UNTIL 1982, Canada Day was known as Dominion Day. I always thought that had more of a ring to it. Beyond the zippy alliteration, it reminded us citizens that our domain of orderly domesticity was graced by the dominant power of our “Dominus.”
And the rights granted therein to us by the glorious English crown through her colonial appointee, the right honourable governor general.
There was another problem with Dominion Day. Dominion was the name of a national grocery store chain. It would be like calling the Fourth of July D’Agostino’s Day.
Independence (now there’s a great name for a day!) came slowly to our country. In 1965, we dumped the old, staid British ensign for our own new flag. in lIt’s the one with the big red maple leaf in the middle. A simple, sweet leaf! We also have moose and beavers on our coins. And we call our dollars loonies because the coin has an image of a loon. Another old bird, the Queen of England, is on the other side of the coin.
I remember singing “God Save the Queen” every morning in school. “Long live our noble Queen!” we belted, thousands of us tubby little obedient Canadians. I guess it worked. She’s still alive. Now they sing “O Canada” in schools and at most sporting events; usually in French and English. Around the time we were changing anthems, dumping ensigns and renaming holidays, the official use of both languages became mandatory, except in Quebec where the required use of English is a bit fuzzy.
Canada Day comes and goes modestly every year. Sure, there are retail sales promotions and a long weekend. But there isn’t bluster or commodity in Canadian celebration. Canada isn’t big on bunting. Or jet flyovers, fireworks, marching bands or military pomp.
Canadians defer. We save our loonies and don’t jaywalk. It’s illegal, eh. We stand on guard at red lights, even when there is no traffic. We wait for clear, green governing lights to signal our turn and lead us on. Then we tuck our heads down, under wooly toques and worn-out scarves, one eye barely open, squinting headlong into the harsh prairie wind, cautiously, quietly, demurely Canadian.
— RICK MORANIS, a writer and actor
Back home, hockey highlights lead off SportsCenter. That is the height of civilization.
— SEAN CULLEN, a comedian
The gourmets say there isn’t a native Canadian food worth remembering after you’ve left the country. The gourmets have never bitten into a Coffee Crisp.
A Coffee Crisp tastes like Canada to anybody who grew up gnawing on that confection, a memorably crisp blend of coffee cream, cookie wafers and milk chocolate as wholesome and satisfying as the Canadian national anthem. It was a square-edged rectangle, like a brick, wrapped in a yellow-going-to-gold paper that seemed to elevate its value above all rival confections. It was unlike other chocolate bars.
I say “was” because no sooner had I left Canada than its originator, Rowntree’s, was absorbed into the giant international food conglomerate Nestlé. Soon enough, factors beyond the ken of the layman led its new owners to “improve on” the faultless original. Coffee Crisps were reshaped to be longer and slimmer and, as the infallible taste buds quickly revealed, reformulated to be less crisp and less coffee-flavored. Nestlé next undertook to expand the brand: Coffee Crisp Orange, Coffee Crisp Raspberry, Coffee Crisp Café Caramel, even Coffee Crisp White and, God save us, Coffee Crisp Yogurt.
But even in its diminished form, the classic Coffee Crisp still ranked superior to all the sticky-sweet American “candy bar” alternatives. I’d snaffle up half a dozen on a Canadian visit and wolf down a couple right away, just to make sure it wasn’t all just nostalgie du chocolat. It wasn’t. Taste memory never fades.
The demands of homesick Canadian expatriates were finally answered, circa 2006, when Coffee Crisp made its debut south of the border. But Nestlé’s efforts at carving a niche in the United States, alas, seemed half-hearted. I never saw an ad, and found only one seedy neighborhood hole-in-the-wall that even sold Coffee Crisps; the single box was all but hidden down on the bottom row of the candy display rack near the dust kittens and lottery-ticket stubs.
A month later the box was still there, its contents by now grayish and moldy and stale with age when the wrapper was torn away. In another month the box was gone. Coffee Crisps slunk back out of the American market in 2008, as quietly as they’d entered.
I suppose the Coffee Crisp debacle proves yet again that Canadian products — with the notable exceptions of Bombardier jets and half the comedians in Hollywood — just can’t compete in the American big time. But all visiting Canadian relatives and friends arrive at my door with pockets mysteriously bulging, or they won’t be let in.
— BRUCE McCALL, a writer and illustrator
In history class, in seventh grade (or as we like to say in Canada, grade seven) we learned the story of the American Revolution — from the British perspective. Turns out you were all a bunch of ungrateful tax cheats. And you weren’t very nice to the Loyalists. What I miss most about Canada is getting the truth about the United States.
— MALCOLM GLADWELL, a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author, most recently, of “Outliers: The Story of Success”
I miss the “u” in color. — LISA NAFTOLIN, a creative director
Source: New York Times online
There’s still plenty going on this weekend if you’d like to make fun holiday plans for Sunday, December 18!
Personally, I’ve always dug brunch with Santa, though I concede that brunch itself is a big draw. Read on to find out the deets on tomorrow’s BRUNCH with SANTA, A Winter’s Night with Wendell and Wheat, and the Highlands Wind Symphony Christmas Concert!
Brunch with Santa:
December 18 2011
Santa’s Brunch – 18th of December $2.00 from every Brunch Sold will be donated to Point in Time Feast on a festive inspired Buffet that includes; Home-made Soup, Salads, Scrambled Eggs with Cheddar Cheese, Egg Benedict, Home fries, Sausage, Bacon, Cheddar Perogies with Chive Sour Cream, Pancakes, French Toast, Featured Pasta, Carved Baked Pineapple Ham, Fresh Rotisserie Sage and Rosemary Ontario Turkey. Our Dessert Table features Mincemeat Pie, Apple Crisp, Carrot Cake, Rice Pudding, Jell-O & Pudding Parfait and Fresh Fruit. Santa will be visiting for Photographs with the Children at 10:30 am and again at 1:00 pm Santa’s Mailbox will be Open till December 12th Bring your letter with you! Adults $20.95++, Children 12 and under $9.95 ++
Red Umbrella Inn 1075 Red Umbrella Road Minden
Contact: Michael or Richard Tel: 705-489-2462
A Winter’s Night with Wendell and Wheat:
December 18 2011
This concert features the wonderful duo of Wendell Ferguson and Katherine Wheatley. They are best of musical pals. Her heartfelt lyrics and stunning voice and his honest yet irreverent humor make their show both moving and hilarious. One presenter said “An absolutely transcendent concert”. Another said “She didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. He didn’t leave a dry seat”. The very talented Sheri Hawkins and Shawn Chamberlin will open for Wendell and Wheat.
Come early for dinner at the Wild Moose Tickets: $23/person (HST included) $17 (HST included) – Folk Society members/ Youth
Available at The Photoshop in Haliburton and Organic Times in Minden.
Or call 705-754 -3655 to reserve Presented by the Haliburton County Folk Society, a part of the Haliburton County Community Cooperative
The Wild Moose
1701 Wigamog Road Haliburton
Contact: Barrie Martin Tel: 705-754-3655
Highlands Wind Symphony Christmas Concert:
December 18 2011
The Highlands Wind Symphony Presents Its Annual Christmas Concert “Around The World At Christmas” Also Featuring The Highlands Swing Band With Jerelyn Craden Sunday, December 18th 3pm Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion Haliburton
Tickets: Adults $10, Students $5, Family $25 Available at Master’s Book Store in Haliburton or Minden Pharmasave
For More Information:
Call Andy Salvatori 457-2100 or Kelly Moore 286-3377
Northern Lights Pavilion HHSS Haliburton
Long time between posts, I know. Hopefully, the jam-packed menu of Haliburton Highlands good times coming up in the next couple of weeks will make up for it.
I’m going to highlight a few favourites, then follow with all the information you need on the rest of the activities (and there are many!!)
Minden Hills Bluegrass Festival
Want to hear some of the finest bluegrass music anywhere? This may sound a bit naive but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Canadian Bluegrass music–so if it were possible for me to warp speed myself out of the American Midwest to Minden Hills, Ontario I’d see you there. This event, which takes place over two days, July 16-17 is a must see.
Living History Days - Day with a Black Smith
Living History Days! Again, this sounds fascinating because I’ve not ever encountered a ‘black smith’ shop. And costumed characters seal the deal for me!
9th Annual Stanhope Heritage Day
In it’s 9th year, Stanhope Heritage Day is teeming with some of my favourite activities like a BBQ lunch and the Stanhope Museum‘s famous ‘Citron Marmalade.’ But there’s much more than food being offered. there is music all day and uniquely skilled local residents demonstrating and in some cases inviting you to try rush weaving, tatting, carving, bookbinding, tinsmithing and much more!
Where Are the Whip-poor-Wills?
On a more informative and serious note is this informative presentation about the decline of the Whip-poor-will population by a staggering 50% in the last several decades. When an iconic species such as this is disappearing at this rate it is time to get informed and hopefully, join together to discuss possible solutions.
Highlands Summer Festival Presents - 'Looking'
I’m just realizing that there are over 20 separate events, some taking place over days or months to browse through. I’m ‘thumbnailing’ them all here–just click to enlarge them and read all about them. I’m ever-impressed by the creativity, strong love and commitment to community and commitment to the arts, be they culinary, artsy-crafty, or fine arts like the play ‘Looking,’ by Norm Foster (see above).
I strongly encourage you to indulge yourself. There is so much to relish in the Haliburton Highlands!
After the jump: The entire list! What’s Happening This Week! July 13 – 20, 2011–AND BEYOND
Canucks lost, street’s afire, let’s make out:
Streets afire, Canucks lost, let's make out...
‘Best photo from last night’s riot in Vancouver.’
(Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Via and thanks to: Eject
Life magazine photo of sailor and nurse celebrating V-J Day in the streets of New York.
All time best ‘erotic’ photo taken in the midst of chaotic celebration of a big event:
World War II sailor Carl Muscarello and nurse Edith Shain kiss on a New York City street on V-J Day, a joyful moment captured by Life magazine photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt.