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queen-victoria-sketches

Queen Victoria's Friday 13th June 1851 journal entry: Prince Albert, Queen Victoria and Prince Charles of Leiningen(?)

Yippee ki-yay! Summer is upon us, and in Canada that means festivals, parades, cabin dwelling, hiking, biking, barbecues, cool lemonade and outdoors sporting events like the Calgary Stampede, which turns 100 this year! Although the stampede may seem quintessentially Canadian, it was conceived by an American vaudeville performer, Guy Weadick, who convinced four wealthy Calgarians to invest in the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” And here’s his dream realized and going strong 100 years later! [Toronto Star]

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Joe Fortes teaching swimming at English Bay, Vancouver, circa 1912. Vancouver Archives

Statistics Canada released its 2011 census information this Wednesday. The National Post has a nifty infographic that visually lays out changes in population growth. Lets take a look at the changing face of our nation, shall we?
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History
In the News
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The Queen begins a year of celebrations marking her diamond jubilee. On February 6, 1952, King George VI died in his sleep at Sandringham. His daughter Princess Elizabeth was declared Queen Elizabeth II. Since then, Queen Elizabeth has been England’s oldest monarch and the second-longest reigning sovereign in British history. Celebrations marking the event will centre around the extended weekend of June 2 (the anniversary of the Queens’ coronation) through to June 5.

Official Diamond Jubilee Portrait

Official portrait of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh taken in the Centre Room at Buckingham Palace in December 2011 © Royal Household/John Swannell

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Politics
Primary Loyalties

Stephen Harper restored the “Royal” in Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy. He had no need to in the case of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the Royal Mint. In the case of the military changes, who can say if it’s a good or a bad idea? It draws attention to Canada’s heritage.  It will cost millions in terms of simple things like changes in stationery.

However, constitutionally ill-informed critics have had a field day. “Harper is re-colonializing Canada.” “Canadians are becoming subordinate to the Queen of England.”

Poppycock.
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Politics
Air Command crest

The Air Command crest

The intention of the Government of Canada in its August 2011 re-designation of three components of the Canadian Forces, namely Maritime Command, Land Force Command and Air Command as the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force has been met with praise and derision by civilians and armed forces personnel alike. The government contends the restoration of these historical names is important to our heritage and is necessary to improve pride in the armed forces. Critics harp on several themes, including the expense of the name changes and more fundamentally, the nature of our constitutional monarchy.

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Kate and Will, The Royals

Photo courtesy of mandiraj under creative commons

The glamorous young couple are sure to receive a warm welcome, despite the grumbling of anti-monarchists that accompanies every royal tour.

The visit of Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, continues a long tradition of royal tours of Canada. That Canada was chosen as the destination for their first official visit as a couple reflects the country’s importance within the Commonwealth. In fact, this importance has made Canada a frequent destination for British royalty.

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