Canada’s 150th Birthday

On July 1, 2017 Canada will be celebrating its 150th birthday. Or, you can call it a Sesquicentennial celebration. In 1864 the Fathers of Confederation met in Charlottetown to begin the process leading to the enactment of the British North America Act which, on July 1, 1867, united the four provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario into one country, Canada. The other six provinces and three territories joined at varying later dates culminating with the creation of Nunavut in 1999.

Canada has been populated for thousands of years. The original settlers may well have migrated over the massive land bridge between Siberia and Alaska which eventually became submerged with the end of the last ice age about 13,000 years ago. As the climate warmed the descendants of the earlier migrants moved south and east. The many tribes of indigenous people have spread to all parts of Canada. The name of our country is thought to come from Huron-Iroquois word “kanata” meaning “village” or “settlement”. Many of our place names come from the languages spoken by the aboriginal settlers.

In reality, what we are celebrating is the European exploration and settlement of this country which occurred over a span of several hundred years. Today, our indigenous people have been joined by others from all over the world who have chosen to live here, creating a multicultural and multinational nation.

The Canadian Embroiderer’s Guild, Guelph, proposed a project for its members.

Create a 6” square in any fabric, your choice of design and stitching. Add an explanation on

What Canada Means to Me

Our Guild of 80 members produced 110 pieces and we are proud to share some of them with you.  All the stitchers expressed individual and varied experiences.

Canada 150 Logo

I loved the colour and the symbolic maple leaf. It speaks to the diversity and inclusiveness.


Canada 150

Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Parliament Hill symbolizes Canada. It is a public space, historic buildings and is open
to citizens and visitors. I remember summer visits to Ottawa and seeing the fireworks framing the Canadian flag flying at the top of the Peace Tower.

Parliament Hill

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride

When I was in my 30’s I went to a swearing in ceremony for new Canadian citizens.
The stands were full of of many different nationalities all waiting to become Canadian.
The R.C.M.P. performed their musical ride with the interweaving of horse and man
into various formations. This was spectacular but the passion I saw for Canada as the new citizens pledged allegiance to Canada was spectacular and inspiring. We should not take Canada for granted.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket

These blankets were traded to First Nations in exchange for beaver and buffalo pelts in the 18th and 19th centuries by the Hudson Bay Company. The lines or points denote the size of the blanket.

Hudsons Bay Blanket

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

As an immigrant to Canada, I had a lot to learn. CBC has proven to my best teacher of Canadian values and, along the way I also learned so much about Canadian writers, musicians, politicians, everyday people and all that we hold dear. When I worked to adapt to life with small kids after a busy career, Peter Gzowski kept me sane. When I felt smug in my comfortable corner of Canada, my eyes were opened to the challenge others face throughout the land, when I needed hope it was there.

Thank you CBC – the best of Canada!

CBC Canada

Dove of Peace

As a first–generation Canadian, with Latvian roots, this country was a safe-haven for my parents, who sought a life of peace an stability. Imagine the trauma of leaving family members behind an “iron curtain”. Canada welcomed us, healed us, and made life whole again.

Dove of Peace

From different lands
By different ways
They come to make
Our Canada

We The North

We The North… is the slogan which depicts the stoic toughness of some of the Canada’s people. It is admirable but more so is the endurance of all the creatures great and small who have been blessed with bodies able to withstand unbelievable cold and deprivation to survive and grace Christmas stamps. Bravo!

I have always loved animals of all kinds especially those indigenous to Canada. Can Spring be far behind?

Canada Stamp

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    • Anne Braund
    • June 30, 2017

    These images are wonderful!

    1. Reply

      Thank you Anne, glad you are enjoying them. There will be more and interesting posts coming up.

    • Marg Gillies
    • June 30, 2017

    I enjoyed viewing all the beautiful stitchery squares celebrating Canada’s 150th. The subject material with their explanations were touching to see and read.

    1. Reply

      Marg, I hope you enjoy seeing and reading all the others as well.

    • Barb
    • July 3, 2017

    Hi Ann,
    This morning, with a moment to look at your 150th celebration posts (and amazed at them), I got drawn into reading a number of posts, especially about the history of the Royal School of Needlework. You have developed an interesting, beautiful and informative site – logical and user friendly too. I can’t compliment you enough. Amazing effort Ann. I will go back to it many times to get more informed.

    1. Reply

      It was a special experience to put these blog presentations together. I am glad that you are enjoying them.

    • Louise Desmarais
    • November 12, 2017

    I looked at your posts on Canada. I am not sure I understood. Are those embroideries from members of the Guelph Guild? They are not all yours, are they? If not, why didn’t you post the artist’s name with their realisations? It would have been interesting.
    Louise Desmarais
    from the Lakeshore Creative Stitchery Guild,

      • Ann Bernard
      • November 19, 2017

      The 150 Anniversary Embroideries were all stitched by members of the Canadian Embroiderer’s Guild Guelph and none of them were stitched by me. As many of them were submitted as anonymous it was difficult to name some and not others. They are all now Canadians and delighted to be so no matter where they came from or why. I put the Blog together and it was a very emotional experience for me. I am also delighted to now be a Canadian.

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