre-show meal will spark discussion. And, performances in each community to an audience of 150 community builders should stir things up. Following each performance, 25 hand-selected audience members will get to express their ideas in next-day sessions facilitated by young people in the community. The responses from all of the audiences will be shared through an electronic scrapbook. (watermarktheatre.com)

 Explore150 App
Heritage Canada, Taking IT Global and Get to Know partnered to create an app for young Canadians to virtually explore culturally significant sites, share stores and communicate with peers across the county. The Explore150 app is a catalogue of Canada’s natural, historic and cultural sites that includes photos, descriptions, quizzes and more. (explore150.ca)

TransCanada Trail Completion
This began as a gift for Canada’s 125th birthday and will be completed in time for 2017. Because of more than 125,000 donors and one of the largest volunteer efforts in Canada, all 24,000 kilometres of the trail will be connected, linking 1,000 communities and including more than 500 locally managed segments. (tctrail.ca)

Global Centre for Pluralism
In 2017 the Aga Khan Foundation will open the Global Centre for Pluralism in what was the War Museum in Ottawa. The centre is an independent, not-for-profit research and education centre that will promote diversity through global learning and exchange. Canada was chosen because of its inclusive approach to citizenship. (pluralism.ca)

Centennial Stamps
Each year until 2017, Canada Post will release a series of seven stamps with images that represent a snapshot of Canadian history from photographers who pushed the limits of artistry including Margaret Watkins and Thomas Coffin Doane. (canadapost.ca)

Freshwater Health Assessment
WWF-Canada has set a deadline of 2017 to assess all major bodies of water in Canada through its Freshwater Health Assessment. The assessment is based on two years of scientific study and peer review and grades lakes, rivers and streams on water quality, water flow, fish and invertebrates. The scores will provide data for evidence-based policy decisions. (wwf.ca/waterhealth)

Here is Canada: The Road to 2017
CIPA has launched national video contest asks Canadians ages 19 to 25 to create a five minute video that expresses their thoughts on the past, present or future of Canada and how it impacts them. It is funded through the “Youth Take Charge” program of Canadian Heritage. (hereiscanada.ca)

Never Forgotten National Memorial
More than 114,000 Canadian war dead were buried in other countries and the Never Forget National Memorial Foundation wants to make sure that we commemorate all that they have done for our country. They will build a monument in their honour at Green Cove on the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. It will be Canada’s first national memorial in a national park to honour our war dead. (nfnm.ca)

Smart & Caring Communities
As Governor General of Canada and patron of Community Foundations of Canada, David Johnston has called on all Canadians to build a “smart and caring nation.” The Community Foundations of Canada has pledged that by 2017, every community will have access to a community foundation and access to the Smart and Caring Communities Fund, which responds to local priorities. (cfc-fcc.ca)

It’s mobile, it’s immersive and it’s cinematic. Throughout 2017, a geodesic dome will travel across Canada, stopping in communities to show multimedia programming on the themes of art and landscape. Every community will get programming tailor made for it and by the time SESQUI is done travelling, 1.2 million audience members will have experienced it. (sesqui.ca)

Arts Nation
By 2017, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards wants Canada to be known as an arts nation. We already excel in the arts, but to make it know they’ll help to insert the language into the Canadian conversation. When Canada turns 150 kids will know that Canadians are good at art, music, acting, writing, dance, film and more. (ggpaa.ca/arts-nation)

Canada at 150: Summit in Toronto The North American Model United Nations will meet in Toronto to talk about issues facing Canada in the next century including economic competitiveness and protecting energy reserves. (namun.org)

Give Green Canada
G2 Give Green Canada is a project of Tides Canada Initiatives Society and is a catalyst for environmental and conservation groups across the country to develop a green legacy leading up to 2017 and beyond. (2017legacies.blogspot.ca)

Canada 150
This project is all about collecting stories for future generations. Canada 150 is encouraging everyone to record the stories of their lives as well as those of their family and communities. The everyday stories will be collected mostly online and be searchable by keyword for researchers and family historians to have a better understanding of the past. (canada150.com)

Prince Edward Island in 2014
This island province gets a head start on sesquicentennial celebrations with the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference. Those meetings in 1864 paving the way for Canadian Confederation and more than 150 festivals, events and activities will be held across Prince Edward Island throughout the year in its honour. (pei2014.ca)

2017 Starts Now
Presented by Via Rail, CBC/Radio-Canada and the Community Foundations of Canada, 2017 Starts Now was a series of conversations across Canada in 2013. Engaged citizens had an opportunity to reflect on how Canada has changed since Confederation and generate ideas for 2017. (2017startsnow.ca)