When it comes to Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations, toss your inherent #FOMO (fear of missing out) away as we’ve got you covered! Yes, there is a lot of noise but have no fear we’ve broken it all down just for you. 

First thing to know to dazzle friends and companions with Canada 150 acumen is that “sesquicentennial” is 150 and here in the nation’s capital there are two organizations that promise to keep your dance card filled. Canada150 and Ottawa 2017 may be two distinct organisations but as far as we’re concerned this is just one big party to which you are definitely invited! 

 Much of the programming is yet to be detailed but considering that this is definitely an avalanche in the making get to grips today with these quick highlights!

The yearlong party kicks off on December 31 as 19 cities launch key activities to kick off the sesquicentennial and as you’d expect Ottawa is front and centre with not one but TWO pyrotechnic performances to light up the night and year to follow. The free Canada 150 kick off celebrations will be centred around Parliament Hill in Ottawa and the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. The City itself is being coy about their festivities that night but we’ve heard strong rumours of fire displays and fun around City Hall. 

Ottawa 2017

 As Canada’s capital city, Ottawa is the prom queen of this party and this hostess with the mostest is no wall flower. Already a number of signature events are listed on the website with the promise of more to be added soon. Major activities include Sky Lounge, a gastronomical dining experience suspended 150 feet above the city by a crane.  Not for the vertically challenged like me this top of the line (sic) fine dining extravaganza will be prepared and served by the excellent team of Gold Medal Chef Stephen LaSalle from the Andaz Hotel. 

Still hungry?  Fill up on other great activities: the Ottawa-Gatineau Picnic on the Bridge, this year’s Juno Awards, a new large-scale music event, an underground multi-media experience in the under-construction LRT tunnels and activities dotted throughout the year at the National Arts Centre and Galleries. Complementing these larger projects, many of which are still to be announced, Ottawa2017 has also funded a swath of diverse Community programs for 2017 that include art, dance, history, song and more.

Canada 150

As if all the Ottawa-based events aren’t enough, bring on Canada 150 the living, breathing mother of all party organisers! The number of events and activities organised by this Canada-wide umbrella is phenomenal and dare we say overwhelming at times!

The Canada 150 Signature projects are aimed at all Canadians so check them out and get busy in 2017.  Some of the programming is online such as “Apathy is Boring” where photos and stories submitted throughout the year will be projected on buildings in five participating cities. Others are location-based such as Rendez-Vous 2017 where you can become a trainee sailor and race a tall ship on the St-Laurent seaway. Yet more initiatives are touring the county including “The Red Couch Tour” where Canadians are invited to sit on the big red couch and tape their reflections on Canada for posterity – keep it real and keep it funny folks. Not to be missed is the outstanding “Sesqui” interactive touring domes. Using state of art cutting-edge technology the domes promise a fully immersive Canadian experience. I can’t wait for the calendar for this exhibit that promises a 360’ cinematic experience with virtual reality content, live activities and more.

 On the Go in 2017? Here is a list of Provincial and Territorial celebration events and activities taking place across Canada.  Plan your vacations around the many happenings or augment your yearly jaunt by pencilling in these en-route activities. 

Consider yourself plugged in to Canada 150.  You’ve got the city-based and the country-based party organisations to browse, the online programming, the touring and the location-based to explore.  Whether ringing in the sesquicentennial new year under a sky of fireworks, submitting your musings online, dinning in 150 feet in the air or sailing a tall ship Canada150 has it all on offer for you!