Editorial Pages

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

This week:

2 New Graduate Profiles
Sounding Off – I asked for your opinions on the legalization of gay marriages, and you had plenty to say!
Nature Notes – Nothing says spring like butterflies:

And much more:

Congratulations Canada, on turning 136!

July 1st marks another Canadian birthday, and the end of an eleven day celebration designated by the federal government. In Calgary, it also marks the beginning of Stampede week celebrations, which open on July 4th with the annual Stampede parade, a festive and timeless event that creates many jobs for skilled “horse-puck” scoopers each year. Hopefully, this year’s parade won’t be marred by the flight of raucous and threatening military fighter jet over the parade route as it has been for the last few years! Last year, after September 11th, I nearly dove under my bed when that thing went screaming over, preserving the redneck image of Calgarians for another year.

After the parade, Stampede week will be in full swing. Drunken cries of ‘Yee-Haw’ will be heard on every downtown street corner, bank tellers and grocery store clerks will don unfashionably new jeans and western shirts and serve you from makeshift wooden corrals, and hay bales will replace boxes as in-store display shelves. Thousands or orders will be filled for bark-covered log trimmings, for use in displays, and the world’s best window painters will scramble to cover every glass storefront in humorous cowboy cartoons.

Native Calgarians [a rare breed] and those who have lived here for a while, will enjoy playing ‘spot the tourist’, seeking the telltale dark blue jeans, red bandanas, string ties, and limping walks [someone has to tell these people that cowboy boots are the most uncomfortable footwear on the planet until you break them in!].

The Stampede grounds will open this year on July 4th, which is also my birthday, so this week is shaping up to be seriously festive!

Canada is also in a serious birthday mood, incorporating into this year’s celebrations Saint-Jean Baptiste Day on June 24th, Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27th, and National Aboriginal Day on June 21st.

Often it seems that these special designated ‘days’ merely pay lip service to causes. We have Cancer Day, Children’s Day, Women’s Day, days for the handicapped, the impoverished, and a host of other minority or special needs groups. With the exception of Gay Pride day, which boasts some really awesome parades, little seems to actually happen on these Days.

This year, however, AU has gone out of their way to present some great information for National Aboriginal Day, including a special 24 page edition of the AU staff newspaper, The Insider. For a few excerpts from the special Insider, see this issue, and follow the link to read the full issue which is chock full of wonderful articles.

Happy Canada Day!

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