As 2017 dawns, Canada’s 150th anniversary will be celebrated this summer. There are a few folks among us that will remember the 100th anniversary, with Expo 67 in Montreal, and every school child in Canada getting a bronze coin with “1967” on it. There was also musician Bobby Gimby with his song “CAN-NAH-DAH” which seemed to be mandatory for every school child. Here is a link to the official song video, if you missed that party.
School children then had to learn the word “Centennial”. Today its a new word for 150 years, “Sesquicentennial”. While Pierre Trudeau was Justice Minister in 1967, his son Justin Trudeau is the Prime Minister in 2017 for this event. At a time where there is a lot of commentary about world politics, governance, and place, there is a lot that we as Canadians can be proud of. As this article in the Globe and Mail states expect to have advertising, as in this Loblaw commercial below focus on what we have done right, and how we can do it a bit better.
“This year’s anniversary is likely to ramp up the national symbolism in ads as an easy way to connect with people. However, there is a need to handle it carefully: at Loblaw, for example, there were lengthy discussions about how to incorporate the anniversary without taking an excessively “flag-waving” approach that might not be appropriate for the brand or appreciated by customers”.
The commercial below focuses not on the Loblaw brand, but on emotional connection. That is a bit of a play on the feelings of nationalism which will surely compound this year with the country’s internal birthday, and external events that will demand focus on who we are and what we do well.
Seasoned journalist Pete McMartin admits in his latest column-“Time to See B.C. for what it is-Paradise” that we are doing some stuff right. As McMartin says”“On the scale of horrible things in this world, real estate, private schools, ICBC, and, yes, even Christy Clark’s smile, are as nothing. You, your children, British Columbians, Canadians, have won the world lottery. Ten thousand kilometres away, a man must get through a corridor of murderous soldiers to get his family to safety: you must get through a tunnel to get home to pizza.”
Welcome to the Sesquicentennial.