Canada 150 weekly feature

Celebrating Canada’s 150th

Canada has a unique past, full of amazing people and events that have shaped this country into what it is today. This year, we are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. While Canada was inhabitated by First Nations people thousands of years ago, and settled by the British and French hundreds of years ago, Canada was officially formed as a federal dominion of four provinces in 1867.

To honour this significant milestone, The Valley Gazette will be running a weekly Canada 150 feature. It will contain stories from our past, both local and national. If you have an interesting local story that you would like to see appear in our feature, please contact Christine at To advertise in the feature, contact Michel at Happy Birthday, Canada! 

How Canada came to be

Canada is a diverse and culturally rich place to live. The second-largest country by land mass in the world, Canada is comprised of 10 provinces and three territories.

Canada is a relatively young country, around 90 years younger in founding than the United States of America, its closest neighbour, and is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017. However, Canada experienced a rich history prior to its official founding. Here’s a look back at how Canada came to be.

During the Age of Exploration, European nations sent out exploratory parties to find lands they could claim as their own. North America was an area rich in natural resources, and both Great Britain and France were interested in capitalizing on those resources. In 1497, John Cabot was the first European to explore Canada. Cabot also was the first to draw a map of Canada’s east coast.

Jacques Cartier of France also explored Canada in the early 1500s, and claimed land for the king of France. Cartier heard two captured native guides speak the Iroquoian word kanata, meaning ‘village’. While the name of Canada began appearing on maps, the region was largely known as ‘New France,’ thanks to French influence and claims. 

Get your January 4, 2017 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full article.